Save Me From Destruction: “Fossils No. 2”

For the last several months I’ve become increasingly uncomfortable with this Fossils painting still hanging around my studio.  So, I’ve decided that I will schedule this painting for destruction-by-saw on May 15th, 2014 UNLESS someone saves it first by naming your best price.

I know that was a rather abrupt announcement, so let me briefly try to explain what’s going on here.  Over my 13-year art career, I’ve destroyed very few of my original paintings.  It’s not that I’m so good that nearly every original I’ve painted is perfect, but I’m a sentimental and nostalgic guy at heart and like to hang on.  And maybe someday I’ll do something with the pile of paintings I have in storage that have never been seen by anyone.

"Fossils No. 2", watercolor on paper mounted on canvas, 36 x 36", Regular Price $1,600.
“Fossils No. 2″, watercolor on paper mounted on canvas, 36 x 36”, Regular Price $1,600.

“Fossils No. 2” is an exception that has become rather glaring over the last several months.  I really like this painting – one of the largest of my Fossils Series that I ever painted.  It has many great “fossil” shapes that I created with the polished Oregon beach stones that I used.  And, tons of glowing gold and copper metallics in with the purples and reds.

The feeling I have with Fossils No. 2 is like a bubble inside that just wants this painting to finally be free from me.  To escape the captivity it has endured for years in my studio or locked away in storage.  I saw only two solutions: destruction-by-saw or someone will save it by naming your best price to purchase it.  So, if you’d love to have this painting, comment here or email me before the destruction date of May 15th, 2014!

"Fossils No. 2" - scheduled for destruction on May 15th, 2014 UNLESS someone saves it!
“Fossils No. 2” – scheduled for destruction on May 15th, 2014 UNLESS someone saves it!

A Painting Dies… and I’m Finally Free.

At its very best (back in 2006), this painting just irritated me.  At its worst, I actually despised it.  After seven years to the month of it lurking around, I’m finally free!

Its death wasn't violent... more "calculated". In any case... I'm free!
Its death wasn’t really violent… more “calculated”. In any case… I’m free!

The Fossils that Dried Just in Time

I’m back in Denver and am getting unpacked and settled again.  Here’s a snapshot of one of my last paintings to pack up in Oregon – I nearly had to wait until the last minute to pull up the large rock since it took so long to dry (about 5 days)!

The last fossils rock still drying in the sun the day before I returned to Denver...

Experimental “Fossils” on 300lb. Rough Paper

I went to Meininger’s “Garage Sale” a few weeks ago and (with much restraint) walked out with less than 10 items… one of which was a pack of 300lb. rough watercolor paper.  After having used very smooth, hotpress watercolor papers for several years, and after my fun experimenting on black paper, I thought this would be a good paper for shaking things up some more.

So, I started with some small “fossils” and was somewhat pleased with this result.  More are in progress!

Mini Fossils on rough watercolor paper, about 6 x 6 inches.
Mini Fossils on rough watercolor paper, about 6 x 6 inches.

Today’s Music Inspiration and More Signal Fossils

I nearly finished one of my Signal Fossils today in an unusual format for me – a wide landscape.  I used some of my favorites: moonglow purple, scarlet, metallic coppers and golds and antique white.  I had hoped to finish this one today, but you can see one last “rock” that will have to dry overnight.

Also thought I’d share my music inspiration from today: Rufus Wainwright.  I’ve been a long-time fan and love listening to him while painting.  Wish I could have seen him in a special concert here in Denver last night!

Untitled Signal Fossils, watercolor on paper, approximately 12 x 30 inches.

My “Dream” Shapes – Finished Mini Paintings

I love these two mini paintings (which are some of my fossils series)!  I used flat, polished vase stones (I find lots of good sizes/shapes at Michael’s) to create my fossils shapes in golds, coppers, moonglow purple, antique white and scarlet.

I started a few more today around my other projects, but will offer these two for sale for $50 (or one for $25).  They’ll come unmatted/unframed, but let me know if anyone would like me to help with framing.  I envision these matted and framed with either a regular 2.5-3″ wide mat and contemporary black frame (so framed size would be about 12 x 9″) OR done with a overwide mat (maybe 5-7″) for a more dramatic framed size of about 20 x 16″.

Send me an email if you’re interested (before I decide to keep these for my home!).

Signal Fossils No. 1, watercolor on paper, 5 x 4.5 inches.

Signal Fossils No. 2, watercolor on paper, 5 x 4.5 inches.

It Came to Me in a Dream…

I arrived in my studio this morning with a plan to work on some in-progress projects when a very vivid image from a dream surfaced in my head.  A rectangle with two circles in the middle.  Kind of like a two-light traffic signal.

So, dropping everything, I just had to paint it.  I did two – here they are.  They’ll have to dry overnight – we’ll see how they turned out tomorrow!

Two new “fossils” paintings waiting to dry.

Visit to Florida…

I visited Florida with Steve for a long weekend to visit his Mom.  South Florida (we were in Boca Raton) sure has changed over the last 20 years (even the last 5 years!).  We had a great visit, spent a morning on the beach, went to an arts and crafts fair in Delray, bought some local orange blossom honey, and generally soaked up the heat, humidity and humanity.  One of my favorite snapshots was of the baby pineapple growing in Steve’s Mom’s front yard – it was so cute!

Me and the baby pineapple.

I think for me, Florida is a great place to visit, but just too much of everything in a pretty small space.  As usual though, I pick up on colors from the places I visit – so I was very inspired by some of the South Florida colors (especially the colors of the Atlantic as we flew over the beaches around Boca and Ft. Lauderdale) and created a few mini Fossils in blues and greens.  What do you think?  Do these make you think of the blues and greens of the South Florida Atlantic?

Two mini Fossils (5×5″) in some South Florida-inspired colors.

Detail on one of the 5×5’s… bright highlights are silver and moonglow metallics.

One of my Fossils wins an award!

Remember me reporting back in December that several of my abstract watermedia originals had been selected for a variety of art exhibits?  Well, one of my best works (and favorites), Fossils in My Favorite Colors, was selected for the Arizona Aqueous XXII exhibit at the Tubac Center for the Arts in Tubac, AZ.  And, juror Elizabeth Yarosz-Ash selected my painting for a Special Award of Recognition (which includes a cash prize)!  Wow! 

The annual Arizona Aqueous Exhibition is one of the top watermedia exhibitions in the country, so this is quite an achievement and honor for me.  At my open studio at Andenken Gallery this past weekend, several folks asked me about what “favorite” colors I used in this painting.  I used greens (moss green and chromium oxide), coppers (bright metallic and antique) and deep blues (Payne’s grey, indanthrone and indigo).  I love lots of colors, but these truely are my favorites.  Oh, and the rock I used to create the large copper fossil shape in the middle is a 25-pounder with a 10″ diameter!

Fossils in My Favorite Colors
Fossils in My Favorite Colors, watercolor on paper mounted on acrylic-embellished canvas, 30 x 30″.

Two of the Blizzard “Fossils”

I’ve been asked how the Fossils that I started before our blizzard here in Denver last week turned out.  I finally got back to my studio today (after almost a week!) and have two of the Fossils below.


These Fossils have 4 washes of watercolor underneath and I used metallic bright gold and antique copper along with indanthrone blue and carbazole violet.  I dropped color around the stone probably 5-6 times before I let it dry.

Meanwhile at my studio…

A blizzard hit Colorado today!  Here in central Denver, we have a foot and it’s supposed to continue into tomorrow… maybe we’ll have the first white Christmas in years!  Here are some shots from our upper and lower decks.



So, I didn’t make it out to my studio downtown today – the roads are a mess.   However, meanwhile at my studio, these Fossils are at work drying.  I’m usually very anxious to get back to my studio to see the results of various Fossils (which take between 8-48 hours to dry), but I love snow, so will stay around home and enjoy for the next day or two.

Fossils in progress - drying