Painting 
I began painting in 2013, using some of my favorite photographs as learning subjects, in an experiment in self teaching, using acrylic paints.
To date, I have completed 13 paintings, they are below in sequence, left to right, top to bottom.


 
Mister Al

 
Venice Gondolier - I wanted to try two difficult things for beginners; a human figure and water. This was one of my favorite images from our trip to Venice in 2007.

 
Chinese Papoose Girl - One of my best images from our trip to China in 2000, I chose this as my 3rd painting to work in flesh tones, try a full face portrait and work in multiple textures; the cloth of the baby carrier, stone, wood, ceramics and the woven basket.

 

Perfect Finnish Evening - (with trompe l'oeil frame) - From our trip to Finland in 2007, we were strolling at the docks in Lahti at sunset when I captured this image. I chose it as a logical next step in my self instruction, as my first landscape, to paint a bit "looser", more interpretively, and to specifically work on clouds and reflections on water. The frame itself is painted on the canvas, and was an effort to advance my technique in super-realism.


Max
- We met this Border Collie while visiting England. Max was super intelligent, had a collection of close to 20 toys and he knew every one of them. This was a gift for his owners, who opened their home to us for a few nights, giving Max and I a chance to become great buddies.


London Still Life -This was the scene we sat down to when we went to lunch at the restaurant in the London National Gallery of Art. I knew right away it would be my first still life and grabbed my camera to preserve it. It was everything I wanted to expand my skills; an exercise in perspective drawing, the challenge of multiple light sources of varying strengths, multiple shadows, more work with fabric and working with glass and water. It also represents a new step forward for me, in that I painted some from my imagination, instead of just what was in the photo. The mirror above the long booth was so dark in the photo you can’t see anything, so I had to work to subtly add the reflections of the chairs, the glassware on the tables and the reflection of the couple down at the end. Also the arch and velvet rope and stanchion replace another table. I wanted to even up the framing and put in a shape that forced your eye back to the focus of the picture. I also focused on little details like napkins and place settings on the receding tables, and the distortions in all the glassware, including the far ones in the back.


Amber - This painting originated from the nicest compliment I could hope to get; my sister, after seeing my other paintings, asked me to paint her favorite little feline friend, named Amber. When I compared this completed work to my first painting at the top left of the page of my own cat, Mr. Al, I felt a great sense of accomplishment and growth in my work. While I completely captured Mr. Al's personality, (which is the greatest task, I think) my clear advance in technique was reassuring. Another big step for me is that the cloth background was wholly created, moving me another step beyond painting only what I see.


Australian Wild Horses - One of my favorites images and memories from our Australian trip. We went camping in the Kakadu National Forest outside of Darwin and each morning and evening, the wild horses came out to feed and water at the bilabong. I chose this to paint because the evening misted background would push me to paint loosely and with an impressionistic touch, while the foreground would still let me work on my realism. The horses offered me my first living subjects not dogs or cats!


Secret Beach, Maui - This painting was a gift for two friends who got married at sunset at this beach on Maui. I took dozens of photographs but it was only years later, when looking through the images, that I noticed the two paddlers silhouetted against the waves. I hadn't even seen them when taking the photo! This painting was an exercise in furthering my handling of clouds, and new challenges were ocean waves, the panopoly of sunset colors, and depicting wet sand. This is one of those paintings that comes together the farther away you stand from it.

Duck in Water - Made for a friend's 3 year-old grandchild, who has a little one's obession; with ducks. For me, the work offered a chance to work more with water, reflections and liquid patterns, as well as a different kind of animal.


Pictures at an Exhibition - This painting is my 1st original composition from my imagination, as you can see. I wanted to do something that built on everything I learned in my previous 10 works; color mixing and blending, brush techniques, perspective drawing, and overall composition. I also worked very hard in the beginning on the composition; the placing of the types and styles of the individual paintings, and especially of the various museum visitors, to keep the eye moving in and around the picture. I also wanted to try painting in a variety of styles, which called for pictures within pictures. Above all, I wanted to create something that would make you smile when you looked at it.

Manet's Secret Workshop - This painting is my 2nd original composition. I have admired many of Édouard Manet's paintings because he achieved a realism that's warm and accurate without being photographic, super-realism. The painting on which this is based, Manet's Olympia, shocked viewers at the 1865 Salon. Representing a lower-class prostitute, it was purposefully provocative. Olympia confronted the bourgeois viewer of the late 1800's with a hidden, but well-known, reality; a rather informal and individual portrait of a woman unashamed of her body. This painting gave me the opportunity to not only paint in his style (background, bed linens, fabrics,the attending cat's dress and flower bouquet,) but to explore other styles as I continued paintings within a painting (as in Pictures at an Exhibition). It also helped me to work more on depicting animals and to work again on perspective and on the overall composition. And of course, the painting as a whole, and a 2nd joke within are intended to give you something to make you smile. You can also just make out my own GC signature on the bottom right of one of the paintings in work.
I entered both original paintings in a juried art contest at the East End Arts Gallery in Long Island, NY in 2016. And while I did not place in the Top 3 cash award-paying positions, out of 730 entries, "Pictures at an Exhibition" placed in the Top 60, and was displayed in a slide show on a flat screen in the gallery during the 5-week run of the show's winners. "Manet's Secret Workshop" placed in the Top 30 and was on display in the gallery for the 5 week run. This was not only very gratifying, but a big confidence booster for me as I explore this new art form.

My first painting since relocating to Santa Fe, NM. This is a gift for my sister, a companion piece for the portrait of her other cat, Amber, above. After 9 months of no creative outlet due to our long distance move, this was a great way to warm up, and I was relieved to see that my handling of fur had improved.