Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Drawing Sideways

Drawing the nude figure sideways can get weird because you usually see it in an upright position. When you do happen to see a nude figure sideways or upside-down, you usually don’t have charcoal and paper in your hands. Except on Tuesday nights. For some reason it seems to happen a lot on Tuesday nights. In fact, every Tuesday night, between 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. 
Again I say . . . weird.

Monday, November 23, 2015

One Year Old

One-Year-Old Hero

One-year-old granddaughter Hero had her First birthday party a couple of days ago. Robin asked me to put something decorative on the wrapping of one of her presents. I opened the Photos app on my laptop and found a photo to use as reference for a sketch. Hero is the name of a character in the Shakespeare play Much Ado About Nothing. Hero has a dog named Hamlet (in real life, not in the play). I suspect that her first uttered words after “Bye Bye” and “Mommy” will be “Anon” and “Fie!" It’s getting rather Shakespearean around here.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015



Last night was the second time our Tuesday Night Drawing group had this male model. There’s definitely something “Shakespearean” about the guy. Imagine him playing Aaron (a Shakespeare super villain) in Titus Andronicus. I don’t know which was more awesome: his hair style or his body.  My drawings weren’t going very well the whole night, but the last drawing of the night, a 45-minute pose, seemed like a dramatic Shakespearean image.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Six Sketches

Folding Chair
Art Deco Mood


Back Stretch


Twisting Legs

Thursday, October 15, 2015

White Model

White Model

A life drawing sketch (see the previous blog post) made into a 24" x 18" digital print on paper. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015



An unfinished drawing from a life drawing session. 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

A Dragon Memory

An urgent message last Thursday morning from a friend, Lorene Mills, asked if I would be able to help an out-of-town artist, John Pugh. Pugh is a renown trompe l’oeil muralist master who has painted many amazing murals around the world. His current project is a mural commissioned by George R. R. Martin, located on the back wall of Martin’s Jean Cocteau Cinema in Santa Fe (more photos below).

Jean Cocteau mural detail.

I met John behind the Jean Cocteau at 3 pm Thursday afternoon and he started describing what needed to be done. Soon, Greg and George, a couple of art students from IAIA (Institute of American Indian Arts) showed up and the four of us spent the night on the scaffolding. When I left at 4:30 Friday morning, John Pugh and the other two artists were still working away and were there until long after sunrise.

From the all-night conversations we had, I learned a lot about Pugh’s technique of using acrylic glazes (dozens of glazes) and blending of colors. It was like a 12 hour master class. I didn’t contribute much, but I learned a lot. Including how hard it is to paint outdoors in the cold and dark with lights casting shadows of scaffolding all over the art. The painted shadows looked so real it was hard to tell the painted shadows from the real ones. Climbing up and down three levels of scaffolding all night and painting in weird, uncomfortable positions while sitting or standing on scaffolding gave me a real appreciation of the fact that Pugh had already been painting here for two weeks, mostly at night. The main goal for Thursday night was to finish everything that was high on the wall, because the scaffolding was to be removed the next morning.

I went back to the site Friday night to check on the mural. The scaffolding was gone but John and assistant Greg were still there painting final touches. I delivered a large coffee and a hazelnut latte to Greg and John, chatted for while, then headed back home to work on another much smaller art project. Much smaller. And indoors.

It was a great privilege to be involved in any small way, and to make friends with John and the other assistants, Greg and George.

What a dragon!

What a night.

What a memory.

John Pugh retouches a small section.

George paints with a headlamp.

Lots of paint and brushes to trip over.

View from level two of the four-level scaffolding.

A scaffold of artists work through the night.

George uses blue tape to mask a section at ground level.

Mural detail.

Painting and masking, Friday night.

John Pugh uses blue tape to plan where additional shading will go.

George and John.

Blue taping the night away.

The photographer and archivist of the project delivers coffee to the artists.

More details.
Mural wall in progress.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Monday, October 5, 2015

Unrepentant Moor

Unrepentant Moor
24" x 32"
Digital print on paper from original charcoal on newsprint life drawing

Study for Aaron, the Moor, in Titus Andronicus

I adapted last Tuesday Night's model to my collection of limited edition Shakespeare Series prints. In the play Titus Andronicus, Arron is repentant of any good he may have done in his life, but he makes it sound like that probably never happened. However, as often happens with Shakespeare characters, even the villainous Aaron has another side — he loves his newborn son and wants him to live.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

New Model

Awesome model

A new model for last night’s Tuesday Night Drawing group. 

Friday, September 25, 2015

One September Night

One September Night #1

One September Night #2

One September Night #3

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Authorship Question

Mary Sidney is gaining traction as the most credible candidate for the authorship of the Shakespeare canon (a debate known as The Authorship Question). Sidney was fluent in multiple languages and translated many works, she was expert in writing, English history, alchemy, hawking, and all sorts of stuff. She ran Wilton Circle, the most important literary salon in the history of England. Her sons were the wealthiest and most powerful men in England, second only to King James. She was a Countess. She had a huge library and an alchemy lab, and most of the known source materials for the Shakespearean works have a direct connection to her. She was known by her contemporaries as a brilliant writer whose mission was to create, and encourage, great works in the English language.

In the scene above, Mary offers writing suggestions to an actor who, incidentally, was never recorded as having been present at Wilton Circle.

You can learn more about the Authorship Question, and about Mary Sidney, in the book Sweet Swan of Avon: Did a woman write Shakespeare? by Robin Williams, PhD, available at

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Think Not I Love Him

Think Not I Love Him
Digital print on paper, from the Shakespeare Series
40 x 26 inches

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Four poses

Four charcoal drawings out of about a dozen poses from the Tuesday Night drawing session.


Stretching and Twisting

Pointing That Way

Sitting on Pillows

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Sketchbook Miscellaneous

The Cerrillos Kid 

Sketching on a flight to Mississippi

Santa Fean in Mississippi

Monday, July 27, 2015

Stoic in Stowe

Stoic in Stowe
Digital print from original watercolor
30" x 40"

An ancient, stoic tree in Stowe, UK, on the Stowe House and Gardens Estate which dates back to the late 1600s. Stowe became known as the most beautiful landscape gardens in Europe. Public access to the House and Gardens started in the 1700s and continues thru today. 750 acres of the original property is now owned by the National Trust. A fascinating feature of the gardens is the use of the ha-ha, a recessed landscape design that creates vertical barriers for livestock while providing unbroken vistas from the main house. This kind of landscaping requires a capable garden designer, and much of the design here was carried out by . . .  Capability Brown. Not kidding.
Not only was I fortunate enough to see the almost endless architectural wonders at the site (temples, bridges, grottos, lodges, arches, gates, pavillions, statues, fountains, columns, monuments, fields, alcoves, sculptures, gardens, obelisks, a rotonda, and a tower), I also got to see this tree.

Moon Pendant

Young Woman with Moon Pendant

Turns out that I’m pretty good at drawing moon pendants. Who knew? Can’t wait to see what the model wears this week. 

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Aussie Visitor

Life drawing at Argos Gallery with John
From Daniel Worth’s sketchbook

When Australian artist friend Daniel Worth was in Santa Fe last month, he went to the Wednesday night drawing group at Argos Studio/Gallery with me. His sketchbooks are filled with gouache paintings made during his travels. Check out the self-deprecating comparison of his drawing on the left and mine on the right. Love the detail of the metal clips holding his drawing to his board. And Argos Studio/Gallery Director Eric Thomson in the background. Very cool stuff.

Daniel is located in Melbourne. You can see more of his art at and check his blog at

Saturday, July 25, 2015


Another drawing group, another model. This time it was the Thursday night group that meets just a half-minute down the road from me. The model reminded me of Rubens, or Lucian Freud, although this model is Twiggy compared to the model in one of Lucian’s most famous paintings (Benefits Supervisor Sleeping).