Memory formats

"Vinyl", 30" x 40" Acrylic on Canvas

“Vinyl”, 30″ x 40″ Acrylic on Canvas

All the record stores I worked at are gone. Fun story, I once started a friendship by flashing my recently-pierced nips at my place of employment. Which is NOT why it closed, thankfyouverymuch. 🙂 I do occasionally stop and reflect on how extremely pivotal music is for me. Most people have strong relationships with it, but in this case I refer to artmaking. I listen to music each and every time I paint. I can’t even imagine what would happen if I had to start making work without it. I’ve even considered posting which bands/songs I was listening to while I worked on something, but I have no idea if that would mean anything to anyone besides me. It was fun to consider while I worked on the above, “Vinyl”, featuring an evening window shot of a record store in Portland.

"Tall, Dark and Haberdashery", 30" x 40", acrylic on canvas

“Tall, Dark and Haberdashery”, 30″ x 40″, acrylic on canvas

Another strong memory for me is that of the hat shop. I enjoyed hats a lot growing up (for awhile I had an impressive collection of thrift-store-sourced vintage cranium-toppers), but the memory I refer to is that of visiting a “chapeauterie” during my study-abroad semester in Marseille. I tried hard not to geek out at the fact that a HAT STORE still existed somewhere in the world, and it was an absolutely delightful 30 minutes spent trying on and pretending like I was going to buy hundred-dollar hats. I did buy ONE but I’m still waiting on the right occasion to don my fantastic French hat. (It’s kind of ridiculous and I haven’t been to the Kentucky Derby yet). I had a flash of that joy while witnessing the above Haberdashery in Portland, OR. This piece was a bit of a departure in that the palette is muted, but I couldn’t resist the whimsy and delight of the floating hats with umbrellas. I kind of felt like the display was going to break into Singin in the Rain at any moment. 🙂

"Drugs and Stationery", 30" x 40" acrylic on canvas

“Drugs and Stationery”, 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas

This piece has been on my “to paint” list for quite awhile. It’s a shop in Redwood City, CA that I snapped for reference during a great evening out with my mom. I’ve already painted 3 other scenes from that night, and this one was very exciting for me. By day, it’s kind of a cheesy ice cream store. By night, however, it’s a remarkable reminiscence of times I never experienced personally. I can imagine the soda jerk, the circle skirts, the giddy dates in the post-war era that inspired this shop, and that is the crux of why I paint city scenes. They are imbued with a presence of lives lived in these spaces that is palpable for me, that I can’t shake. (Pun-tastic! I’m a super nerd.)

All of the above original paintings are currently available for $1600 each on MarianneBland.com. Thanks for reading!

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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. 😉

You say it’s your birthday…

"Lantern Lane", a photo

Day 299: “Lantern Lane”, a photo

As I am still sick, and it’s all the effort I can muster to sit here at the computer and make myself do something, I’m posting another photograph today. 🙂 This one is from Half Moon Bay; it’s the exterior of a restaurant called “It’s Italia” where the reception was held for the wedding I took pictures at this weekend. The drizzly evenings when the streets reflect the light are my favorites when it comes to painting cityscapes, but I don’t get much rain out here in Sacramento, so it was fun to catch this image.

Today is my husband’s 40th birthday! We have rented a movie and are having tacos and wine. Nothing wrong with a low-key celebration, right? He has been really sweet, taking care of me and getting me medicine and and making sure I’m resting comfortably. What a lucky lady am I. It’s hopefully back to paintings tomorrow for an exciting milestone- day 300! We’ll see how it goes. It’s back to the couch for now. I love you Rob!