Abstract Art “A Place at the Table”


(Click me, I get bigger)

“A Place at the Table” was the result of several synergistic forces. My girlfriend and I had been discussing abstract art after visiting galleries in New York and Washington, DC. She suggested that I give it a try. The problem was that I didn’t have a subject. On an unrelated note, I had taken my children out for dinner at the Pour House in Gaithersburg, MD. The Pour House is aptly named because of its many, many selections of beer – and my personal favorite “Sweet Baby Jesus” by Duclaw. For the record, I was the only one to have a beer, they also have great food and a plethora of big screens for sport watching. Anyway, I took a picture of the tabletop at which we were sitting while waiting for our order. I was drawn to the rich colors of the wood, the patterns of the scratches and the lighting in general.


I took the picture and forgot about it. Later that week, as I was backing up my pictures (I take a lot of random photos – See my photography page 🙂 and it hit me to try and paint the tabletop in abstract form.

The process was fairly straightforward. I started with an undercoating of Burnt Sienna, which has become my favorite thing to do since finding out my favorite painter, Vermeer, did the same thing. After this I started working the subtle hues of the wood, as if the table had never seen a customer and was still fresh in the staining room at the craft shop. I then worked an initial pass of scratches, then light characteristics and finally another pass of scratches.

One of the trickiest things to do with my work is get a good photograph of it. Ambient light sources and the characteristics of cameras, which are vastly inferior to the human eye, which operates at 576 megapixels, while the best cameras manage no more than 75 – the iPhone at 8 megapixels. To illustrate the difference here are a few different views:


If you have ideas to help in this regard, feel free to comment. I do have a better camera, which I am learning how to use in order to get better shots. Here is a side by side comparison of the two images, reality vs painting.



“A Place at the Table”

Acrylic on Canvas

11″ x 14″


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