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Clay and Lichen

A documentary on the progress of a layer of clay descending a dune
clay and lichen rev
Oil on maple, 24 x 18 inches

For more than a decade, we have been watching a layer of clay slowly descending a slope of the Empire Bluff. Usually, the ‘necklace’ stands out as a vegetation-free band. But on a winter day, it was nicely accentuated by snow.

I have given up walking around this aspect of the bluff out of concern that there suddenly could be a slide of clay. Two decades ago, the north-western most tip of the dunes at Glenhaven caved in after I walked there with my dog. Since then, I have grown to respect the forces of nature here.


oil on a maple, 12 x 12 inches

A meditating duck in the Banter Lake outside Liselotte’s cabin in Wilhelmshaven.

The color that I chose for painting water in Northern Germany differs from my usual Lake Michigan color mix. Today, it consists of Ultramarine Blue, Dioxane violet, Titanium White and Zinc White.

I paint water, June paints the desert. Do you also have a proclivity for a particular motif or theme?


What came to mind is ‘das Unvollendigte’, translated into English as ‘the Unfinished’. Below are three paintings that I worked on off and on since the spring.

The first one is a view from a Pierce Stocking Drive dune.

12×16, oil on board.
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Texture, the Internet, and Other Conundrums

I have just joined Facebook (thanks, D.) and of course, instantly found a group dedicated to a textile artist’s focus: namely, texture.

The photos of “texture” on the group site were close-ups, both of quilted fabric and of objects that showed as textured. I started through my photos and quickly realized that deciding on what shows texture is not as easy as might be imagined. Here are some possibilities from my files.

The High Note, JOU, Computer images on Silk, quilted, 12 x 12″, 2008.

The upper layer (of computer-printed sheer fabric) is turned back to show under layer. Normally the sheer would fall over the entire piece, showing through as it does on the right bottom. This dropping of the sheer obscures much of the texture while at the same time, contradictorily, adds to it.

Vilhelm Hammershoi, Sunbeam (and various other titles), 1900, oil on canvas.

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Painting from Photographs, Necessity and Nostalgia

Pine Creek Gorge, photo from Wikipedia Commons,  Commons licensing

I have been violating one of my basic principles. I have, gasp, been painting from photographs.

Pine Creek Gorge 2, 12 x 16″ Oil on board, 2008

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Painting Expedition and Road Trip

I’m on the road with Jer, working on painting scenes from many tiny hamlets in the high desert of eastern Oregon. We started on Monday, it is now Thursday, and I have eight 12 x 16″ plein air oil paintings in my boxes in the back of the Honda. I also have a peeling nose (in spite of all precautions against the sun) and a whole set of images, some photos, some memories, of Oregon’s outback.The paintings are too raw to be shown right now, but here are some photos of things I painted:


The Heppner, Oregon, courthouse and uplands


The Condon Library and Lennox Heating and Cooling Store (circa 1903, erstwhile bank and saloon)

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Is an Academic Degree really necessary for a real painter?


Looking back through the years, I do not remember when I started painting with oils and watercolors… maybe I was about 13. To be honest mostly of I know today has come from my own experiences of try and error.

To me, making a painting was never an issue but something that happens naturally with whatever materials come to my hands. Oils are my favorites, but recently I’ve been painting in a very quick method and found out that a mixture of acrylics, oils, glitter and others mediums work better for my new style.

In the past 3 years I decided to do a Fine Art degree as a nice “add on” to my previous qualifications. To my disappointment, I have learn nothing new but of a chaotic, hypocrite and delusional world from the Art teachers.

If you an artist with already some success and experience I recommend you to aim higher and not to go back to an educational institution. You see, despite your good intentions you setting yourself back and giving your own murder sentence to the chances of being ‘stepped on’ and muffled by the tutors, who also called themselves artists. You must have no previous artistic experience because no matter how you try to please and befriend this so called “artist teachers” you will always be seen as a threat rather than a student.

Unfortunately we live in a world that demands all this qualifications to be taken seriously. I have learned from my own mistakes, maybe because I was a bit naïve, full of dreams and hopes that a new qualification would push my career further, but realize that I brought this to myself to the point I had nothing but verbal abuse, bullying, harassment, intimidation and discrimination from lecturers. In the end I felt from as high I dreamed and have gain nothing but a new pretty BA words in my cv and an awful demoralizing experience I must rather forget!

Waiting Godot

More new painting in my redesigned website www.magicpaintings.com