Visit From Thiebaud

Yesterday, March 29, was quite an experience. I had the privilege of meeting one of the greatest painters alive today, an icon of the POP art movement (although he says he doesn’t even like POP art :)). Below is the subject matter he is probably most known for. This was particularly exciting for me because I have been quite influenced by his work. Which is one of the reasons I was one of 3 or so painters invited to have brunch with him. Not to many people make me nervous but when I shook his hand I think I said something like “It a honor to meet you Mr. Thiebaud. I’ve always admirer been work of your “.

I wonder how many banquets he has been honored with that had cakes like this on the desert table :).The next two pictures have not been altered. Look at the guy that looks like the source of light for the rest of the room. Thats me. I don’t know what wrong with me. Maybe I was really hung up over the awkward introduction with Wayne Thiebaud.
Actually I was having my retinas burned by a laser like stream of sunlight coming from a window opposite my seat.
I labeled the 3 painters who I mentioned were invited to the brunch. Shawn Diediker, to my left, is a good friend of mine and a great painter www.diediker.com.
Gary Earnest Smith is a Utah great to whom I have recently come to know a bit.

Vern Swansen of the Springville Museum of Art and Diane Stewart , a prominent supporter of all things art in Utah, presented Thiebaud with a “most honored artist of Utah ” award. Did I mention he lived in Utah as a teen? I hang on every word. I never said I was cool.Following the brunch hundreds more showed up for a lecture and question/answer with Thiebaud. He was so impressive. I have to say the two things he said that impacted me most were that he doesn’t think of himself as an artist but a painter, that history will decide otherwise, and that,when asked who his favorite painters were he said that he loves all paintings. What a positive way to approach such a judgmental and critical field. I wish we were all that humble and positive. His paintings are worth upwards of a millions dollars but that attitude is priceless. Is that some kind of credit card slogan? Hmm?

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New Demo video

This is the trailer of the demo video of one of my painting methods pertaining to the portrait. I’m pretty happy with it. I’m especially glad I did it when I did because my process has evolved since recording it only one year ago. My next demo video will likely be quite a different approach. To me that makes this not only a instructional video but a document of a very specific time in my career, sort of a method time capsule. Click ‘order a copy’ to purchase.

07's big distraction

Ah, It’s been several months now since the completion of of 2007’s big distraction- my new studio.
I purchased a commercial building in Salt Lake City, last August. It might have been as simple as moving in after closing if I wasn’t such a perfectionist. My first reaction to the building was suspicion that it was designed 100 years ago by someone who somehow anticipated my arrival. It was that perfect, functionally. My second reaction was that I couldn’t work in a building so hideously decorated. 🙂 Actually the project was a lot more than just decorating. It involved demolition, framing, drywalling, plumbing, electrical, lighting, finished carpentry, a lot of painting, installing cabinets, window/skylight coverings… I ended up doing all of the construction myself with the exception of plumbing, electrical and painting, due to the lack of contractor availability at the time. It’s OK though because “if you want something done right…”. So, after a month of 12-16 days (plus odds and ends for the next couple of months) then moving in the boat load of “art supplies” from my old studio, here it is. This year I’m just going to paint. 🙂 Oh wait, I’ve got a documentary to do this year. OK, next year I’ll just paint.

Below is the painting area. The etching press and work area are in right corner. The office/lounge is above, through the balcony. There is a small kitchen through the door to the left.
My classroom is through the brown double doors in the center. Ive got a large (8’x12′) skylight above with a custom blackout shade I designed so I can control the light. Ive done the same with the side windows (left).


This is my office/lounge. I don’t spend as much time up here but I wish I did. It is very comfortable.

This balcony in the office overlooks the painting studio.


Stairs in kitchen lead to office


More pics of office/lounge.

Lately I’ve had film on the brain. I put together this computer system for editing film as well as the regular business stuff.


This space has been very inspiring and due to the unique lighting conditions, among other things, I have found that it has influenced the direction of my work. There has been some significant evolution this year that I am very excited about. I will be posting these new paintings after completing the work for my show in June.