Archive for the ‘ photography ’ Category

Mixed Media Work

For a commission I am doing, I will be printing a photo on canvas and then painting over it. To give myself a little practice working this way, I took a while mess of photos from my personal collection, printed them out, mounted them on cardboard, and went at them with paint, maker graphite and whatever else was around.  I have always kept a camera or too around. I have a massive library of photos. The oldest picture that appears here was taken summer of 2001. The most recent photo was taken yesterday.

(These are a hand-made item, as such, dimensions may not be uniform)


New Mixed Media work. Aside her art and her family, my mother was also devoted to keeping a number of lovely flower gardens around my father’s home. She kept a meticulous bed of tulips near the swing set I played on as a child in the back yard.

Each year, I look forward to Tulip Fest, here in Albany, NY, and on mother’s day, I go and photograph the beautiful gardens of tulips. For me it is a way to recall memories of my mother and the gardens she took so much pride in.


All: Tulips, Washington Park, Albany, NY, 2019, digital photo and mixed media 4″ x 6″ $65 framed.


Did another set of Mixed Media Work (photographs and mixed media on paper).

Some of these are larger, the smaller ones are still $40. (Priced as marked). 4″ by 6″ prints of any of these are $10.

Crow Skull, photo and Mixed Media, 9″ x 13″, original $85, prints $15.



Added a few more to the series.


Livingston Ave train trestle, photo and mixed media on paper, $40.



Residential building, Arbor Hill Albany, NY. Photo and mixed media $40



Facade, former police precinct, Albany, NY. Photo and mixed media. $40


Central Warehouse, Albany, NY. photo and mixed media $40.


Stone farm house, Delmar, NY. Photo and mixed media. [sold, available as a print]


Trinity Church, Albany, NY (demolished). photo and mixed media, $40.



Park South, Albany New York, (demolished) 45mm photo and mixed media 8″ x 14″ (SOLD prints still available).



Tulips, Washington Park, Albany, NY, 35mm photograph and mixed media. $90.



Sainatos Market, Albany NY, 35mm photograph and mixed media. $90.



Capital Building and Construction Cranes, Albany NY, 35mm photo (expired film) and mixed media, (SOLD Prints still available).


Exposed Root, Washington Park, Albany, NY. 35mm photo and mixed media $40.

These pieces are $40 each ($60 for custom framing). Pay-pal and shipping available. Inquire by e-mail @

New: these pieces are also available as 4″ x 6″ prints for $10, (shipping included).


Photo prints (digital photo of the originals) $10



Added four new mixed media work (35mm photo prints, mixed media on cardboard):


Abandoned House, Madison Ave, Albany, NY, [sold, available as a print]


Washington Park Lake, Albany, NY.


Double Exposure, Fayette, MI. 2000.


Madison Ave, Albany, NY (Mobile sign).




Still life, garlic peel, chef’s knife and rice noodles.


Still life 2, garlic peel, chef’s knife and rice noodles.



Central Ave, Albany NY. (SOLD. available as a print)




Nipper, Albany NY (SOLD, Prints still available)



Sheridan Hollow (demolished) Albany NY.



Self Portrait, the artist 2018.



Self Portrait, the artist 2004 (SOLD, available as a print)



Angel, Albany Rural Cemetery


Lake Michigan, 35mm photo damaged negative, 2001.


Interior, Wellington Hotel (demolished)



Missed Call, Albany NY.



Apartment Building, Albany NY (demolished)



Warehouse, demolished, Albany NY



Wreaked SUV, Albany NY



Self portrait 2, the artist 2004. (SOLD, prints still available).



Jesus Saves, Albany City Mission, Albany NY (SOLD, prints still available).



Apartment Building 2, Albany NY (demolished)



Manhattan, NYC



Violin with hand drum.



Violin 2. [SOLD, available as a print]


Empire State Plaza, Albany NY.



Empire State Plaza 2, Albany NY.



Exhuman, Hive. May 1st, 2015 in Albany, NY at The Fuze Box

Photos from Exhuman’s recent event, Hive. Photos by Robert B. Eaton/Eleven Images, please attribute. Taken with Canon Powershot digital camera and edited in iPhoto. IMG_0140 IMG_0141 IMG_0142 IMG_0150 IMG_0151 IMG_0153 IMG_0154 IMG_0155 IMG_0156 IMG_0157 IMG_0158 IMG_0159 IMG_0160 IMG_0161 IMG_0162 IMG_0163 IMG_0164 IMG_0165 IMG_0166 IMG_0168 IMG_0169 IMG_0170 IMG_0172 IMG_0174 IMG_0175 IMG_0177 IMG_0179 IMG_0184 IMG_0185 IMG_0186 IMG_0187 IMG_0188 IMG_0191 IMG_0192 IMG_0193 IMG_0195 IMG_0196 IMG_0197 IMG_0198 IMG_0201 IMG_0203 IMG_0204 IMG_0205 IMG_0208 IMG_0210 IMG_0217 IMG_0219 IMG_0220 IMG_0221 IMG_0223 IMG_0224 IMG_0225 IMG_0228 IMG_0229 IMG_0230 IMG_0231 IMG_0234 IMG_0235 IMG_0236 IMG_0237 IMG_0238 IMG_0239 IMG_0240 IMG_0246 IMG_0247 IMG_0248 IMG_0250 IMG_0251 IMG_0255 IMG_0262 IMG_0264 IMG_0265 IMG_0276 IMG_0277 IMG_0280 IMG_0282 IMG_0284 IMG_0285 IMG_0286 IMG_0288 IMG_0289 IMG_0290 IMG_0291 IMG_0292 IMG_0293 IMG_0294 IMG_0295 IMG_0297 IMG_0298 IMG_0299 IMG_0301 IMG_0303 IMG_0304Exhuman occurs the First Friday of the month in Albany, NY, at The Fuze Box.

Goings on With the Class: Visiting the Rockland Living Museum

First of all, many thanks to Julie at OMH for making this possible, by letting me hitch a ride. Secondly, thanks to Chris Randolph of the Rockland Living Museum for being so generous with her time.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

A sculpture made of found objects, it works as a wind chime. At the Rockland Living Museum

I didn’t teach my usual class today. I actually spent the day riding down to Rockland Psychiatric Center to view that hospital complex. Mostly, I am looking to see the Rockland Living Museum. The Living Museum at Creedmore has long been the act to follow in what I do. It’s my goal at CDPC to create a peer-run art therapy program that makes meaningful changes in the lives of the students in my classroom. Through a conversation with my contact for the Art on 8 gallery shows, I learned she makes frequent trips to Rockland Psychiatric Center. There’s a counterpart to Creedmore’s Living Museum there. So, at 8:30am this morning I was standing around the OMH Central Office on Holland Avenue, to catch a ride to Rockland Psychiatric Center.

My goal here was a simple one: to see what people at larger, long-running art therapy programs were doing and learn from that. Compared to CDPC which has a capacity of about 136 people in a single building, Rockland has a sprawling campus of buildings (many of which are abandoned). Post-deinstitutionalization, Rockland is a much smaller operation than when its reputation was much grimmer. I had heard about Rockland because of an innovative art program. A little searching around the web reveals the hospital was once considered a pretty bleak and hopeless place by many locals (its location is about 17 miles north of Manhattan). As I’m researching this blog about the history of Rockland, I quickly loose interest in the more salacious bits of its history. Grim suggestions of an overwrought staff and abused and neglected population dominates a lot of commentary from those who knew it or lived or worked there. I’m not looking for horror stories, not now, though I may read up on that later.

Lately, I am in the business of looking for answers to help even the sickest of Albany’s psychiatric patients recover and reintegrate into the community as much as possible. What I do, I do to get people well and empowering them to keep it that way. I have to believe people do recover and stay well, because I need to believe it for myself. Before I taught an art class at CDPC (as I remind the students in my classroom) I sat in the same chairs they are sitting in. Art therapies are a way to bring people out, and help them recover from severe and persistent mental illness. That’s what brings me to meet Chris Randolph today.

Chris Randolf is an art therapist. Her professional profile on a popular web site shows she once worked at a private facility in the same upstate New York county I was raised in, near a hospital where I was sometimes hospitalized, all in the city where I lived in a group home for 9 months. She’s the director of Rockland’s Living Museum, and over the phone she agrees to meet with me when I describe myself as the teacher of a peer-run art class. She does this a day before my arrival. She is even unfazed when my ride calls and asks her to meet me a couple hours ahead of when the Living Museum opens.

This serves as an outdoor sign for the Living Museum, part of a sculpture garden patients are rebuilding after it was damaged by a severe storm.

This serves as an outdoor sign for the Living Museum, part of a sculpture garden patients are rebuilding after it was damaged by a severe storm.

It’s far too warm for a day in October. I tend to be extraordinarily anxious in longer car rides. Mercifully, I get a stop at the rest stop mid-way. Lately especially, whenever I am in situations I can’t get up and move around I get stressed out. Nonetheless, since we arrive early, I am offered a breif tour of the whole facility before we park to sign in at the modern main building.

The main, modern building at Rockland, I find, reminds me in an unpleasant way of a building at Pilgrim State Hospital. This isn't the best picture to show that, but the similarity is there, and the psychological effect of the imposing building is the same.

The main, modern building at Rockland, I find, reminds me in an unpleasant way of a building at Pilgrim State Hospital. This isn’t the best picture to show that, but the similarity is there, and the psychological effect of the imposing building is the same.

Much of Rockland’s Campus is a series of ivy-covered, abandoned buildings. I am treated to the site of decaying structures bedecked in color, thanks to turning leaves. Here is one of those images, but I am intending most of that for another blog.

The buildings in the abandoned portions of Rockland's campus are still accessible. A walking path on the campus goes right along them.

The buildings in the abandoned portions of Rockland’s campus are still accessible. A walking path on the campus goes right along them.

My traveling companions sign in, and in a few minutes, Chris is on her way to pick me up to bring me across campus to Building 19, where the Living Museum anchors a large room of one side of the Recovery Center. We park in a small lot at the back, and Chris begins to show me the work that takes up her day from 1-4, when the Living Museum is open. She has the help of art therapy interns to work directly with the patients. Still, she seems to have a small anecdote for nearly every object outside. Aftr seeing the garden, we get into the actual studio in which the museum’s art is created, by residents of the hospital (many of whom are beginning to transition out of inpatient care).

The Living Museum has several areas which allow patients to work, and relax, listen to music or enjoy a cup of hot tea. Art by patients decorate the room throughout.

The Living Museum has several areas which allow patients to work, and relax, listen to music or enjoy a cup of hot tea. Art by patients decorates the room throughout.

The Rockland Living Museum was developed based on the pioneering Living Museum at Creedmore Hospital in Queens, NYC. The emphasis is on a peer-run program which uses art therapy to empower patients and assist recovery from mental illness. Under the direction of Dr. Janos Marton, a 2002 New York Times profile described the mission of the Living Museum as being a place of “refuge” where “over 800 men and women shed their identities as psychiatric patients and bloomed as artists.”

Patients simply come into the Living Museum space, and without lessons, or direction, they make art. That art has been widely exhibited. It is a series of paintings by patients at the Rockland Museum that piques my interest. At the Art on 8 exhibit (which I have my own work in, as do many of my CDPC students) a conversation about the work in the show from the Rockland Living Museum results in a plan for me to visit Rockland.

My own program is a nascent one. I have only just begun working in the hospital in April. I hear many complimentary statement from students. My class is something they look forward to all day and all week. I know I can make it more meaningful and powerful for my students. I know my story is compelling to them. I was sick on and off a long time. I got hospitalized, voluntarily or involuntarily, a lot. Now, I live in my own apartment and pay my bills. I haven’t needed a hospitalization in 4 years. I know it probably seems to my students that I know something they don’t. If there’s any truth to that at all, the thing I know is this: I need all of them as much as they need me.

That I am teaching again is important to me. Also, it matters that I am teaching people with whom I share a common struggle with chronic mental illness. Its my personal belief is that mentally ill people need to create a community of mutual support for each other. That’s why I do peer mentoring. I teach art because creating art has always been a large part of my own recovery and healing from mental illness. We as a community of psychiatric survivors, –we need to do it for ourselves.

Tables allow patients to work together, although some patents choose to work at stations around the room that are solitary. Great care seems to be taken to meet patient's needs and allow them to indulge their preferences.

Tables allow patients to work together, although some patents choose to work at stations around the room that are solitary. Great care seems to be taken to meet patient’s needs and allow them to indulge their preferences.

The underlying purpose of the Living Museum is to place art therapy, not as peripheral to people’s recovery, rather creative expression is vital to real and lasting recovery from mental illness. Art groups shouldn’t be in psychiatric hospitals to keep the mentally ill busy. The purpose of art therapy is to make people well. I believe this, of course, because it matches with my own experience. The historical connection between creativity and “madness” is long and widely studied. I’m a working visual artist, as well as a teacher. I know I do much better when I make creativity and expression my purpose.

Art adorns the whole room, and even the rafters. Many objects that become works of art are donated, including tables and chairs which are turned to objects of art. Chris states her goal is to get rid of all the furniture she feels is "institutional" in nature.

Art adorns the whole room, and even the rafters. Many objects that become works of art are donated, including tables and chairs which are turned to objects of art. Chris states her goal is to get rid of all the furniture she feels is “institutional” in nature.

After Chris picks me up at Rockland’s central building, I launch on a whirlwind tour of the Rockland Living Museum. We start with its garden. Chris explains that she has about a half-hour before some other responsibility she must attend to. In a short time I have seen a lot of things which inspire me, and leave me with a great number of ideas for my own work at CDPC. I also see the enormity of the task I’m trying to undertake.

Nearly every patient who takes part in the Living Museum contributes in some way to the beauty or the tending of this garden.

Nearly every patient who takes part in the Living Museum contributes in some way to the beauty or the tending of this garden.

The garden grows flowers, or herbs and vegetables intended for use in the food at the Big Rock Café. The cafe is a locus of food and conversation for many patients, and its walls also serve to exhibit work done by patients in the Living Museum.

In the Living Museum’s garden, some patients have taken plastic bottles and fashioned them as flowers decorated in vivid colors. Some patients have decorated the ground with painted stone tiles. Another has made small seats for rest or contemplation. Still others simply tend the garden and their contribution is watering the plants and weeding. It strikes me that Chris not only knows each person and their contribution to the garden, but she seems to have found a way to match each person to a way their skills and limitations still allow them to take a meaningful part.

For those of us in the peer/consumer movement, this is what’s known as a “strengths based approach.” The medical model of treatment focused on the deficits of a ill person. Medical professionals list symptoms, and address limitations. Throughout my time in the Rockland Living Museum, the focus remains on building and fostering the skills and abilities of people in treatment. Participants in the Living Museum direct their own projects. They choose their creative medium based on their already presents skills and interests. One man, Tommy, does most of the building in wood, a large section of the room is a dedicated space where he builds benches, chairs, stools and many other projects.

Tommy, who works in wood, has a dedicated space for his projects.

Tommy, who works in wood, has a dedicated space for his projects.

Most of the spaces for the museum’s artists are individual. The space is adapted to the artist and their interests and personalities. Some artists work is crafts or jewelry. The work is self directed, and flexible. Spaces have shelves of donated books, and a small radio for listening to music.

Other artist spaces include easels, shelves of books that are donated, even a handmade coat rack on which some artists have turned old canvases into lovely and unique purses.

Other artist spaces include easels, shelves of books that are donated, even a handmade coat rack on which some artists have turned old canvases into lovely and unique purses.

A lesson in resilience: a severe storm recently damaged an outdoor sculpture garden --composed mostly of driftwood. Patients are beginning to stack the wood, and rebuild the sculptures.

A lesson in resilience: a severe storm recently damaged an outdoor sculpture garden –composed mostly of driftwood. Patients are beginning to stack the wood, and rebuild the sculptures.

In the Living Museum, Chis leads me around from one project to another. Since the space is not yet open and no artists are present, she patiently answers all my questions about her work as director. She relates how the Living Museum started. At the beginning it was just her. Chris gives me many thoughtful recommendations for my own program. Much of the supplies, furniture and other projects are donated items, or carefully gleaned from sites like Craigslist and other free resources. The Living Museum is staffed, in part, by partnering with educational institutions nearby. But primarily, Chris stresses the need to create a program which eschews the traditional therapeutic model. Instead, she insists on a program which empowers patient autonomy and choice. This maxim underlies the program here.

This is of course, something I want for my own program. Changing a deeply entrenched institutional culture is a large task.

After I have seen the actual Living Museum itself, I briefly tour the larger Recovery Center –which constitutes the rest of Building 19. I see spaces that host group therapy, vocational training, computer access, music and performance space, and display space for some of the patient created wares from the Living Museum. I’m given an overview of the other programs. There is an all-day roster of groups available to patients (patients choose their own groups, and participate in creating new groups). I meet both hospital residents and peer mentors like myself. Chris eventually has a supervision to attend to, and I go to the café for lunch.

It’s in the café that The Recovery Center feels institutional to me for the first time. Though the food is fine, and the space is well decorated with the Living Museum’s art, several people mill about the cafe or in front of it in an idle and purposeless way. A couple of the cafés patrons approach me either wanting my coffee, or cigarettes. I talk to a couple of people there, and eventually leave to photograph the wooded, picturesque grounds. Much of the hospital’s campus is abandoned and overgrown. It makes a beautiful subject for my camera, since photographing abandoned buildings is a longstanding hobby of mine.

While I am walking the grounds, seeing all the wrecked former hospital buildings, it seems the hospital campus was abandoned in stages. Nearer the road, buildings are lost almost entirely in overgrowth, and as one gets closer to the center of campus and its modern buildings some of the older buildings are being returned to use. I am not sure, but it is likely that building 19 itself, where the Living Museum is housed, began the renaissance of the older buildings being renovated. It’s speculation on my part, but meaningful speculation.

That I was pestered for cigarettes, money, and coffee in the café reminds me that the needs of the mentally ill are great. People whose needs are being met aren’t listlessly sitting about looking for an opportunity to solicit something they don’t have or have enough of. Back at home, (my work at CDPC) there are a great number of people that need to be meaningfully engaged in addressing their own needs. Those needs may be educational, vocational, or –pertinently– creative expression.

There’s a lot of work to do.


Lesson: Sketching From Cabinet Photos

Among my favorite subject matter for sketching over the past several years have been cabinet photos. Cabinet photos were a late 19th century print-making process. Photographers took the photos –generally in their shops and they were often used to advertise for the photographer. These photos satisfied the fascination of Victorian era people with access to an emerging technology –photography. The cabinet photo was extraordinarily popular until about the turn of the twentieth century. There are an abundance of them, and they can generally be bought for only a few dollars per photo.

For a couple of years now, I have been buying cabinet photos from The White Whale, an antique shop in Hudson, NY, each time I have vacationed there. The cabinet photos make for arresting portraiture studies to me for several reasons. First, photography was still expensive and most cameras were only in the hands of professional photographers. This means that most cabinet photos are of regular people, dressed in their best clothes, who must have traveled “into town,” to have their portrait taken. The cards I have bought are often of young women, dressed in probably what is their best dress. So, drawing ordinary people of modest means has a certain appeal.

The second consideration is more of a technical one. Photography was still a technology in its infancy. Long exposures and the process of print-making often did not produce as crisp an image as what we are used to today. In the image I am using, taken by photographer F. C. Flint, of Syracuse, NY, the skin-tones of the woman photographed are pretty uniformly the white of the paper, as are most of the woman’s intricate lace dress. There’s little to go on to draw the normal contours and shadows of the woman’s face, except for some shadow around the eyes and under the woman’s chin. For the way I tend to sketch portraiture, the lack of detail forces you to develop those details yourself, and intuitively. You have to learn to fill in the missing information with a good intuitive sense of anatomy and texture.

Cabinet photo by F.C. Flint, pencil on paper.

Cabinet photo by F.C. Flint, pencil on paper.

A second cabinet photo, this time the image is based on a photo from Farrand & Neale, 18th and 6th Ave, NYC.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

The face in the photo is placid. For whatever reason she seems anxious and terrified as I draw her. A reflection of my own state, perhaps. Nonetheless, thank you for viewing.

Also, below the woman’s face, her shoulders and chest begin to disappear in shadow. It’s a challenge to draw with a fair deal of detail from the image, and another challenge to replicate (in pencil) the vanishing light around the edges of the image in Victorian era photography.

Couple, cabinet photo, marked: Chamberlin, Norwich, NY.

Couple, cabinet photo, marked: Chamberlin, Norwich, NY.

This new drawing I found interesting to do, because of the elaborate clothing and the amount of detail in the photo. The image I am working from (the actual photo print) is very small, about 2 and 1/4″ by 4″. This particular photo is much smaller than most of the cabinet photos in my collection, although the others vary as well, in size and shape.

Since I am gearing up to do a portrait on commission, I broke out the pencils today (a new set, sent to me by my kind sister Jennifer) to practice my hand at sketching –something I will very likely be working on a lot in coming days. Again, from one of the cabinet photos my partner and I have collected, this one marked: “DeWitt”

He’s a relatively severe looking, aged gentleman, but I came to like him while I was drawing him and his substantial beard.

Drawing from cabinet photo, bearded gentleman, marked "DeWitt"

Drawing from cabinet photo, bearded gentleman, marked “DeWitt”

Cabinet photos can generally be found in antique shops locally, and can also be found online. They make a very interesting subject, in my mind for practicing portraiture.

My Current Favorite Tree. My Pet Tree

I’ve always had a great fondness for trees. There was a plot of land behind my father’s house that was more or less my playground as a kid. It was a woods was filled with stately old trees. That plot of land (much to my father’s chagrin) sold and now has a house built on it. Still, a fondness for trees, and especially urban trees that live out their lives more or less paying little attention to what humans are doing below them, endured. The landlord has told me that the house I’m living in was built in 1910. It’s reasonable that the tree has stood about as long as the house has, and was part of the original landscaping of the lot. There is a large stump in the middle of the back yard, –a sister tree that must have been a match for size of its brother that is still standing. I am not one for new-agey/spiritual beliefs, but I do find the presence of a venerable old tree in my backyard to be calming. Frequently when I am at home I can be found perched under it.

I am often noted to be a sort of whimsical human. I do talk to trees, –who in turn don’t say anything, but simply listen.

This spring, when the weather changed, I took a series of photos of my pet tree as it began to leaf out. The photos were taken with an Olympus OM-1 35 mm camera, and Fuji 400 film.

I hadn’t intended these for sale, it was more a project of selfishly documenting something meaningful to me. Still, if someone made an offer for a print, or even the whole series, I’d be more than happy do that for those who asked. There’s many way I can think of that these photos as a series together would make a very beautiful piece framed imaginatively.














Commissions Progress Page


Looking to commission something with Eleven Images? E-mail me @

Two new commissions, based on the very popular mixed media series (I can, of course, do this with a photograph of your choice starting at $45):



Albany, NY, South End. Work in photograph and mixed media, commission, in private collection. 



Albany, NY, South End. Work in photograph and mixed media, commission, in private collection. 


For the most recent commission I got to paint a friend’s adorable fur-baby.

Included with the finally image were some studies I did in graphite and gauche and graphite.

Thank you, and enjoy your piece!

IMG_0571 2

“Mr. Bigglesworth (cat portrait)” graphite and acrylic paint on gessoed cardboard, 8″ x 9″ (approx)


Below follow a series of studies, –graphite on paper, and gauche and graphite on paper, respectively.






Study, gauche and graphite on gessoed paper.



This project was really a lot of fun to do:


Manhattan, NYC (near Little Italy) 35 mm photograph print on canvas with mixed media 11″ x 14″


The commission began with this photo that I took on my son’s recent trip to New York City. We were in town as part of a Social Studies trip through his middle school to visit the Tenement Museum (great if you love history, by the way). The buyer wanted a 35mm photo taken somewhere in Manhattan in NYC. While I was taking the picture, a couple men walked into the shot.

REcd013-R1-052-24A copy
The photo was then printed on canvas at a local printing shop, and I stretched it on 11″ x 14″ stretcher bars.


Stretching the print


After that, I went at the photo with pretty Much everything seen here.




Not quite the finished work, but getting pretty close.

Thank you again to the buyer! Doing this work was a wonderful experience.

Another commission has been shipped and delivered (thank you!)

The piece is based on the buyer’s description of something seen in a re-occurring dream. The piece is done in acrylic paint, on 1″8 x 24″ paper, cut down to 16″ x 20″ (the buyer had a frame in mind for the work).

I didn’t take a lot of process pictures this go around. The buyer did give permission for me to post the final image:


“Flower Commission”, acrylic paint and graphite on gessoed paper.

Cropped Image:


“Commission, rose with petals” acrylic paint with graphite on gessoed paper, 16″ x 20″ in personal collection.

Thank you and enjoy your purchase.

If you would like to commission a work in March (commissions are usually completed in thirty days) –shoot me an e-mail at eaton.robertb@gmail and tell me about your idea.

More recent commissions:  [updated, 2/218]

I was very fortunate to reconnect with a good friend whom I went to high school with over the recent years. I delivered her piece yesterday, having not seen her in person in twenty-odd years, and had a wonderful visit at her shop.

Last month, she approached me about a commission. She enjoys the folk art of artists like Robert Moses and wanted something in the vein of New England folk art.

This is the final piece (thank you again, to the buyer, for allowing the use of the image here).



“Dark Folk Art”, oil and graphite on canvas, 11″ x 14″ in private collection.


In an early rendering of the idea, which I shared with my client, I based the idea for the image (albeit loosely) on the farmstead in western Saratoga County that is still family owned and operated as a landscaping business.

(farm, study):


Farm, study, pencil and watercolor.

The pond there is imaginary, but the rest is based on an actual farm and my childhood recollections of it. (both the barn –shifted in its orientation– and the chicken coup have been demolished).

Family photo (used as a reference):


Family photo, pictured, barn used as reference.

To add an element of gothic horror, I found an image online (national geographic photo) of a sheep decomposed in a pool of water. The client asked for “zombie sheep” to be included in the image.


study, decomposing sheep, graphite.




Dark Folk Art, in development.

This piece was a lot of fun to make, and especially enjoyed including some elements of personal history. Buyers always have such wonderful ideas. Keep the commissions coming.


[older post below]

There are few things that give me satisfaction like delivering a commissioned piece to a client or friend that requested the work. I have not updated this page so often as I should, unfortunately. I have been very fortunate to have done several commissioned works in the past year. Some are included here.

To set up a commission, simply e-mail me. I’ll give you a quote on the work, and I’ll begin work as soon as I receive your 25% deposit:

Paypal is great. Shipping is available if you’re our of the area.

Another commissioned work, and this one I enjoyed so much. When people approach me about commissions, I am often really surprised in a happy way with the ideas people come up with. A friend, who is a practicing Zen Buddhist, wanted me to do an image in the style of Buddhist religious iconography, but using the Nintendo character, Kirby, as the central character in the image.

The final image:


Kirby, as Buddhist Iconography, Casein Paint, Acrylic paint and graphite on a gessoed wood board. In private collection.

To prep for the final image, I did the following studies:


Study, “the Buddha” Casein Paint on Gessoed paper.


Kirby, study, acrylic paint on Gessoed paper.



8-bit Kirby, study, acrylic paint on gessoed paper.




This work was a lot of fun to do. Aside that it was being purchased by a very good friend, it was a deeply personal work in many ways. Also, the client’s requests about the work meant I used painting techniques very different from how I usually paint. I definitely learned a thing or do, doing this particular work.


Commissioned work, I am going to have to check with the buyer, because I forgot the title I scribbled on the back. Oil on Canvas, 18″ x 24″ in private collection


The next piece was also a joy to do. Sometimes, when I am approached about an idea the buyer has a very specific idea of what they want, –down to materials and the actual image. I do enjoy, though, when the direction for a commission is a little more amalgamous I have have the go-ahead to play and experiment with my typical style. This was one of those works. I had little direction other than to do something in my style, but include crows in the image.


“Mother of Crows” acrylic on canvas, 16″ x 20″ make offer, buyer backed out.

On the SWPA page, I put out there I was doing commissions. A friend asked that I do one of the small works of Albany’s long-time alternative music hang-out, the Fuze Box.

The Fuze Box was a rescued Art Deco building and one-time White Tower Hamburgers location. White Tower was a Wisconsin-based competitor of White Castle, the first store opened and the company peaked in the 1950’s. Most of the original details in the building are still present: the molded glass and chrome, as well as signs advertising the buildings history before it was reused as a night-club. Long-time Albany scenesters still remember the days when the club was the QE2, and hosted live all-ages shows, as well as alternative dance nights.

So, a venerable historic structure in its own right, the Fuze Box/QE2 has been an anchor of Albany’s nightlife as long as pretty much anyone cares to recall. My friend, James, wanted an image to commemorate the Fuze Box and commissioned the work. I started doing preliminary sketches this morning.

A bit about my process: any commissioned work, or a serious work I do generally involves a few sketches. The sketching allows me to work out problems and practice the image before I start the actual work. I encourage my students to practice their ideas with sketches on paper before they truly start a piece. In this case, this is a mixed media color study and architectural study of the White Tower building (as it was in 2006, this image is from my own collection, taken with one of my many digital cameras I have owned over the years).

The sketch:


The original image I am working from is below:


I’ll include images, with the permission of the buyer, of the full work when it is done. If you’re interested in commissioning a work, use the contact information in the about page.


Working on an architectural drawing of a highly symmetrical Art Deco building is proving to be a challenge (not an unwelcome challenge, by any means, but still a challenge). Hopefully, I am not trying the patience of my buyer by taking my time and doing a score of preliminary sketches to get the end product right.

Last weekend, I went out with my point and shoot and took a couple night-time images to make a composite image for the final product. Today, I am working off pencil sketches of the various angles.

here’s today’s sketch (pencil on paper):


I have permission from the buyer to include the work, which he just picked up today, on my blogs here. I did two versions of the Fuze Box image, and James, in turn, wanted both images.

So here they are drying on my easel (the source images I used are above):

Thanks James, and I hope you enjoy the images!

Good friend and fellow odd human Seamus approached me about doing a painting for his girlfriend, Sid, who is likewise a super-cool human. What Seamus (being a Star Wars fan with a command of apocryphal and character lore I do not, sadly, have) wanted was a re-imagining of The Jabba the Hut scenes in Star Wars, with his cat, Sif, and he and his partner as characters in the piece. So, Jabba the Sif, became a thing. I drew four or five character studies, and then began painting what was one of the most fun images I have ever committed with acrylic paint to a canvas.

I have used the image with Sid’s permission.

Jabba the Sif. Acylic on canvas. Commission and birthday gift from Seamus to Sid.

Jabba the Sif. Acrylic on canvas. Commission and birthday gift from Seamus to Sid.

Thanks Seamus and Sid, I am glad you enjoy the finished piece.

Regardless of how quirky the idea, I am glad to take commisions of whatever you are looking for, and will do my best to fit materials and time within a budget you can afford. If you’re interested in a commission, use the contact in my about section on this blog.

ExHuman, 12/6

More Photos from this month’s ExHuman:

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