Category Archives: Oil Paintings

I use an indirect method of painting called the mixed technique. It is indirect (in contrast to all prima) because many layers are applied to create the finished product. I usually begin with a transposed drawing done in silverpoint and india ink, then develop an underpainting in egg tempera before applying the final layers in oil. The final layers are painted wet on wet, that is, oil paint painted into a very thin layer of fresh glaze medium.

Morning Light on the Verversdijk

Morning light on the Verversdijk. Created in the studio from an “en-plein-air” sketch. September 2019.

Mixed technique on board. 30 x 40 c.m. or 11 7/8 x 15 3/4 in.

Technical write up here:


Farm on the Damse Vaart

Recently I resuscitated a painting project from 2014. I was particularly pleased that I was able to convey in the studio something that I feel about landscape without needing to schlep everything out to the field to work en-plen-air. Don’t get me wrong. I love working en-plen-air but Belgium’s climate, my physical strength and the mixed technique all conspire against me, encouraging instead studio work. So this is/was the result. My apologies to those of you who are receiving this twice. I added the clouds and details in the foreground field. A big improvement.

Oil on board. 30 cm x 60 cm or 11.8 x 23.6 in.

The technical write up is here.

mixed media portrait of Anna

Anna – a Mixed Media Painting, May 2011

Back in the 1970’s after graduating from college, I did a series of “puzzle paintings”. My idea at the time was to explore the different media that can be used to create painted images. So I made three at the time, and was preparing to create a fourth, when my direction in life and art changed. So I packed up the little blocks that I had had cut, and moved out west.

I finally pulled them out of storage some 35 years later. I had already determined that, psychologically, this piecemeal approach to image creation seemed most successful when applied to human portraiture, So when my friend, Anna, became seriously and unexpectedly ill, my choice became clear. I was able to locate a photograph of her that I liked (secured permission from its owner to use it) and set to work. Oil, encaustic, collage and egg tempera on small individual panels. Each panel measures 9 x 12.7 cm or 3 1/2 x 5 inches. The assembled piece measures 44.5 x 63.5 cm or 17 1/2 x 25 inches. May 2011.

the inside out, the Predijkherrenrei

the Predijkherrenrei, inside-out – Oil, July 2010

Ever since my early experiments in painting, I have gravitated to painting on panels. Canvas is OK, but I just love the tactile quality of chalk gesso on panel. So I’ve always fully gessoed my panels on both sides – which is in fact how the flemish primitive painters did it too. And indeed it’s always seemed a shame to me to ignore that reverse side. (Sometimes in museums, you’ll see the back side of a painting done with a trompe l’oeil effect to depict a textured surface like, wood or marble.)

When I discovered (in 2009) how well a turtle shell trompe l’oeil effect had worked on a wide frame for a detailed cityscape I had painted, I decided to bring the abstract effect directly into the painting. So I commissioned a local carpenter to build me a wooden panel with a rotating inner core. I gessoed both sides and set to work. This is the result. It’s not really a painting to hang from a wall, since the back sides also participates. But who ever said art should be functional?

the outside-in, back side to the inside-out

back side of the Inside-out view of the Predijkherrenrei painting.

the Predijkherrenrei

The front side of the Predijkherrenrei cityscape in Bruges Belgium

The Predijkherrenrei back

The back side of the Predijkherrenrei landscape painting.

Two sided oil on panel with rotating inner core. Based on a value study. July 2010. 44 x 59 cm or 17 1/4 x 23 1/4 inches. You can read about the work-up of this piece here.