Untitled 24 x 24 acrylic paint on canvas w/collage February 2019

Good to be working outdoors. Chilly, but signs of spring abound.


I didn’t actually base the dominant color palette on the Little Friskies can, (or scissors or tape for that matter) but there it is. . . The form is like the “antenna” that has been showing up in work for a long time. I think of it and the last posted as a Dragon Fly and go from there.

The following “abstract” is of frozen puddle outside of our front door earlier in February. Heather would love it if I could paint it.


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A Way Forward and Back?

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No Title Yet. Acrylic and collage on canvas. 24 X 24″

Intent on achieving a “lighter hand” and feel here, and avoiding overworking the piece. Still lots of painterly brush strokes, but building transparent layers and limiting the palette. Also using a broader brush.

For  the web-like pattering, I draped and removed wetted Melook lace paper that I had dipped in a thinned mixed purple acrylic. Once dried, the paper was used for the purple collage elements.  (I tend to use acrylic color stains on un-dyed papers to minimize color fading or discoloration over time. Otherwise strange and unintended consequences may ensue.)

The palette and transparent layering are in part a response to our potted dwarf banana plant leaves as they transition from green to yellow to brown.

The overall approach and central form is reminiscent of some work from the late 1990’s:


This form in the lower third of this earlier work predates the “Agaves” I was painting while living in New Mexico.

It was made when I was living in North Carolina a few hours south of where we live now in Maryland. Probably something to the commonality.

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Chaff Over Water

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The first snow of winter is falling in Shady Side this morning. This seems an auspicious moment to share the news that my mixed-media canvas Storm, Naval Research Station has been selected for the Juried MFA Winter Member Show. I’m in good company. You may view the accepted works here: Maryland Federation of Art Juried Show

This is my first showing of new work since our move from New Mexico.

I finished working on this storm painting in April of 2017. The title references the Chesapeake Bay Detachment of the U.S.Naval Research Laboratory (USNRL).

From the USNRL site: “The Chesapeake Bay Detachment occupies a 168-acre site near Chesapeake Beach, Maryland, . . . Because of its location high above the Chesapeake Bay on the western shore, unique experiments can be performed in conjunction with the Tilghman Island site 16 km across the bay from CBD. Some of these experiments include low clutter and generally low background radar measurements. By using CBD’s support vessels, experiments are performed that involve dispensing chaff over water and radar target characterizations of aircraft and ships.”

It’s all in there, right? While witnessing a Chesapeake Bay storm in spring. Chaff over Water would make a good title!

I regularly pass the lab making the hilly drive on Maryland 261, traveling the forested “back way,” from Solomons, Maryland to the Chesapeake Beach Railway Museum.

Thank you juror Kim Banister and the Maryland Federation of Art:

 Kim Banister, Director, Julio Fine Arts Gallery

Maryland Federation of Art

To cranepaints.com


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Continuing with the landscape theme compelled by painting in Shady Side, Maryland. Here is the latest work in progress:

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This painting is less site specific via memory than the previous two works that are redolent of the sod farm off of Swamp Circle Road, rainy days, and spring time in Maryland. Here they are:


Detail of the new work in progress (below.) This detail is most akin to something that I’ve been holding in my mind for sometime.


If this detail was a 40 X 30″ painting, I’d be pleased. In painting terms, I’d like to capture weather phenomenon in abstract, painterly terms: From a distance, it should evoke experiences observed and felt. Close up it reads as painterly abstraction. Holy grail mindful of precedence: Turner by Joan Mitchell’s hand.

So with Land/Seascapes in mind, I have been thinking back to some of my earlier efforts.

Pinellas Point

Pinellas Point

I was about 20 years old when I painted Pinellas Point (above.) Working outside on the deck of Dad’s Studio with Tampa Bay in sight.  At the time, M.C. Richards was visiting Eckerd Collage where Dad mentored and professed. She told me that she liked this one. I was flattered, but had no idea who she was.



Ramsuer, North Carolina. Zoo Days. (above.) Painted on a little table outside of the little house in Albert’s back yard. Mid-1990s.

I like that the one on the left is very free, with little reference to local (or “real”) actual colors and with completely random forms popping up. A summer painting. I never would have thought that this would become a modest touchstone for later works.

Painting on the right same rural route view in winter. Believe that it is called Grantville Winter in honor of the Hurley’s.


The painting above is called “Jetty.” Hard to believe that it was painted in New Mexico. You can’t take the Bay out of the Boy. The hooked form was routed into the scrap of Masonite that I painted on. It was a backer board used for cutting out an “X-Prize” logo for the New Mexico Museum of Space History. I hadn’t gotten around to finishing this and was embarrassed that Mom-in-Law Peggy proudly displayed it. So – I finished it for the better. I have always liked that the left half is very loose with a light touch. Tricky for me. Oh – late 2000s. If I painted/collaged something like this today here in Maryland, it would more properly be named “Rip-Rap.”

That is a brief survey. If you look, you will likely find land and sea references in abundance. Cityscapes too. But that’s another story, for we have arrived at the tail end:




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Swamp Circle, Maryland. Plus One

Swamp Circle

Something of the feel . . .  south county, Anne Arundel, Maryland in May. Driving with the pups on a rainy day. Getting somewhere going nowhere.

Coming to grips with all of these yellow-greens and rain. Not a New Mexico scene.

. . . Adding a companion painting today. Emptying out at ground level. More roiling above. Less sunlight. This is a fairly specific scene, from memory. Different times on a favorite drive. accompanied by wagging tails.

These are relatively small – 20 X 20.” Usually tend to fill to capacity plus of late. This serves for now. Something different next time. I’ve held a Mighty Storm painting in mind for months. Seven out of nine days of (mostly) gentle rain here. This is what results.

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Here Abouts

Version 2

I have been reworking and revisiting this one for weeks. Don’t know . . . not ready for the “Gallery” yet, but have a look.  Unruly – winter into spring during eventful days. 4/23/17


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A Maryland Painting


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February 24, 2017 · 4:01 am