Archive for July 2015

The Magic of Painting on Yupo

Out of the Sea
Out of the Sea

Possibilities for creating an original painting on yupo are endless and very exciting. The slick, plastic finish of the product (the same material as that bar code identifier used on your luggage at airports) offers a chance to manipulate paint to make fascinating patterns as a background for your images or as the foundation for a good abstract.

Watercolor or acrylic paint stays on top of the surface, leaving a brighter, more intense color than paint on paper. When using watercolor, shapes can be lifted out or added by just wiping an area with a damp cloth or brush. “Out of of the Sea” is a large painting suggesting the emergence of life from the sea.

The initial manipulation of the yupo by folding it in on the paint-splotched surface and pulling it apart (being careful not to crease the material) left images that resembled sea shells on a sea bed and triggered the idea. The figures were created by lifting paint off to make the shapes of the five figures and some color was added back to create contrast.


“Ascension” was done in the same manner, removing and adding paint from the background to create the figure of the man after drawing the exaggerated figure in ink.

Other paintings used ink, gold foil, collage, cardboard, etc. to achieve various concepts.

Gossip Break
Gossip Break

A favorite is the large painting of three European market vendors taking a break from their stalls . “Gossip Break” was a series of steps removing, adding and changing colors and shapes. The expressionistic plants, birds and figures capture the ambiance of the busy market. And nothing was drawn. Everything evolved from lifting or adding paint. Mistakes don’t matter… you just go right back in and change or correct.

I’ve uploaded several finished paintings here to show you the broad range of possibilities with water based media on yupo. Try it. You’ll be amazed at how brilliantly creative yupo makes you feel.

More paintings on yupo.



Painting in Prague on 9/11

I was painting on top of the hill in the palace gardens on 9/11/2001, when the twin towers were hit. We didn’t hear about it until we returned to the hotel. The management had special electricians come to the hotel and hook our rooms up to CNN in English so we could stay informed.

It was a horrifying, surreal time for all of us, so far from home and not able to fly back. All flights were grounded.

What I remember most is the kindness of the people of Prague when it happened. We walked in the rain the next day to the American Embassy and saw hundreds of memorial bouquets, teddy bears, heartfelt messages, photos, ribbons, every sort of expression of sympathy.

There was a special service for Americans in the huge cathedral in the old city the next evening. It was packed with thousands of mourners.

Some of the watercolor paintings on the sofa here were works done during that time. The strange little Bohemian hotel room was our safe house the next day as we all stayed close to our television sets.

The smile on my face in the photo was because that’s what you instinctively do when a camera is pointed at you.

Although memories of beautiful Prague are wrapped around this horrific event in our history, all the memories of that time, good and bad, burn bright.