Night shift

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Here are 3 new paintings from a series I just started called “Night Shift”, exploring nocturnal city activities, roles and perspectives. All are 30″ x 40″ acrylic on canvas.

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The above is titled Stranger because of its voyeuristic quality and because the intro to Billy Joel’s song by the same name kept playing in my brain while I painted it.

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No title yet for this and the top piece. Suggestions? Thanks for reading!

94109 Nightscapes

PolkStCleaners

“Polk St Cleaner’s”, 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas

"Late Night Leopold's", 12" x 16" acrylic on canvas

“Late Night Leopold’s”, 12″ x 16″ acrylic on canvas

I recently completed these 2 paintings for the 94109 show at Studio Gallery. This paint-out showcases scenes and subjects local to the 94109 zip code and includes a great selection of cityscapes. These pieces are just up for a few more days, until this Sunday, June 9th. I’ll also be at the Marin Art Festival June 15-16. More to come on that soon…

I enjoyed these romantic palettes with creams and pinks. Both are scenes from Polk Street; the top, “Polk St. Cleaner’s” is a street scene with trusty neighborhood shop signs and cars tucked away for the evening. “Late Night Leopold’s” is the corner of Union and Polk, where a lone figure peers into restaurant windows.

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.

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.

Going Home

"Going Home", acrylic & charcoal on 16" x 20" canvas

Happy Earth Day, people! I celebrated by doing what I usually do regardless of the holiday- making art. 😉 And I have 3, count them, THREE new pieces to share with you today! How’s that for a Friday treat? “Going Home” is a 16″ x 20″ acrylic and charcoal on canvas painting I finished just minutes ago, and which is available to purchase HERE.

Detail shot of "Going Home"

I took a reference photo for this the last time I was leaving San Francisco in the evening, when the sky was that fantastic saturated blue, and I knew it would be a painting one day. That day came pretty quick (I let it cut in line in front of some other photos) because I realized I needed to loosen up my brushstrokes [thanks for that pep talk, Todd!]. I’m really pleased with the freedom I was able to revisit in the process and I love the end result so much, I almost didn’t put it up for sale…. almost. This painting has a sister I’ve just started that will be making an appearance soon, so stay tuned!

"Trouble", a poem block

I also finished a couple of Nancy Drew poem blocks with watercolor/acrylic/oil pastel flourishes on slices of reclaimed fencepost. “Trouble” (above) reads: “The lad proved to be trouble” and is rendered in orange-pink-red-purple. “Voices” (below) reads: “meeting with the vacant/stolen voices” over white, blue and purple. Both are for sale in my etsy shop along with a crop of other poem blocks and affordable art. Have a great weekend, people!

"Voices", a poem block