I’ve never been a crowd kind of guy.

My painting subjects often reflect this. “Table for One,” my latest oil, is yet another example of this artist’s fascination with the beauty of solitude. This piece (80 cm x 120 cm) is a contrast to “Fluidity,” one I completed recently (read the post here). It also took longer because of the architecture, the perspectives, the lights, and the shadows—all required care and patience.

I love shadows and painting them.

I hope that when you watch the “evolution” video of “Table for One” below that you’ll take a good look into the shadows. While the solitary figure entering this out-of-the-way restaurant (on the island of Folegandros, Greece) is the focal point, the shadows are just as important. When I study and paint shadows, I see so many colors, tints, and shades dancing around, blending into one another. Greece is a goldmine for this with its white walls bouncing the light around. For me, the shadows help underscore the beauty of solitude.

A theme of going it alone.

If you’ve followed previous blog posts about my photography and painting you’ll know that Edward Hopper is my hero in capturing the solitary figure. Beauty can be found in the patterns of a crowd, but I’ll leave that to other artists who excel in that regard.

I’m also enamored of people, like the gentlemen in this picture, who move about in a type of walking meditation. As I get older, I’m more and more drawn to people so comfortable in their own skin that they don’t need to constantly be talking and interacting with others. Ultimately, I believe we’re meant to discover and swim in the sanctuary of peace that resides within each of us. That is my own lesson in aging gracefully.

The beauty of solitude continues…

I’m already hard at work on my next canvas. I’m back in the water with this one. Here’s a teaser: the subject, a solitary woman, is having a reflective moment in more ways than one.

Meanwhile, I hope you enjoy the following video (be sure to choose your highest resolution setting) that takes you through the stages of building and finishing this painting. It’s less than a minute!