Dictionary Duo

Illustration detail on "Circumvent Clamor"


Hello folks! For the past week, I’ve been working on two large nightscapes that are probably going to take me a month or so. I also put up over 20 mixed media abstracts at DEEDA Salon for display/sale out here in Sacramento. In the interim, I’m mixing it up with some more small-format work. Working on these pieces, I discovered definitively that a year’s worth of daily art made my tiny brushstrokes steadier. 🙂


Illustration detail for "Bellman Benediction"


Here are two paintings on 5″x7″ canvii {I’m working on getting the plural of canvases changed to canvii in the common vernacular. Make a note of it.} utilizing vintage dictionary pages, ink and acrylic paint. These sleepy hillsides are based on San Francisco, but I did conjure them from memory as opposed to sitting down with photographic references.

“Bellman Benediction” features rows of townhouses next to a step street and tree-covered hill. It’s finished with a gold “frame”.


"Bellman Benediction", a mini painting


“Circumvent Clamor” shows the top of a house-covered hillside across the gray bay from what is Angel Island in my mind. Of course, if that’s the case, there should probably be a Golden Gate bridge in there somewhere, but you know how it is with the fog- you can’t always see the damn  bridge even when you’re on it. 😉 This one is finished off with a silver “frame”.


"Circumvent Clamor", a mini painting

It occurred to me as I was working on these that they are reminiscent of manuscript illustrations in a way. It’s funny how I could make so many of these and just now see that connection. I’ll be listing these in my online shop soon. Hope you’re having a great weekend!



Color therapy

Day 165: For my friend

From my twenty-odd years of life experience, I’d say it’s pretty rare to encounter someone who’s never gone through a bout of depression. I generally have a positive outlook myself, and even I went through a dark time a few years back. If you’ve never experienced it personally, then you probably know someone who has.

While this kind of thing is an individual journey in some ways, having a friend there to remind you why they care about you is always a blessing. Today’s piece is dedicated to a friend of mine going through that right now, and to anyone who has ever struggled with depression or helped someone else get through it.

I used nine small wood blocks and text snippets from a vintage Nancy Drew book to create an encouraging poem with bright colors. While I worked on it, I imagined my friend getting better and later putting this on her wall to commemorate her strength in having made it through a difficult time.

What seems to be wrong here?

"For some reason I feel uneasy," she said with a frown.

"I can't keep my mind on my joy" she insisted in bewilderment.

I know nothing else seems to matter

But you are my most valuable friend

I want to show you brightly colored flowers bloom just to please you

there could be no doubt you are marvelous

She remained motionless, listening. "I did promise to mend" To prove her words she arose

Her eyes sparkled with excitement. I'm so glad.

P.S. Sorry for the late post! I spent the whole day working on the old bus cityscape and didn’t even begin today’s piece until after 9 pm. For those of you who don’t like surprises, here’s a sneak peek!

When it's done, this will be an old-timey orange bus on Embarcadero at Fisherman's Wharf.


Take the red painting and you stay in wonderland...

Day 155: Free association paintings

This morning when I woke up, I had a burning desire to paint windows for a few hours solid. Thankfully, since I have a pretty flexible schedule, I got my wish! 😉 I love the end result of my cityscapes, but working on them is draining. There is a point where I can put the photo away and finish without it, but that’s like the last 3-5% of it. Especially lately, since I’ve been really into these detailed images, in spite of myself. I don’t expect I’ll ever be a photorealist painter (because I would end up in the loony bin), but there’s a certain level of detail that has to be achieved for the perspective to be acceptable to my inner art teacher- who is a total bitch, by the way. She’s highly critical and always notices when I’m being lazy and don’t want to execute something as well as I could. And she never takes a day off either. Sheesh. 😉

Today I spent more time on this (although I’m sure it doesn’t look a whole lot different from yesterday yet. Sigh):

Why won't it just finish itself?

And busted out three mini mixed media paintings in a kind of “free association” clippings way. Some physics diagrams, dictionary words, patterns and random-ish text from Nancy Drew put together with a bit of color make for some interesting pocket-sized artwork.

Day 52

I’m kind of in love with painting on wood right now. I love texture, I love the square format, I love that these were virtually free because I got to use my dad as unpaid labor to cut them for me… they’re just a bucket of awesome. Or rather a box of awesome, sitting in my living room, waiting for their own individual makeovers to occur.

Today, I went with a trio of landscapes from photos I took on the trip to my grandparents’ house the other day. Together like this, I think it gives you the feeling of movement and travel through the charming farmlands of Northern California.

There’s something about the combination of nature and manmade shapes in a composition that’s so intriguing to me. I don’t know what it is, or why it is, but when I do find out, I’ll be sure to let you know. In the meantime, I’m trying to cook ribs for the first time. Wish me luck!