My Artwork | 3 Paintings called Karoshi

Before I left Dallas, one of our best friends, David, commissioned me to do a painting for him. David is a lawyer and had recently begun working for a sweet new law firm; so he wanted some original art to decorate his fancy new office with!

Not a photo of David, but this is his big, beautiful and goofy Great Dane named Finlay.
I love him.

David knows I love doing large-scale work, and we decided on a 3-canvas piece. I like doing the occasional abstract painting, and I know what kind of art David is into. I had a lot of fun making this piece for my friend.

Check out the progression of the piece (photos taken at my studio in Dallas, AKA our apartment balcony on a dropcloth because I'm a messy painter) :

 As many painters do, I paint in several layers. Here is the underpainting.

 Added strokes to visually tie the 3 canvases together.

 Added more shapes using paint and a building medium to keep the paint thick and raised on the canvas. Also inserted my signature jellyfish [giggles].

*Because the shapes were a bit too perfect and colors a bit too pure, I then employed a painting technique I discovered back in school. I put turpentine (turpenoid) all over an old t-shirt and wiped the entire canvas with it while the oil paint is wet. It smears the shapes and blends the colors.

Then I go back with a smaller brush and do touch-ups...

TA-DA! Finished product.
It's hard to tell from this image, but the red circle shapes and the streak across the center are really thick with paint.

One of my favorite parts of this piece is that you can switch up the order of the 3 canvases and change their orientation, and the piece still looks interesting! It's up to the person with the hammer and nails to determine how the paintings hang on the wall.

I called the piece KAROSHI. This is a term I learned while living in Japan, and it means "death from overwork". Because my friend David is a hard-at-work lawyer, I thought the painting would remind him not to overwork himself and to make time for leisure and his wife and doggie. 

Thanks for letting me paint for you, Dave!


  1. ooh how fun! i haven't painted in a while but looking at this inspires me to go do so. :) cute blog. follow each other?



  2. love the fact that its in three pieces! it looks great!



Comments, Thoughts, Feelings & Feedback welcome!