Art, Figure Painting, Interior, Leslie Robinson Sharp, Life, oil painting, Painting

Painting as therapy

“View From a Death Bed” 9″ x 16″ oil 
“Solace” 12″ x 12″ oil

In July, it was five years since my wife, Leslie, died from breast cancer. I wrote quite a lot about it here, at the time. I stopped writing about it after a year but, of course, the process of grief continues. It seems strange to think of all that’s happened without her presence since that time. I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process. I can’t always tell if I’m processing or indulging but I’m sometimes moved to paint something that arises out of the experience of loss and attachment.

My life is good. I’ve met a wonderful woman to share it with. I think of what I’ve lost and try to balance it with what I’ve gained.

Art, Figure Painting, Interior, Life, oil painting, Painting, Still Life

Miki And The Red Coat


Miki and the Red Coat 21" x 14" oil on linen
Miki and the Red Coat
21″ x 14″ oil on linen

I’ve had this and another on the easel for a while. I’m not sure I’m finished. I want to let it sit for a while. Sometimes when I get to this point with a painting, I decide it’s better to just start another than to continue to worry this one. I’ve painted a few versions of this scene now, each a little different.


Art, Exhibits, Interior, oil painting, Painting, Portland, Portland Open Studios, Still Life, Studio pictures

Studio corner

This past weekend was the first weekend of the 2012 Portland Open Studios tour. I worked on this study of the studio corner while a slow but steady stream of folks perused my recent oil paintings and sketchbooks.

‘Studio Corner” 9″ x 12″ oil on linen

Thanks everyone who came by or checked my website. I’m looking forward to the second weekend of the tour.

Animal Painting, Art, Figure Painting, Interior, oil painting, Painting, Study

On the Carpet


14″ x 12″ oil on linen panel

This is our little mutt Miki. He’s a rescue dog that we got from a shelter, where he was listed as an American Eskimo mix. I believe the mix part but I think he has more Chihuahua in him than Eskimo dog. However, we looked for inuit words when naming him and settled on miki, which, according to our internet source, means small ice floe.

Obviously, since he wouldn’t hold this pose, I painted this from a photo. He’s afraid of cameras, thus the defensive posture. I wasn’t threatening him, except with the camera.

All in all, he’s a pretty good dog.

Art, Interior, Life, oil painting, Painters, Painting, Portland, Study

Studio Bookcase

This is one of a few pieces I’ve been working on lately.

14″ x 11″ oil on linen panel

I’m trying to paint every day. Sometimes I get stuck on a painting so I pull out another small panel and do a study to keep the brush moving. This is a sketch of a small wooden figure by Portland artist Tom Cramer.

8″ x 6″ oil on panel

This figure is from the 1980’s. Tom’s work has evolved into really intricate painted relief carvings. You can see photos of some of his work on his website but you really have to see them in person to appreciate them fully. Tom and I were featured together on a Portland Cable access TV show, called “Where’s the Art? back around 1987. At the time, Tom was known for these figurines and also for the cars and especially the Vespa scooters he painted. One of the scooters was shown on the show.

After the show, Tom and I traded pieces and that’s how I acquired this little sculpture.


Interior, oil painting, Study, watercolor

Office Chair

The work on my studio is complete and I’ve been trying to get back to where I was before.  I had a glimpse of something I wanted to work toward, while working with Jordan Wolfson in August and I’m trying to find my way back to that.

Here are some recent studies.

14″ x 18″ charcoal and watercolor

14″ x 18″ mixed media

11″ x 14″ oil on  panel

Animal Painting, Figure Painting, Interior, oil painting, Painting

Figure study with dogma


10″ x 8″ oil on panel



Noun: A principle or set of principles laid down by an authority as incontrovertibly true.

I’ve been thinking about dogma, lately. Probably as a result of 12 years of Catholic education, I have a low tolerance for it, and it’s a pet peeve of mine when it creeps into discussions regarding art.  I usually try to steer clear of discussions that make my dogma alarm go off but sometimes I don’t catch myself and I’m usually sorry.

I was thinking about this study as a kind of personification of dogma but I can’t decide what to put on the end of that scepter-like thing.

Art, Figure Painting, Interior, oil painting, Painters, Painting, Study

Interior with model


8″ x 8″ oil on board

I find myself being drawn back to artists I was inspired by in my earliest painting days. I think it was the abstract expressionists who first made me want to use oil paint. In particular, I’ve always loved figurative paintings by abstract expressionists. Richard Diebenkorn went through a figurative stage in the 50s and 60s and I’ve always carried some of those images in the back of my brain.

I had forgotten about Alfred Leslie, who abandoned the incredible abstract paintings he was doing for figurative paintings. I had been trying to remember him but couldn’t recall his name until I came across it on the excellent  Painting Perceptions blog.

Looking back at R.D. et al, I can see relationships with some of the younger artists I now look at.


Art, Interior, Life, oil painting, Painting, Sketching

Sketch of Examination Table


6″ x 8″ oil on canvas

Examination rooms have always been a bit intimidating. For an introvert like myself, the idea of being examined is enough to make me uneasy. The addition of more and more technological devices seems to heighten the sense of isolation and coldness that I’ve always experienced in them. As a young person I was pretty optimistic about what the results of a physical examination would be but eventually one is bound to get some bad news in one of these places. As I get older and, having had the experience of hearing something I didn’t want to hear, I find that I’m more uneasy in exam rooms.

Maybe I’ll do a real painting of this sometime.