Still Life

Known as nature morte - dead nature - in French, the still life genre has been said to be, ultimately, about passing time and, therefore, death.  By arresting time, art can make death visible.  And why is this significant?  As many sages have observed, "Without staring death in the eye, as the perpetually reverse side of life, we cannot live fully and completely" (Soko Morinaga).  And, "Death is the mother of beauty" (Wallace Stevens).  But while the vanitas still lifes of the great Dutch painter Pieter Claesz first and especially resonated with me, the less didactic works of Chardin, Carlsen and Pushman struck a chord as well.

Divine Ordinariness   -  oil on canvas

Divine Ordinariness  - oil on canvas


 Although still lifes are what first got me painting, living now and in the past in some very picturesque locations compels me to paint landscapes as well.   Landscape is also a nice change-of-pace from still life (and vice versa).  My landscapes are inspired by places I've lived in or visited, mainly in the U.S., Finland and Switzerland.  The American Southwest, of course, presents unlimited subject matter; indeed, a single canyon near my home holds enough for an entire painting career. 

Summer Evening on the James River (South Dakota) - oil on wood panel

Humor & Allegory

At times my eye is caught by a "quirky" situation or object that may be humorous, or may be profound in its symbolism.  Such subjects can encompass still life, landscape or figurative genres.  

Der Rosenkavalier  -  alkyd on linen

Der Rosenkavalier - alkyd on linen