is a curmudgeon, and I mean that in a good way. He’s a modern realist painter who does mostly paintings of women and girls, some nude, some not. I like some of his stuff and find some of it rather saccharine, but then he’s a selling artist and I’m currently just a wannabe.
At his web site, he has a number of essays that express strong, independent opinions about art and culture. He writes well and with great conviction. I certainly don’t agree with everything he says, but I find it very worthwhile to check his site from time to time and see if he’s written anything new. What he writes is almost always worth reading and thinking about. He recently posted a short essay on his painting materials and techniques. He’s a traditionalist and—not surprisingly—he’s cranky about how most other artists are lazy with choosing their methods and materials. He paints on linen and primes it himself with lead white. He uses mostly an earth palette and believes strongly that those are the colors that can best be used to represent flesh (I often use earths for flesh tones also). He uses a home made dammar final varnish.
Many buyers have said that my paintings have the same sort of paint that old paintings seem to have, whereas contemporary paintings, even when they are very good, don’t. There is a very simple reason for that. I work differently than most modern painters, and that difference starts with my canvas. In my opinion almost all modern materials are garbage, pure and simple. They were created for speed and convenience and price and safety, not for quality. Most professional artists know this and will admit it, and yet most professional artists, even at the top of the field, use inferior pre-stretched canvases.
While I agree with much of what he says, I do have a couple of quibbles. I, too, like to prime with lead, but he uses a lead white paint (Old Holland cremnitz white). I’d recommend an actual lead white primer (he may not be aware that those exist on the market), such as Studio Product’s excellent white lead in black oil primer or Williamsburg’s lead oil ground. He also confuses organic and inorganic pigments. Earth pigments are not organic; they’re rocks and dirt. Many modern pigments, such as pthalocyanines, are classed as organic, since they are based on various carbon molecules. He does correctly label the cadmium colors he despises as inorganics. But the gist is clear: he prefers an old master palette (even if he doesn’t know how to describe it technically) from before the explosion of modern pigment manufacture in the 1800’s. Specifically, he says he likes Titian’s palette, although he doesn’t say exactly what he means by that. Titian used colors like azurite and lead tin yellow that are pretty hard to find these days (but not impossible). If you like writing that is passionate and interesting, take a look at his site.