I worked on a blog post today about what I've accomplished as opposed to what I "should" or still "need" to do. It was because I've been having FOMO and insecurities (sometimes) when I look on Instagram at all the amazing art by other artists. I thought about how I usually define "success" and it's when I make an artwork that I really like, which is pretty rare.

So, I decided to post my favorite pieces on my blog, and out of 1045 paintings, I prefer 12 (plus a video installation project and two Artist's books). Those are the big successes of my life. Most are definitely not what others like. They are what satisfied me.

What about you? Do you have a few pieces you feel are your major accomplishments? Don't feel conceited. Just post them. We all know that no one here is a megalomaniac, or not without good reason anyway. ;)
Here is one of the twelve paintings I posted:

I'm not ashamed of any piece I did, but feel that this is the best.




12KT White and 23.75KT Rosenoble Gold Leaf
Genuine Amber Varnish
Macassar Ebony
Cellulose Nitrate Lacquer
(approximately 13 1/2" high)
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I have many works that I felt were successes at the time... which haven't aged well... or at least not in my opinion. I think my first truly mature... successful works were the collages that I started working on 15 or 20 years ago... after I had lost access to a studio space and was forced to work in my small apartment. I began a body of collages that were rooted in my love of books and reading.

1. 26f-Lamentations.TenseandOnEdge.700.jpg

-Tense and on Edge

2. 26-Lamentations.ABalancingAct.700.jpg

-A Balancing Act

3. 44b-TheThreeKingdoms.700.jpg

-The Three Kingdoms

4. 47-CoilandButtress.700.jpg

-Coil and Buttress

5. 49b-Cage.700.jpg


6. 51-TheNightengaleisApproaching.700.jpg

-The Nightingale Approaches

These works were all inspired by calligraphy as well as books. "The Three Kingdoms" takes its title from an old Chinese epic that I knew through my Chinese studio partner.

7. 102BachSuite7.700.jpg

-Ghost Sonata

8. 104-Theocritus meets Bach.700.jpg

-Excursions Into Greek Philosophy

17. GhostTrioX.jpg

-Ghost Trio

I moved toward more geometric/architectural work after a couple of years. These were inspired by love of the structures of classical music... and especially that of J.S. Bach... as well as my admiration of architecture and the Islamic use of geometry. Several times I combined 2 or 3 collages into a single suite... such as the "Ghost Trio".

I don't have a favorite - but there are many paintings - not my best works - but ones that represent breakthroughs - evolutionary leaps - in my painting -- not so much with techniques, but with how I think about painting. A few examples

this one is 15+ years old, one of the first times I used I color - and was the start of a minimalist style that I used for several years.
Balloon Party - acrylic on 18" x 14" canvas panel
balloon party.jpg

I had been painting wrestlers for a while, when I realized they were actually about one man - on the mat- battling his inner demons.
SmackDown acrylic on 24" x 20" panel
signature move.jpg

Began exploring the potentials of using contemporary themes and personalities in my work.
B Team = acrylic on 30" x 24" panel.

B team.jpg

well - that's the short list -
I've posted most of these before, I'm sure...

From the early 2000s, these are my favorites. Mother, 2003. Oil, paper patterns, graphite, and thread on canvas, 24 x 24 inches:


Polar Bearing, 2003. Oil, paper patterns, Czech glasshead pins, graphite, and thread on canvas, 24 x 24 inches:


September Schizachryium, 2005. Oil, manila paper, acrylic, and graphite on canvas, 24 x 24 inches:


Then there was Forgive: A pivotal painting I did in 2007 that combined my Pattern Paintings with my cartoons, or my abstract art with the “figurative:”


The above was done in oil, paper patterns, pencil & thread on canvas, with a couple pins, 48 x 65 inches. Making this painting helped me to take off so I could make other things like this:

In my Dreams (also known as Dick Boat):


In My Dreams/Dick Boat, 2013/2018. Oil and pencil on linen, 30 x 30 inches.
Though pretty Amy Sillman-influenced, it’s still my own invention, and I feel good about how it turned out.

I also liked how The Adequacy of And and Not, (2012) turned out:


Oil on canvas, 34 x 34 inches.

Of the Rock and Refuge series, I see the two best ones being Doggie Trail and Round House:


The House on Doggie Trail, 2014. Oil, paper, and fabric on birch wood panel, 20 x 20 inches.


Round House, 2015. Oil, paper, and fabric on birch wood panel, 36 x 36 inches.

From my Memoir show, Watch How I Wrangle and So Gone:


Watch How I Wrangle, 2019. Oil on canvas, 34 x 34 inches.


So Gone, 2019. Oil on canvas, 60 x 40 inches.

Then, a recent painting I really like is a self-portrait called I’m here for the Party. It was an older painting that I hated and painted over. Now it’s precisely as I want it.


I’m Here For the Party, 2021. Oil on canvas, 24 x 24 inches.

One of the biggest things I'm proud of though is a video installation I did in 2015 (Camp Up To Now) that went with my Exodus Project.
Nice bird, Musket. I have nothing from between 3rd or 4th grade and my last year in high school due to a portfolio having been stolen and I only have a few crappy reproductions of any work from art school (scanned from slides).

Here are a few more of my favorite collages from my geometric period:

9. 106-Winter Meditations upon a Theme by J.S. Bach.Thomas More.700.jpg

-Meditations on a Theme by Thomas More

10. 117-Bach Suite.700.jpg

-A Poet Unhinged (Tennyson)

11. 125- J.S. Bach Suite.700.jpg

-The Poetry of Perfumed Letters

12. 135-J.S. Bach Suite.700.jpg

-Suite: belle lettres

13. 7-J.S. Bach Suite.700.jpg

-Suite: belle lettres III

19. 8-Quartet on a Theme by J.S. Bach-Horizontal.1000.jpg

-Poetic Quartet

14. 150-Bach Suite-There was a Crooked Man...700.jpg

-There was a crooked man...

15. 1- Bach Suite.700.jpg

-There was a crooked man... 2

16. 0-Bach Suite.700.jpg

-An Elegant Gesture

I made literally hundreds of these and worked in a very systematic matter... completing each one before I began another. This was quite different from my manner of painting where I would often have 3, 4... even 6 paintings going at once. I learned a lot about self-discipline and composition/design that would eventually carry over to my figurative mixed media pastel paintings. Looking at some of the figurative pastel paintings that I now feel are less than successful, I still find a lot that is good with regard to composition/design.