So, Where Have I Been Lately?

The last 18-plus months have been extremely busy for me. I’m grateful for all of the commission work. Fortunately, I’ve been able to squeeze a few of my own, related creations into that time.

I’ve lived in Arizona for the last 34 years, and during that time, I’ve been taken by many traditions of nearby Mexico, especially the annual Dia de los Muertos celebration. Some of the folks who’ve seen my latest works, which are related to Dia de los Muertos, have said that the tradition seems morbid to them, while others–like me–understand its significance.

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Painting Pets: the Eyes Have It

Title: Gia
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 16″ x 20″
Buy Print: N/A
Buy Original: N/A

Gia’s portrait was a commission for some great friends. Sweet Gia passed late last year, and my portrait of her was a surprise Christmas present for her family. Gia was a beautiful Yorkie, with golden, flowing hair and a sweet face.  She was a joy to paint, and it was an emotional moment when I presented her to the family.

Presenting a portrait of a beloved pet is often an emotional event, especially when the pet is deceased. As they say, there is no love like that of a dog. I guess that makes it especially difficult when they are gone. Their absence leaves a big void in peoples’ lives.

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Proper Lighting Brings Out the Magic In Your Artwork

Milk Duds Displayed In My Family Room

Here’s the secret to bringing out the magic in your artwork: lighting. When hanging a piece of artwork, consider not only how it fills a space in your home or office, but how it will be seen, not only during the day, but also in the evening. Some aspects of displaying your artworks can’t be controlled, but lighting can often be adjusted, and the proper lighting will make a world of difference in how good your artwork looks.

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What More Can I Do?


The more I paint, the more I realize how much I don’t know.

Every painting is a learning experience, and–like every other painter out there, I’m sure–I want to get better every time.

Recently, I realized that I am a “conceptual” painter. That means that I know what I want the painting to look like when I’m done. I just thought every painter was the same in that regard; not so.

I continue to get emails from artists who say “do this” and “do that,” but I only know one way to paint. I watch other painters to see how they work, and am often blown away at how they structure a painting, how they use color, all those things, and it’s exciting to me to learn new things.

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Clase Azul Ultra Method

Clase Azul Ultra
Title: Ultra
Medium: Acrylic on Canvas
Size: 24″ x 48″
Buy Print: ($460 – smaller sizes by special order)
Buy Original: contact artist

Clase Azul Ultra is a rare bottle of tequila.

Only 100 bottles of Clase Azul Ultra are made each year, and only 50 make their way to the United States.

A shot of Clase Azul Ultra costs $250 in the bars that offer it.

The ceramic bottle is hand painted and decorated with gold, platinum, and silver.

I can’t describe how delicious Clase Azul Ultra is! I’ve tasted nothing that even comes close. I’m so sad it’s gone, but the bottle will serve as a reminder of this precious gift from my daughter and her significant other forever.

I chose to keep this painting as simple as possible to keep the focus where it should be. What a presentation!

A Proud Moment

John and Debbie, 22” x 28” original acrylic on canvas.

Everyone who knows me knows that I have a fondness for really good tequila. Several years ago a close friend gifted me a bottle of Señor Rio añejo tequila, and it was signed by the owner, John Gach – an Arizona man! Señor Rio is locally owned, but made in Jalisco, Mexico. It was a very special gift. Fast forward, I met John’s wife, Debbie for lunch to find out that, sadly, John had passed away about a year ago. Debbie had seen my work at Los Dos Molinos in Mesa, and asked if she could commission me to paint a portrait of her and John. It was an honor to do so.

Portraits can be difficult, especially if you know the person (or people). I had never met John, but Debbie provided me with a number of pictures of him, and her, and them together. John was a dynamic man – an avid body builder with a variety of tattoos on both of his huge arms, which made the painting interesting and challenging. Getting both John and Debbie just right was a struggle, and I also incorporated a bottle of Señor Rio – per Debbie’s request. In the end I was pleased with the result, and Debbie was as well. She recently had the painting framed and sent me a photo of it. She knew exactly what end result she wanted, and the framed portrait looks amazing. The right frame can totally change a painting’s look.

Debbie was featured on Fox 10 news in Phoenix. Señor Rio is a great success story, and a very happy reminder to me of the process of painting John and Debbie’s portrait.