Some people react to my nudes as if they are necessarily erotic. However, an image of a human in her or her natural state is no more inherently erotic than an image of a horse without a saddle. Any assumption that any work of mine is erotic is purely the result of the psychological projections of a viewer. Art is highly personal, and what one person sees in a work can be the polar opposite of what another person sees.
"Apache Gothic" is both a body and an attitude portrait. You don't have to take more than a cursory look at his jewelry, his posture and his bare-chested style to know quite a bit about this man. Note that his fingernails, which you might be inclined to overlook, are shaped to slight points.
My favorite part of "The Navel Ring", is the hand that rests on the model's ankle. The sheen of highlights, the structural elements, the knuckle wrinkles and the warm reflected lights are delicious to portray. Note the amount of orange light on her fingers and on her lower abdomen just about her pubis. The similarity of texture of her pubic hair and of the crushed velveteen drapery satisfyingly contrast with the smoothness of her skin.
In "Raven's Tattoos" the feather tattoos, faux bear claw and beads suspended on a leather strip speak of this man's identity as a First Nations American. Note the orange reflected light on his ribcage and trapezoid muscle. I particularly enjoyed drawing the tattoos and the shadows cast on his chest by the pendant necklace.
"The Red Light District" is all about reflected color. The model was standing very near a bank of grey lockers, and the red color of a nearby drapery bounced off the neutral-color lockers and onto the back of the model. There is an appealing intimacy in the rich, red darkness.
"The Pink Boa" is partly about the contrast between the hot-pink, fluffy boa and smooth, dark skin. For me, the highlights on the skin are the most fascinating thing about this painting. Warm ochres and umbers predominate on the palette and very little white paint is used. Many Impressionists banned black from their palettes altogether.
I painted "Ode to Rubens" some time after a trip to Brussels, Belgium where I saw many paintings by Rubens. Note the bright, luminous, peachy color of the translucent tip of her thumb and the thumbnail. Her middle finger is also somewhat transparent, but most of the color there is reflected light bouncing from the red drapery on which she lies.
In "Tom's Foot", the heavier structure of the foot and the proliferation of hair says "adult male". The amount of detail on the old stool and the sheen on the rungs, compared to the highlights and details on the foot and nails, draws a comparison as well as a contrast between varnished old wood and a man's foot.
One of the most interesting things about "Taking It Easy" is the reflected light and color in the shadows and half-tones. The hands are the main focus, in spite of the "headlights" effect of the nipples. Note the cool tones in the veins on the back of the model's left hand, the knuckles, the wrinkles across the finger joints, and the nails.
"Ample", like many of my other nudes, gave me the opportunity to study and execute reflected lights on Caucasian skin. Obvious places where you can see this is on the bottoms of the breasts where they curve back towards the body and along the inner aspect of the upper arm to the far right of the picture.
"Getting Dressed" is technically a portrait, but I have taken liberties with anatomy to serve the theme of the picture, which is self-assurance or confidence. The direct eye-to-eye gaze of the sitter and the bold, almost theatrical design of the brassiere that will be hidden beneath clothing proclaims "I know who I am, I like who I am, and I wear this for myself!" This individual celebrates her self-determination.
"Bling Man" is a body portrait of an African American man. Nothing more is needed to describe his personality than the green leather pants and his large collection of faux jewelry. Note the orange reflected light on his fingers and parts of his arms and ribcage.
The most beautiful part of "Raven's Back" is the upper back. Skin is far from perfect, so why not show it that way? The details in this highly realistic painting are part of a person's physical individuality. Note the stretch marks across the center of the back and near the top of the buttocks. And that isolated, odd looking elongated oval shape on the far right (lower back and side) is a scar left from an accident. Even a picture such as this has a story to tell!
I love depicting hands and feet. "Woman's Foot" is also a contrast in textures, for example of the crushed velveteen drapery and the hard shine of the model's toenail polish.
"Silk Robe" is a portrait, but the model's semi-nudity made the picture seem to belong in my Nudes or Nearly category. I particularly like the way her hands dangle languidly off the ends of the chair's arms.
"The Black Cape" incorporated a good many of the challenges of figure painting in a single picture: various skin tones, light and shadow, anatomical form, placement of a figure in space, and patterned drapery.