Dante’s Inferno Canto I Modern Language Version. Written by Jim Belton and Illustrated by Victoria Olson

Canto I (49-50)

Canto I (49-50)

“and I lost hope of reaching the hilltop. I was like a man who takes his gains willingly, but when the time comes to lose, weeps and is full of sadness. The beasts came at me and little by little pushed me back down the slope toward the dark wood, where the sun did not shine.” 


I found Jim Belton’s  modern language version on word press; he’s been re-writing The Divine Comedy – by Dante Alighieri.  Click here to read Canto I.






Dante’s Inferno Canto III (106-108) Unmade Souls 2015


The Divine Comedy Canto 3 (106-108) Unmade Souls (Painting in Process)

Virgil and Dante start on their journey through the ante-inferno where those who looked the other way and the cowardly mingle with the neutral angels on the Acheron riverside desiring to cross over. Charon sees Dante and Virgil and tells them to find another way across the Acheron River.

Yellow Melon with Red Bottle Summer 2016

Melon with Red Bottle Summer 2016

Melon with Red Bottle and California Wild Flowers Summer 2016

When I saw this melon come into the room, I just knew I had to paint it.

Red Bottle with Melon Summer 2016

Yellow Melon with Red Bottle and California Wild Flowers Summer 2016

The most interesting thing about this yellow melon was the way it reflected color.  I was interested in capturing the reflection.

California Wild Flowers in Red Bottle with Melon Summer 2016

California Wild Flowers in Red Bottle with Summer Melon 2016

Here it is finished.

My Illustrated Interpretation of Eve’s Dream from John Milton’s Epic Poem Paradise Lost

I’ve been reading Paradise Lost by John Milton and was inspired to paint Eve’s Dream from Book V.  This painting illustrates the moment Eve bites into the forbidden fruit in her dream.

Upon awakening, Eve describes her disturbing dream to Adam.  She tells him that she was awoken from her sleep by a sweet voice whispering in her ear, asking her why she was sleeping and not enjoying the evening in the pleasant light under the full moon when the birds were singing.  Eve gets up and starts walking in the night looking for Adam, thinking that she was following his gentle voice.  Suddenly she finds herself standing in front of the prohibited tree of knowledge which is beautiful by day but even more so by night.  Standing near the tree was an attractive heavenly-looking winged creature that was also looking at the tree.  He pulled the fruit off of the tree and tasted it.  After taking a bite, he held the fruit to Eve’s mouth inviting her to partake also.  The sweet fragrance emanating from the fruit opened her appetite irresistibly. She bit into the fruit and flew upwards with the creature and saw the earth below her. Suddenly her guide vanished and she felt as if she were falling into a deep sleep; however, she woke up relieved to find it was only a dream.

Eve's Dream

Eve’s Dream




Rough Draft Watercolor, Tempera & Resin-Oil (Mixed Media)

Starting with a rough draft in watercolor from a thought is  the way I sometimes begin a painting; continuing  with tempera and finishing with Resin-oil is how I might finish a painting.


draft 1

draft 1

I usually do some small rough drafts  before starting a painting.  These first five drafts are watercolors.

Draft 2

Draft 2

So anyway,  this is just what I did.  I started with five or six small rough drafts in watercolor.  I picked one and started a  80 cm x 100 cm canvas painting of the watercolor in egg tempera technique.  After copying the watercolor as best I could, I continued building up the idea and the paint.  I finished with resin-oil which gives the finish a candied look.

I like big formats, so I try to have a clear idea. I like large but not too large sizes like  80 cm x 100 cm and 150 cm x 100 cm.

draft 3

draft 3

Tempera is great for under-painting or you can leave it as is – unvarnished.   It’s so quick and changeable and accepts oil over-painting perfectly well as a finished painting.

draft 4

draft 4

The thought is that I’m interested in robotics in the sense of West World and Artificial Intelligence; two emotionally impacting movies I saw that surprised me.

draft 5

draft 5

I’ve been looking at some of the latest robots in you tube as well as other things and fiction is becoming reality as usual.

Draft 1

Draft 1

My painting is about how fiction and reality are closely knit.

There is something about robots; I’m sure you’ve noticed too.




Tempera underpainting



Unrequited_desire  80cm x 100 cm

Resin Oil on Canvas – In Process