Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Drawing Raven

Raven at Argos
Charcoal on newsprint

On the eve of New Year's Eve, our Tuesday Night Drawing group model was Raven. Scraggly beard, massive sideburns, tattoos, a popular model in both New York and here, and, according to him, a rascal of epic proportions and a womanizer. Probably one of the nicest narcissists I’ve ever met. And hey, maybe the narcissist/womanizer thing is just part of his professional image. Suffice it to say, he had a very interesting face that was fun to draw.

Los Alamos Drawing

It was just your usual New Year's celebration gathering. Ten artists, four models, three hours of drawing. At the historic log cabin Fuller Lodge in Los Alamos, the former headquarters of an exclusive boys school. In the 1940s the Lodge became the headquarters of the top secret Manhattan Project {as in “atomic  bomb”).

Three of us from the Tuesday Night Drawing group drove up “The Hill” to Los Alamos for the Monday night special drawing event put on by the Los Alamos Life Drawing Group. Friendly people, great models, historic setting, and a great way to warm up for all that drawing that's bound to happen tonight, New Year's Eve.

Happy 2015.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Another Angel Appearance at Argos

Another Angel Appearance at Argos
Digital print on aluminum
22" x 16"

Most artists, and even some models, are not aware of the angel wings that are visible during many of the poses at Argos Gallery. I never say anything, but I suspect that a couple of the other regulars have seen them too.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

The Tuesday Night Drawing Pillow

Woman with the Tuesday Night Drawing Pillow

The most recent Tuesday Night Drawing Group that meets at Argos Gallery happened on the night before Christmas Eve, which was a good excuse to gift a one-of-a-kind art pillow to the gallery. I scanned a sketch from an earlier December Tuesday Night Drawing session and had it printed on a pillow at

The official Tuesday Night Drawing pillow.

The opposite side of the official Tuesday Night Drawing pillow.

Customized gift wrap paper, also printed at

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Martes Noche Artistas

Madonna del Martes Noche Artistas Groupo
28" x 22"
Digital print on aluminum

An art print inspired by one of the two-minute sketches from last Tuesday Night's drawing group.

Artist and Romeo y Julieta
Charcoal on newsprint
Charcoal study for an etching.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Tuesday Two Minutes

 Even though our Tuesday Night Drawing Group model was one of my favorites, most of my drawings of poses longer than two or three minutes were just bad. Some of my two and three minute drawings were OK, only because I didn't have time to think about it. There might be an art lesson there somewhere.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Real Santa Claus

I saw him with my own eyes. 

No fake beard. 


Mesmerizing smile. 

It had to be him.

I had an appointment in Abiquiu (the village an hour north of Santa Fe where Georgia O'keeffe lived) to smoke a ceremonial Cuban cigar with artists/friends Joe Hall and Doug Coffin. 

Upon arriving in Abiquiu I stopped at Bode’s (pronounced Bo - dees) General Store to do some immersive-culture stuff, like ordering a green chile cheeseburger.

Famous green chile cheeseburger at Bode's. 
Bode's slogan: "Here a long time." 
Since 1919 to be exact.

Near the cash register they were giving away free homemade cookies and punch, and taking free photos with Santa. An old-timer was playing guitar and singing Christmas songs. 

The line of people with their kids and Santa’s friendly smile made it pretty dang obvious that this was the real deal. Either that or Bode’s went to Central Casting in Hollywood and paid big bucks for a character actor to come to Abiquiu. So which explanation is more believable? Anyone? Anyone? Exactly!

Santa Claus at Bode’s General Store in Abiquiu.

After eating two-thirds of the giant green chile cheeseburger I drove across the Rio Chama and up the dirt road to Joe’s adobe. Joe and I walked across the dirt road, carrying three Romeo y Julieta Cuban cigars, fresh from London, to meet Doug at his studio, a journey of about 100 feet. Doug brought out a bottle of Port, then we went to the studio patio that overlooks Plaza Blanca, an awesome white canyon landscape made famous in several Georgia O’keeffe paintings (also known as The White Place). Since I brought the cigars, I got the patio chair where Doug’s pal Dennis Hopper would sit when they were smokin’ and chillin'. So we smoked and, as they say in Hawaii, talked story. A beautiful day. Maybe the last really perfect day before Winter sets in, Doug observed. 

Doug Coffin y Romeo y Julieta y Port

Soon after our chat turned to opera (specifically, the opera Otello that Robin and I attended in Germany), Doug gave me this LAOpera hat that he modified by adding a “heartline” to it. Very cool, I think. Very.

Since it’s gift-giving season I gave Joe, Teresa, and Doug a Happy Whatever drink coaster, 
featuring a self portrait. Note the nice mermaid wine glass. 
No, I didn't give them a nice wine glass, just a cheap coaster.

We finished the cigars, and the afternoon, inside Doug’s studio, chatting and feasting on his eclectic collection of art, artifacts, drawings, and photos. Joe and Doug were enthusiastic about my idea to organize a drawing event in Abiquiu, for which I’ve already talked to a couple of the Tuesday Night Drawing Group models who are interested and willing to make the trip. That'll be a project for early next year.

Joe and I walked back to his side of the dirt road where his-wife/my-friend/artist Teresa joined us in their studio, which is also full of amazing and beautiful art: metal art, jewelry, and wearable art. We discussed ideas for artistic collaboration, coming away with some very enticing ideas.

As I drove back toward Santa Fe after dark, I barely missed getting caught up in the Española Parade of Lights. Hundreds of cars parked on each side of the highway, bonfires, tents, families, all waiting for a parade of lighted floats that must be a local secret, since I’ve never heard of it down here in Santa Fe. 

Recap: a Cuban cigar while enjoying the view of Plaza Blanca; a glass of Port; art; green chile cheeseburger; a hat; coasters; friends; and yeah, Santa, who, up until today, I thought was a fairy tale.

Quite a memorable December day.    

Saturday, December 6, 2014

The Santa Fe Etching Club

Woman On Gold Sheets
30" x 24"
Digital print on paper

Argos, the gallery where our Tuesday Night Drawing Group meets, is also an etching studio, home of the Santa Fe Etching Club. I’ve recently become fascinated by etchings, engravings, and all sorts of intaglio printing techniques and I’m anxious to interpret some life drawings into etchings. I hope to spend a lot of time in the etching studio this month, learning about soft ground, hard ground, aquatint, and such. The drawing above is going to be one of my etching projects.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Etching Class

After making arrangements to study etching with Eric Thomson at the Santa Fe Etching Club at Argos Gallery/Studio in Santa Fe, I showed up for my first lesson expecting just a brief history of etching and printmaking. I got that and much more.

Eric, having just given me a brief explanation of the different kinds of intaglio print techniques, told me to make a drawing so we could make a “soft ground” etching. After about 30 seconds of thoughtful contemplation and panic I traced the shape of a business card on the drawing paper Eric gave me and sketched a female figure (top-left).

Next I traced the image onto tracing paper (top-right), which I placed on top of a copper plate that we prepared and covered with a very thin “soft ground” wax coating. I then retraced the image, through the tracing paper, onto the prepared copper plate. The copper plate was placed in an acid solution for 30 minutes, which etched the image into the copper where pencil pressure had been applied. We prepared a sheet of paper (soaked it in water), cleaned the copper plate (bottom-left), inked it, placed the prepared paper and plate on the press, and printed my first ever etching (bottom-right).

Just one afternoon of etching and I’m hooked.

And I learned a valuable lesson: Don't go to an etching studio without a drawing or two. You just never know if a chance to make an etching will happen or not.


Wednesday, November 5, 2014



One Leg Up

Studio Pillow

Twenty artists attended SFdrawing yesterday, better known as the Tuesday Night Drawing Group. 

We have an official maximum limit of 12 attendees, but only a handful of people ever bother to  RSVP through our Meetup site, Since everyone so far has been able to squeeze in, we haven’t tried to enforce the attendance limit. 

We never know exactly how many artist will show up. We do, however, after each Tuesday night session, post the actual attendance of that night on 

Pretty amazing that a little over a year and a half ago when we launched the site, weekly attendance was around 6 artists. Sometimes less. So I guess these are the SFdrawing Glory Days. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Drowsy Muse

Drowsy Muse
28" x 30"
Digital print on aluminum
A limited edition print that originated as a charcoal-on-newsprint life drawing made at the Three Muses Drawing Extravaganza last Saturday at the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA).

The quote is from Love’s Labour’s Lost:

And when Love speaks, the voice of all the gods makes heaven drowsy with the harmony.
Never durst poet touch a pen to write until his ink were temper’d with Love’s sighs

Monday, October 27, 2014

Three Muses Drawing Event

Muse Resting

Muse Waiting

Sleepy Muse

The Three Muses Drawing Extravaganza that we've been planning for a couple of months happened last Saturday night at the Center for Contemporary Art (CCA) in Santa Fe. Three models posing simultaneously for four hours. I don’t have the official attendance numbers, but there were between 35 and 40 participants. Great models, lots of drawings, and everyone seemed to be very happy with the event. Drawing after hours in a huge gallery space was a special treat.

Half way through the event we had a 20-minute break during which several of us put one of our drawings up on a magnetic wall. So now I can claim that I exhibited at the Muñoz Waxman Gallery on October 25, 2014. For a couple of hours.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Red Hair

Woman with Red Hair

Attendance continues to be near capacity at our Tuesday night drawing group with 14 artists showing up last night. After struggling all night with mediocre sketching efforts, I ditched the idea of trying to do a “good” drawing and just went for “bold and stylized.”

Very Red

Monday, October 20, 2014

Arm Shadow

Arm Shadow
Charcoal on newsprint
24" x 18"

I'm getting some drawings ready for a show of nudes early next year. I might include some charcoal-on-newsprint originals, but most pieces will be images that originated as charcoal-on-newsprint life drawings, enhanced digitally, then made into limited edition prints on paper, canvas, or aluminum.

Meanwhile, a big life drawing event happens this Saturday in Santa Fe at the Center for Contemporary Art, in the Munoz Waxman Gallery: Three Muses Drawing Extravaganza

Three models, 4 hours, with light refreshments, $18/artist. 

Around 45 artists have responded so it should be a great event. It might be the first of its kind in Santa Fe, as far as I know. I've been to all-day events like this in London, with a dozen or more models posing at once. 

So, I hereby proclaim Santa Fe to be the London of the Southwest.

For more information about the CCA event, visit Argos Gallery's Three Muses web page.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Raven's Return

Since joining the Tuesday Night drawing group three years ago, other artists occasionally would say “Do you remember Raven? He moved to New York and is modeling there.”

I had this image of a wild and crazy guy with a great body, an interesting if not weird character who was a great model. When the model walked in to the gallery’s drawing space last Tuesday night I thought “Wow, interesting character. Braided beard. Wire-rimmed glasses. Muscular body. Tattoos.”  Yep, Raven. He’s in town temporarily and was filling in for a regular model who had to cancel.

Excellent model and an interesting evening of great poses. I mean, come on . . . the braided beard alone is pretty cool.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Skyline Sketch

This past weekend we made quick, two-night trip to San Francisco to attend a cousin’s wedding.

Since we stayed at the Doubletree Hotel at the Berkeley Marina, I decided I should do at least one boats-at-the-marina sketch. As we walked along the shoreline path I changed my mind and chose to sketch a view of the San Francisco skyline across the bay. I did manage to include one boat. And the old Oakland bridge which is being dismantled (the steel is being sold to China). And the new Oakland bridge. And a duck.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

So What

YouTube Andy
Digital print on aluminum
60" x 80"

After leaving San Francisco and returning home to Santa Fe something made me think of Andy Warhol and I found several documentaries about him on YouTube. For the next couple of days I worked on images inspired by the video but was mostly inspired by his unapologetic attitude about his art. As critics analyzed, criticized, and scrutinized his work, he seemed totally oblivious (publicly, at least) to the art world's opinion.

When asked why he copied things instead of creating something original, he said “Because... this is easier.”

When someone suggested “So you're just playing a joke on everyone?” he responded “Uh, no... it gives me something to do.”

I grabbed a video frame in the YouTube player and made four panels, each one 40" wide and 30" deep. Next they’ll be digitally printed on aluminum with a high gloss finish to simulate viewing video on a computer screen. Then they will be assembled together to create a single piece that measures 80" wide and 60" deep.

If Andy Warhol was still with us, would he be working digitally? I think so. If critics didn't like that, he would probably have a typical Warhol reaction of “So what?”

So, when someone says to me “You’re copying instead of creating something new,” I can say “So what? It gives me something to do.” Besides, Andy never put a red progress bar on his images.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Pose Montage

A montage of poses from last Tuesday night’s drawing group. 

22 artists attended. That’s close to a record for our group in recent years. Word-of-mouth plus an online presence at has added a lot of awareness and interest about the group. 

Three of our favorite models, including this one, are also going to be the models for an upcoming special drawing event at CCA (Center for Contemporary Arts) here in Santa Fe on October 25, 2014: Three Muses Drawing Extravaganza. 

Saturday, September 13, 2014

San Francisco and Beyond

We've been in the San Francisco area for almost a week, staying and playing in the Fisherman's Wharf area and North Beach. While Robin was busy working (making a video for Peachpit Press about her principles of design, based on her book The Non-Designer's Design Book), I wandered about, took photos, and sketched. After four days of seafood, wine, and sketching in San Francisco we took the Vallejo ferry to the north side of the bay and drove to Yountville, just south of Napa, to spend several days with Robin's mother.

More food, wine, and sketching still in progress.

The Grape Crusher
Monumental bronze statue in Napa Valley, just south of Napa on Highway 29
Bronze poured at Shidoni Foundry, Santa Fe, New Mexico 
Large stone fountain in Levi’s Plaza, North Beach, a block from the Embarcadero.
Location of Peachpit Press offices
Coit Tower from Levi’s Plaza.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

A Pose or a Break?

Is this a pose or a break between poses? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. I mean that in a good way. 

A Pose or a Break?
Charcoal on paper

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Woman on Bathrobe

Posing On Her Bathrobe
Charcoal on newsprint

Fast Sketch
Charcoal on newsprint

Monday, September 1, 2014


A stylized interpretation from one of the recent life drawing poses at Argos Gallery.

Cuban Model

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Matisse Influence

Matisse-inspired print, at least in its spirit of simplicity.

Thinking About Matisse
22" x 36"

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Relaxing in a Gallery
Charcoal on newsprint