Tools of the Trade Tuesday

#72 – Tuesday July 31st

 For the most part, the tools I use in painting are remarkably similar to those used by prehistoric artisans: pigments, a tool to apply the pigment, and a surface to accept the pigment. Several thousand years later, I’m using pigments suspended in advanced polymers, handcrafted sable brushes, 14oz un-primed cotton canvas, and 140lb cold press watercolor paper for drawing, but at its essence, this process of creating images hasn’t changed. However there is one tool I find my self using, that wasn’t available to those painters of cave walls, the camera.

I take pictures, but I’m not a photographer. I push a button and my little Cannon PowerShot does the work.  The camera is the tool that allows me to capture the transient objects I assemble, pieces of the natural world that become the inspiration for paintings, and ultimately the tool for documenting those paintings progress for this missive (a nice nimble way for getting the idea across).  I don’t mess with all the options available through the function button. I point and shoot. Afterwards, I might do some manipulation of the images, crop them, or play with contrast and shadows, but that’s it.  My snapshots get taped or pinned to the studio walls, an aid to memory and springboard to exploration.

Thanks for reading.


As I stated I am not a photographer. For all reproduction purposes, including exhibition announcements and catalogues, my work is shot by professionals, most notably, by the photographer Verser Engelhard, who has documented my work for over two decades.