Painting Heads

Painting heads has been a decade-long project with over 650 extant examples. Mr. Harris calls the pictures “heads,” as they are not true portraits, but representations of types, or the impression that a sitter or observed person projects. They range from informal sketches to wildly abstract versions of the real and imagined.

Most of the head paintings were made on iPhone or iPad using various painting apps. The impetus to use digital mobile devices to make art came from Mr. Harris’s longtime friend and colleague, Patricio Villarroel-Bórquez, a legendary musician and artist based in Paris.

The book Painting Heads is a teaser for a more complete volume that will contain the cream over 700 heads made over the last decade.


From The Diet of Worms

All the sculptures in this series are made from a stump of a mangrove tree found floating in Sarasota Bay four years ago. The wood was riddled with holes made by Teredo navalis, or the shipworm, a marine clam that bores into most woods in salt water environments. The shipworm was the bane of the wooden ship navies.

A friend, John Lynch, delivered it to my home where I let it dry out for two years. To make the sculptures I chiseled small pieces from a piece of the main root that had broken off when I accidentally dropped the stump. I glued and shaped these pieces into sculptures. The bases are stones and tiles rescued from building sites. The broken piece of the stump is in my studio, but the bulk of the mangrove is living in my Zen garden where it is being further distressed by termites.

The title is a word-play on the 1521 Diet (an assembly) of (at) Worms, convened by the Holy Roman Emporer, King Charles V, to address Martin Luther’s protestant uprising. In this case, the wood used to make the sculptures had been the diet of shipworms.

The Cry

The Last Man Standing
Three Masted Bark
Teredolites Plaza

Bouteille de Parfum: Redux

After Ki Woon Huh, my Korean master ceramics teacher accidentally broke my laboriously constructed and painted piece, Bouteille de Parfum,  he made a copy from my drawings. My version was slab made, Ki Woon used the wheel and expertly bent the clay into the complex shape. The result was a much lighter piece which has been drying for five months in the studio.

After I finished painting Kneeling Woman, he asked me to decorate the new Bouteille de Parfum. Because the porcelain was so dry, it was not possible to make a wet transfer from a cartoon drawn on calque, I had to draw the cartoon freehand directly on the clay with a pencil.  The drawings are different than the first version and are derived from newer pen, ink & wash drawings from my Night Book series. Below are the four views of the new Bouteille de Parfum with the cartoon drawn on the clay. The piece is a little smaller than the original. It is ~12″ wide and 16″ tall.

Here is the piece painted. It still needs a bisque firing and then a firing with the over glaze.

Bouteille de Parfum View 1

Bouteille de Parfum View 2

Bouteille de Parfum View 3

Bouteille de Parfum View 4

Kneeling Woman Porcelain Project

After the demise of the Bouteille de Parfum project, I began work on another large-scale sculpture of a kneeling woman. Here are two views of  the nearly completed piece: (click on images to enlarge)

360-degree view of Kneeling Woman: a Work-In-Progress


Kneeling Woman WIP_10

Kneeling Woman WIP_9

Kneeling Woman WIP_8

Kneeling Woman WIP_7

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