Gray Bay

"Gray Bay", acrylic on 5x7" canvas

Day 334: “Gray Bay”, a mini cityscape

There are parts of the San Francisco where you can catch glimpses of the bay and other parts of the city/sister cities from the hilltops. Granted, sometimes taking photos in these spots can result in a sudden case of vertigo and it helps to have someone holding your waistband when you’re doing it. It also tends to be pretty hazy- with ocean mist, not smog. Remember, this is SF we’re talking about, not LA. 😉 So you can’t always see the other side well and it took a little bit of imagination for this piece.

I’m actually happier with this than I expected because I tend to be a bit heavy-handed when it comes to color application and this is the result of palette restraint. The last of the trio will be posted tomorrow, when we begin our December countdown! Yay! See you then!


Gray Day

"Gray Day", acrylic on 5" x 7" canvas

Day 333: “Gray Day”, a mini cityscape

This is the kind of painting I’d normally do on a larger scale, though some of you may recall the 3-piece “pastel hill” series I did in brighter coral and gold tones back in late June/early July. (Oh yeah, that last day was the doctor pirate fable! Haha! Joy.) Two out of three of those have made new homes to separate owners in France by now! Go figure.

This is the first of three new ones I’ve done in a blue/gray palette with hints of orange that I’m going to be taking to the city with me to show at City Art Gallery this month. We’re just a couple days away from the 30-day countdown, and after this year’s worth of daily work, I’m verging upon declaring myself a master of small-scale original affordable art. I should get some kind of award at the end, right? Even if it’s self-invented? 🙂 Just let me run with it.

Pick a peck of poems

"Stumbled", a poem block

Day 332: “Stumbled”, a poem block

My grandma and I were talking the other day, and she said she wished I had done more with my writing. I assured her that I haven’t given up on writing- I’m ‘working on a novel’ like a million other people, yes, but what’s difficult to explain is that writing is one of those ebb and flow deals for me. I can sit down in the studio and make visual art every day, but writing seems to be something I must wait for. And I can feel it coming up, and it’s about that time again after several months of absence. I’ve got a new notebook and a fresh pen and I’m ready to go when it gets here. 🙂

Today’s piece is another poem block that reads “stumbled upon/ what anyone would want/ just the man for/ an easy regret”. It makes me think of a gut full of grenadine and guilt. This piece is in orange-y red with a little brown and stripe of gold and I let the red drip down the sides.

This is the 9th in this recent bout of poem blocks, which are headed to City Art gallery for the December affordable art show on Tuesday. If you have your eye on one, be sure to let me know before I put ‘em up! I plan to list them for $35-40 each. Next out of the art-conveyer-belt of productivity that is my studio, 3 mini cityscapes, so stay tuned!

Aww, it's a bouquet of art!

Blue gold and green

"Restless", a poem block

Day 331: “Restless”, a poem block

Today I worked on two poem blocks and three mini cityscapes. As “worked on” doesn’t necessarily equal “finished”, today’s piece is this single block. I’m still harvesting text bits from that good old 30’s Nancy Drew book.

From the left side

This one reads: “it’s too early tonight/ quiet everywhere/ restless for something” and is painted in green-gold with splashes of blue. It’s a poem for those times when the evening isn’t yet living up to your expectations/energy level.  I let the color drip down the side again, which I’m grooving on right now. More poem blocks/mini cities tomorrow!

From the right side

I dreamed a dream

"Waving", poem block

Day 330: “Waving”, a poem block

My mental palette is heavy in oranges/yellows as a general rule, but the autumn always saturates it even more with those tones. I’ll be creating more small art to prepare for the City Art Gallery affordable art show I’m participating in during December & January, so it was a flurry of snipping with my new scissors in the studio today.

This piece reads: “waving back/ from the very first echo/ smiling and dying of curiosity” amidst a sea of yellow bordered in orange. These bits together painted a picture in my mind of one of those moments when someone lets an opportunity pass them by yet pretends outwardly that they’re okay with their decision. I let the colors drip down the sides of this nude woodblock for some extra detail:

Side view


"Mirepoix", a photo

Day 329: “Mirepoix”, a photo

I was able to squirrel away some turkey and other yummy bits from the leftover table at Auntie Shelli’s and Uncle Jack’s yesterday, but we’re fresh out of bread. Having the entire day ahead of me and no desire to try to make it to a grocery store, I decided to bust out the packet of still-good yeast I bought awhile ago and take a crack at making some. I’ve wanted to bake bread for years, but my talents tend to lie more in the studio and less in the kitchen (or garden for that matter), so I’ve always been scared of it. Long story short- good upper body workout, not so great bread.

Along the way I also made some gravy from scratch (another first for me!) which included chopping up some celery and carrots. The recipe also called for onion, as is the custom with the mirepoix flavor base- or so says the internet- and while I was dicing, I realized how much I really enjoy vibrant orange and pale yellow green together. Color is often a major motivator in my work. On the bamboo cutting board base, I enjoy the look of this close-up image with the combination of vertical striping, tiny chunks and wavy celery leaves. Hope you’re having a fabulous Thanksgiving (or just an all-around great day in general for my readers abroad) as well! And a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY GRANDMAMA as well!

Backyard beauties

"Backyard Beauties", a photo

Day 328: “Backyard Beauties”, a photo

My aunt has to work tomorrow, so our family is having our Thanksgiving celebration this evening instead of tomorrow. I got up early, tasked with baking a cake, excited about my day, then I went outside to discover that someone had hit my car during the night. Instead of being angry and upset, I was thankful that I wasn’t in the car at the time. Though a little banged up, it’s still in pretty good shape. My trusty Ion was a 21st birthday gift from my mom that I totally didn’t expect, and I have been so thankful for it ever since.

I decided to carry on the feeling of thankfulness with today’s art, a photograph of the leaves from my backyard patio. I’m thankful for little moments of beauty that surround me and find me, thankful for my husband and his job, thankful for the aroma of chocolate wafting through my house at the moment, and thankful for my wonderful family that I’m about to go visit. 🙂

A man in uniform

"Duty", mixed media on 1' sq. wood panel

Day 327: “Duty”, mixed media on wood panel

Today’s piece is the last in the collection of 4 commission panels I completed recently. This one is titled “Duty”; it includes two pictures given to me by Bruce. They both show his grandfather. One image is a carefree pose on the lawn with a friend, the other is a somber sitting photo taken as he and several others prepared to go to World War 1. Vintage paper bits I added to the composition include stamps from countries participating in the war, a nursery rhyme……

Detail shot

…an illustrated page from a German children’s reader, a dictionary page with the heading “bairn/ barrage” which are respectively defined as “a child/ in World War, a smoke screen used to conceal movements”, a piece from a storybook with the words “little boys put on their india-rubber boots and over they went”…

Detail shot

…vintage sewing patterns, ribbon and string. On all of these pieces, I darkened the edges to give them the effect of old photography so there would be an emphasis on looking back through time in this portal/window. I also used drops of slate blue liquid watercolor and postmark-like black circle stamps on each to give them a feeling of correspondence to complement the stamps Bruce gave me from his collection to include in the pieces.

Detail shot

It’s back to mini paintings tomorrow as I gear up for the affordable art group show at City Art Gallery in San Francisco I’ll be participating in during December & January. In fact, I’m heading into the city this evening for our monthly meetup. I’m constantly amazed at our group of artists and our combined efforts that keep our successful cooperative running! I only wish I lived a little closer. Ah well. Commuter bay bridge traffic, here I come.

Yellow polka dot bikini

"Equality", mixed media abstract on 1' sq. panel

Day 326: “Equality”, a mixed media piece on wood panel

Today’s piece is 3/4 of the recent commission panels I completed for Bruce & Dave. This one is centered around a general theme of feminity, which grew from the image of a woman in a bikini from the 60’s. I included a knitting guide from a Good Housekeeping book, vintage sewing patterns, “family planning” stamps from India, vintage dictionary pages with words like “flesh pot”, “flirt”, “respect” and “equality”, opera/hymnal pages, ribbons and a bit from a Nancy Drew book out of the 30’s. Here’s a detail shot:

In other news, I just sent out my first newsletter! Didn’t get it? Want to check it out/subscribe to receive them in the future? See it here.

Miss American Pie

"Discover", mixed media on a 1' sq. wood panel

Day 325: “Discover”, mixed media and acrylic paint on wood panel

Today’s piece is 2 of 4 of the recently completed commission pieces. I centered this one around the theme of adulthood & americana with the title of “discover” (as a counter to the youth/’wonder’ piece).

Detail shot

I used stamps from Bruce’s collection, photo transfers and various paper pieces like a french reader page “maman/papa” (thanks Sophie for that!), “mammalia marry”  and “yearning/you” from vintage dictionaries, a hymnal and a bit from A Midsummer Night’s Dream amongst other things.

Detail shot