New pics on the block

"Summer Moon", acrylic on reclaimed fence post, 3.5"x3.5"x1.5"

With the Embassy of Cake piece finished and set aside to dry, it was time to get down to brass tacks- or wood blocks, in this case- for the April City Art Gallery show. I’m participating in the group show in the back room this April, which is themed “Urban/Rural”. I actually shivered with glee when I discovered that, since a large block of my artwork falls into that category. With only a few woodblocks left in my shop, I busted out 5 new ones within the span of two days, presented tonight for your viewing pleasure. 😉

"Blue Hill Barn", a scene from the Angels Camp area of Northern California

"Bay Bluffs", a spot of the coast on Highway 1 near Half Moon Bay

"Tempest", from a rainy day on the Delta

"Water Plant" from somewhere along Highway 5 between Sacramento and Tracy

These pieces are up for sale at City Art this month along with several other landscapes on woodblock, two framed drawings and Looming. Oh, and there’s a bunch of other really great art from other artists too, I suppose, so you might want to come check it out. 😉 The opening for this month’s show will be this Friday, April 1st from 7-10 pm at 828 Valencia St. San Francisco. There will be free wine and snacks, plus a Magic Curry Kart will be making an appearance. Come say hi!

P.S. There’s only one more day to enter your guess for a chance to win a free print! Add a comment to the “Embassy of Cake” post to guess how many hours it took for me to complete the painting. The closest person will win a free print of it! Enter by March 31st, midnight PST. Too much pressure? Here are a couple of detail shots to help you make up your mind:

Click on the picture to view it larger

Embassy of Cake

Embassy of Cake

"Embassy of Cake", 24" x 30" oil painting on canvas

Behold! The greatest painting ever made… by me… this month. It’s also the only painting I’ve completed this month. Which made me feel like I was working insanely slow, ala Vermeer- except, you know, without an actual sponsor or client waiting to purchase it. And I know it’s been a dreadfully long two weeks or so since my last post, for which I apologize heartily. I had planned to work on some mixed media bits in between, but then I stepped through the portal of painting torment and couldn’t get out until I finished this thing. It has been the all-consuming monster of my life for the month of March. I should be happy it’s done, but I don’t even want to look at it for a long while. Which is too bad, since it’s oil and it takes a bazillion years to dry, which it has to do in sunlight to avoid clouding. My studio is ridiculously crowded with curing pieces at the moment.

“Embassy of Cake” features a corner somewhere in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite the fact that the lower shop is charmingly titled “Uncle Restaurant”, I don’t know what the other buildings are. The left side appears to be topped with several flags, and the building itself makes me think of some kind of awesome ice cream cake, so I finally settled on the title “Embassy of Cake”. I’m not sure what kind of desserty business would go on in such a place- perhaps petitions to outlaw fondant in certain districts, or allowing German Chocolate to seek asylum or something. But I’m pretty sure cake tasting would at least be involved, which is enough for me.

I DID manage to cobble together a time-lapse slideshow of images illustrating the progression of this work, AND I kept track of the number of hours it took me to create it. Check out the video here. I’m trying to kick my art business brain into gear and determine how much time it takes to make these pieces so I am still earning a decent hourly rate- in the figurative sense that it only applies when I actually sell stuff, but you get the idea.

And in honor of that minor achievement, here’s a little contest for my devoted readers- enter a comment here on the blog to guess how many hours it took me to complete this piece. Entries will be accepted until March 31st at midnight PST. The person who gets the closest to the actual time will win a print of this painting! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to send that out for at least a month- it needs to dry enough that the shine lessens and I can take a high-quality photo without the glare, but rest assured that the winner will eventually get an 8″x10″ limited edition giclee of “Embassy of Cake” for free! Yay!

Also, in case you don’t receive my email newsletter and haven’t visited my Facebook Fan Page lately, I have a sale going on in my Etsy shop until March 31st as well. Use the discount code: spring15 to receive 15% off your entire order! I already have over 80 items in my shop for under $80, so it’s a great time to save. Happy Weekend, everyone!

Flashy, take two

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

Right now you may be saying to yourself, “gee, that painting looks awfully familiar…” Do not adjust your computer monitor. You are, in fact, seeing the same piece for the second time. “Flashy” was my final piece from ArtProject2010, that I “completed” the first time around on Dec. 31st. At that point, it was all acrylic. I wasn’t 100% happy with it, so it has been hanging around in my studio for a couple of months for a grueling staring contest. In that time, I completed a couple of new cityscapes in oil, which helped me decide that Flashy needed a finishing coat and some amping up in the seductive hotness that is oil paint. Above is the finished piece. As a reminder, here’s what it looked like before:

"Flashy" before the finishing work in oil

Considering that the subject in this image is the Condor, SF’s oldest gentleman’s club, I guess you could look at the “before” as Flashy with natural ta-tas and the “after” as Flashy with a new and improved rack. And although I suppose some people aren’t fans of implants, I would venture a guess that everyone can agree the final version of this painting is way better.

Chester, however, is not impressed. “The same painting, hmm? What else you got going on there, ladyface?”

"We are not amused."

Well, Chester, I happen to be blocking in two new cityscapes. See?

24" x 30" nightscape in progress

16" x 20" nightscape in progress

“I don’t know, those look pretty crappy so far.”

“I don’t even have 2 hours in on each of these, man. Give me a break here.”

“Hook me up with a treat and I’ll dig up some encouragement for ya.”

“You drive a hard bargain, little one. But I can’t resist your adorable face. Treats it is!”

Stay tuned for more updates; I’ve got some mixed media pieces in the mix, due to be completed as soon as I need a break from the upcoming detail work in the above cityscapes. 😉