Friday, June 29, 2012

Workshops with Christian Fagerlunds

Christian Fagerlund is a great friend of mine and an excellent instructor.  If you get a chance, you really should take a class with him.  Here are two of his workshops:

Long-Pose Figure Painting Workshop

August 10th - September 7th

*Unlike my previous workshops (because of a larger studio space), students are welcome to work large (life-size) if desired.  
This five-week workshop will give students the opportunity to develop their formal understanding of the human figure, and hone their technical ability using traditional academic painting methods.  In this workshop you will have the time needed to fully experience the many stages and challenges of creating a "finished" painting.  We will simplify the process by separating the main aspects of the painting the figure:  first focusing on contour, then value, and finally color.  

All levels are welcome.  Although demos will be done in oils, students are welcome to use other mediums (watercolor, gouache, acrylics, drawing, etc.).  Class size will be small (12 max), allowing ample time for one-on–one critiques and demos with individual students.  We will be working with one model/one pose for all eight sessions, giving you approximately 25 hrs on a single painting.  

We will focus on the following principles:

•            Color Theory - using a limited palette vs. full palette

•            Measurement techniques for achieving accurate proportions

•            Poster and Color studies – seeing the broader value/color relationships

•            Underpainting techniques - grisaille and imprimatura

•            Anatomical structures and how they affect surface forms

•            Seeing 2D vs. 3D - flat shapes vs. illusion of form

•            Large vs. small forms – simplification of masses

An average session will consist of:

•            A lecture/demonstration illustrating that session's lesson (30 min)

•            3 hours of painting from the long pose

Friday/Monday evenings, 6:00-9:30 pm

Eight 3.5 hr sessions

F 8/10, M 8/13, M 8/20, F 8/24, M 8/27, F 8/31, M 9/3, F 9/7 (*note: no class on F 8/17)

*New Studio Address in Emeryville

945 Grace Ave, Oakland, CA.

Cost: $500  (checks payable to Christian Fagerlund)

Send payments to:

3298 Madera Ave, Oakland, CA, 94619



cell: (510) 379-8192



Landscape Painting Workshop
August 5 - September 14

Over the course of eight sessions, we will focus on a method for creating fully-realized landscape paintings.   One faces numerous challenges when painting outdoors: changes in light, difficult weather conditions, time constraints, technical issues with the medium, etc.  These challenges are only compounded while working on larger-scale paintings.
This month-long workshop will give you the tools and methods needed to address these challenges.  We will start with a 6 hr. session in the field, where we will collect painted observations (from life) along with photo reference.  During these sessions you will have time to work on two paintings.  The following week we will meet for a three-hour studio session where you'll have the chance to further develop one of these pieces by combining mental notes, painted observations, and photo reference.

All levels are welcome.  Although demos will be done in oils, students are welcome to use other mediums (watercolor, gouache, acrylics, drawing, etc.).  Class size will be small (10 max.), allowing ample time for one-on-one critiques and demos.

Session Schedule:
Sunday afternoons/Wednesday evenings.

We will spend four Sundays (10:00-4:00) painting in four different Bay Area locations:

August 5  Point Pinole, Richmond

August 12  Oakland Port, Oakland

August 26  Cummins Skyway, Crockett

September 2  Marin Highlands, Marin

We will follow each Sunday session with a 3 hr. studio session (6:00-9:00pm) at the Oakland Studio:  3145 Maxwell Ave, Oakland, CA.

Wednesdays, August 8, August 15, August 22, September 5

Cost: $500 (payable to Christian Fagerlund)

Please send payments to Christian Fagerlund, 3298 Madera Ave, Oakland, CA. 94619


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Buzz and Sadie Word a Video, A Story, and a Painting

Buzz and Sadie Word, 16"x20" oilpaint, watercolor, and  ephemera on masonite panel in in vintage framed by Kenney Mencher

Buzz and Sadie Word,
16"x20" oilpaint, watercolor, and ephemera
 on masonite panel in in vintage framed
by Kenney Mencher

"Pipe Tobacco" by Marlin Bressi

One package of Captain Black, please.  Black cherry, if you've got it.  Yes, that'll be everything.  You know, the smell of Captain Black pipe tobacco really takes me back to when I was a kid.  I suppose lots of fathers enjoyed smoking pipes back then.  Buzz, my father, certainly did.  All the fellows down at dad's office called him Buzz and the nickname sort of stuck.

After all of these years I don't think any of us knew exactly what kind of work he performed at the office.  Like other dads, he would exit the house each morning, briefcase in hand and fedora atop his head, leaving behind a trail of Old Spice aftershave which lingered in air for a good five minutes after he left.  At precisely ten after six each evening he would return home, kick off his shoes, and smoke his pipe.  Over dinner, he would discuss things like the Peterson Account or the Wilmer Account, or the Kinney Account.  It was 1955 and I was six years old, so at the time I assumed my father must be some sort of accountant.

Sadie, that was mother's name, was a beautiful woman.  Here, look at this picture.  I've been carrying it around in my wallet since I was a teenager.  It was taken right after the war, before Buzz began working for Mr. Kelleher.  A young couple in love, the entire world spread out before them like a banquet.  I wasn't even a speck of light on daddy's eye back then.  No, I wouldn't come along for a few more years.

Fifty-five was a tough year for the Ward family.  Some investments went south and the roof began to leak and mother said that she wanted to join the workforce.  Buzz adamantly protested, of course, he being of a generation which believed that a woman's place was in the home.  Perhaps mother wouldn't have minded staying at home, if the roof didn't leak so much.

Mother promised that she would stay home, but sometime around February she began squirreling away money, stuffing it inside the tin of sugar in the kitchen cupboard.  She did whatever she could to make life better for me and Sis.  She gave piano lessons, voice lessons, you name it.  Beautiful as well as talented, that was Sadie Ward.  She was bound and determined to get a new roof by the end of the year.  I suppose women aren't fond of being rained upon in their own homes.

Spring eventually came, slapping the bitter taste of winter from our mouths.  Mr. Kelleher's firm was handed the Peterson Account, which must have been quite an important deal for my father.  One day, Mr. Kelleher took Old Man Peterson and daddy out to lunch.  Those were the days when business was conducted over ribeye steaks and a few stiff martinis.

"Let's go to the Purple Panda Club," suggested Mr. Kelleher.  My father balked, of course, because he knew all about that place.  Topless waitresses fluttering around like gauzy-eyed butterflies, cigarette trays strapped to their waists.  Buzz Ward didn't frequent such establishments.  His idea of indulgence consisted of a cigar, a snifter of peach brandy, and perhaps a Dodgers game on the radio.

Buzz Ward, however, knew the Peterson Account was the kind of deal that could make or break Mr. Kelleher, so off to the Purple Panda they went.  How red daddy's face must have been upon entering that place!  I can only imagine his embarrassment.  You know, mother was the only girl he ever kissed?

And how red daddy's face must have been when Old Man Peterson pointed his stubby finger to the stage, his turkey neck wattling as he said, "Sweet fancy Moses!  Look at the cantaloupes on that dancer!"

"Why that's Sadie," said Mr. Kelleher.  "They say that for a ten-spot, she'll take you in the back and do anything you'd like to her."

Lord, look at the time.  How about giving me another package of Captain Black before I go?  I have to meet with Mr. Phillips from the parole board.  Daddy's been in prison for a long time, and I'm sure he misses his pipe tobacco.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Write a story about "It Worked For Me" and Win this Watercolor Study

Write a story about It Worked For Me and Win this watercolor Study
Contest Ends Friday July 13th

It Worked For Me, oil on masonite, 8"x10"

It Worked for Me, watercolor on paper 10"x8"

The story you write should be a "Flash Fiction" which is a complete story in one thousand or fewer words.

The story you write should be a "Flash Fiction" which is a complete story in one thousand or fewer words. Please post the story in the comment section, you will have to provide your name and an email address in order to be qualified to win or you can e-mail me at with your info.

There is a problem with how many characters can post (only about 4,000) so if you cannot post it.

E-mail it to me at

Stephen D. Rogers

"You said no one would get hurt.  You said he'd buy the land if I assured him the deal was aboveboard, and that
would be that."

"I said a lot of things."  She stood naked at the window of the rented room, staring out at the horizon, raking
her fingers through her long, dark hair.

"Why did you have to shoot him?"  He couldn't bear to look at her, knowing what she'd done, knowing what he
might do.

"He was talking about selling the land, turning over the property to make a quick profit.  He wouldn't hold
onto the deed long enough for me to leave town."

"Leave town?  You never said you were leaving town."  And then he turned to face her, only she still looked

"I never said a lot of things."

"I can't go with you."  His job at the bank.  His wife and children.  The house with the mortgage he couldn't
afford, although she might have taken care of that problem, assuming she hadn't changed her mind about
splitting the money.

Assuming she'd ever meant to.

"I got what I wanted, and you got what you wanted, the thrill of a conquest, the thrill of taking a mark.  Now
when you sit behind your desk at the bank, watching the hands of the clock go around, you'll have memories to
help you through the long hours."

"You can't just leave."  This had been her plan all along, to use him, ruin him.

"You'll never see me again."  She stretched.  "It's better this way."

He came up behind her.  Reached for her throat.  Squeezed with what little strength he had left.
This came in by Patrick Nelson
(it's a little intense!):

Free One

          "You know you're just a fucking cunt, right?" he said as coldly as he could muster. In his mind it was supposed to come out all Daniel Craig, with the elegant, crisp, British downward curve at the end of the statement. Like the abrupt, but graceful rounding down of a Rolls Royce hood.
          It really came out more like Howdy Doody on Red Bull: high pitched, nasally and as spasmodic as a pimply teenager's first orgasm; Jagged, jiggly and full of nothing but petulant poison. He had mostly hoped for the word "cunt" to be like a barrage of tiny blades slicing mercilessly through the nearly opaque shower curtain, flaying away her hide and leaving her heart beating at the bottom of the soapy tub. Instead the use of the word just slapped limply and impotently and finally dribbled down the side to the tile.
          The word and the bile that had been loaded down the barrel behind it just made her smile--which she knew he couldn't see, but he could surely feel. She let her silence stretch out a little longer than was kind, but she wasn't done teaching him his lesson. She hoped he wasn't into the torture because that would take the fun out of it on her end. She lathered herself with the expensive body wash. She used much more than was necessary knowing he would simmer at the cost and waste. He paid a high price for the stuff and now for the little skank she caught him with last week. She could see him outlined through the milky veil of the thin curtain. He was leaning with his butt on the sink. She could make out his thin, stylish tie and his snarled lips. She slowly rinsed the foam from her belly and then cupped the water and sloughed it into her pubic area. She stood even closer now so as to give him a hint to the puzzle he would never again get to try and solve.
          He watched and imagined her cleaning away that other man's semen from her curly hairs. He bristled knowing she was working him, "I know you were with him! I saw you together at the hotel..."
          Another smile and fat slap of silence.
          "You had to fuck that douchebag Pembroke just to get back at me, didn't you?" He spat, though he still traced her exquisite form through the plastic. "You knew out of all my friends, he would be the incompetent suck-up that would bother me the most."
          She finally deigned to reply, "If you saw us, why didn't you stop us?" She turned off the shower and pulled back the curtain sharply, but elegantly. "If you're such a badass and sexy king of men--if you've got such big balls--why didn't you walk up and kick his sniveling little ass?"
          She didn't bother to cover herself. She had no shame to hide. If anything, she wanted to remember her this way in all her glistening glory as the last time he ever saw her.
          "Why didn't you take me away from him right there in the lobby?" She said. The rapid movement of her lips flicked water into his face. He winced and took it.
          "You're the fucking cunt." When she said this, it had the elegant but forceful impact his attempt lacked.
          She saw him almost cower and pout at having been called out. She had pushed and he had caved. He hunched slightly and began to tear up. He knew he had gone too far this time. He knew when she took another man to bed, that he never stood a chance of getting her back.
          She stepped out of the shower and came close to him. He mistook the movement for some kind of intimacy, a tender embrace for making him almost weep. Almost.
          He reached out to her and she stepped back as if supremely insulted and disgusted. She looked at him like he must have just lost his mind. She chuckled mockingly, rolled her eyes dramatically and pulled a large, perfect white towel from the rack beyond him and began drying herself off.
          He gave her room by backing into the doorway and then the narrow hall.
She didn't even look up at him as she wrapped herself from his gaze forever.
          "Listen, honey," he began to grasp at his life as it tumbled to the sides, "I know how I hurt you--"
          "Yeah, you do now," she shot back quickly but with less venom than before. "Since we got this out of the way, why the fuck don't you get out now? You can come get the rest of your shit when I'm not here. Ill tell the doorman to let you in, but for now, leave your keys by the door and don't forget to take your tiny little balls with you--they're in my purse by the door..."
          With that, she slammed the heavy bathroom door in his face. He heard the lock click.

Demonstration: Frankenstein, oil paint masonite panel 10"x8"

 Frankenstein, oil paint masonite panel 10"x8"

More "How to" Articles and Tutorials
The Human Figure

How to draw a portrait

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Three illuminated giant fish made of discarded plastic bottles on a Brazilian beach

According to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), between 60 and 80 percent of debris in the sea is from plastic products. To encourage people to think about recycling as a means to protecting the earth’s limited natural resources, artists built for the UN conference three enormous fish out of discarded plastic bottles on Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. At night, for special effects, the sculptures are illuminated from the inside with colorful blue and red LED twinkling lights which create a spectacular light show. Lovely!

Friday, June 22, 2012

A story inspired by one of my painting by Patrick Nelson

By Patrick Nelson
Satin, silk and skin all had that famous texture. All were highly prized by men. Men had that hard nature which they somehow thought would be smoothed out--exfoliated away--if they could just have some decadent, otherworldly softness to rub up against for a while. Like a cold compress or magical balm, it would soothe and ease the roughness, but after the sensation settled and they became accustomed to it, they tended to let the disappointment sour. Anger would soon emerge as they found it wasn't permanent escape.
Marisol was a keen, sharp girl and she had learned when to recognize the sly, content quality ebbing from their gaze. She knew exactly when the look would turn into the undertow of their emotions--always finding the perfect time to wade to shore and pad off through the wet sand.

She never let the men in her life check her off their list. She left them at the exquisite departure point that would leave her a frozen, fascinating siren in their memories. They would never move on to the next phase of their brooding metamorphosis. They would always picture her walking away in the rain taking their dreams of keeping her as theirs.
We've all had--all us men--that one young woman whom we couldn't bend or tame. Knowing we could never have her just made us want her all the more. We daydreamed on her changing her mind about us and coming back through the grey distance, right back to our arms. She would just be a formless smile floating beneath that orange parasol. The rest of her would swirl through the driving rain and wind, slowly piecing herself back together for us. She would come so close we could almost feel the satin of her light dress. We could nearly taste the salt at the nape of her neck. This would only be a cruel phantasm, because we knew she was already miles away. We were just letting the truth hide behind her hem.

New Painting: Some Nights, oil on masonite 10"x8"

Some Nights, oil on masonite 10"x8"
Buy this on Etsy

Friday, June 15, 2012

Mermaids and Mermen

Little Mermaid, oil on masonite 11"x14"
Buy this on Etsy
Morry Eale
20"x16" collage, oil paint, and
graphite drawing on masonite

Wanda Lust
14"x11" oil paint, drawing,
found ephemera, plastic parrot
on masonite panel in vintage frame