I've been fortunate enough to travel to Europe every few years, and while there, I'm always looking for scenes that I might want to paint when I get home. My current project is "The Doorways of Lyon", a project born during a visit to the second largest city in France. I was looking through some of the snapshots I'd taken that day, when I saw how beautiful and unique many of the doorways were. I knew they'd be compelling subjects for future painting, so for the rest of my visit, I was constantly pausing to take photos as I walked through the city. I found, when framing my compositions, that including slivers of the walls and shop windows next to them was crucial. The doorways, as I see them in this project, are not just the doors themselves, but how they fit into their surroundings.
My first painting of the Lyon (shown in the last photo on this page) was not of the doorways, but a view down one of the city's oldest streets, Rue du Sergent Blandan. Tiny in size, at only 9" x 12", it packs a lot of detail into a small space.
My latest project, just completed, was making four paintings for Bel Restaurant, in San Francisco. Bel's specialty is Belgian food and drink, and the owners wanted paintings that reflected a range of the compelling parts of the country, and its culture. The largest painting of the four is installed at the front of the restaurant, and depicts the row of Guild Maisons that make up one end of the Grand Place (Grote Markt) in Brussels. Another painting is of a canal in the charming city of Bruges. The peaceful beauty of a country lane in Westmalle, and the impressive copper brew kettles in the Orval Abbey Brewery, were the subjects for my other two paintings. These works are on permanent display at Bel, which is in the Mission in San Francisco.
A visit to Cape Cod a few years ago inspired this series of paintings, in particular, the ruins of an old town pier at low tide in Provincetown. Missing timbers on top made what would normally be a dark, heavily shaded place, surprisingly bright. I'm sure that the Cape will be the subject of future paintings of mine; there's no shortage of sites there that call out to me.
A close friend of mine is also one of my favorite models; I never tire of painting her face, which I find to be both beautiful and unusual. This series of paintings was made from unposed stills taken during a couple of our Skype conversations. The low resolution of the camera, combined with the glow of her laptop screen on her face, lend an ethereal quality to the resulting paintings.
I was commissioned by Pi Bar, in San Francisco, to make two large paintings of motorcycles. These impressive bikes belong to one of the restaurant's owners, and can sometimes be seen parked in front .