Early Works

The vast majority of the paintings I've done have been given away and hang on walls. Some have been lost or discarded, many by me. (Monet destroyed hundreds of canvases.)

When I undertook the updating of this website, I wanted to be thorough, so I uncovered my earliest pieces, which were stored in our attic. Many of these immediately went into the trash, as did some of the ones on this page. I'm showing them, not because they are of high caliber or belong on walls, but simply to provide a chronology of my growth.

As an untrained, untalented novice, I was searching for a voice—I wasn't sure of what or how to paint. Nor, for many years, did I have the time to devote to painting; and, thus, I completed very few compositions. After my sister, Ellen's death in 1993 (read the essay), I became more dedicated; and, when I regularly began using a projector (I'd dabbled with one since high school), a whole new world of art opened up to me. Those results are certainly reflected more on the other pages of this website.

The Ellen Painting ~ 1994 • 20 x 16


Lindsey in the Lath House Unfinished ~ 1982 • 16 x 20

Lindsey's Unfinished Portrait

I'd always intended to go back and finish this portrait of Lindsey, but never got to it. I include it here because it both demonstrates how limited my abilities were in the early '80s and displays some potential.

I liked the background and Lindsey's sweater (see details below), but I'd struggled with her face. Even though I started out by projecting a slide on the canvas, I reworked the eye, mouth, and chin too many times. At one point, I really liked the eyes, but then I tried to fix one small detail and got out of control.

Overworking an area, seeing when to stop painting, knowing when a picture is finished were trial and error for years and continue to be challenging.

After "The Ellen Painting" – 1994