August 1, 2009

Work in progress

This is the painting I'm working on now. It is the sixth in the Runway series. (Click on the picture for a blowup.) I'll show you the finished version when it's done.

The dress is by Missoni, the Italian design house and was part of its 2009 fall collection. The burning army vehiclewas taken from a Vietnam War photo.

Missoni was started in 1953 by Ottavio Missoni, the son of an Italian sea captain and a Serbian countess, and his wife Rosita.

They met in London. He was a hurdler in the 1948 Olympics there. Rosita, who had worked in her family's embroidery company, was in London studying English.

"He was gorgeous and I dreamed of meeting him!" she would say years later.

Their company didn't become a real success until they were invited to show a collection at the Pitti Palace in Florence in 1967. There the Missonis gained attention more for what the models didn't wear than for what they did.

According to, Rosita told her models to remove their bras because they ruined the line of the black jersey dresses they were wearing.

"Under the bright catwalk lights, the material became transparent, and the shocking sight of the see-through dresses became headline news around the world," the website said.

Now their three children run the highly diversified operation.

July 30, 2009

Here's looking at you, Anita

Since I began Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man in June 2006, more viewers have looked at this picture than any of the hundreds I've posted.

The subject is Anita McFarland who I photographed at the Coltsville Shopping Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. (Click on the photo to enlarge it.)

She drew wolf whistles in the process.

Over the years her photo has always been in the top 10 in the stats on my original blog site:

The ship was commissioned by the shopping center. The owner's brother was an art collector.

When the center was sold, the ship was removed. I loved it but a lot of people in town did not.

July 28, 2009


This is Runway 5, the fifth painting in my series about the catwalk and other aspects of life. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)

The British actress Sienna Miller, unbeknownst to her, is the model. She's confronting one of China's combat tanks, a la Tiananmen Square.

I'm not trying to deny the heroics of the Chinese man who stood up to the tanks. I am one of the millions who consider him incredibly brave..

July 26, 2009

Busy as a bee

The purple thistles Babbie and I planted in one corner of the raspberry patch some years ago are very popular with bees.

I took this shot about 6:30 yesterday evening after mowing the lawn.

And mowing the lawn came after a nap, which came after hours of grappling with a leak that's causing interior rot inside a small section of the back wall of the house. I hope its a small section.

I've pulled off trim, yanked out one wide plank floorboard, cut a small rectangle out of the mushy plywood underflooring, pried off exterior shingles, and cut a hole in the wallboard - just missing an electric wire.

I can see the damage the but I still haven't figured out how the rain is getting in.

It was nice during the day. But now its night and it's raining. It seems like it's been raining since June 1.

I have a hard time going to sleep when it's raining. All I can think about is it leaking in and wreaking havoc.