Friday, December 29, 2006


Ériu (16 x 16 acrylic on canvas, SOLD).

Here is the newest painting from my series From Beyond the Ninth Wave: Ériu was the eponymous patron goddess of Ireland. She was one of three Tuatha Dé Danann Queens, the others being her sisters Fodla and Banba, who requested that their names be given to the country. Ériu (Éire) became the chief name in use while Fodla and Banba are used as poetic names for Ireland.

Because Ériu is believed to have been mainly an earth goddess, I thought it would be appropriate to use an earth-based object, rather than an outer-space one, as inspiration for this painting. I used an image of lichen and moss growing on a rock as a reference for this painting.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Happy Holidays!

Peace on Earth Begins with Peace in the Heart

I wish you a safe and happy holiday. May you find this holiday season one of joy, good health, and peace.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

NEW SERIES: From Beyond the Ninth Wave

Between working on commissions and my landscape paintings I like to challenge myself with creating a series of paintings related by a theme or subject. The last series I completed was The Planets. Researching and working on those paintings had a lasting effect on me as I find that new paintings relating to the planets keep coming out. However, I didn’t want to continue with the Planets or just keep recreating paintings inspired by the planets or other objects from space. Since this series, I have found myself continuing to return to space objects. I wanted something more challenging, both for me as an artist and for the viewer.

Recently, I was going through my photo collection and came across photographs of Bruig na Boinne, now known as Newgrange in Co. Meath, Ireland, which I took when I last visited there. For those unfamiliar, Newgrange is one of the best examples in Ireland and in Western Europe, of a type of monument known to archaeologists as a passage-grave or passage-tomb. It was constructed around 3200BCE, according to the most reliable Carbon 14 dates available from archaeology. This makes it more than 600 years older than the Giza Pyramids in Egypt, and 1,000 years more ancient than Stonehenge. On the Winter Solstice, the light of the rising sun enters the roofbox at Newgrange and penetrates the passage, shining onto the floor of the inner chamber. The sunbeam illuminates the chamber of Newgrange for just 17 minutes.

There are many differing theories about who built Newgrange and why, and what its function was. One story out of mythology says that the Tuatha Dé Danann, the children of the Goddess Danu, or to explain overly simply, the gods of the Gaels, built Newgrange. Drawing from my roots as an Irish/Scots and my studies in Irish/Celtic mythology, I recalled the ancient Celts’ apparent interest in astronomy. I realized that I could use my own interest in space-related objects with my knowledge of the Tuatha Dé Danann to produce a series of paintings. Some myths that suggest the Tuatha Dé Danann came from the sky. Others talk about these gods coming from the earth and sea. Using nebulas, galaxies, star clusters as well as the patterns in rocks, sunlit ripples on water, and the patina on corroded metal, among other things, I will develop a series of abstract paintings inspired by or representing the Tuatha Dé Danann. The title From Beyond the Ninth Wave comes from Irish mythology, and refers to the boundaries of the mortal world which is marked by the Ninth Wave. Beyond the Ninth Wave exists the Otherworld, the home of the gods, the realm of faerie; it is where magic happens and where the soul journeys.

The first painting in the series is The Dream of Oenghus Mac Og (pictured above) (20 x 30, acrylic on canvas -- SOLD). Oenghus Mac Og (Angus the Young), the god of love, youth and poetic inspiration, fell in love with an otherworldly maiden he had seen in a dream, near a lake surrounded by over a hundred maidens in white. He became so desperate in longing for the maiden that he fell ill. His mother, Boann, concerned with his condition, sought the identity of the maiden and learned she was Caer Iborméith. They discovered that she took the shape of a swan every second Samhain (Halloween) and remained so for the rest of that year. Oenghus went to the lake where she resided with 149 swans/maidens to profess his love for her. He was given the task to choose her among all 150 swans. Choosing correctly he was transformed into a swan and they flew off together to reside at Bruig na Boinne (Newgrange).

I am currently working on two more paintings in the series: The Dagdha and Ériu. From this point on those who participate in my Patron Program will get first viewing of all my completed works in the series. Additionally, patrons can request to see any work in progress. I will, of course, keep everyone updated on the development of the series. After the patrons have had first viewing of any of my new work (series-related or other), I will post them on this blog for all to see.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Blue Jupiter


Blue Jupiter (24 x 24 acrylic on canvas, SOLD). Yes, another space painting! They just keep popping out unexpectedly. Like the large Jupiter from The Planets series, this is all glaze-work. However, unlike the original Jupiter painting, this is varnished with a gloss varnish which really makes the colors deep and vibrant.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Patron Program

As the year comes to a close, and 2007 creeps ever closer, I have been thinking about how to better secure my artistic career and the role my art can play in society.

Shifting from part-time to full-time artist is my main focus for the coming year and I have been examining various ways to do this. While brainstorming ideas, I remembered the patron system of earlier centuries that was in place to help support artists in producing work. Most of the great art we revere was the result of the support of a patron or patrons. In Renaissance Italy, there were two main systems of patronage. In the first system a wealthy person would take an artist into his or her home and the artist would supply the patron with art. The second system had a patron commission a single work and employ the artist until the work was finished. Leonardo de Vinci, Michelangelo and Vermeer were just a few artists who worked and become well-known through the help of patrons.

As I looked at my own ability to produce artwork and the challenges of juggling my time between producing art and working various jobs to pay the bills, I thought to myself that the patron system was a pretty good idea. A sensitive and courageous patron can do much more than simply provide financial and emotional support for the artist. Patrons educate public taste, refresh the roots of culture, and often serve as the first biographers and critics on the scene. In turn, I believe that the role of an artist is necessary as a way to enrich the life of the community and art can be a tool to evoke change and growth. I realized then that it just might be time that the patron system be updated and brought back to use.

So how might an updated version of the patron system work? Similar to the patrons of the Renaissance Italy, there are two ways to participate. The first way is to pledge a monetary amount that would be applied monthly toward a new piece of artwork. The second way is to commission a piece of art.

One doesn’t need to be wealthy to be a patron. Simply pledge an amount that is comfortable to you, perhaps you can exchange one dinner and a movie for a monthly pledge. And instead of a fading memory of a meal or a film, you will have a piece of art to last a lifetime. As a patron, you will have the choice to direct me in the development of the piece to match to your liking or simply support me in the creative process itself. As you know from my gallery and my recent work, I paint mainly landscapes and abstracts. But I am flexible to produce other kinds of work: portraits (both people and animals), still life, and Asian style brushwork…let me know what you are interested in and we can work together. Additionally, patrons will always get first viewing of all new work and works in process and have first choice to claim a piece (unless it is a commission) as their future piece.

I would like to invite you to become part of my creative process and witness the development of my art by becoming a patron. Your support as a patron will not only assist me in realizing my goal of becoming a full-time artist, but you will also be integral in bringing out art for the betterment of the community and society at large. Your support as a patron would allow artwork to be made that would not otherwise exist. As an artist, it would be a privilege and an honor to collaborate and share my artwork through an artist-patron partnership.

In the next few days I will be adding a Patron page to my website, which will describe in more detail the Patron Program and how to participate. (Unfortunately, because my Web development skills are limited, it takes me longer to do the web-based work. Hence, the delay in updating my gallery!) Please don’t wait for the web-page to appear, if you are interested in becoming a patron, contact me at and I will be happy to discuss the Patron Program with you. I look forward to hearing from you and working with you in 2007 and beyond!


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