Friday, April 24, 2009

Bird Habitat Sign Commission

A short while back, I was asked to create a painting for a future "bird habitat" at The Nature Center, which is affiliated with Robert Moses State Park in Massena, N.Y.

The Center hosts many different programs and is a popular "field trip" destination for a great many area schools. They also provide residence for many animals, such as various birds, fish, ferrets, an iguana (named "Iggy" ) and a marvelous blue & gold macaw (named "Axel" ).

Many critters roam their grounds and geese, raccoons and deer are all common sights while visiting there.

This painting will be "scanned" and reproduced for a "sign" which will be permanently mounted at the beginning of the habitat trail. Since the management knows of my work and the fact that I do many bird paintings, I was their first choice for this request. ( The bonus is that they specifically asked for Black-Capped Chickadees, and they are just about my favorite bird to paint! )

I was honored to be asked and very happy to do it. The Nature Center is a great place which provides a lot of beneficial services, both for animals in need and for the public, so I had no hesitation whatsoever.

This painting is in Oils and I worked in several stages, letting the layers dry in-between. I also used gessoed masonite as a surface, since the texture of canvas would show noticeably upon reproduction and I wanted to be able to render the cleanest, finest detail possible.

Though it'll be quite some time before the sign is manufactured, I am anxiously waiting to see the end result!

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Latest Commission

This is a painting I've been working at off and on over the past few weeks. It was created using an old black & white photograph of the scene about 80 years ago. It depicts the client's mother ( around the age of 8 - 10 years old ) standing in front of her childhood home. Since the photo is obviously showing signs of deterioration, the client wanted to have it rendered before the ravages of time make that impossible.
Because the original was in B & W, we had no clue as to the actual colors of the subject's clothing nor the trim on the house. The client requested the colors that were ultimately used.

Because of the amount of detail, I chose to work in Acrylics for this.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My Workshops at Norman Rockwell's Studio

Last week-end ( April 3rd - 5th ) Glenda and I were in Arlington, Vermont at the Inn on Covered Bridge Green, which is the former home of Norman Rockwell. A few months back, I had received an offer from the current owner to hold some classes there. The house is now a great Bed & Breakfast and Norman's old studio is still standing and in fine shape. It was an absolute honor to be wielding my brushes in the same confines as someone of his fame and renown. It was rather exciting to realize that we were working in the spot where he created many of his most famous works, including his Saturday Evening Post magazine covers. Everyone had a fantastic time. Check it out at

We even had the opportunity to meet and chat with some long-time Arlington residents, who as children, actually posed for some of his paintings. That was incredible!!

I have been asked to return in the future for another round of workshops, so we'll just need to set dates and make preparations.

On a different note, my book was indeed on schedule and was released on April 9th. I have had many inquiries regarding where to purchase it, so I am including the link to once again.
It will also be available at major bookstore retailers ( Borders Books, Barnes & Noble, etc. ) as well as my website.

Also, I just filmed more painting video clips for YouTube this past week, so they should be all edited and posted within the next week, or so.