Friday, November 6, 2015


This is Valerie. She's my wife. I met her about 15 years ago when she was the administrative assistant at the Montessori school my son attended. At the time, we were both married to other people but life takes interesting twists and turns. Seven years later I was divorced and Valerie had lost her husband to cancer and we bumped into each other at our favorite breakfast restaurant and got reacquainted. I asked her out to dinner and the rest is history.

This portrait was a little ambitious seeing that I just started painting it last night and it's 22"x30". I do things like that with these portraits but there was a space that I wanted to put her and it needed to be a big painting. Of course I didn't finish and it's still a little wet and I just photographed it and the opening is in 2 hours.

Valerie is the last of the 250 names I initially put into the "friend jar". Turns out there were a few businesses, friends with more than 1 account, and a couple of others that preferred to keep their faces off the internet. This project has been an amazing experience for me. It provided the structure I needed to improve my skills. I am especially thankful to all my friends. I feel like I've gotten to know you all in a deeper way through doing your portraits and I really do appreciate the kind comments, suggestions, and support you've given me. I plan on continuing to paint my friends and post them - just not at the same pace. See you at the opening!

22x30 watercolor. #240

Thursday, November 5, 2015


This is Lynne. She is an urban sketching friend living in Sheffield, England. I met her in Santo Domingo at a conference. My son and I attended a class she was teaching. She is an enthusiastic and passionate sketcher. She also illustrates children's books.

15x22 acrylic, watercolor and ink. #239


This is Chloe. She's my stepdaughter. She lives in Boston and is in the middle of a PhD program in psychology. She just got married to a great guy a few weeks ago and they have a Goldendoodle named Moose.

Chloe's name came out of the "friend jar" months ago. I put her off until the very end because I wanted to be at the top of my portrait skills, which, like it or not, I guess I am.

She will be at the opening tomorrow night at Carver Hill Gallery in Rockland from 5-8 so come and meet her. I can't wait.

15x22 watercolor. #238

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


This is Sue. Before I lived in Maine, I lived in Austin, Texas. Sue was one of my good friends there. She worked with the City of Austin developing green building practices and has gone on to help other cities and countries establish green building programs. She's intelligent, funny, and she walks the talk.

11x15 watercolor and pencil in my huge Moleskine sketchbook. #237

Monday, November 2, 2015


This is Cate. She's an accountant. We both like to do life drawing so that's usually where I see her. The other day I saw her at Carver Hill, where I'll be having my show that opens November 6 from 5-8pm. Cate didn't think I was going to do her portrait because I "friended" her after I started the project. Boy, is she going to be surprised.

11x15 watercolor, marker, and pencil in my huge Moleskine sketchbook. #236


This is Shannon. I met her several years ago when I was doing the Trek Across Maine - a 150 mile bicycle ride across our lovely state that benefits the American Lung Association. She's an Ironman triathlete and big supporter of the Dempsey Challenge - another bike ride that raises money for Cancer research, education and support. She is also one of the funniest people I know on Facebook. I love her take on life.

A couple of years ago she got my attention when she posted that every day for the month of December she was going to embark on a different adventure. Here was her criteria - "an adventure is anything that 1) takes me out of my comfort zone; 2) I'm not 100% sure I can do; 3) I've never done; 4) I wouldn't normally do in December; 5) is ridiculously fun; or 6) is something I'm so glad I'm doing that I don't have to actually enjoy doing it." And then she wrote about it in the funny and keenly observant way that Shannon does.

She asked her friends make some suggestions on how to fill out her month of adventures, so.... I suggested she pose nude for our life drawing class (I know, I'm a genius). And you know what? She did it!! And I have to say, she was a great model - interesting and expressive poses, and she held them for up to 20 minutes. It's not easy work! You can read what she wrote about that adventure in this blog post.

11x15 pencil and watercolor. #235

Sunday, November 1, 2015


This is Meg. I've gotten to know Meg, like we get to know most people, in "layers". The onion metaphor works pretty well here. The outer layer I first came to know is the "architect layer". A few years later I got to know the "community service layer". She served on a couple of town committees and boards of environmental organizations. When it came time for her to give up her seat on a town committee she called me and asked me if I would serve on that committee. I did. Then, I learned about the "cancer layer". I wasn't close enough to Meg to go through it with her like I did with my mom. I watched her husband go through it with her. It was scary and hard and the community sent her lots of love and healing energy. She survived. The next layer I saw was the "dance layer", which was evidently there the whole time, but shone brighter as she healed and saw the importance of sharing dance with others as a mode of healing. And lastly, I've gotten to know the "photography layer", which seems to have emerged from a place of wanting to find beauty in the ordinary. About one of her recent photos she said it was " just another treasure hidden in plain sight". Her photographs are extraordinary, beautifully observed, and constantly remind me that beauty is everywhere if I will just look.

I love this portrait of her. It may just be my favorite portrait in the project. It goes a few layers deep.

22x14 watercolor. #234