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Thursday, November 3, 2011


When I'm working on larger paintings, I often have smaller paintings that I work on while the larger ones are set aside to dry. This is one of those "while other paintings are drying" paintings. However this is a Photoshopped version of the original. The original painting is a bright, full color painting with a blue background and silver leaf detailing on and around the heart. This version feels more aggressive and raw, with colors that I feel tie in better with myself, than the subject in the painting. It gives it a definite change of perspective.

Im happy with the changes I made through Photoshop. The bright red-on-gray combination worked out nicely. It added a great deal of mood and intensity to the image.

Still, using Photoshop/ digital media with my paintings is not something I do very often. Even when it works out for the best, and I'm happy with the results, creating work digitally doesn't quite hold the same satisfaction as creating work with my hands.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Today, I finally found a few minutes to take a decent picture of this painting. I finished it a few months ago. It's 4ft x 2ft oil painting with gold leaf. Overall this painting is just a fun combination of elements/materials that have, at some point in time, inspired me to create.

Friday, October 14, 2011


This post is somewhat of an attempt to make up for my failure to really stay on top of my blog. Here I am posting two paintings that are 98% done. Well, they are just images of parts of the paintings. When the paintings are complete, Ill post images of the whole paintings.

The top painting, is actually pretty small. It was a quick, fun piece where I felt like composing physical materials (gold leaf and ribbon..) with the contours of a friend.

This bottom image is the left half of a large painting where a tattooed figure is laying in a surreal environment made of fabric. This has turned into one of my more aggressive paintings of the past two years. Although there is room for improvement and things I have yet to learn, I think this painting shows improvement in my use of space and color contrast. Red can be difficult to work with, and I can honestly say I am proud of how I've used it in the fabric around the figure.

Currently, I have several other paintings in progress, and I'm constructing a frame for the bottom painting shown in this post. So, hopefully I'll have more to share within the next few weeks.


Finished. Matted and framed. If you go a few posts back, you'll see an earlier, "in progress" version of this painting. As mentioned in the earlier post, this started as an acrylic painting. But, somewhere along the way to being complete, I said screw it, and broke out the oil paint. There are a variety of softer tones that I wanted for this painting... tones that I find to be more effective when created with oils. So, I switched, and I'm happy with the results.
I made the top mat out of the actual ribbon that partially inspired the imagery. It was an experiment that turned into a fun way to finish the painting.

This painting is to be one of many paintings that focuses more on the importance of materials and elements that have inspired or moved me to explore and create as an artist. Although, this idea opens up all sorts of mixed media options (which I play with a little), I see these paintings as an overall celebration or tribute to what I consider to be foundation elements of my personal artwork. With that said, I see it only fitting that my original love of painting plays narrator for the imagery. If that doesn't make any sense, thats okay. At least I know what I'm talking about.. ha.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


This is the promotional image I painted for Youngblood Theatre Company's upcoming production of MINNESOTA MOON by John Olive. This production will be playing around the same time as Youngblood's production of GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES by Rajiv Joseph. Both plays are definitely going to be worth looking into.

Monday, July 18, 2011


I painted this just the other day. It is the promotional image for Youngblood Theatre Company's production of "Gruesome Playground Injuries" by Rajiv Joseph.


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Blue Skies

These past few months have been kind of insane. A bunch of ridiculous events, sometimes for better, but more often for worse. So, with that said, I have not seen much of my studio, or that area of Milwaukee for that matter.
However, lately things have more or less slowed down, and I've found a few nights to spend some time on the many paintings I have started. Although I do have some large, intense oil paintings in progress, I have also started a bunch of smaller, more playful acrylic paintings. These were started with the understanding that my time to paint has become less available to me. (At least on non-commission terms...) And right now, in what seems like a sea of unfinished work, a finished piece can really restore the motivation to keep the other paintings going strong.

Here I've posted an acrylic painting i have started. Although similar in content to the previous portrait I've posted, this painting gives a greater role for the ribbon in the composition, while not taking away from the beautiful individual wrapped up in the ribbon. For a while now I have been in love with that light blue, and I find myself using it where I can. I don't have a specific outcome for this painting yet. All i know right now, is that of so far, I like where it's going.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I finished this earlier today. While waiting on larger paintings to dry, I decided to do a small painting in a more traditional portrait composition. I have more, larger scaled, full figure paintings of this model lined up. So, until then...

Friday, March 18, 2011


I was hired by Aptura (an interior design group part of Direct Supply) to create and install a few decorative surfboards and a mural outside of a mock surf shop in Vienna Square, a new assisted living facility. If you wish for more information on the artwork, have an earlier post about the work from back in August, when I drove down to Winter Haven, FL to install everything.

"Long-Term Living" Magazine featured Vienna Square, with an article explaining everything, as well as showing pictures of the interior design and the artwork I created for it. I'll add the link to this post that takes you to the "long-term living" magazine website, where you can check out the article.

It was a good surprise when I was told the article was going to happen, and it is definitely fun to see the artwork I created in a magazine. Vienna Square turned into such a great building with lots of fun and creative elements all over. I am glad I got to be part of it.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011


SkyGarden has moved its studio to Shorewood! It is such a great location, and it's near a lot of great people. This is a very fortunate change for the company, and I hope to see many positive things come of it. Right now things have been moved in and set up, at least to the point where I can (and I have..) start projects in the studio.

I'm very excited to take advantage of SkyGarden's new home, and I am anxious to explore its possibilities.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Heaven & Hell. Finished.

Here is the final product of the painting in the Alchemist Theatre stairwell. Hopefully this will get some attention and people will realize they should be looking forward to Alchemist Theatre's production of FAUST: An Evening at the Mephisto Theatre.

Between the rough lighting, and the fact that its in a stairwell, Aaron did a decent job piecing together a usable picture for me to post here.

This was a fun painting to do and I hope it's enjoyed. If you haven't been to Alchemist Theatre, definitely take some time to check it out.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Heaven and Hell (Painting in Progress)

Coming up in Fall of 2011, Alchemist Theatre is putting on their Production of FAUST. I am currently creating a large Heaven and Hell themed painting down the stairwell of the theatre, as a fun way to make people aware of the upcoming production. So, if you find yourself at Alchemist Theatre, check out the stairwell.

I didn't take any pictures of the bottom half of the painting yet and the posted photos aren't very good quality because I only had the camera on my phone. But, these pictures at least give an idea of where the painting is going.

Buy Tickets to Youngblood Theatre Company's production of Red Light Winter (which is currently coming up on its final week of performances at Alchemist Theatre!) by Adam Rapp. That way you wont miss out on a great play, and you can check out the painting as well as learn more about Alchemist's production of FAUST. It will be worth it :)

For information on either Faust, or Red Light Winter, check out the Alchemist Website:


A Good Find

So, I was working my way through some folders and files of paintings I had done in the past. I was excited to stumble across this painting. Its an old one. I believe, this is the first "from life" figure painting I did freshman year of college. So, that would be at least 8 years ago. I'd say this image is a good find, so I decided to share it.

The girl in the painting is beautiful, Lindsay Petrick. She is an artist with a gorgeous collection of work. Definitely take a few minutes to check out her website: www.lindsaypetrick.com

Friday, January 21, 2011


Straight up oil on canvas. Finished this painting a couple days into 2011. It's a painting I had been holding on for about a year. I'm very happy with how the colors reflect the different temperatures at play. They support an image of security and a sort of nurturing comfort-- Mid winter, afternoon light reflecting off a warm body taking care of loved plants. I don't know what the future holds for this painting, or if more like it are on the way. But for now, I thought I'd share it for whoever had interest in seeing it.


Engaged friends asked me to help out with the program for their wedding. With the groom being a huge fan of comic books, I was asked to create illustrations of the wedding party as superheroes. Also I included sketches of the church and the location of the reception, to add to the illustrated theme. Comic book illustration is an area in which I've never really explored. I always enjoy new challenges, so I did some research.

Aside from working in a new style, there was a lot of challenge in creating superhero identities for a wedding party full of people I didn't really know. I was sent a few pictures of each of the wedding party along with simple explanations of interests or personality traits. I really wanted each member of the party to be their own original character, rather than representing a character that is already part of the comic book world (..such as superman or spiderman..). But with there being practically millions of comic book superheroes already created, it was hard to completely avoid using superhero traits already explored by others. The only superhero identity completely taken from something else, was "THE PLEASER" (the guy with the smiley faces). That costume was designed by the bride of this wedding, for a performance of the play SPIRITS TO ENFORCE, written by Mickle Maher, and put on by Youngblood Theatre Company.
I don't know how dead on I got each character, but from what I heard everyone was happy with the end results.

To create each character, I started with sketches. Once I created a sketch for each character that I was satisfied with, I pulled out the tracing paper, and traced each of my sketches, refining and cleaning up all my lines. Once completed, I cut out all the characters so that I could move them around and find a composition I was happy with. Once in place, I traced those drawings on to one sheet of paper, in their final composition. After that, I scanned the drawing onto my computer. If I have the option, I wont use a computer until I really feel I have to, so everything was done by hand up until it was time to add color. Then I ran it through photoshop. Another reason for doing everything by hand, was that I felt the hand-drawn quality was important to the asthetic of the final product. All the non-illustrated parts for the program (such as text and location-sketch placement) was done by the groom. He had an original vision in his head of how he wanted it to look, so I provided him with the illustrations, and he put the final touches to give the program the look of a comic book.

It was a beautiful wedding, designed and decorated by both the bride and groom. Not only that, but the bride made her dress as well as a few others by people attending the wedding. It was very impressing. Congatulations to the newly weds!