Crystal Lake

Crystal Lake 2024
Crystal Lake 2024

Acrylic on Canvas - Triptych - 20" x 10"

In 2017 I was an Artist in Residence at Crystal Lake for the Angeles National Forest and San Gabriel Mountains National Monument AIR Program. I revisited Crystal Lake in 2024 and painted this triptych for the owner of the Crystal Lake Café, Adam Sahar.

Los Angeles, CA / Tucson, AZ 05/2024

Ajo Ocotillo With Fighter Jets

Tucson, AZ 04/2024

Oil over Acrylic on Canvas - 24' x 18"

Back in 2016/17 I lived in Ajo, AZ - at an artist community - the Curley School. It was my first foray at living in Arizona. Ajo is in the middle of the Sonoran Desert and only 39 miles from Mexico neighboring the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. As famous as Arizona is for its giant Saguaro Cactus - and they truly are amazing - it was the Ocotillo that caught my imagination - and also freaked me out - lol. They grow up to 30 feet high and look like they should be some kind of underwater plant - long vertical, undulating branches with tiny leaves (and killer thorns) that sway in the desert breezes. They are bizarre and wonderful. In Spring time they bloom with a distinctive bright red flower at the very tip of each branch.

It was Spring time when I reworked and finished this canvas. I returned to Tucson last year and was unpacking my studio when I found this unfinished canvas of an Ocotillo bush I had started while living in Ajo. I added the fighter planes because they are a definitive feature of living in Southern Arizona - ask any local. They usually fly in pairs. You can set your watch to them every morning (in Tucson) when they leave the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. When I lived in Ajo - not a week went by when the windows would rattle and I'd give a jump from the sound of the sonic boom from the fighter jets going by - at least they kept it to the late afternoons - lol.

The Roofers


I had been watching documentaries on Jean Francois Millet and pouring over his paintings for a few weeks when walking one afternoon in my neighborhood I saw a house being re-roofed. The men on the roof were working so hard and most were stooped over the roof laying the tiles. I immediately saw the same working people of every era gone by in their postures - the hardworking people that inspired Millet, Courbet, and now myself. Here is the first of my series entitled: "The Roofers".

Mixed Media on Watercolor Paper 10" x 10"

Tucson, AZ 04/2024

Artist In Residence Program (AIR)


The Yucca plant in bloom is a wonder to behold - a rod sprouts out of a ball of sharp stalks and explodes in a shock of big white feathery blooms that glow in the sun - a jewel in the Mountain's crown of natural glory.

Blooming Yucca Gouache on Watercolor Paper - 24" x 36"

Angeles National Forest & San Gabriel Mountains National Monument - (Residency May/June 2017) Exhibition at the Heritage Square Museum

Los Angeles, California

Dawn at 5743 Feet

Gouache on Watercolor Paper - 24" x 36"

California has seen its' share of devastating wild fires and the year I was doing AIR (2017) the Angeles National Forest was recovering from the huge fires of 2016. I drew this view just after sunrise from the trail that was above the fog line and it was just so beautiful. It was strange to see the burnt tree trunks on the mountain sides in the distance. They were like giant, dark, sharply pointed toothpicks standing askew. Because there had been successive fires over the recent years you could distinguish the older recovering burn sections by the greening on/over the dark and burned trunks. Nature is so powerful - the most hopeful thing in existence - our existence.


Mamihlapinatapai (sometimes spelled mamihlapinatapei) is a word from the Yaghan language of the Tierra del Fuego, listed in The Guinness Book of World Records as the "most succinct word", and is considered one of the hardest words to translate. It refers to "a look shared by two people, each wishing that the other will offer something that they both desire but are unwilling to do."


Acrylic on Artist Panel - Diptych - 12" x 12" each


The Valentine Show, Downtown Contemporary Gallery and Studios Albuquerque, New Mexico

Red O'Connell Street & BridgeRed O'Connell Street & Bridge
Yellow & Lavender O'Connell Bridge & StreetYellow & Lavender O'Connell Bridge & Street
Misty Night O'Connell Street & BridgeMisty Night O'Connell Street & Bridge
Bright White Overcast O'Connell Street & BridgeBright White Overcast O'Connell Street & Bridge
Rainy Night O'Connell Street & BridgeRainy Night O'Connell Street & Bridge
White Night Glare O'Connell Street & BridgeWhite Night Glare O'Connell Street & Bridge

O'Connell Street Bridge Views

Oil on Canvas - 36" x 48" each

New York City / 2005-07

These were inspired by The Irish Times' LIVE webcam views that I woke up to every morning on my computer's home screen over the course of 2 years while living in San Francisco and going to Art School for Computer Graphics in the late 1990s. Each painting is done from the exact same viewpoint (and screenshot) - only the time of day, month and year has changed. I had saved the screenshots in a binder and it wasn't until I was taking studio art at TC Columbia University that I finally started painting them.

This O'Connell series participated in four different exhibitions while I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico - including the City of Albuquerque's Kimo Theater Gallery - (2011-2013)