Monday, April 30, 2012


Warm weather, wildflowers blooming, longer days, all signs pointing towards the migratory trend out of the studio, and into the field to tackle the profusion of color and complexity that nature provides in abundance this time of year. Here's three recent pieces in my quest to decode the textures of foliage I often see driving to and from work. I noticed the forget-me-nots about a week ago on the way home in the afternoon light, and made plans to come back and paint. This tiny pale blue flower is rather bleached out by direct sunlight, but pulses a blue radiance in shadowed areas, almost the exact value of the green neighborhood it resides in. There's about a 2 week window where this flower blooms. Hopefully I'll get a few more of these in before they're gone for the year.
This bottom one has a myriad of 'issues', all self-inflicted. There's really more than one painting in here, I readily admit, In addition, though I have a spotty success rate in painting tree roots, I keep trying to sneak them into my work. Did I almost cut the painting in half with that illuminated edge of flowers on the right? Guilty! Plus, that tangled weave of branches in the background tempted me with its persian rug complexity. In short, its a kitchen sink painting, full of too many good intentions. Periodically I fall into this trap, and spring has a beguiling way of deluding me into trying to get it all going in one image. Sometimes I know I'm walking right into it, and still keep going. One can think of images like this as a page full of math calculations, or notes about various painting problems, all tackled with varying success rates in a single image. I find its still worth the effort at times, even if it doesn't gel into an image with a strong, singular impact. There's always next time.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Gallery Talk tonight in San Francisco

In my last show at the Studio Gallery, my talk was scheduled the same evening as a playoff game between the Giants and some rival team.This time I won't be competing with any sporting events that I'm aware of, and hopefully the weather will curtail its recent outbursts, so there will be some folks willing to make a trip to the gallery this evening at 7.
I've got a range of work in the show of what I might call the usual suspects and terrain, which will be the basis of my talk. I'll try to explain what it is that draws me to paint what I do, and also go into the issue of my evolving studio efforts, and what I can get out of that process that I can't get in nature (and vice versa). I welcome hecklers and those that ask questions, along with the polite listeners. And, of course, as a bonus, all the secrets of Art will be revealed.... Hope to see there!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Upcoming art show (and recent studio work)

My 3rd annual solo show at the Studio Gallery in San Francisco opens this Wednesday. Here are the 7 studio pieces I did for the show. The other 26 paintings were all done onsite at a variety of locations around California.

Rush Hour
Pastel on Canson Paper
16 x 14

Pastel on Canson Paper
14 x 16
From a raft trip down the Colorado in 2008. I can't tell you how many paintings drifted by while on the raft. Here's two that I couldn't let get away. Nankoweap was actually a view from shore in camp. I have a field study of this one.

Drake's Beach
Pastel on Canson Paper
16 x 20
There are 2 other pieces in the show painted on this day. Ernesto Nemesio and Sharon Calahan and I spent a whole day exploring different areas of the Pt. Reyes locale.

The last 3 are all from last summer's pack trip to the Rock Creek drainage. We camped at Chickenfoot Lake and many of us hiked up to the Gem Lakes area to paint, as the views were spectacular.

Splintered Shore
Pastel on Canson Paper
12 x 16

Gem Outlet
Pastel on Canson Paper
12 x 16

Treasure Beyond
Pastel on Canson Paper
15 x 20