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I returned to a painting, Woman with a Blue Shawl. I had thought I had finished her a couple years ago. Even then, i wasn't too sure the painting was complete, but I felt it was time to set the painting aside and move on.


For this painting, unfinished in my mind, I decided to just have fun with it, let loose, and enjoy the physical act of painting. I applied dark lines and wet whiskeyed-down acrylics, to allow the texture to give this woman some character. She's a tough gal, someone with an interesting life and story.


I like the painting much better now. On instagram, I renamed it Scritchy Woman, but she really is The Woman with the Blue Shawl. 36 X 12 gallery canvas.

Art collectors from Ramsey, Minnesota purchased a commissioned painting based on the band Mumford and Sons.


To get an idea of how and what to paint, I printed out the lyrics to five songs that meant something to the art collectors -- I also listened to a bunch of Mumford songs, as I was mostly unfamiliar with the band.


I was taken with the lyrics from the song Hopeless Wanderer. The last line of the song is "I will learn to love the skies I'm under."


I used acrylic paint, pumice, thin art paper, and Thompson's Whiskey.

Using tissue and typing paper, I transferred the lyrics from the song Hopeless Wanderer. I soaked the paper in acrylic medium and whiskey, then I added it to the canvas. I also used regular printer paper with the lyrics, as well.

The band would like to start a whiskey brewery, as they are big whiskey afficionados. Hence, the whiskey in the art.


The title is The Skies I'm Under. The painting is 24 x 48 inches on a gallery canvas.


Heavily textured with acrylics and whiskey mixed with acrylics. Paint pens. 20 x 20 gallery canvas.

Acrylics, acrylics mixed with whiskey and marijuana, which were some of the items we all indulged in when I was a Marine. Heavily textured. 36 x 24 gallery canvas.

Family History and Heritage: Art by Barry Scanlan

A painting of three friends sitting at a barThree friends at the bar, acrylic and Twin Spirits Distillery whiskey

Barry Scanlan is an American artist of Irish descent. In his artistic practice Barry is primarily a painter, using a variety of media including paint, pencil, and presently, whiskey, to compose images that reference family history and heritage, as well as a history of the 20th century working class. 

A painting recreating an old family photoLooking at the space where dad was standing, acrylic, charcoal, and whiskey


I really enjoy Barry’s whiskey paintings. In some pieces the artist draws with pencil, using whisky to create a single tone accent colour, embracing the warm, neutral sepia tone of the liquor. In other works, Barry’s paintings are thematic -- portraits of people, perhaps friends, perhaps strangers, at bars with glasses of whiskey. In these pieces, the liquor itself seems to be more blended into the overall palette, perhaps adding a warmth to the pigments 


Much of Barry’s portfolio centres around human figures, and I appreciate the slightly abstracted, gestural, almost naive sensibility about these portraits. They are childlike at times, but emphasize colour and the texture and materiality of paint, making these works as much about the artist’s love for the medium as for his family.

A portrait of a steel worker in the 1970sSecond Shift Steelworker, Young's Bar, Southside Pittsburgh, 1970s, acrylic with gel and pumice

Trouble on the Magma Planet. 48 x 30 gallery canvas. Heavily textured painting with aliens, lava, and a space base.

I’m a featured artist at Mia! Foot in the Door 5: The Virtual exhibition just opened online. Please visit the exhibition at:


And you can find my artwork here:







My artwork will be featured in Foot in the Door 5: The Virtual Exhibition at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. The exhibition will run from November 1, 2020 until January 10, 2021. The exhibition will be entirely online. Held once every ten years, "Foot in the Door" is an open exhibition. Now marking its fourth decade, this exhibition celebrates the talent and diversity of Minnesota's visual artists. The sole curatorial criteria? Each submission must fit within one cubic foot. 


I submitted a painting that I felt was sure to get a look from the exhibit organizers. I will post the painting on November 1, when the exhibit goes up.