Friday, July 12, 2013

Watercolor study from June

Here's another study of Pedro that I did at the end of June.  I ended up doing 2 oil studies and 2 watercolors of this model. I definitely enjoyed doing the quicker studies.

Thursday, July 04, 2013

"Vintage" mini paint tubes from Madrid

I have 10 of these mini tubes of oil paint I picked up on a trip to Madrid 10 yrs ago(!).

I have fond memories of an older gentlemen packing the tubes of paint with freshly mixed pigments.
After a quick search I was able to find an image of the shop! The address is 10 Perez Galdos.

I also have a small wood box and palette from a different art shop- Camara Arte that I also still cherish.

Monday, July 01, 2013


Pedro • approx. 11.5"x14" • oil on mounted board • June 2013

 For this pose I experimented with doing quicker studies. I did the larger portrait the first few days of the pose and then did 2 watercolor studies in my sketchbook with mixed results and then this mini portrait (bottom photo, right) on the last day.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

First painting of the Summer @ The Art Students League

Golden Locks (Marissa) • 14"x18" • oil on canvas • June 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Plein Air on the beach

First Days of Summer • 9"x12" • oil on linen canvas • June 2013

First time painting directly on the sand! It was such a beautiful day. I had a great time with my painting buddies.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Salmagundi drawathon

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My 2 latest paintings

Pat and Julie • 11.5"x14" • oil on cradled masonite • February 2013
(2 day pose) 
Freddy • 11.5"x14" • oil on cradled masonite • March 2013
(one day pose)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Max Ginsburg's "Unemployed On Line"

Max Ginsburg    "Unemployed On Line"    Oil on Canvas    40" x 80"    2013
(click image to enlarge)

From Max:
I just finished my new painting, "Unemployed On Line".  In this painting I am concerned with "good" and "evil",  the "have nots" and the "haves".  Corporate profits are soaring while people are losing their jobs and their homes.  People are being restricted and channeled and losing their rights.
A tragedy and injustice in our times.  I wrote an article about the development of this painting which will be printed in the September issue of the "Artist's" magazine.
Congratulations to my mentor for completing this epic painting. It was an honor to be one of the people chosen to pose for this!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Day trip to the Delaware Art Museum

Some detail shots of inspiring paintings from the Delaware Art Museum.

 Howard Pyle detail
(Pyle detail)
limited palette... yellow, green, red, white

John Everett Millais
(John Everett Millais)
Check out those stripes!! Every single stripe was perfectly drawn, so charming!

Howard Pyle Detail
(Pyle detail)
Green rats with crimson shadows. It's a complimentary color party!

Dress detail
(Dress detail)
Yellow fabric with purple shadows. Gorgeous! 

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


Cynthia • 12"x16" • oil on linen • Summer 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tonight is opening night of Contemporary Currents in Chelsea!

Here is a short video taken by the multi-talented John Colasante of us setting up!

Friday, November 16, 2012

mini paintbox update

I just realized that I hadn't posted an update of the state of mini paintbox. I added this hinged wood flap a while back. I cut it out of one of my old palettes and use it to hold my oil and Turpenoid cups. After I flip the flap open I clip the cups to the edge and then clip it under for storage.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sheepshead Bay

 Sheepshead Bay • 6" x 8" • oil on canvas • August 2012

This is a little study that I did this past Tuesday in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn.  Trying to capture floating/moving objects was definitely harder than I thought. Godzilla concurs :)

Sharon's Garden

Sharon's Garden • 16" x 20" • oil on linen • August 2012

I took a day trip to L.I. yesterday to visit my friend/ classmate Sharon and paint in her lovely backyard.
I already knew it is not fun to carry a wet painting on the NYC subway and now I know it is equally not as fun on the LIRR, especially at rush hour! I definitely want to find a way to consolidate my painting gear so I don't look like a circus freak when I step on the train. Maybe I should try to make a heavy duty backpack to hold my Russian easel? Hmm

Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Tsering • 20" x 24" • oil on masonite mounted on stretcher bars • August 2012

Thursday, August 02, 2012


Esteban • 20" x 24" • masonite mounted on stretcher bars • July 2012
2 week pose

Sky (unfinished)

Here is an unfinished painting of Sky from the beginning of July. Measures 18" x 36". Please excuse the creepy monster arm :D 

I really like working in this format, so I am thinking of unstretching this canvas and reusing the stretcher bars soon.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Studying a modern master

I just ordered Richard Schmid's "The Landscapes" from Utrecht this week. This large format book is chock full of inspiring outdoor scenes that will keep me busy for a while pouring over the masterful technique. I am headed back to Central Park this Sunday for some plein air painting, so Schmid's "Sunday Morning Central Park" is an absolutely perfect painting to study before I head out. 

I did a small study last Friday of the Bethesda Fountain in C.P. that I will post soon.

Monday, July 09, 2012


I found a red watercolor pencil that I forgot I even had, so I put it back in action.  A water soluble pencil is fun to use to get down the initial drawing quickly.  I think some new colors are in order though...maybe a brown and a blue.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Fear not the heat wave...maybe

Round 2 on my plein air painting in Dumbo. Everyone warned us that we were going to croak from the heat, but we (Barbara, Ken, and I) set up comfortably on a bench under a tree.  B brought her shade buddy for extra sun protection, we had a fine selection of cookies and beverages, and a breeze at times. It was good. We even ended up in the middle of a wedding ceremony, so I had to take a break from painting to witness a couple wed on the rocky sand portion of my landscape view.

Later that evening I cracked open my new watercolor sketchbook and painted this green girl from a black and white photo.  I'm starting to love the idea of using a limited palette...

Thursday, July 05, 2012


Betty • 24" x 30"• oil on canvas • June 2012
2 week pose

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bucket seating for plein air painting

I noticed in a photo of David Kassan's subway demo he is using bucket seating. I never thought about it before, but it is a great idea for plein air painting because you can use the bucket first to carry your supplies and then flip it over to use as a seat.  It would be cool to create a little cushion on the top for comfort and then a fabric insert to hold/easily remove your supplies.  Maybe the insert can be zippered on top too... I have an 18" inch grape juice/wine bucket that would be perfect to try this out with!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Painting a figure composition by my teacher Max Ginsburg

(click image to enlarge)

"Unemployment Line",  a work in progress by Max Ginsburg.

Here is an outline of how he begins painting a figure composition:

1. Conceptual pencil sketches.
2. Painting studies of each model.
3. Compositional pencil sketches based on the painting studies.
4. Place a one inch grid over the compositional study to be used which, in this case, is 4" x 8".
5. Stretch a canvas, 40" x 80", the same proportion as the sketch, and draw a 10" grid.
6. In charcoal approximate the position and size of the figures.
7. Paint, in a direct alla prima manner, each model as a loosely painted block in from life.  So far in this painting each model posed 3 or 4 hours.
8. When all the models and background have been blocked in the development of the forms and the composition will proceed, with the models returning for several sessions each.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Yesenia •  16" x 20" • oil on canvas • June 2012

2 week pose. Shadow coming in from the right not on actual painting. Can anyone recommend a camera that does not cause distortion for under $500-600?

Monday, May 07, 2012

    Pat • 12" x36" • oil on canvas • May 5-6 2012

Friday, May 04, 2012

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Riis Beach

Riis Beach, originally uploaded by amanda kavanagh.
Painting at the beach in February!
Riis Beach • 5x7" • oil on canvas board • February 23, 2012

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Pimp my paintbox- Part 1: Intro and Razor Blade Paint Scraper

I am going to try to document all the different accessories and components used to create a compact studio for quick studies and outdoor paintings. I started with a cigar box given to me by my uncle.  This Hemingway cigar box has a 1/2" recessed lid.  For the palette I recycled glass from a 5x7" picture frame that I secured with canvas offset clips like this.  Underneath the glass is a sheet of grey-toned paper. Another option would be to paint the backside of the glass in a medium grey acrylic. To finish it off, I nailed in a couple of the wood pieces that came with the box on an angle to streamline the look.

You will need to clean up your glass palette after painting. Yes, it's true! An easy way to do that is to use a razor blade to scrape the paint right off.  I created this razor blade handle/stand combo out of polymer clay that I baked and then sanded down for a nice smooth finish.

See, nice and clean!

P.S. Right now I have heavy weight striped paper straws across the top and bottom used to transport the painting panel. I might switch to a more stable permanent solution shortly.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

mini paintbox test run

5x7" quick study of Marissa. I still need to tweak this box design a bit. I want to add a ledge of some sort so I can hook my oil and turp cups to it.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Paul • 12 x16" • oil on linen • January 16, 2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Max Ginsburg Retrospective Book

Here are 2 of my favorite paintings from the Max Ginsburg Retrospective book. I am a big fan of Max's quick sketches from life. This book has a lot of great close-ups as well.
You can see more images and info at

Thursday, December 22, 2011

illustration friday theme "sink"

digitally colored scanned collage
Below: chain stitch detail

Monday, December 19, 2011

Girl with the butterfly earring :)

Girl with the Butterfly Earring • approx. 11.5 x 14" • oil on cradled board • Dec. 2011

Pigeon...and the studio sink

Pigeon • 12 x 24" • oil on canvas • December 2011

Sunday, December 18, 2011


    Stephanie • 8x12" • oil on cradled masonite • December 2011


 Pat • 12 x16"  • oil on linen • November 2011

oil sketch of Pat, one of the Occupy Wall Street movement protesters.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The last painting from the Summer session

Daniel • 16 x 20" • oil on linen • August 2011

Thanks Steve for the linen canvas gift!