This is the painting that I've been working on for months, that I've been promising to post. It has been a long time coming with this one - I got the idea months ago and I've put hours into it since I started. This is a painting of a woman floating in a sea of letters. The words that are lining the rays of sunshine are hard to read from the pictures I took, but they say:
"If you find me in the sky
I shall be like a bird.
If you find me in the sea
I shall be like a fish.
If you find you cannot discover me
It is because I am permeable to the realms."
It's something I've written myself. I originally was going to put lyrics up, but I figured it was about time I wrote something of my own. Another detail hard to detect from the picture I took (apologies for the poor camera work) is that the book the woman is holding says 'they.'
Acrylic and mixed media on canvas. Don't know the dimensions. Big.


So I got this super cool stamp from an antique store this summer up in northern Wisconsin. It says 'they.' I've been using the stamp to create different sketches of people incorporating the word 'they.' It's been fun, this is one of the watercolor and ink sketches I did. Something freeing and completely un-serious.


awake my soul

One of my greatest joys in life is discovering new music. I'm not kidding. I was driving home from class the other day, in a bad mood, and on the radio I heard this song. The lyrics were incredible, the voices incredible, and I found my mood brighten immediately. Song is called - awake my soul, by mumford and sons. I wanted to find a video of the song and post it, but alas there is no music video - only homemade slideshows to go along with music which clearly wouldn't do it justice. So instead i'll just post the lyrics. This is the stuff of the heart - listen to it.

"Awake my Soul" - Mumford and sons:

How fickle my heart and how woozy my eyes
I struggle to find any truth in your lies
And now my heart stumbles on things I don't know
This weakness I feel I must finally show

Lend me your hand and we'll conquer them all
But lend me your heart and I'll just let you fall
Lend me your eyes I can change what you see
But your soul you must keep, totally free
Har har, har har, har har, har har

In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life
In these bodies we will live, in these bodies we will die
Where you invest your love, you invest your life

Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your maker
Awake my soul, awake my soul
Awake my soul
You were made to meet your maker
You were made to meet your maker

(ps. apologize for StIlL not posting any of my artwork, it's been a crazy busy semester, but I've got two paintings i'm currently working on. I'll get them up soon. Hopefully.)


Gang Aft Agley

The poem "To a Mouse, on Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough" By Robert Burns, has been circling in my mind for days now. I remember going over this poem in High School when we read the book "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck, but it never seemed so relevant to my life as it does now. I'm posting the translated version of the poem, because the original is in old English, that is hard to depict what is going on. But there's a phrase in the poem - "Gang aft agley" that through translation means the best laid plans, often go awry. I think that is brilliant. The poem itself is brilliant, but it's this phrase that to me, has the most meaning. So here's the poem. Also, I realize that the whole month of October has nothing of my own posted. I have been working on a few things, I just need to photograph them and get 'em up. Stay posted.

Small, crafty, cowering, timorous little beast,
O, what a panic is in your little breast!
You need not start away so hasty
With noisy scamper!
I would be loath to run and chase you,
With murdering plough-staff.

I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
And justifies that ill opinion
Which makes thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth born companion
And fellow mortal!

I doubt not, sometimes, but you may steal;
What then? Poor little beast, you must live!
An odd ear in twenty-four sheaves
Is a small request;
I will get a blessing with what is left,
And never miss it.

Your small house, too, in ruin!
Its feeble walls the winds are scattering!
And nothing now, to build a new one,
Of coarse grass green!
And bleak December's winds coming,
Both bitter and keen!

You saw the fields laid bare and wasted,
And weary winter coming fast,
And cozy here, beneath the blast,
You thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel plough passed
Out through your cell.

That small bit heap of leaves and stubble,
Has cost you many a weary nibble!
Now you are turned out, for all your trouble,
Without house or holding,
To endure the winter's sleety dribble,
And hoar-frost cold.

But little Mouse, you are not alone,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best laid schemes of mice and men
Go often awry,
And leave us nothing but grief and pain,
For promised joy!

Still you are blest, compared with me!
The present only touches you:
But oh! I backward cast my eye,
On prospects dreary!
And forward, though I cannot see,
I guess and fear!


egon, my hero

I have come to the conclusion that Egon Schiele is one of my favorite artists. Next to Basquiat, i've got to say Schiele makes top 5 fav's for sure. In fact, i'm currently working on a painting that was slightly inspired by this picture. Check him out if you've never heard of him before. His stuff will change your life.


slice of life

So. I’ve been really into poetry lately, and I’ve just recently discovered this phenomenal poet named Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Take a bite of this slice of life…

Poem #8 from “A Coney Island of the Mind.”

In Golden Gate Park that day
A man ahd his wife were coming along
Thru the enormous meadow
Which was the meadow of the world
He was wearing green suspenders
And carrying an old beat-up flute
In one hand
While his wife had a bunch of grapes
Which she kept handing out
To various squirrels
As if each
Were a little joke.
And then the two of them came on
Thru the enormous meadow
Which was the meadow of the world
And then
At a very still spot where the trees dreamed
And seemed to have been waiting thru all time
For them
They sat down together on the grass
Without looking at eachother
Ate and oranges
Without looking at each other
And put the peels
In a basket which they seemed
To have brought for that purpose
Without looking at each other
And then
He took his shirt and undershirt off
But kept his hat on
And without saying anything
Fell asleep under it
And his wife just sat there looking
At the birds which flew about
Calling to eachother
In the stilly air
As if they were questioning existence
Or trying to recall something forgotten
But then finally
She too lay down flat
And just lay there looking up
At nothing
Yet fingering the old flute which nobody played
And finally looking over
At him
Without any particular expression
Except a certain awful look
Of terrible depression.

And another one. Ironically also titled #8 taken from “Pictures of the Gone World”

It was a face which darkness could kill
In an instant
A face as easily hurt
By laughter or light
“We think differently at night”
She told me once
Lying back languidly
And she would quote Cocteau
“I feel there is an angel in me” she’d say
“Whom I’m constantly shocking”
Then she would smile and look away
Light a cigarette for me
Sigh and rise
And stretch
Her sweet anatomy
Let fall a stocking.

One last one. Poem #1, also from “Pictures of the Gone World.”

Away above a harborful
Of caulkless houses
Among the charley noble chimneypots
Of a rooftop rigged with clotheslines
A woman pastes up sails
Upon the wind
Hanging out her morning sheets
With wooden pins
O lovely mammal
Her nearly naked teats
Throw taut shadows
When she stretches up
To hang at last the last of her
So white washed sins
But it is wetly amorous
And winds itself about her
Clinging to her skin
So caught with arms upraised
She tosses back her head
In voiceless laughter
And in choiceless gesture then
Shakes out gold hair
While in the reachless seascape spaces
Between the blown white shrouds
Stand out the bright steamers
To kingdom come.

Anyway, those have been a few of my favorite. Check him out if you like what you see. Goodness he’s great.


untitled-mirror self

Charcoal on newsprint. 18"x24"


This was my summer project. I have hated this painting at times, and I have loved it at times. It has layers and layers of paint due to my indecisiveness. I started it in May and I finished it a few weeks ago. This is a painting of an acrobat who is trying so hard to get everyones attention, but instead just looks like a fool. Oil on canvas. 3x4ft.


hat rack

I'm not much of a sculptor, but I took an art 3D class in high school and loved it. I decided to make a hat rack out of old silverware. I got the idea from something I saw on line where this woman made really awesome things out of vintage silverware. I melted the metal with a torch and shaped them with tongs.


an assortment of diana

Another successful role of film from my Diana Mini. This roll is all over the board, some from my family vacation, some from lounging at Spencer Lake, and some in my own back yard. Enjoy.



This is a piece I did early this summer. Inspiration came from a bible passage. It says that if a shepherd looses one sheep in its heard, he will go out and find it. So this is a painting of a wandering black sheep. The words in the sky say 'repent.' This is bad photo quality, but it's the best I could do for now. It's acrylic and mixed media on canvas roughly 3x4ft.



A little over a week ago I took a camping trip with some of my best girlfriends at Governor Dodge State Park, and the week following that, a vacation with my family in Seynor Wisconsin. Needless to say, it was the highlight of my summer. Of course my Diana Mini came with me, and here are some pictures from my frivolous trips. Also, I was certainly pleased, this was the best roll of film I've developed yet! Enjoy.



This is my most recent piece. I've just finished it. It was an image I've had in my head for awhile, so I'm glad it's finally finished. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas.


blue period picasso

Of all the works of Picasso, I've got to say blue period picasso is by far my favorite. This picture has been on my mind for days now.


harder to salvage

Here are some remaining photos from my second roll of diana mini film, they were pretty hard to salvage due to the lighting problems. But I touched them up quite a bit and they look slightly better.


In Between Worlds

When I was in middle school I read the book "The Magicians Nephew" by C.S Lewis, it's the book right before the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. There was a chapter in the book that described when the children put on their magic rings and they were transported into this in-between world. The book described there being pools that led to all sorts of different worlds and it was peaceful and beautiful. That was the inspiration for this piece. It's how I pictured that chapter in my head, so I decided to make it. Acrylic and mixed media on canvas.


there are different names

"There are different names for the same thing" this song (yet again by death cab..) was what inspired me to do this piece. I thought the lyrics were amazing for this song so i decided to post them here as well. The man in the painting has had his head cut off, which at first you may look at as a bad thing, because he looks like he is in pain. but on the other hand, perhaps his head is what was causing him pain to begin with, so now he has purged himself of it. Acrylic on canvas.

"Alone on a train aimless in wonder
An outdated map crumbled in my pocket
But I didn't care where I was going
'Cause they're all different names for the same place.

The coast disappeared when the sea drowned the sun
And I knew no words to share with anyone
The boundaries of language I quietly cursed
And all the different names for the same thing

There are different names for the same things
There are different names for the same things..."


self portrait

Senior year high school one of our final assignments was to do a series of self portraits, this was one of mine. Roy Lichtenstein inspired. Acrylic on canvas.

Monk By the Sea.

I was reading the Wall Street Journal the other day, and they've got an arts and leisure section in the far back. I found this article titled "Engulfed by an Endless Solitude" written by Sidney Lawrence about the painting "Monk by the sea" by the German artist Caspar David Friedrich. I had never heard of this artist, nor seen his artwork. But I really liked this article, and the painting is amazing. Here it is:

"Put the words "romantic" and "landscape" in the same sentence and most people think of 19th-century painting. Here, for instance, are the powerfully emotive blasts of weather, water and sun by Britain's eccentric master of light, J.M.W. Turner, and visionary odes to nature in an encroaching industrial world by our own masters of the Hudson River School, Thomas Cole and Frederic Edwin Church.

Although less well-known today, another landscapist of the Romantic era, Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), was of equal stature. Emerging at the dawn of the century and active through the 1830s, Friedrich gave his German homeland a compelling intensity by painting mountains enshrouded by mist, religion-tinged neo-Gothic fantasies, shorelines at moonrise, and views through open windows. In Friedrich's work, figures in traditional German costume often appeared looking outward, pensively, as if to invite the same from us.

Friedrich made many masterly paintings, but none as masterly as "Monk by the Sea," (c. 1809). The work hangs at Berlin's Alte Nationalgalerie, a repository for 19th-century German art on that city's Museum Island. Startlingly atmospheric and, yes, Rothko-esque (as art historians like to point out), it depicts a swaybacked, standing monk, back to the viewer, at the left center of a nearly 4-by-6-foot expanse, tiny in his surroundings. Alone except for a handful of gliding gulls, he gazes out, hands in prayer, from a broad grassy shore to take in the inky, whitecapped sea and the spectacle of night turning into day—black atmosphere rising to parting clouds rising to blue sky—inviting us to enter his private thoughts of life, death, loneliness, love, regret, the future, the unknown, the power of nature. Who knows? Interpretation is an open book.

Next to the work is Friedrich's "Abbey in the Oakwood," a companion piece (same size, same date—c. 1809) of Gothic ruins, twisted oaks and a grim funeral procession. Both paintings have influenced Richard Wagner opera sets, but the theatrical look and tone of "Abbey" is hyperbolic, perhaps even distracting, compared with "Monk." My vote, as art, goes to "Monk by the Sea."

The pair premiered in 1810 at the Academy in Berlin, where the artist traveled from his home base of Dresden, to the south. While "Abbey" was well received, "Monk by the Sea" drew mixed responses. "Grim and desolate," a diarist commented. "No moon, no storm, no sun, no thunder, no boat or ship, not even a sea monster." Dramaturge Heinrich von Kleist, a friend of the artist, disagreed: "It is a wonderful run to look out over an infinite water of waste, engulfed by an endless solitude at the seashore," he wrote for a newspaper. "The picture touches my heart, deeply moves me so that I become the...monk myself."

Empathy is at the heart of this masterwork. To achieve it, Friedrich used the Rueckenfigur motif, or reverse-facing figure, wherein the viewer looks over the shoulder of a central figure to capture the same scene. Invented by 17th-century Dutch marine painters, the device became Friedrich's trademark and has continued into our own time, a conspicuous example being Andrew Wyeth's "Christina's World" of 1948.

Our sense of connection with Friedrich's monk deepens upon discovering, as recent scholars have in corroboration with a contemporary account, that the monk is a self-portrait.

Look closely at other self-portraits and you'll see why. Friedrich is the same tall, thin, stooped man with wavy reddish hair and twin cascades of mutton chops. This self-identified monk escaped, when he could, to the rugged coast of Rugen, a North Sea island, near his hometown village of Greifswald in Pomerania, to roam and sketch. Ludwig Theoboul Kosegarten, a poet and pastor who was Friedrich's closest friend and mentor there, urged the artist to discover God in the barren landscape and raw nature of "Germany's Last Crag," as he called it. Rugen was Friedrich's Walden Pond, his arena for transcendence.

Combing its coastline on canvas, Friedrich dressed himself as a monk of the self-abnegating Capuchin order, an allusion to Medieval simplicity and faith increasingly in vogue among northern European intellectuals of the time. The figure's slow-motion trudge across an unforgiving, lifeless tundra is an apt metaphor for the artist. Acknowledged as a loner but admired, Friedrich had already made waves with his "Tetschen Altarpiece" (1808), which eschewed Biblical storytelling to make landscape, not people, the focus of veneration. Turning to the monk, Friedrich painted and repainted the work over several months, visited in his studio by writer-thinker Goethe, among others. Friedrich changed a night sky to dawn, shifted cloud formations, and sketched out but then deleted boats offshore. In this work, Friedrich is as eccentric, driven and dream-obsessed as any Romantic figure in the arts—Lords Byron and Chatterton in literature, composers Frédéric Chopin and Robert Schumann in music, and poet- illustrator William Blake.

The monk's outsider persona also had a political edge. In early 19th-century Europe, especially among the duchies of what now make up Germany, a mood of anxiety and uncertainty prevailed about a new social order in the wake of a fallen French monarchy and revolution in America, with its ideals of democracy and nationhood. Napoleon's troops controlled much of Europe, including Friedrich's home town. Stay away, the monk seems to say, this is my life and my turf.

Seen in terms of German nationalism, "Monk by the Sea" acquires an unexpected chill when we learn that Friedrich's mystical landscapes and costumed Gothic allegories, along with the operas of Wagner, active a generation later, were highly prized during the Third Reich. Friedrich's nostalgic vision apparently hit a chord.

German nationhood was achieved in 1871, some three decades after the artist died, forgotten and half-mad, at age 65. But Friedrich's career had been full of successes as a teacher and artist, with patrons (including Prussia's King Friedrich Wilhelm III, who bought "Abbey" and "Monk" in Berlin) and a reputation that once ranged as far as Russia and Denmark, site of his youthful studies.

Even today, 200 years later, the rawness and power of "Monk by the Sea" resonate in a way that few other works of art do. Your mind and senses are wide open. You become the monk.

—Mr. Lawrence is an artist and writer in Washington.



A few years ago I was asked how i knew God was real. I answered "because I am capable of love. I feel love, I see love. I love. and God is love." Forgot about this for quite some time, until I was reminded of if a few months ago. I thought about it, and this is what came out of it. J'adore is French for "I Love." Acrylic on canvas. It's huge, don't know the dimensions but it takes up a whole half of my wall.