Return of the Art Jedi

Hidey-ho, neighbors! It’s been 9 days or so since I posted new art, but I’ve got 6 new pieces to show you. So trust I haven’t been resting on my laurels. 😉 While I was enjoying a brief respite from the daily challenge, the years’ art making/blog posting had certainly become ingrained in me. I had a few mini panic attacks with my circadian-art-rhythm still kicking in. But I got the boost to actually get in the studio when I received a call last Wednesday night that someone wanted to purchase all 6 of the little landscapes I had on display at City Art.

As I was heading into San Francisco on Friday afternoon for the opening reception & my month’s only shift, I was compelled by the ratio of money in my bank account to the gas/toll/parking/food cost of additional SF trips to finish my replacements before leaving. (Art lovers & run-on sentences are equally welcome here at my art blog. Thanks. 🙂 )

Did I mention I got that call on Wednesday? From a year’s endurance race to a flurry of fastidious finishing! 4 of these 6 were finished within a span of about 5 hours. I printed out some photos I’d taken from the marshlands near my hometown back in October for these ones…

"Marsh Barn", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

"Stick Trees", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

"Wetlands", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" SOLD

…a scene from the Livermore/Fremont area for this one…

"Foothills", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

…and two images from the day I helped photograph a wedding off the coast near Half Moon Bay for these two:

"Lighthouse", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5"

"Black Rock Beach", acrylic on slice of reclaimed fence post, 3.5" x 3.5" x 1.5" SOLD

These 6 new landscape mini paintings on woodblock are on display for sale now at City Art Gallery through January 30. Well, the 4 of them that haven’t already sold, that is. 😉


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:

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!

Above the fruited plain

"Waves" acrylic landscape on woodblock

Day 336: “Waves”, a landscape on woodblock

I recently discovered my local Trader Joe’s. It’s got a smaller selection than Whole Foods, but it also has smaller prices. So I went by today to pick up a few things and as I was hunting for the bread with the farthest out expiration date, I had to make my way around a few people. It’s a pretty crowded store. Normally I see all of them only as obstacles to be avoided, a skill I first picked up during Jr. High afternoons of playing Tetris and later perfected as a cocktail waitress- if you can walk in and around crowds of dancing people with martinis on a tray and not spill them, you can navigate around cranky hippies.

But this time I was caught off guard when a voice in my head stopped me and said, “hey… are those pockets on the back of that hoodie? Yes. Yes they are! On the BACK! Ugh. Hipster alert!” and while I was engaging in this moment of perplexity/ fashion outrage, I angered an old lady by blocking the bagels, who let me know by “accidentally” bumping into me with her cart. Which was just as well. Who knows how long I would have stood transfixed by the insanity of pockets intentionally placed in the lumbar area of a garment.

From the side

So when I got home, I decided to give myself a little bit of mental peace by making a mini landscape. This is one of the last square-edged, white-sided blocks from the first batch my dad cut up for me. It has a very tight grain pattern. I decided to use it for a farm scene from the Tracy, California area with this huge antenna tower smack in the middle of it. I asked Rob for some help with the title and he said “Waves. You know, like ‘amber waves of grain’ and the radio waves from the cellular base tower”. “Perfect!” I replied. And that’s why I love him.

Only 29 days left! 🙂

Gray Way

"Gray Way", a mini cityscape on 5" x 7" canvas

Day 335: “Gray Way”, a mini cityscape

Well my dearies, it’s December 1st, and we all know what that means. Now that today’s art is up, there are 30 days left of Marianne Bland’s Art Project 2010! When this thing is over, I will have made (and posted for your viewing pleasure) at least one piece of art every day for a whole m-fing year. (Sorry mom, but I feel like that statement requires an expletive. But I abbreviated it for modesty. :D)

While the rest of the world will be celebrating the New Year, I will be lighting my studio on fire and shooting an epic video to commemorate the project’s completion. Haha! Just kidding. It’s attached to my house and I’m not an arsonist. That would be cool though- the artist equivalent to smashing my rockstar guitar at the end of the show.

Today’s piece is called “Gray Way” and is the third in the set of mini cities in a reduced palette I busted out for this month’s affordable art show at City Art Gallery in San Francisco. I laugh every time I paint one of these vertical streets, because I’ve driven in the city. Sometimes I’ll notice someone hesitating at the top or bottom of these in another car and catch a glimpse of that panic-stricken “my car can’t do this!” face newcomers always have. Usually the tires actually stay on the road though, people, I assure you. No recent reports of “car actually falls the F off the side of a steep street in SF”. Then again- would I be completely surprised if I were to read that? No. No I wouldn’t.

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.

California Farming

"Palm Meadow", acrylic painting on woodblock

Day 295: Palm Meadow

Today’s piece is a scene capturing a few palm trees standing sentinel over a farmhouse and meadow. I always find it interesting how California’s landscape has an equal chance of sprouting redwoods, palms, cypress, pines, maples, oaks, elms and almost any tree you can think of. For me, the palms are at much at home here in the farm fields as they are on the streets of Malibu. I’m heading into the bay area again this weekend to help photograph a wedding in Half Moon Bay, so the next couple of days will most likely be photographs as I’ll be out of the studio. Hope you’re gearing up for a great weekend yourself!