Mission Accomplished!

"Flashy", acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas

Day 365: “Flashy”, a cityscape

For my final piece, I finished up a cityscape I’d worked on a little bit previously. As I went over neon signage for the 5th or 6th time yesterday, it occurred to me that these flashy lights were probably from Broadway. I looked it up before I went to bed, and sure enough- “Condor” is San Francisco’s Original Gentleman’s Club. “Excellent,” I thought- “I’m finishing my project with titties.”

So I suppose it’s no surprise that my anxiety awoke me at 8 am today knowing I needed plenty of time to finish this up, considering I’d painted over the entire left side of it last night (you read that right- it was spiting me and I had to start over). I’ve wanted to paint this photo I took awhile back for a long time because it’s so bright and colorful. It’s ultimately color at the center of my art universe. I found a quote that I really enjoy:

“Color is my day-long obsession, joy and torment”- Claude Monet

I know exactly what he meant. And though I’ll still probably go in and add a couple of dabs and dots here and there when I see “Flashy” in the daylight again tomorrow {and update this with a better photo}, it’s essentially finished- just like this project!

I am relieved to have actually made it through this thing- to be honest, I did doubt that I’d actually get something made and posted every single day when I began. Through a wedding, the birth of my nephew, a trip to the emergency room, an audition/callback for a reality show, job changes and the many ups and downs of daily life, I’ve managed to take photos, make drawings, carve linocuts, put together jewelry, stitch fabric, craft sculptures, write poems, paint… and paint and paint and paint and paint…. and post new work every single day for a year. Please excuse me while I toot my own horn. *Toot-tootle-toooooot!!!*

I have learned so much about myself as an artist- I’ve honed my technical skill, discovered unexpected sources of inspiration, played around with my aesthetic, conquered new media and even sold quite a few pieces along the way.

I have learned so much about myself as a person- I’m more tenacious than I thought, I’ve found that artmaking is in fact therapeutic and essentially meditative for me, and I feel so very aligned with what I consider to be the universe’s purpose for me.

And I am eternally thankful for my friends, family and fans- who have been here for me with words of encouragement and support when I found myself sulking or beating my head into my studio table. I’d like to say a special thanks to my husband Rob for never getting upset over the long hours in the studio or at the computer, to my faithful camera for making it through sticky wet paint hands and the occasional tumble, and to you guys- my blog readers- who have really made this journey feel worthwhile with your thoughtful comments. Thank you so much!!!

ArtProject2010.info will continue as my art blog, so while I won’t be back with a new piece tomorrow, I will be back soon. 🙂 Happy New Year, everyone!


The next

"Next", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 364: “Next”, a poem block

Today’s piece is another Nancy Drew poem block. This one reads: “deeply excited about/ the next” in magenta, pink and blue. I specifically chose these words to signify how I feel at this point. I’m really pleased to have nearly completed this endeavor, but I’m also really excited about what’s to come. I don’t know what that will be, exactly, but I do know that it will include continual artmaking. 🙂

Now that this daily art challenge is winding down, some of you may be wondering what’s next for me. For those of you who have been fretting about a drying-up of eye-art-candy, rest assured that this blog will continue to exist. While I won’t be requiring myself to make & post a new piece every single day after tomorrow, I will continue to post all of my new completed artwork HERE first and foremost, giving my faithful blog readers first dibs at everything. If you’d like to stay up-to-date without having to swing by and see if there’s something new, just subscribe to the blog if you haven’t already to get emails each time I post new art.

I’m working feverishly in the studio to finish a colorful nightscape for tomorrow’s final piece. *Fingers crossed* I’m hoping I’ll get in done in time for some celebratory wine-drinking in the living room. Woohoo!

Context Contribution

"Context Contribution", mixed media on 5"x7" canvas

Day 363: “Context Contribution”, a mini cityscape

My cousin Jaclyn, who is very learn-ed and in the know and whatnot, tells me that an article touting San Francisco as one of the country’s most literary cities has been circulating recently, and that my beloved City Art Gallery in the mission is located smack-dab next to two of the bookstores it mentions. The latter I knew, as I have personally rifled through the free sidewalk book bin of Dog Eared Books and enjoyed a coffee and croissant at Borderlands Bookstore’s cafe. The former bit about the article is something I was unaware of, yet all the remaining dictionary drawing pieces I did previously have sold there this month. Coincidence? Providence? Either way, it warms the chocolate-coated cockles of my heart to know that book/art lovers have given these guys new homes.

So I decided to thumb through my old dictionary to see if I could find some more interesting pages suitable for mini cityscape drawings, and I came across this one with the heading “context contribution”. Both definitions on this page specifically mention literary use, which tickled my fancy considering the abovementioned book story. The sides of the 5×7″ canvas are painted the same taupe color as the old paper:

Always darkest before

"Always darkest before", acrylic on 5"x7" canvas

Day 362: “Always darkest before”, a mini cityscape

I was recently asked to donate a piece to an art auction being held in January 28, 2011 at 111 Minna Gallery, SF for the Free The Hikers cause.  These 3 peace activists, journalists and artists are detained in Iran (Sarah was freed in September, but her fiance Shane and their friend Josh remain imprisoned). I donated “Vaguely Vain”, a 5″x7″ mixed media abstract painting from day 67, which will be up for bidding with some other great pieces soon (check them out here).

Hopefully, her release means they are making ground and the others will be home soon too. Hopefully we’re nearing the end of any occupying of the Middle East at all. Hopefully humankind is on its way to evolving and making a giant leap in consciousness. It got me thinking about how people say “it’s always darkest before the dawn”, and that made sleepy cityscapes wander into my painting-mind. The edges are dark blue and kind of wrap around the front, which for me kind of gives it a feeling of daylight beginning to break through. Here it is from the side:

Found you out

"Found", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 361: “Found”, a poem block

I love orange. I’ve had orange hair, I’ve painted my walls orange, I use it endlessly in jewelry and paintings, I have an orange jacket and an orange purse (thanks mom!)…it’s almost become a color obsession, if one can have such a thing. I remember thinking orange and brown were the two ugliest colors in the world as a kid, so who knows why it changed suddenly. I don’t even know if other people like orange that much, but I just can’t get away from it for long.

Today’s piece is another poem block (in orange, surprise!), made with acrylic paint, liquid watercolor and snippets from a vintage Nancy Drew book on a slice of fence post. These poem blocks measure about 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 1.5″. This one reads: “found you out/ looking for what/ you knew you couldn’t/ accept”. I also used a bit of oil pastel. The naples yellow provides a nice bright contrast on this orange-rust piece. The orange drips heavy down the top part of the block. Only four days left, boys and girls!

The girl became

"the girl became", a Nancy Drew poem block

Day 360: “the girl became”, a poem block

Oh my gosh, people! Day 360! I feel very much like a kid in that last week of school before summer vacation… in that I’m mentally checked out, but physically here. Then again, I don’t need my mind so much with all of my art making, as it tends to interfere with the creative process from time to time.

I’m still focusing on filling sold-art-holes for my gallery space, so while I did some work on a half-finished cityscape today, I also finished this poem block. It reads “the girl became/ anything/ but herself”. Mom informed me yesterday that I have to do something cool for the last day of the blog, which I should probably have contemplated some time prior to the very last week of this project, so we’ll see what I can pull out of my hat for that. 😉 Here’s this piece from the side:

Sparkle, shimmer & Christmas dinner

"Sparkle", a photo

Day 359: “Sparkle”, a photo

Rob & I just made it home from a lovely Christmas dinner at mom’s house. It was a delight for my soul to see my family, and a darn good time for our tummies as well! This year she went with an Italian theme and we enjoyed roasted pork loin with fig sauce, fresh pesto pastas, homemade manacotti (manicotti? manacotta? help me out, here spellcheck!) and lots of other yummies. Happily, I pilfered some tupperware filled with leftovers to revisit tomorrow. It sure doesn’t hurt being related to a fully trained chef come holiday dinnertime. 😉

As I am short on studio time today, today’s artwork is a photo from my Christmas tree. Up close, cropped in, rotated and a bit blurry, it has kind of an abstract painting feel to me. I hope you enjoyed your holiday with loved ones and are hitting the hay with a bellyful of treats yourself!

Seltzer and Shortbread

"Seltzer and Shortbread", a photo

Day 358: “Seltzer and Shortbread”, a photo

I sent Rob to Bevmo for holiday wine while I baked up some melt-in-your-mouth shortbread cookies for our Christmas celebration tomorrow at mom’s house. He picked up some Fever Tree Ginger Ale (the best ginger ale ever, hands down) while he was there, and set it down on the counter to splash-guard these babies while they cooled. After adding some raspberry jam, I decided a nice warm photo of these little circles up against the vertical lines of the bottles might make a pretty composition. Et voila! A photo was born. I don’t know what says “Christmas Eve’ more than cookies. And hey- maybe Santa is really lactose intolerant like us and would prefer seltzer anyway. 😉

Blue Dusk

"Blue Dusk", acrylic & watercolor on 5" x 7" canvas

Day 357: “Blue Dusk”, a mini cityscape

Except for some minor touch-ups this morning, this piece was technically completed yesterday. I’m using my sister’s/brother-in-law’s laptop at my mom’s house and I’m jumping in the car and heading up to SF as soon as my hair’s dry. As I’ll be at City Art Gallery working a shift until 9 pm and then driving home to Sacramento- a trip that I hope will be two hours or less, but which may be a lot longer depending on how many bay area yahoos are hoofing it out to Tahoe for a white Christmas- therefore risking my chance of making it to my house before midnight, there really isn’t much time for art creation. Luckily, I know the gal who makes the rules when it comes to this here art project, and she says it’s fine. 😉

This piece is similar to yesterday’s mini cityscape with a pale yellow sky and blue haze settling over layers of sleepy townhouses. I find that dawn and dusk feel very much the same to me. This one has a bit more orange-yellow in it, so I decided this one is “dusk”. It will be on the wall in City Art along with yesterday’s piece in a couple of hours, so if you happen to be in the Mission district of San Francisco and still need to do some holiday shopping, we’ve got tons of fabulous affordable art available now! City Art Gallery is located at 828 Valencia St. in SF. See you there!

Blue Dawn

"Blue Dawn", acrylic & watercolor on 5" x 7" canvas

Day 356: “Blue Dawn”, a mini cityscape

I’m in a bit of a hurry to skeedaddle out to the bay and spend some time with my mom & sis before my all-day gallery shift in the city tomorrow, and I still have to pack up clothes & still-wet-replacement-art, so today’s post will be a quickie. Today’s artwork is a mini cityscape based on San Francisco. Using watercolor and acrylic paint, I created a moment that feels somewhere between dawn and dusk to me. Granted, I’m rarely awake for dawn, so based on memory, it’s blue and yellow and gray with twinklings of lights starting to come on in the layers of townhouses- mellow, cool and full of promise. See you tomorrow!