Monday, June 23, 2008

I'm Offering a New Graduate Level Course for Art Teachers

In addition to the Open Studio Sessions and occasional Workshops that I offer in my studio I will be working with the Art Teachers from District 47 this fall. I have many years of art program development and implementation experience at St. Margaret Mary School in Algonquin, I will now develop curriculum art programs with art teachers from the local schools.

The course title is "Curriculum Development: Art, Culture and Community, Integrative Strategies. " This will be a curriculum development course that will integrate concepts of art, culture and community in the elementary and middle school classroom. Teachers will develop lesson plans that address the need for exposing students to the art of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Hands-on activities will reinforce the concepts and process that teachers will then translate into their classroom lesson plans.

I am looking forward to working with teachers and creating art with them. We will draw, paint, and create 3D pieces. This gives me a chance to teach experienced artists/ educators. It will be exciting to see the teachers take the art making process to a whole new level.

I will post the weekly plans on my blog. I hope to provide photos of the art works and keep a running log on the teacher's projects.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Charles S. Dole Portrait 36" x 24" oil on linen

I was commissioned by John Coonen in 2005 to paint a portrait of the 19th century Chicago wheat baron Charles Sydney Dole. Mr. Dole built the beautiful Dole Mansion in Crystal Lake, Illinois. As with all of my commissioned paintings, and especially those of historic figures, research was important before beginning the painting. There is 0nly one image of Charles Dole in the McHenry County Historical Society archives.
Working from the postage stamp sized newspaper clipping dated 1865 provided little visual reference for this 36" x 24" painting. Rather than relying upon visual references for the portrait I pieced together clues or meaningful objects that would describe the man Charles Dole.
Understanding the style of clothing and type of fabric from the late 19th century U.S. was
important aspect of the representation. The riding crop in his hand represents the horses and stable he owned, and so loved to watch from his roof top copula of the mansion. Charles Dole was an entrepetuer, and developed the first wheat sorting system that equipped train cars transporting wheat from the Midwest to the East coast. Note the books on his desk and the wheat decorative element on his chair. In the photo of Charles Dole it appears that his forehead was quite high, so that may be a distinguishing characteristic that Charles Dole would appreciate in his portrait.
The painting is installed over the fireplace mantle in the newly refurbished dining room of the Dole Mansion. The height where the painting is hung and unusual lighting make an accurate photograph of the painting challenging, however this photo gives you an idea of what Charles Dole must have looked like around 1990 when he was at the prime of his life.
You can learn more about Charles Dole and the Dole Mansion by logging on to the Lakeside Legacy Arts Park web site

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Open Studio Schedule

Open Studio Series will take place in my studio on Thursdays from 10:00 - 1:00

Series I: June 5, 12, 19, 26

Series II: August 14, 21, 28, September 4

Series III: September 11, 18, 25, October 2

Series IV: October 9, 16, 23, 30

Please contact me if you would like more details about the cost and for directions to my studio. A downloadable PDF listing details about the workshop can be found on my web site

New Work

As my studio work has been progressing I have developing in an interesting juxtaposition between the figures and their environment. Space is opening around the figure with light and reflected color that draws the viewer into the world partly seen and partly imagined. The places are real yet the figure is placed in ambiguous relationshops with their surroundings. I'm working hard and enjoying every minute of the process.