Tagged: watercolor


In preparation for art dealer and distributor workshops I drew my friend and rep Doug as Wolverine using watercolor. During my presentations I invited attendees to come up and mess up my drawing which I then proceeded to repair. In time he started to appear as if he was in fact transitioning to Planet of The Apes. Albrecht Durer Watercolor Pencils in a Stillman and Birn Gamma Series sketchbook.


Staying close to home and watching the citizenry. Pat, one of the residents in my apartment compound watches a movie set up in the courtyard. I found her much more engaging than the flick.

And so, after forty years of watching others  build their chops with watercolor, I have decided this month that I am to take the plunge with the medium. Previously, I have used watercolor and gouache to tint and hand color prints and drawings.

i know several masters of the medium, Clive Powsey, Shari Blaukopf, and Ron Stocke, whose work will serve to inform and guide me with the additional benefit of keeping me humble.

Coffee Lab

The above watercolor, done while in a cafe with the added fun of a fidgety student, has some light guide lines but I also tried to just knock in shapes with a flat brush.

2 cops at Coralie image The woodcutter Daniel E F M image Bah Ha'i JPYC

The above watercolor of the parking lot and club house of the Jackson Park Yacht Club, was actually, my first, plein air watercolor in forty years. My color may have reflected somewhat, the washed out summer day in a parking lot with white, silver, and black cars, but felt muddy so I did a study after John Singer Sargent, the gourds below, to hopefully  amp up my hues and loosen up my brush work.Copy after JSSargent image

Above, I ventured to a rose garden in Evanston in the late afternoon, but failed to catch the brilliance of the light. Again, I tried to use minimal structural lines and worked as directly with the brushes as I could. All the other figures, save the blue shirted guy and the window counter, were executed with Pitt Artist Brush Pens.

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Some more captures from a street festival, a movie in Pulaski Park, this cluster was drawn from life with my standard gear.


We’re just not getting enough sleep. Folks are conkin’ out in public. On the trains, in bookstores, on benches, cafes, parks, libraries, malls, movie theaters. I’ll concede the narcotic at work could be a drab plot in a movie, not sufficient action packed gore, sex, or violence in the cinema, too much turkey for lunch, terminally long waits for partners to try on every shoe with a sole. Whatever the cause, they’re dropping like flies for 40 winks till pot holes, ushers, or asphyxia jars them back to the realm of the hustle.

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For the record, the drawings in this post were executed in several stocks of books, Rhodia, Stillman & Birn, Utrecht, Tomoe River Pad, Lakota, and various ledger books. Tools used included ballpoint, gel pens, various fountain pens, and Pitt Artist Pens of severa nib sizes, and some watercolor pencils.



Matt McGoff was an artist of real power and a devoted friend of mine. He left an assertive body of work that has been witnessed by too meager an audience. Wednesday, June 8th, would have been his 50th birthday. This post is dedicated to Matt, his art, and our friendship. A wisecrackin’ Irish kid from the working class Philadelphia suburb of Folcroft, Matt was, save a couple months in New Orleans, a life long resident of the City of Brotherly Love and an alumnus of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

He wasn’t at the Hussian School of Art long before a teacher there told him he was a natural painter and chased him off to PAFA. Oil painting was just in the boy’s bones. Bright, if not somewhat naive regarding the “fine arts,” motivated, a voracious reader, and a talented athlete whose principle craft heretofore had been baseball, The Academy suited Matt. The young artist flourished under the discipline and let’s just say the social environment suited the good looking young jock’s philandering ways.

This picture of youth is, I believe, from circa 1980. The pompadour would be gone in a bit over a decade.

Next to the image of our young friend is a painting of a dancer who was a principle model during the late 90’s and in whose father’s house I was a boarder for my last 18 months in Philly. To the right of her is a watercolor of the occasional male nude.

It wasn’t his style to dawdle over details. He attacked the basic structure with a brush or palette knife as evident in the unfinished female nude on the left, the slightly more developed painting of Kathy in the center, or a completed sketch from a 10-15 minute pose. Matt worked from life, at great expense over the years. Just ask any artist who plies their trade dependent on a hired subject. The landscapes are there, and the still lives, as harshly lit as the nudes, but it was the body of work with a model that he pursued when finances allowed.

As someone who still goes to life drawing on a regular basis, it’s an impetus to focus. Not that he was one to brood quietly working himself into a Sturm Und Drang sweat. He was a pretty lively guy and couldn’t harness his humor and need to interact for long. I drew alongside Matt on several occasions when I made one of many return trips to Philly. We ‘d head off to The Sketch Club or The Plastic Club on Camac Street or pop over to The Fleisher Art Memorial for open life sessions. He was pretty loose and jocular, knew a lot of the models and many of the artists present. He definitely worked fast, in ink, ballpoints and later gels, in old ledger books. A material preference he copped from me. There might be a period of time when he just sat there doodlin’ away; the noise coming from a pen that was being worked furiously by a heavy hand. He might crack a joke or bust your chops about something. And I most surely heard him humming some Celtic diddy when had his Blarney Stone on. But even when we were dorkin’ around and trading barbs he was focused. The ball field was long in his past, but a vibrant sense of competitiveness thrived in Matt’s marrow. We had mutual respect for each others’ abilities and gobs of self confidence so that when we went off to the drawing clubs, game was on. I’ve had some of my loosest moments, especially with the short poses, sittin’ next to ol’ Irish Eyes.

Below are drawings I did at some of those sessions. It is my hope that as friends of Matt’s send me scans of his that I can add them to this post. Including some drawn from the same poses I drew from.

I did this drawing of Matt in his studio one winter night in 2006, before we headed off to the Sketch Club. He was living in his studio at that time. Just a work space, no kitchen, no shower, virtually no heat. His much adored Boxer, Wilma, had passed away after 13 years, and Matt, no longer needing a home for his dog, cut his expenses and lived exclusively out of the studio.

Sorry, but I’ve had no end to technical problems posting these images and must now retire before I throw this fuckin’ computer thru the window. I’ll try and clean it up this week as I add more about Matt and more images. Thanks.

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