Friday, April 28, 2006

Current Shows of my paintings

My paintings can be seen at Coho Cafe (at Bluefin Bay), The Pie Place, Great Northern Gallery, Angry Trout Cafe, and The Betsy Bowen Gallery.

The work at Coho is mostly abstract in acrylic and watercolor. Almost all of my paintings at The Pie Place are white pines in acrylic and watercolor. Great Northern Gallery has a variety of paintings in a variety of mediums. My work at the Angry Trout is bright abstracts on wood featuring mostly otters and fish. My work at the Betsy Bowen Gallery is acrylic "word paintings." Please feel free to email me or comment to this post for more information.

The Sacred Remains

I bought a used book called THE SACRED REMAINS, about the myths, history and politics of Palau. The title really intrigued me, and inspired this painting. The fish skeleton is not only indicative of Palau, but also of our home here on Lake Superior. You may notice the bones of a human hand in the upper left corner, and also the spine of a large four legged animal along the bottom of the painting. This is the first of a few paintings I have in mind that are inspired by the book.

Now that I see this painting in my blog, I notice how similar it is to the ice picture just below it. That recurring shape of a fish skull that has surfaced from time to time in my images.

Monday, April 24, 2006


When the ice is ready to go out, it sort of honeycombs. I was at Devil Track Lake the other day and shot this photo of ice just along the shore. It's a sure sign of spring. And not a moment too soon.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

My Truck

This post will not be about art. Oh well.

I loaded my bikes into my truck and took them down to the Holiday station to fill the tires today. When we got home, Madeline snapped this picture of me. Great to be outside, great to have the bikes out again. That's all.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Nice Rainbows

I just did this painting of rainbow trout...

For some reason, I like 3 of things. I like to hear three voices singing together... and visually, I like three. Look at the otter painting below. Three otters. Three fish swimming amongst them. Maybe this painting today is the close up of those three fish. In which case, Susan, you can see how fat these fish are. There is plenty for the otters to eat. Thank you for your comments.

Beautiful spring day. But allergies are kicking in. I'm fighting them off.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

3 Otters

Two posts down, there is a detail of this painting. My daughter Madeline told me she thought this one was "too empty."

Another Otter

Some people say I'm an otter. Hmmm.


People like to watch the otters play in the Grand Marais harbor. I've always liked otters... goes back to another childhood dream of mine.

Thursday, April 13, 2006


Today was a beautiful day. I went up the Gunflint Trail to perform a wedding, and I had a feeling this one was going to be special. Cryptic changes to the ceremony told me there was more to the story, and I couldn't wait to hear a little more. Well. What a blessing the day was. I'm posting a photo I took of the happy bride and groom. I got choked up several times during our pre wedding conversation, and again during the ceremony itself. As the groom said, I was meant to be there today. The three of us were definitely meant to be together today.

Justine and David, I wish you many many years of happiness together, and again, I feel so honored to have been a part of your special day.


Improvisation applies just as easily to music, to art and to acting. Underneath it all, it applies to life. Every day we put on our costume and prepare in our own way to enter the stage of life. The scenes we are presented with can not be predetermined or scripted. Every conversation is improvised. We respond to what we are offered, and offer things for others to respond to. Sometimes they are met with applause, sometimes with jeers. Sometimes we get flowers.

So this is another of my word paintings. Usually, I paint the word in black, and improvise the colors around and in it. This time, I began with the word "jazz" in pahlo red.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Kennel Club Revisited

Back in January or February, I did a painting called "Kennel Club" which I posted to my blog. It was just a watercolor sheet full of all kinds of dogs. Now I have reason to revisit that painting, and show you a detail that didn't make it to my blog the first time. Though I didn't know of him at the time, we'll just pretend that this dog is Klaus. It's funny too... that little ball in front of him looks a little like Klaus' baby.

Friday, April 07, 2006


Sometimes I like to do word paintings. I paint a word, in this case, in black paint. Then I abstract the painting, or "Young" it, as my friend Pam likes to say. In this painting, you may be able to spot the word "family" hidden amongst the colors. I come from a rainbow family. I went to high school in Liberia and Nigeria. My four sisters-in-law are all from different countries... USA, Kenya, Australia and Belize... And my daughter is Palauan. I guess any family that has me in it would be a rainbow family anyway.

Can you find the words in the following two posts?


One of my favorite words. That's all.


Last weekend, a friend taught me about trust. You can say "trust me" all you like, but there comes a time when trust is proven. That is a great feeling.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

at the Coho

Coho Cafe

This morning I hung my new paintings at the Coho CafĂ©. There are 30 paintings, and all but two are abstracts. Sometimes people say things to the effect of “my six year old could do that” because an abstract painting doesn’t necessarily give them a representational form to hook onto. For me, I tend to see African colors and designs coming to the surface in a lot of my work. One of my new abstracts called “Smell No Taste” reminds me of a Liberian village near the airport. During WWII, American planes were landing there, and a fence was put up to secure the area. The neighboring villagers, who were subsistence farmers, would gather at the fence to smell the food, but could not taste it. The village became known as "Smell No Taste." To me, it speaks of the time I lived there as a missionary kid, and how we had so much compared to the local residents. I didn’t see it at the time, but now it makes me sad. We put ourselves on a plane above them, and it embarrasses me now.

If you give me the opportunity, I could tell you stories about every one of my paintings. They are not just random brushstrokes. Many times, viewers tell me what they see in my work, and I love that.

This summer I will have a booth at the Grand Marais Arts Festival for the first time. I am excited about it. That will be what I work on next, I guess! I work best with a deadline anyway. Arts Festival starts July 8th. I hope to see you there!