My paintings (1969 - Present)
I am beginning to collect photographs of my paintings. This is a daunting tasks because I have to contact so many different people. I personally only own a very small amount of my paintings. I began when I was just nine years old and have done over a hundred paintings.. mostly I don't even remember anymore. On the bottom of this page, you'll see me when I was eleven with some of my very early paintings.
I am showing some of my favorite paintings here. Unfortunately because of the shine of the oil paint, most of these have to be taken without a flash and the artificial lighting gives a slight grayish-blue hue.
The first one is "Melinda". She was painted in 1982, it's a story of a girl who just finished her audition for a part in the Swan Lake ballet. She didn't get the part because she twisted her ankle and fell. This painting is after the audition. "Melinda" is very special to me because she is the only one of two paintings I have ever done about people. I am not blessed with the gift of painting people. Even though this painting has been with me since its inception, my sister-in-law Danielle has always strangely refer to "Melinda" as her painting :)
The next one is a reproduction of a Russian artist. I don't remember his name since it was back in 1974. The original painting has a raft in the front of the "seventh wave" the original title of the painting. This painting is also very special because it was a gift to my mother who passed away two years after this painting was completed. This is a reproduction done in 1979 since the original one is at an unknown location in Indonesia (lost after my father passed away).
"Into the Light" was painted in the summer of 1988. It's a special painting made while my wife was expecting our youngest son. It was a two-phase painting (where the artist changes his mind or the appearance of the painting at the final moment), originally a simple path in the forest, but in October 1988, when my son was born prematurely, hardly 7 months, I brightened the light at the end of the path of the forest and added light rays shining through the dense leaves. At this time my son was in intensive care with not much hope, and the light at the end of this path was what I was concentrating on when I gave up my worries to the Good Lord. This is the single painting that always received my attention as I get undressed coming home from work, while I take off my shoes, etc. I would stare at this painting at least for three minutes imagining myself walking down this path in the forest.
The next one is a rather strange painting. I bought my wife a bouquet of flowers for our anniversary in 1993. She wanted me to paint the flowers exactly the way she received it (complete with the card "I am thirsty" a reminder from the florist to add water). Adjacent to it another one of my Anniversary gift to my wife, this one is Klamath Falls in Oregon. This painting has a much younger "twin" done in the 70's.
"Survivor", Rhode Island, 1990 belongs to Dayla Brown. This painting was given to my daughter when she went to Brown University. I placed her in the painting to remind her that she is a survivor and that she will make it just fine being away from home at an Ivy League College on Scholarship. Thanks to Annette for the picture.
The next one is a a painting in progress as of December of 2007. It will be titled "light out of darkness" when completed. This is pure fantasy with no model whatsoever, just an imagination of a stormy early night. My wife saw a lithograph of a lighthouse painting one time in a store, I was there but don't recall how the painting was, so this one is my rendition.
The next one is a strange one. Ever since I was ten years old I wanted to paint the "Four horsemen of the Apocalypse". For over thirty years I never did have the courage to do so. I began to paint this painting in January of 2003. It is the only painting which somehow I titled in Spanish "Los Cuatro Jinettes Del Apocalipsis" The gruesome elements on the bottom left have been removed and this painting now hangs in my office since my family just couldn't stomach having it in the house.
View detail 1 View detail 2
A 2012 acrylic "Quis ut Deus?" belongs to Reyhan Watson. A reproduction of an Italian Painter (I can't remember his name) depicting Archangel Michael defeating the rebel angels.
View detail 1 View detail 2
|Two years later, I found "Michael's
sketch" on my phone. Apparently I took a picture of the page prior
to applying the acrylic paint.
Deera (2013) was a project to challenge myself to overcome my phobia in painting people. In general, this subject terrifies me and I am resigned to failure before I even started to paint. I challenge myself to paint in a size which doesn't allow you to hide imperfection (16 x 20). I then picked several attributes as a goal. Deera was to have special eyes which follow you where ever you go and is the focus of the painting. Although I failed in creating some other attributes (such as attitude, tough "don't mess with me" look), Deera turned out to be one of my better accomplishments.
"Armored" (2015), owner Ryan Watson, oil on canvas.
"November Rain" (2015), owner Reyhan
Watson, oil on canvas,
a scene on Fifth Avenue and West 44 Street.
"Into the Woods" (2015), oil on canvas belongs to Brigitte Joyce.
This is my impressionist painting done strictly using palette knives.
"Rentrer du Bonsergent Métro" (2017), acrylics,
belongs to Chandra Nuraini, Paris, France. This painting literally sat in my
room for over three years. It was a promise from 17 years ago which I
continuously neglect to fulfill. Finally completed in May of 2017.
While painting the above, when completed I had some paint left on my palette which normally would just dry up unused. I decided to finish all my paint from my palette on a piece of paper resulting in some weird "poster"-like result.
"Fiat justitia ruat caelum", 2017 oil on canvas, owner Reyhan Watson.
While she tried to rush down the steps to serve justice, she found that her toga sometimes can slow her down and be a hinderance. Her right arm holding the sword which usually swings freely to deliver swift and final justice is entangled by her robe. Her scales and robe bore nicks and tears evident from past assaults she had endured. She trips but trudges on as the populous demanded... Let Justice be Done.
A reproduction from Leonid Afremov. Obviously I don't have half his skills in using the palette knife.
Oom (uncle) Vic, oil on canvas 2017. Uncle Vic was my Mom's brother whom I met the only time in my life when I was seven years old in 1965. He picked up my Mom and I from the airport and took us to my grandmother's apartment. Later on that month I stayed at uncle Vic's house in Enschede, a town very close to the German border. Uncle Vic bought half a toy store for me. This painting was done after a very artistic photograph made by his son Willy Gout. When I saw the picture, I knew right away that I want to turn it into a painting. This is what made Vermeer and Rembrandt very unique. Their masterful interpretation and manipulation of light sources and shadows -- something that Willy Gout successfully captured.
Next, a "reject" from my Art Class in College. The professor required a final assignment in form of an acrylic painting but when presented with this one, rejected it. She said "there is no way on earth I can take such a beautiful art work away from you." I never thought anything special about it since it was my first acrylic painting (I don't like acrylics). Followed by a reproduction of Remington's "The Blanket Signal" in progress. This was done in March 2002 and unfortunately I don't have a photograph of the final painting due to a rather rushed dead-line. This painting was done in five days and belongs to Dennis Hasty & Family, MO, USA.
"Eagle departing Brooklyn", 1994, depicts an eagle flight over Brooklyn heading towards the New York Harbor. With the Brooklyn Bridge, Brooklyn-Queens Expressway below and the twin towers in the background. Owner Fam. G. L. Hershberger, Kansas City, MO.
"Babe's Horse" (1984) is another acrylic that was given to my wife, the colors (behind glass) is slightly off in this picture.
This one was a nightmare to photograph because it is over five feet long. My wife had a lithograph of this Robert Wood painting for many, many years with ice-cream sticks serving as the "frame". I finally got tired of the litho and told her that I will make her an identical painting so we can get rid of the very old lithograph.
This castle ('80) was a Christmas gift for my sister-in-law and was modified a little bit to add a "wing" after she complained that it "looks cold".. This picture was taken by my niece from Amsterdam (Carol) and I had to crop the bottom since it has a digital date and time!
Another one of my acrylic work, this "fisher in the stream" ('95?) belongs to Barbara & Jim Whitehead, Englewood, Colorado.
Central Park West, started in 1979, originally belongs to Ms. Irma Lenz, Amsterdam, Holland, now under the care of Leslie Watson, Amsterdam.
This one was my brother's restaurant "Calico", Stone Ridge, NY, done in 1984. My wife and I are placed in the front side and like I said, I am just not blessed with painting people :) On the right, the same place almost 20 years later.
Below, "We will never forget", 2003, an Acrylic depicting a past Manhattan Skyline with the Brooklyn Bridge up front. Owner Fam. Gregory Parks, FL.
Very recently, my wife changed one of our bathrooms to a dolphin-theme from the previous "duck theme". I was so thrilled that I actually made this painting for the bathroom.
I have several pencil sketches, here are some of my favorites. The first one, my son Ryan in December of 1985, with his "favorite things".. a toothpaste tube, telephone, and a comb..
below my son Reyhan in February of 1990, untitled
"A Mother's Love, The Tragedy of Sudan" was drawn in 2004 after I read the attrocities commited to the children in Sudan. Sudanese forces and armed militias are responsible for the majority of violence. The conflict began in 2003 when two groups of Sudanese rebels began an armed campaign against the Government of Sudan in response to discrimination against the people of Darfur. The Government-armed Janjawid were mobilized in order to quash the resistance. Supported by the government, these paramilitary groups have committed grave human rights abuses throughout Darfur and eastern Chad. Hundreds of thousands of people have died since 2003 as a result of the violence raging in Darfur. Some 4.5 million people, or 2/3 of the population of Darfur, are currently at risk of death or displacement.
I visited Inge, Jack, and Kimberly Wilson in Leidschendam a suburb East of Den Haag (The Hague, the Netherlands) for my brother's birthday in October 2014. As I was sitting down enjoying the best coffee made by Inge, looking out the window across the street and began to sketch the view outside his dining room window.
Tom Prosen: My boss from 34 years ago sent me this pencil sketch which I have forgotten. This was done in Virginia, Minnesota at the Sunburst office. I stayed there to complete programming a software Tom and I designed. This drawing is special because a week after, I had to fly back to New York to see my youngest son born prematurely.
Sverige Collection (Thank you Torbjörn!)
These photos from Sweden arrived around 2005. I am very grateful to get to see some of my early work which I have forgotten. Most of these were made between 1970 and 1977. On some, I had to enlarge the picture and zoom into the signature line to confirm that it was my painting. Gosh getting old is no fun..
These belong to the Åström family (Anita and Torbjörn), Sweden. Most of these are untitled since they were done long before I started to title my paintings. The first one is my favorite still life painting and the second a "twin" of the painting I made for my wife much later in my life (Klamath Falls, OR).
The "hut at a river bank" I absolutely have no recollection painting. The next one I remember since it is almost "a twin" of the painting I did for my brother's birthday (see Collection of Danielle & Geoffrey Watson). I had to work hard to "steal" the earthen Dutch "Jenever" (Gin) bottle. The only difference are the Papaya and bananas which (I believe) were consumed one late night since I was hungry :)
This painting I remember very well perhaps because it was one of my very first paintings (you can see it hanging on the wall in the bottom picture of me when I was 11). I didn't know what style to paint at that time. There is an island called Bali (I was in Indonesia at that time). The Balinese artists don't use commercially available paint but rather grind and mix their own chemicals to make paint. They paint on anything from walls to clothes but regardless, because of the chemical composition, their paintings are always "pastelish" green-grayish in hue. I remember trying to imitate that effect. The second one is one of the uppermost gates (I believe the seventh one) on a Hindu temple called "Besakih" in Bali, Indonesia. This temple has several levels with countless stairs steps.
These belong to the Johansson family (Karin and Alvar), Sweden. This one I remember very well simply because it illustrates one of my weaknesses. I remember that I struggled for days and just could not get a good looking legs/hooves so I decided to "burry" them inside the grass.. heh.. The next one I am guessing probably a fisherman's village somewhere on the north shore of West Java (don't remember).
Another one of those I have to verify by looking at the signature line. I have no idea what this is about, probably a fantasy painting.
Private Collection of Danielle & Geoffrey Watson
Below is probably the oldest one, 1973, no title. I got in serious trouble with this painting. I wanted to give my brother a birthday present but had no money to buy canvas. My Mom's pillow case however looks like about the right material. So snip, snip, and the pillow case was quickly stretched on some pine frame, primed with latex (yes.. not acrylic but a Sherwin Williams Latex paint, "Kemtone" I believe it was, which was my Dad's favorite paint). Hey that's all I had in the house. My Mom of course was angry and looking for the pillow case. Lacking other children in the house, the culprit was very obvious. It was not until the painting was almost done that she realized she's been had!
Next, one of my favorite still lifes, 1979
I had problem sleeping one late November eve and got up extra early and walked to the Bronx Botanical Gardens before the sun came up (about 8 blocks from my brother's house). I sat next to the offspring of the Bronx River and started to sketch this painting. Below is the final result completed before Christmas of 1979.
Below is a reproduction that was done in seven hours flat. It was to complete a bet for a pair of boots I needed. I have always sneered (yes, I can be conceited) at impressionist and abstract painters. My sister-in-law Danielle, showed me this painting and bragged how marvelous this scene of a street in old Jerusalem was. Of course I laughed and pointed out how horrible the perspective was, crooked slanted walls, etc. etc.. Ticked off she probably said "you couldn't do something like this.." or something to that effect, to which I replied "Hah.. I can do that in less than seven hours. So the bet was on and she knew I needed a pair of shoes. Well.. I got a new pair of boots that week :)
Below, Renoir's Les Parapluies (Umbrellas) followed by Picasso's Guitar.
Monet's "The bridge at Argenteuil" followed below. These reproductions were challenging because I have to paint in a style that omits detail and is totally opposed by every single bone in my body.
Until finally, a reproduction I can live with. Below, Frederick Remington's "the Pursuit"
(see both paintings in progress)
Below, one of my favorite acrylics, Greenwich Village, New York 1981, somewhere around Sheridan Square. I've always enjoyed a night scene after a heavy rain. Followed by another acrylic (for someone who hates acrylics I sure use it a lot don't I?)
Below, Pissaro's "Winter Scene", another one of those challenging "I can't believe this dude is famous" when I-can-make-ten-of-these-in-one-day" type of a painting.
Below, "Light Dance", 1983, a strange request from Danielle who wanted a painting of a "lamp" in a corner of a room.
Below "La Plaine Dorée" (Gold Plains) some fantasy painting of a yellow ochre plains. My brother found this painting very recently. According to the signature line, it was done in 1983.
Yours truly in 1969 with my early work. Except for one painting, I have no recollection what becomes or the whereabouts of the other paintings. The front most is a Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia on a land extension called "Tanah Lot". The one above it, the silhouette of fishermen in the sunset is purely imaginary. Thanks go to my brother Jeff who lend me the picture and I believe he was the original photographer of this picture as well.
Below working on a couple of reproductions. On the top, Monet's "The bridge at Argenteuil" and on the bottom Frederick Remington's "The pursuit" after several years sabbatical from touching a brush and paint. As you notice, I don't have a studio. My easel is my dining room table or the wall in the corner in my living room. I don't need much space to express my art every now and then.
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