Castro Sutro

Castro

“Castro”, 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas

"Sutro", 12" x 16" acrylic on canvas

“Sutro”, 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas

2 new paintings of day scenes from San Francisco. Considering partnering them as a diptych set titled “CastroSutro” as a play on KamaSutra… 😉

Open the floodgates

Fox

“The Fox”, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas

Howdy humans! I may have been quiet on the blog-front for some time, but I was busy in the studio, the interwebs and in reality. Check out my brand-new website, complete with an updated artist statement and buy links directly from the painting description pages! And here’s the rest of the recent / new paintings:

"Piano Co", 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas

“Piano Co”, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas

"Lavender", 24" x 30" acrylic on canvas

“Lavender”, 24″ x 30″ acrylic on canvas

"Take Out", 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas

“Take Out”, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas

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

“Delivery”, 16″ x 20″ acrylic on canvas

 

 

 

Studio stirrings

New acrylic painting on 16" x 20" canvas

New acrylic painting on 16″ x 20″ canvas

Hello art lovers! My involuntary painting sabbatical (aka the “busy season” of my day job) is over….kind of. The studio has been cleaned, which is a glorious thing if you’ve never tried it. You know what I mean. You’re eyeing your nightmare of a craft room as you read this. This piece, which I’ve yet to settle on a title for, marks the beginning of a new painting era for me. Some of my older work from 2008 was created in a looser style like this, with drawing elements like charcoal, watercolor pencil (above, seen in the tree and power lines) and conte crayon. Who knows why I fell down the photorealist-rabbit-hole, but after a few maddening years obsessing over details, I was ready to return to a more evocative, expressive approach. Like an adult getting on a bicycle after decades of absence, I doubted that I would be able to do it, but was pleased to see how easily the movements returned to me with my trusty angle shader (my favorite brush).

This piece was completed just hours before I learned that my father-in-law Bob passed away unexpectedly. In times like these, it’s as if the entire world simply stops. Or rather, the world keeps going as you remain transfixed. It is hard to think of doing anything, and yet, doing something somehow helps, hence this post. Bob was a vibrant person who loved his sons and friends dearly. I have painted several scenes from images collected on a trip we took with him to San Francisco. There are no words to express how deeply this loss has impacted Rob & I. We miss you, Bob.

I have a new painting sketched in, and anticipate rediscovery of art as therapy in this difficult time. As I complete new paintings over the coming months, I look forward to sharing them with you. Thanks for being here.

Vanilla

"Vanilla", acrylic painting on 24" x 30" canvas

Sandwiched between loud purple and teal ladies

the purveyor of organic vanillas sits calmly

with a belly full of strong simple flavors

unconcerned with rouge and eyeshadows

________________________________

*Today’s photo is an image of a painting I just finished called “Vanilla” featuring a building that houses an ice cream shop on Valencia St. in San Francisco’s mission district. It’s a bit grainy, but I’ll take a better pic as soon as my fancy camera is repaired. Enjoy!*

Fortune

image

I can never remember
if you’re supposed to read
the fortune before eating the cookie
or vice versa so
I read it while eating it at the same time
and hope for the best

*Today’s photo is an image of a painting I just completed today! Titled “Fortune”, it features a storefront in Redwood City, and it’s acrylic on 24″ x 30″ canvas. I took the photo I used for this on an evening out with my mom, whose birthday it is today. Happy Birthday mom!*

Under Water

"Under Water", acrylic on 16" x 20" canvas

I had the good fortune of spending a rain-speckled evening in Redwood City with my mom a couple of months ago. We had a delightful dinner and walk, in which I snapped some color-saturated images I’ll be using for my next slew of nightscapes. I sneak-previewed this piece to you guys a little while ago, and just finished it- there are dabs of at least 5 different colors on my fingertips as I type.

Detail shot

I love the rainbow colors reflecting on the dark asphalt, of course, but since this shot was taken from inside of a car, you can see the dots of diffused light in the upper part of the windshield. I could have edited them out for the painting, of course, but I decided to keep them in. I wear glasses and I suppose I have always felt like I’m viewing the world from behind multiple layers; in this case, behind glasses, a camera lens and a windshield.

Hint of a windshield

The subtitle on this sign says “climate best by government test” which I find hilarious for some reason. I chose the title “Under Water” as a twofold reference to the literal translation of a rainy evening and the figurative use of this term for the real estate crisis, as nearly 30% of homeowners in the bay area are currently underwater. But who wants to think about that on a lovely rainbow-colored night?

Another (kinda blurry) detail shot

If you get my newsletter, you know I just changed policies on my original artwork- all cityscapes for sale at less than $500 will no longer have prints offered and will be sold as one-of-a-kind original paintings only, like Under Water! Available for $400 now on Etsy.

What’s in a name?

New cityscape, 16" x 20" acrylic on canvas

Like this new painting? Help me name it! This is the first time I’ve ever posted artwork without a title, but I’m at an impasse.

My first idea was “Cashew Apple” after I learned that a tiny red apple grows on top of the cashew, which is naturally in a black shell. It seemed appropriate for the nighttime color scheme, but otherwise unrelated to the image.

Then I considered “Golden Delicious” because it references apples so it touches upon both gold and red, the main tones of this piece. Right now, both options are eliciting a shrug and nose crinkle from me, which means I’m undecided. If you like either of those options or have a suggestion of your own, leave a comment. If you come up with something I like and I use it, I’ll send you a free print of this piece!

To give you some more information about this painting, it features a street scene from San Francisco’s Chinatown near the corner of Grant & Washington. There are a few restaurants, the corner bathed in red light appears to be a bar, and several pedestrians head home through the chilly evening. Here’s a detail shot:

Love those lanterns.

I know you’re creative, so let’s hear those ideas! The “name game” ends in one week- on Tuesday June 7th- so enter a comment before then for a chance to win a free print of the heretofore-unnamed painting. 😉

Blue Fog

"Blue Fog", 16" x 20" acrylic painting on canvas

No matter what I’m making, I somehow seem to end up immersed in the primaries again. Red, blue and yellow- my dear, dear friends.  Add a little white and some soft black charcoal and I’m a happy gal. Today I finished “Blue Fog”, above, the companion piece I mentioned for “Going Home”, which is coincidentally on the way to its new home in the Pacific Northwest. Someone snapped it up Easter morning (I know the call of Etsy is strong and difficult to resist even on holidays), which was bittersweet. I hardly had any time to tuck it in to my tiny studio and admire it. But I’m thrilled to know it will bring joy to someone else in their space. I’m not a hoarder when it comes to my art, but I do have to pry canvases from my husband’s hands on occasion. Here are a couple of detail shots:

My favorite red of all with that twinge of orange.

It makes me giggle that the sign reads "turn head next" because of all the billboards they slap up out there.

Oh, and did I mention this painting is also for sale? Want it? Get “Blue Fog” here before it’s gone.

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. 😉

A man in uniform

"Duty", mixed media on 1' sq. wood panel

Day 327: “Duty”, mixed media on wood panel

Today’s piece is the last in the collection of 4 commission panels I completed recently. This one is titled “Duty”; it includes two pictures given to me by Bruce. They both show his grandfather. One image is a carefree pose on the lawn with a friend, the other is a somber sitting photo taken as he and several others prepared to go to World War 1. Vintage paper bits I added to the composition include stamps from countries participating in the war, a nursery rhyme……

Detail shot

…an illustrated page from a German children’s reader, a dictionary page with the heading “bairn/ barrage” which are respectively defined as “a child/ in World War, a smoke screen used to conceal movements”, a piece from a storybook with the words “little boys put on their india-rubber boots and over they went”…

Detail shot

…vintage sewing patterns, ribbon and string. On all of these pieces, I darkened the edges to give them the effect of old photography so there would be an emphasis on looking back through time in this portal/window. I also used drops of slate blue liquid watercolor and postmark-like black circle stamps on each to give them a feeling of correspondence to complement the stamps Bruce gave me from his collection to include in the pieces.

Detail shot

It’s back to mini paintings tomorrow as I gear up for the affordable art group show at City Art Gallery in San Francisco I’ll be participating in during December & January. In fact, I’m heading into the city this evening for our monthly meetup. I’m constantly amazed at our group of artists and our combined efforts that keep our successful cooperative running! I only wish I lived a little closer. Ah well. Commuter bay bridge traffic, here I come.