how bad i yam

Based on a real event.  Five local yokels are in trouble for driving around with a pipe bomb in their trunk. They just liked to see things go boom.  Still in the pokey.  Stupid, definitely, and maybe even terrorists?

Thanks to my friend Susan for the better title. I was just going to call it “The Bad Yam”.  Nancy says the big one on the left is “the best yam ever”

May 2011  22x28

the great yam of dublin                 the giant yam of san ramon

 Diptych   18x24  In honor of the twin East Bay cities.     The gate opens to a castle on a hill, speaking to the inner richness of this Yam.

Yam of Doom

20x20  This highly pockmarked yam is from North Carolina and was shaped like a kidney bean.  The painting is a synthetic view of both sides at once.

May a moody baby doom a yam?
Not this one!

the squirrel is making strange noises

This little critter is standing on its hind legs and saying "A-O-OZZIG".  I don't know what that means.  But the painting is in honor of National Guard troops serving under trying conditions in Iraq, as the military figure is their commanding general.  May they return to the land of squirrels and sweet potatoes soon. The Yam, which is in the painting but does not participate in its action, is a double rendition of the same yam.   24x18.

Yam From Eggplant

18x24  The heavens are ablaze with glory as this yam bursts forth fully formed from an eggplant, as witnessed by a retinue of fruits.  With thanks to my friend Jim Houghton.  Fall 2008

Yam with Monster Wallet

Feb 2021   Yam in rocking chair, magnets, cigarette lighter with dog, blue golf ball, and The Creature

​   Ballerina Yam


​Divebomb Yam

40" x 30"  ​August 2023

Sunrise over Yam City

Acrylic on the rough side of masonite.  
Yes, there is a colony of string beans in the suburbs.    24x24  Summer 2003

(Transgender Issues in) The Vegetable kingdom

24x30 King Yam sits on a bed of red bliss potatoes and rules over the root vegetables. Queen Yam sits on a mushroom, looking after her salad greens.
   But the carrot wants to join his sisters, and the gourd wants to join her brothers!  They have each grown little feet for that purpose.

   Is that a butterfly, or a hawk eating a squirrel?

Yams Wear Shiny SHoes

20x30  In honor of a trip to the theater with our friends Tony and Elisha, to see Wendy Wasserstein's great play "Third".  Nancy was wearing a pretty blouse, which I wanted to paint as a dividing curtain.  But it turned into a headless giraffe doing the Watusi.

Yams in Orbit stars in love

16x20 Oct 2021

​Once upon a time, 8 billion years ago, there were two baby stars that condensed from a big gas cloud, their nuclear fires igniting at the same time as they spun around each other, moving a tiny bit closer together each turn. As time passed, they had lots of planets revolving around them, and even one in the Lagrangian point between them that always stayed in the same place (center grapefruit).  As their fuel ran out, they became red giants (bye-bye inner planets) and then blew up as supernovas, leaving twin neutron star cores, still orbiting each other but now much faster and closer, eventually spiraling into each other (top left) at breakneck speed and spewing out a huge amount of gold as they merged into one bigger neutron star, or more likely a black hole (top right).  Finally, truly united and forever together as one.  Check out these amazing merger movies:

I grew these two yams myself !  Because of their massive greatness, I am showing them full size in the main gallery.

Close-up Yam

all 2017 to paint  36x36 

Five things (3 people, 2 vegetables) that have very little in common, yet all fit together in a strange way. I bought the Yam and even grew the Zucchini. Unlike Manuel Noriega, who is profoundly influenced by the Pineapple, neither Glenn nor Chuck Close have anything in particular to do with yams, either in appearance or personal mannerisms, as far as is publicly known.  However, it is through the nexus of this Yam that they may be compared and contrasted.  I admire both the artistic accomplishments of Chuck and the film career of Glenn (even if I constantly confuse her with Cloris Leachman, another fine actress). The Panamanian history of the late 20th century not so much, although I always have liked pictures of Manuel.  Here is a small-scale modified reproduction of one of Chuck's largest and most famous works, along with two images from one of Glenn's best movies, the 101 Dalmatians, in which she plays a female Devil.  Noreiga was a prominent male devil as far as President Bush Daddy was concerned.  Chuck has influenced my painting style of squares with little squares inside.  I cannot copy his more complex pixelated mosaic style, although you may try per these instructions:

yam dreaming

24x36 Dec 25-31 2013.  I had not planned to make this painting, but came across such an amazingly big yam at a specialty food market that I felt compelled to paint it. A gift!

Green Yam with Trolls

18x24  Spring 2024

I loved to play with trolls when I was a kid, after moving from Baltimore to Durham NC. I still have Leslie.  Obie stands for Outboard Boating is Enjoyable.

Above Obie, an orange pepper.  Above Lesie, a start fruit.   The root vegetables top to bottom are a little russet potato, a big red potato, and two yams.

The animals are a wolverine, a wombat, and a weasel.  I would have included a wallaby, except it looks like a kangaroo. 


with yam and planets

20x24 Mango and Banana, Yam on the Moon.  The red dot of a planet is Mars. From another sector, the Tomato People have sent out three cherry tomato scouts from the mother ship to check out our solar system.  But unbeknownst to them, Michael Quigli’s grape has joined the party.  No telling what will happen next.

The big yam in the center is a birthday present and a most magnificent red yam. For many years, the DiveBomb yam lower left held the title of “World’s Greatest Yam”.  Now the title rotates, just like the divebomb itself, but this is always a superlative yam.  The dark brown yam is an interloper and not part of the original design of this painting. However, I have never seen a yam more gnarly and misshapen. Continuing its shock value, when I baked it and cut it open, lo and behold it had a completely white interior.  Above it is not the Moon, or Earth, but a false color image of Mercury.

This painting is a tribute to the city of Baltimore, where I spent 4 vitally important years K-3 at Arlington Elementary School.  My teachers were all very sweet, kind ladies. That is Enoch Pratt upper right, who founded the public library system.  A Baltimore Oriole to the left, and the Bromo Selzer tower beneath it. Baltimore is famous for its row houses.  A raven, not a crow, in the middle window. The animals are taking a break from the zoo.

Now as for the ballerinas, their grace and beauty are the perfect embodiments of the same qualities that I cherish in a tuber. You might not think of them as athletes, but they have amazing core strength, stamina, and agility.  That is Misty Coleman in the top right corner, the American Ballet Theatre’s lead ballerina.  I don’t know who the other ones are!  If you do, please tell me and I will identify them.

How be-ith oo?

I yam goodly!

campy ram with yam & lions

24x36  It's really a goat.  But it is becoming a ram.  The yam is unusually orange and is from Alabama.  It grew a propeller and became a blimp, piloted by a rubber duckie.  The lion ate a lioness and became a cow.  The cootie is trying to avoid being eaten by the heron.

[Yam Art Museum]

YAM with black holes

The lizard on the right is an iguana, but looks somewhat fishy.  The other reptile is actually a blue salamander.  This yam had very deep holes, going down half an inch or more.  The Yam of Doom also had one, but nothing like this yam.  As with that painting, the top orange projection is based on the other side of the yam.
18x24 Summer 2014


This was my first Yam painting.  The bottom one is actually a boniato and is next to a rib.  The second one looked like a bird..

Hunt Slonem Yam

Inspired by Hunt Slonem, interior decorator to the stars, who has the biggest studio in NYC, and who paints birds, butterflies, and rabbits with great gusto. Hunt is a larger-than-life flamboyantly-dressed man, and I have selected a Yam with the same characteristics. It has  bulging veins and is a bright florid pink. Above it is a boniato whose surface is a veritable war zone, covered with scabs, scales, and mottled purple coloration. Most root vegetables are happy to live underground.  Not this one.

24x36 Dec 2015.


the superlative yam

22x28  Yams are accompanied by citrus fruits.  My friend Ben the art critic sees this yam moving backwards in time to the dawn of creation.

tribute to chardin

Three Yams and a Cornbread

 In honor of the great 18th century French artist.  The top two yam models looked like a walrus and a seal. The bottom one looked like a big submarine.   19x24

Whale Yam

A big yam with a flat bottom and pronounced orange mouth.  Shaped very much like a whale.  Sept 2015  11x14

cousin bernie

comes to visit

2012 40x30 Cousin Bernie is the potato.  No, there is no Bernie in my family in real life. Laura notes a Hopper-esque quality to this piece, in that the woman seems isolated in the spacious living room and her relationship to the root vegetables is ambiguous.  She has a point, and in fact I don’t know if it is her house or the Yams’ house. Moreover, the central painting in the painting might actually be a wide screen monitor of their bedroom, rather than a still life, the better for us to voyeuristically observe them.  But I can tell you that the little painting in the painting in the painting is a picture of Jim Wodark plein-air painting (see

​As you know, root vegetables have citrus fruits as pets. Bernie’s lime is on the rug, and the Yams’ lemon is on their bedroom chair.  Their pink rug is very fluffy. Look closely and you will see the Chinese vase is in honor of Ming Chen, a junior high school friend of mine, who went on to do great things in Seattle.  The I and G flowers are responding to the lady’s reach.

yam with hyphalosaurus

The hyphalosuarus is an aquatic dinosaur. There are two flanking the Yam, and the top one has two heads, one of which is in honor of Loretta Reisberg, a fine Southern lady.  The yam itself is an idealized, platonic form, totally without blemish, and painted from imagination, not a real model.  20x30  May 2014

coronavirus Yam with Feral HOgs, Biplane, and Scowlers

18x24  April 2020

This yam had pronounced scars.   Originally titled "Mortified Yam", then "Mollified Yam".  The scowler is one of President Trump's security guards at his SOTU address last year who had an enormous frown.  The biplane is an allusion to the 1918 pandemic. The green curved bananas are really just shapes.