Work Available at Michael LaConte Gallery

Three Goddesses, oil on linen, 40cm x 60cm

I have a variety of works available at the Michael LaConte Gallery via 1st Dibs.  There are drawings, paintings and sculptures.  Please follow the link here to see more.  Both above and below are a selection of the pieces.

Boreas, oil on linen, 70cm x 110cm
Lisanthus and Holly, oil on linen, 40cm x 60cm


A Dream Incarnate: Italian Landscapes and Portraits


This summer I will be having a show of my Italian landscapes and portraits. Kindy hosted by the Oak Park Public Library it will be up for the month of July.  Entitled The Dream Incarnate, the work represents my experience in Italy through a visual interpretation of the places and people that have inspired me.  It opens Saturday, July 8th.

For more information about the show please follow the link here.

Below is a selection from the works that will be represented.


Sacred Art Show in Livorno

Wanderer pastel
Saint John the Baptist, pastel on paper mounted on linen, 50cm x70cm

A couple of my paintings will be participating in the upcoming show “The Rebirth of Figurative Sacred Art” that will run from Sept. 7th until the 10th. at the Old Fortress in Livorno, Italy.

My pastel of Saint John the Baptist and oil of San Francesco da Paola will be exhibited.  Entrance is free and the show is part of the Miss Arte Moda Italia program.

San Francesco da Paola, oil on linen, 40cm x 55cm

A Sight Size Head Study for Affresco

Il Risorto (The Ressurected Christ), pastel on paper, 50cm x 70cm
Il Risorto (The Resurrected Christ), pastel on paper, 50cm x 70cm

I am currently developing a couple of affresco projects for churches in Matera, Italy.  A lot of preparation is required: compositions sketches, presentation drawings, studies, cartoons etc; before the actually painting can begin.  Studies made from life are important not only for working out ideas but for creating the references that are used to complete the painting.

My pastels
My pastels

My medium of choice is pastel.  I make my own sticks using the same earth pigments that will be used in the affresco.  For the head study of Il Risorto that is shown above, I  used the sight size method.  An approach used by portrait painters for centuries, it is perfectly suited for head studies.

Model with study with a sight size set up.  There is a slight distortion from the camera.
Model with study with a sight size set up. There is a slight distortion from the camera.

Essentially a practical application of one point perspective, sight size is based upon the relationship of viewing point, model and picture plane.  Instead of looking through the ‘veil’ the picture plane is the canvas placed along side of the model.  The least amount of distortions and errors occur when the model and the picture plane are the same scale, thus the natural power of this method for life size portraiture.  However, for my project the head of Christ is to be over life size. To achieve the correct scale I placed my board roughly a meter behind the model.

Easel placement seen from the side
Easel placement seen from the side

In designing large, in situ wall decoration a lot of different factors come into play.  Compostion, visual corrections and varying viewing points all must be considered and orchestrated to create a successful painting.  Sight size, when used intelligently, is a fundamental and necessary tool for not only shapes and proportion but giving work the power of impact at a distance.

To learn more about my pastel approach there is a post here.  For an example of the affresco technique there is another post here.

A Mention in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette

The Monk, 50cm x 70cm, pastel on paper mounted on linen.
The Monk, 50cm x 70cm, pastel on paper mounted on linen.

In a previous post I spoke about the painting above participating in the 5th Nationwide Catholic Art Exhibtion at the St. Vincent Gallery in Latrobe, PA.  The Art Critic for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette, Mary Thomas, also wrote a wonderful review of the show where my picture was discussed as well.  The link to the article can be found here.

The 5th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition

The Monk, 50cm x 70cm, pastel on paper mounted on linen.
The Monk, 50cm x 70cm, pastel on paper mounted on linen.

The 5th Nationwide Juried Catholic Arts Exhibition hosted by the St. Vincent Gallery at the St. Vincent College in Latrobe, PA opens today.  My painting pictured above ‘The Monk’ was selected to participate.  Sad news unfortunately accompanies this wonderful event.  Brother Nathan Cochran unexpectedly passed away this July.  He was the visionary and driving force behind the St. Vincent Gallery and this Exhibition.

Hopefully we can all learn from his positive attitude and carry forward his dream of reviving Catholic art.  To learn more about the exhibition the link can be found here.

Cecil Open Studios

If you happen to be Florence, Italy this weekend, Charles Cecil Studios is having an open house.  You can find more information here.  Work will be shown and there will be a demonstration of the sight-size technique.  A couple of my more modest works will be on display as well.  Images of them are shown below.

The Young Architect, oil on linen, 50cm x 70cm
The Wanderer, pastel on paper mounted on board, 50cm x 70cm

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