This blog traces my influences, studio practice, learning, and teaching of art.

3rd. Year of Teaching High School Art

I was happy to make this poster / flyer to promote the Scholastic Art Awards at our school.  It means so much to the students.  They received 2 Gold Keys, 3 Silver Keys, and 2 Honorable Mentions.  Last year we were awarded only 1 Silver Key and 4 Honorable Mentions.

Boston Light

Painting over the Christmas break on a large version of Boston Light was fun.  
It feels so good to be painting in my new huge studio.

"Truth & Healing" oil, shaped linen 50" x 25"

I reworked a few details which had been bothering me:  the face, fist and the foot.  I painted three angel vase paintings: red, yellow, and blue.  This blue one depicts St. Michael whose attributes are truth and healing.  It is based on a painting by Guido Reni, from 1636.

"Boston Light" oil, shaped linen, 19" x 19"

I could not resist painting the light house which I see every clear day, far in the distance, from the shore.  This past summer I took a day trip out to the Boston Light and climbed up to the top. It is the only "maned" light house in the country.  A lady watches over it.  There are 3 light sources in the painting.  One from the light on the niche, one from the moon, and one from the light house.

Moon Painting

I am getting back to work in the new studio.  I shot the photo of the moon on a drive home from school one evening last year.  I have been looking at a post cards from the Prado: Zubaran's & Juan vander Hamen's still life paintings. 

New Dorm at Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Two of my graduating seniors, Angelica & Siobhan, have been accepted to Mass Art!  They will likely be staying here in the new dorm building.  Apparently the architects were inspired by a box of ocher conte crayons.  Angelica is going to be studying animation.  In the photo below, two of my junior art students display the awards they won from the American Automobile Association.  They won a prize for their animation about driving safety.

Scholastic Art Awards

The Boston Globe Scholastic Art And Writing Awards is an important event for art students and teachers all across the country.  In the Boston area alone, 9500 pieces of art work were entered by 1350 art teachers .  I am happy that we recieved 5 awards which is 2 more than last year.
Shirley printed 3 of these plexiglas drypoints and added watercolor.

Amy used color pencil on brown paper to create this Fauve style self portrait.

Rico excelled at composing this white pencil chiaroscuro self portrait.

Siobhan painted a striking cultural portrait of Ann using Indian motifs.

Chelsea won a Silver Key Award for her self portrait, "Countenance".


I painted this over Christmas.  There is something meditative about painting flowers: There is nothing to think about, just the joy of mixing up the right color and playing with illusion.

Restoration of My Public Art Project in Cleveland

The Corduroy Roads, one of six windscreen - benches at Settlers Landing
Sandblasted glass panel before paint application, (A. Winton & his wood body automobile in Cleveland, 1897.)

When the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority contacted me to repair some broken glass panels, I was delighted.  I was told that my public art project is very popular.  The bench - windscreens explore the history of transportation in the Cuyahoga Valley from prehistoric times to the present.  The line drawings I produced were originally photo sandblasted into 1/2" safety glass by Jerry Keller.  I sent the films, which I have in storage, back to Cleveland and Jerry sand blasted the three replacement panels. 

I used black enamel paint which was applied with a brush and squeegee.  The paint filled the sand blasted lines.  After drying overnight the glass panels were scraped with razor blades to remove the surface paint.  This process of inking and wiping is very similar to how an intaglio etching plate is prepared for printing.  

  Jerry has a gallery and studio, Keller Art Glass, in Cleveland's Little Italy.  The workshop has facilities for lots art production of experimentation.  His new idea for decorative glass guitars has been well recieved in galleries around the country.

  The finished panels were cleaned and then installed at the Settlers Landing Station in downtown Cleveland.  There are a few more panels to be restored.  I hope to be able to return to my home town this summer to complete the repairs.

Teaching and Remembering

I am lucky to be teaching at one of the best high schools. According to the Washing Post, High School Challenge 2011, Mystic Valley Regional Charter School is the 7 th. best in MA! According to Newsweek, MVRCS is the 4 th. best in MA and in the top 10% in the USA. The art room in Massachusetts actually reminds me of my old high school's art room back in Ohio. We used to refer to our art teacher as Mr. Roy G.B.I.V. Houston. The photo above is of me sculpting a coiled ceramic piece, 1969. The man in the background is Mr. Houston.

Studio Time

Moving to a new city and starting a full time teaching job has been a huge adjustment. During Spring break I was able to set up a studio. Many half finished paintings await. Summer will be a time for some full time painting.

High School, Scholastic Art Awards, Boston Globe

Derek's "Color Line Array" won a Silver Key Award; It explores prismatic variety using oblique parallel projection. He is applying to colleges with a focus in environmental architecture.
Raphael, a Freshman, chose an expressive color harmony for his "Fauve Self Portrait." Does it make reference to Smurfs and Krishna? No matter, it works because of his sensitive use of high chroma color and his careful control of values.
Anna's mixed media collage was inspired by Romare Bearden. As a Junior, International Baccalaureate Art Student, she is planning her own themes: "American Life" and "Women's Road Trip." She will be exploring a wide variety of two dimensional media including printmaking. (I recently found an old cast iron etching press on Craig's list.)

International Baccalaureate Visual Art Conference

I attended a four day conference to learn about IB Visual Art standards and evaluation practices. The International Baccalaureate is a wonderful organization whose mission is to promote intercultural understanding and respect, not as an alternative to national and cultural identity, but as an essential part of life in the 21 st. century. I teach 11th. & 12th. grade high school IB Art: Students experience the creative process as a practicing artist. Research, planning and independent studio production are part of this college level course.