Category Archives: What’s new

Festival 2015

I wanted share an image of the original oil painting I created for the posters for Festival of the Arts in Grand Rapids 2015.

festival painting

The painting will be on display and for sale at the Richard App Gallery (910 Cherry St Se, Grand Rapids, MI). There are poster prints (2 sizes) and coffee cups for sale at the gallery as well.

Check out some of the buzz here…..and here….and here.

New abstract cityscapes

For those of you that like the new abstract cityscapes, then check out the host of new ones I recently finished.  For those of you who prefer the more contemporary realism cityscapes, don’t fret, I have not permanently changed my style.  I merely created a series to decorate my living room (nice benefit of being an oil painter).

Ionia Abstract is the only new painting for sale.  You can find it either at the Cityscape gallery or the Flora & Abstract gallery. The rest are for my wife and our house.

I added the pics of some of them (see above and below). Let me know what you think?



Finally, some new paintings

I know I have been slacking with the new paintings.  Writing has seem to have taken over my free time this last year. However, I did complete some very fun Cityscapes.

Below is Basilica of St. Adalbert, a painting I had been working on for quite some time. I recently went into an entirely different direction and the finished project is here.

The next one was done with the finishing work of a palette knife. Nothing breaks you free more than switching to a knife instead of your usually bristle brushes!

Don’t “info dump” in your novel

In my last post, I talked about something totally not related to painting. I talked about how I was trying to get a fictional book published and how I made the first hurdle of having a literary agent interested in the book.

They read the first 10 pages and wanted more, so I sent them the requeated 40 more pages and a synopis.  Well…well, they passed on the book. I know. That sucked.

The silver lining here is that I got great feedback from the literary agent. Kudos to the Talcott Notch literary agency for taking the time out to give me some advice. Especially thanks to Kelly the intern. She said something along the lines of how I “overused extraneous details which greatly interfered (or slowed) the pace of the book.”

What the hell does that mean?

Well that was the question I had anyways. I emailed an actual  professional author I know, Kristina Riggle. If you have not read any of her books yet, you have to.  She is awesome. Anyway, she knew exactly what Kelly was saying.

It is called “info dumping.”

Basically it is when amateurs like me have to fulfill our desires to show the reader what the main scenes and characters are like early on. I mean, they just have to know what the hallway in the police department looks like and how tall the main character is, right?

Take the professionals’ advice…don’t do it. Don’t “info dump!” Hell, don’t even describe people that well. Let their dialog and actions describe them. Don’t give all those only-interesting-to-only-you facts about the city or the company you are writing about.

Don’t use all 5 senses to describe a room. Kristina used the example of decribing a newsroom by the sound of the presses and the smell of the ink. That is it. No more info needed.

Unless you are writing literary fiction, don’t do it! I think my problem is that I had been reading books off a list of the top 100 books of all time. Guess what – they are literary fiction. Guess what my book is – NOT literary fiction. I wrote a crime fiction book. You know…plot oriented.

If you are writing anything that is other than literary fiction, do youself a favor and do not “info dump.” Actually I’m pretty sure you shouldn’t “info dump” in a literary fiction book either. 🙂

Believe me, you would hate to go from the up of an interested literary agent to the down of be “passed” over because of it.

Good luck to any of you who are writing or painting or doing anything that is a gift to do. We are truly blessed!

New oil paintings of a tree in the breeze

I know…I know…I haven’t had very many new paintings this last year.  But, but it is not what it seems. I did not just become a lazy bump on a log. First of all, I have poured tons of energy into my Functional Fitness blog,

More relevant to my free time, however, has been my writing.  At first, I wrote a history book. It was a completely new and fresh idea – a history book about world history from 10,000 BC until present day as told from two friends, a teacher and a cop. Well….it apparently was a hard read. A comment that summed it up was, “I liked the characters, but then they talked about history too much, or else I loved the history, but didn’t get enough of it because the two characters moved on.”

So then I started Witness Tampering, a crime fiction novel. It began about a year and a half ago and, actually as I type this, I have several queries out there for agent representation. It only took about 7 drafts to get there. Oh, and don’t forget, I wrote my Functional Fitness ebook, The Body That God Intended Us To USE last summer.

But, I did finish a series of 3 paintings that tie in as one, titled “Dianne’s Breezy Tree.” Check them out below, and let me know what you think.