Monday, July 29, 2013

Chasing the Light

As artists, we always seem to be recording things. Sometimes it's difficult to separate real life from the process of recording. As I'm painting a scene, I'm recording what's happening, or what has happened, or what I wish was there. So am I really "in the moment" or chasing a moment that has already passed. While painting "En Plein Air", we call this loop "chasing the light." As light continues to change on the scene, the question always arises: "Do I change the painting to match the current light, or do I try to remember what the light looked like a few moments ago?" If one chooses to change the painting, there is a risk that the painting will never be completed because you will always be "chasing the light." It's a dangerous loop.

Recently, my life has been an exercise in "chasing the light." As each day dawns, I have a list of projects that need completion, but as the sun arches across the sky, the list grows longer. Some items on the list are crossed off, but many more are added and the sun keeps moving. I find there isn't time for me to capture every detail, to finish what I've started before the light is gone. Is this the onset of age? Has time begun to move more quickly, or is it my imagination?

When I am painting in the studio, 6 to 8 hours can go by without notice. Often, with some shock, I realize that it's 4pm. This doesn't happen when I'm painting outdoors. I am more aware of the passage of time and more spontaneous in my reaction to the changing light. Leaving the studio is healthy. When there are deadlines for murals, illustrations or other projects, the temptation to "chase the light" is always present, and it never works. Now and then, one needs to stop, get off the treadmill, and take a walk in the woods.

I took a walk in the woods today and pushed the deadline into tomorrow. No chasing the sun for me.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Earlier this week I was notified that my design won the Whole Foods Detroit Mural competition. There were close to 100 designs submitted, so this was quite an honor to be selected as one of the four finalists. The murals will appear on the exterior of the building on the north side of Mac just east of Woodward in downtown Detroit. My design is based on health, vitality and community--a true reflection of what is currently happening in Detroit. The city is in the middle of a revitalization and it's exciting to see. I was there during Noel Night this December and was amazed at the crowds, the activity and excitement. It felt young and fresh and I wanted to be a part of it. I am truly honored to have been chosen and look forward to starting this project. Completion will be in early spring. I'll post photos of the dedication ceremony when it occurs. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

2013--Happy New Year!

2012 was a challenging and innovative year for me. I explored new avenues and venues. Some of them were lucrative, others not so much. I did my first art fair in Scottsdale, Arizona-- that was a bust. Then I did Ann Arbor-- good show for me. Learned a lot. I'll do it again, but differently. I published my first book in July. I've sold 900 so far! That pretty much saved my year. But the most fun I had this year was making and selling my "Ann Arbor Tiny Townie" Ornaments.  They were little hand-painted versions of Ann Arbor's iconic structures. I sold close to 300 of them! On my last evening Christmas Market of the year, a man walked into my booth and announced that he was Jewish. "I don't know what I'm doing at a Christmas Market" he said, "But I have cash money. What can I buy?" I thought for a moment and then directed him towards my ornaments. "A jew buys a Christmas ornament!" He said in jest. "That would be a first!" Then he spotted my Zingerman's ornament and pulled it down from the rack. "This is Zingerman's!" He said with surprise. "You know what!? I'm going to buy an ornament!--Do you tweet?" he asked suddenly, but before I could answer he said."You should tweet that your ornaments are so cool a Jew just bought one!" He pulled out his money and laid it on the table. "I'm a Jew" he said to a woman passing by, "And I'm buying a Christmas ornament! And now I'm going to call a friend of mine and tell him too." he said pulling out his phone. I wrapped his ornament as he told his story to his friend, holding the phone out to us for verbal confirmation. "And now, I think I feel like singing a Christmas Carol." he said turning to me again. "What shall we sing?" I suggested Silver Bells, as that was actually written by a Jewish composer. My friend and I started..."Silver Bells..." He echoed, "I'm a Jew..." we continued "It's Christmas time in the city." He continued singing in tune. "I'm a Jew....I don't know the words." I wish I had it all on video. It would have been wonderful to post it on youtube. It was wonderfully refreshing to be totally socially incorrect and to be able to wish a Jewish man Merry Christmas.

I hope your 2012 was a joyous one and that 2013 will be your best one ever!

Painter and Classical Singer in Michigan

My photo
Please visit my website at: To order my books and prints of my work go to: