Using over-beaten abaca to my seascape painting of the Cape Ann coastline.

The finished painting. Cape Ann Shoreline, 2020. Mixed media painting.

Last summer I received a call from the U.S. State Department Art in Embassies program director.The U.S. Ambassador to Belgrade would like to have an exhibition of American seascape artists for the embassy residence for the year 2021. The Art in Embassy staff shared my website with the Ambassador. He read my blog posts about the painting Cape Ann Shoreline and requested it for the exhibit.

I cannot tell you how honored I am to be included in an exhibit that celebratesAmerican seascape artists to diplomats, foreign officials and visitors to the embassy from all corners of the world.

Me in front of my painting Cape Ann Shoreline, (2020). 40 x 40 x 4 inches. Mixed media (abaca and cotton pulp, pigment, acrylic paint, mounted on Gator Board).

If you are working from home, why not purchase art in your home office design?

According to the researchers at Stanford University (so you know they must be right) the work from home economy is here to stay. Given these statistics, why not include the purchase of art in your home office design (ok, dining room table, spare bedroom, former man cave)?
I’ve included several samples of available art to imagine just how jazzed your space can look. I have more on my original works gallery, and print gallery.

There is a two week free trial period to test out a piece in your space-sort of like what those fancy rug companies do-so there is no up front cost to consider. Payment plans are available for larger pieces. Send me an email if you’d like to try out one of the works featured, and as always, take care and be well.

Thank you for your support.
Hever Castle Courtyard, Sussex, England. Framed. 48 x 39 inches.
June Morning Light, in-situ
Distant Travels, Cape Cod National Seashore

Join me for IG Live, 4:00 EST

Follow me as I paint the rocky shores of New England

Last month I shared the beginnings of this seascape painting, inspired by the rocky Cape Ann seacoast, a beautiful stretch of beach just north of Boston. As of today, this is how the still in-progress painting appears. I anticipate it will be completed by mid August, so keep following me as I continue to feature it in upcoming blog posts.

I have been posting daily updates on its progress-a few photos are enclosed below (I know, why didn’t I quit after June 25)? One of my favorite things about sharing my progress are the questions I get from followers on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook:How do you do this?What materials do you use?Are you kidding me, you “paint” with a turkey baster?Shut up! You’re just copying over a photograph (the sculptor Rodin suffered a similar fate, so I figure I’m in good company here). 

For the next few weeks, I will share my painting process on Instagram Live, for everyone who wants to learn more about how I paint with pulp.
And don’t forget, this painting will be featured in a Podcast hosted by Helen Heibart to a world-wide audience. My fifteen minutes are here at last!!
For updates on Instagram Live sessions, follow me at

The painting on July, 3, 2020 . . .
. . . and June 25, 2020.
I have been painting the north shore of Boston for years. Here are samples of my other paintings, available as originals and giclee prints.
Northshore Scape I (above)

For all of my original works and giclee prints, visit my gallery.



If you can’t make it to the sea this summer, follow me as I paint it.

The Cape Ann Seacoast, the inspiration for the painting.

Like many of us, I am drawn to the primodial pull of the sea. For me, it is not just any seashore, but the north Atlantic, with its harsh terrain, ice cold water, and thunderous crashing waves. Here, rocks are thrown to the shore by an unrelenting tide.  The rocks are stronger than the water, but the water can be fiercer and can move the rocks at will. This is for me the metaphor for our own lives: we long for smoothness of the water, but we are shaped by the steeliness of the rocks.  
Using an array of textures and colors to illustrate this metaphor, I will depict in my painting this emotional pull of the sea and tell my story much like a poet would use words. 
As you move with me through this creative process, feel free to chime in and ask questions. I have been sharing my process on Instagram live. For updates on live sessions, follow me at
And as always, thank you for your support.

The Genesis of the painting: preparing the background drawing.

The yet to be titled painting at the end of the first week of work.
A black and white print of the image is laid out on the surface of the poured sheet. A sheet of carbon paper is sandwiched underneath. I use a bone folder to trace the image onto the poured sheet as a guide.
The painting in its early stages of completion.

Next week, the painting will be adhered to the frame. The final size will be 40 x 40 x 4 inches.

An example of a picturesque garden in Topsfield

An example of a picturesque garden in Topsfield, located at the corner of Prospect Street and River Road. The seemingly arbitrary plantings appear as though the garden sprang up on its own without human involvement. This is similar to the way Humphrey Repton would have designed the garden-to look natural and untended.
More views of the garden. I love the different scales from minuscule to grand and the variety of colors from snow white to deep crimson. I chose the large photograph on the left because the light reminds me of Claude Lorrain’s paintings with its romantic light.
Humphrey Repton would have loved to include the landscape at Cross and Salem Streets, Topsfield, into his famous Red Book.
Two of the paintings I created of River Road, Topsfield. In keeping with Claude Lorrain and his love of emotional connection through romantic light, I focused on the natural light in both of these examples.

The picturesque movement arrives in the city, 1752-1835.

The Regency in Great Britain refers to the time period when King George III (1760-1820), the guy blamed for losing the colonies to the original guerrilla warriors in the American Revolution, was deemed unfit to rule; his son ruled as Prince Regent. On his father’s death in 1820, the Prince Regent became George IV. The regency period was a time of sweeping change due to industrialization. To offset its impact, cities in Europe and the United States began designing parks in the picturesque style-asymmetrical pathways and emotionally charged vistas-for city dwellers to enjoy while strolling past carefully designed flower beds. 

And of course, Regents Park, designed by John Nash and Humphrey Repton,  named for George IV’s efforts at beautifying London, is where the great love story between Pongo and Purdy begins.

Regents Park, London

Just like Regent’s Park in London, America’s first public botanical garden was the Boston Public Garden, in 1837.

Much like Regent’s Park, the Boston Public Gardens is meant for strolling and taking in the flower beds. The riot of colorful flowers was considered garish by Victorian Bostonians. Designed by George Meacham, who was paid 100.00 for his award winning design, far less than the award granted to John Nash.vvOver 80 variety of flowers are grown in the greenhouse and planted in the garden.  

Boston Public Gardens

As an artist looking for New England scenery to capture in my work, I have long been inspired by the beauty of the Boston Public Gardens. Below are two limited edition prints of original paintings I’ve created of the gardens. Both are available for purchase.

Foot Bridge, Boston Public Garden, order here
Spring Blooms, Boston Public Garden, order here

Looking for some juicy gossip? Watch my short video about Regents Park, the king, and the gardener’s wife. Scandalous!

Paper making at home with children.

This video shows simple steps to make paper at home with children. Paper making is the perfect creative activity for home schooling or during the pandemic quarantine.

My summary of Leonardo’s Last Supper

Did Adolf Loos’ Ornament and Crime kill the artist/architect relationship?

In his 1908 manifesto Ornament and Crime, Adolf Loos laments the use of ornament as a means of architectural decoration at the expense of simple lines and plain white walls-walls he associates with Zion, the holy city (reprinted in K. Smith, Introducing Architectural Theory, 2012).

Loos believed the people of his generation had moved beyond the need for ornament and were more sophisticated that their forbearers whose taste for rich detail demonstrated a lack of cultural hegemony. It is worth noting that Loos writes his essay during the early years of what would become the most tumulus century on record, and in Vienna, Austria, no less, whose famous and overly adorned palaces and opera halls were at odds with the more modern designs beginning to show promise as one moved ever westward.

Loos supports his critique by claiming ornament of his time has no place in contemporary building design, unlike in the past when ornament employed by Gothic and Baroque artisans were integral to the form and function of their often sacred spaces.

The cult of the carts, Laon Cathedral, 1155-1205. Oxen carry the load of stone to the work site for artisans to build the grand cathedral. Ornamental stonework, and the stain glass windows that tell the story of their creation, are the hallmarks of Gothic architecture.

By the Baroque era, the practice of painters, sculptors, and architects working in unison to create multi-media works of architecture was cemented with the church of Gesu, a masterpiece of early Baroque design.

Interior nave and alter, Gesu, Rome.
Ceiling fresco with sculptural campaign, Gesu, Rome.

While Loos may have had a point-artists have been viewed as subordinate to architects at least since the decree was first made by Luis XVI in his effort to minimize the growing power of the craft guilds, the tradition of architect and artist working on site together was for the most part disbanded in the 20th century with the few exceptions of the excellent glass work of Luis Comfort Tiffany and the interior design attempts of Frederic E. Church at his well preserved house, Olana, situated high above the Catskill Valley in upstate New York.

This penchant for austerity and clean while walls begs the question: did Loos’ critique, which was meant to “free” the long suffering artist-including the shoe maker-from the grip of ornamental overlords for whom they worked for low wages, inadvertently disadvantage them by denying him/her the opportunity to engage in major design campaigns and subject them to creating smaller-and less costly-works of art destined for private patrons who exhibit the work in their own and therefore less traveled domestic spaces? All the while the artist’s work is minimized in scale and significance, the architect continues to design major creations for which the multitudes can experience. Custom built Homes, public buildings, sky-scrapers, all are grander in scale since Ornament and Crime was first published-and later supported by minimalist architects such as Le Corbusier-whose villa Savoy is a perfect example of “white Zion walls”.

Joseph Rykwert (1975) addresses this unfortunate reality in his excellent essay Ornament is no Crime in which he outlines various attitudes regarding ornamentation throughout architectural history.  He concludes that ornament may “be seen not as a problem of ornament or not ornament, but as a problem of meaning.” (as reprinted in K. Smith, 2012, p. 41).  In other words, while Loos sees all ornament as politically charged and disadvantaging the artist, plenty examples exist for positive artist/architect collaborations as previously mentioned.

Since 1908, and or more reasons mentioned here art schools have increasingly moved away from the Beau Arts paradigm of teaching students to practice working with future clients to a more bohemian model of art for art sake, while architecture programs have adopted and embraced technology such as Auto-CAD, Revit and In-design. The differences is striking.

There are signs of a resurgence between the artist/architect relationship, however. One only need look at the collaboration between Herzog and De Meuron who worked with Chinese artist Ai Weiwei on the Bird’s Nest Olympic Stadium in Beijing as an example.

For now, the artist is reliant largely on the gallery owner and art consultant whose work is vital to connecting artists with architectural projects. One can only hope these important outlets can withstand the economic downturn apparent at the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century in support of artists who hope to collaborate on major building projects. The 21st century you ask? That’s right, over 100 years after Adolf Loos wrote Ornament and Crime.

My own example of a collaboration between my studio and the architecture firm of Smith and St. John. This is a painting I created of River Road, Topsfield, for the Topsfield Town Hall. Contact me if you would like to learn more about my commission experience with architects and designers.