No title yet for this and the top piece. Suggestions? Thanks for reading!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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:
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. 😉
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:
Oh, and did I mention this painting is also for sale? Want it? Get “Blue Fog” here before it’s gone.
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.
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!
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!
Behold! The greatest painting ever made… by me… this month. It’s also the only painting I’ve completed this month. Which made me feel like I was working insanely slow, ala Vermeer- except, you know, without an actual sponsor or client waiting to purchase it. And I know it’s been a dreadfully long two weeks or so since my last post, for which I apologize heartily. I had planned to work on some mixed media bits in between, but then I stepped through the portal of painting torment and couldn’t get out until I finished this thing. It has been the all-consuming monster of my life for the month of March. I should be happy it’s done, but I don’t even want to look at it for a long while. Which is too bad, since it’s oil and it takes a bazillion years to dry, which it has to do in sunlight to avoid clouding. My studio is ridiculously crowded with curing pieces at the moment.
“Embassy of Cake” features a corner somewhere in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Despite the fact that the lower shop is charmingly titled “Uncle Restaurant”, I don’t know what the other buildings are. The left side appears to be topped with several flags, and the building itself makes me think of some kind of awesome ice cream cake, so I finally settled on the title “Embassy of Cake”. I’m not sure what kind of desserty business would go on in such a place- perhaps petitions to outlaw fondant in certain districts, or allowing German Chocolate to seek asylum or something. But I’m pretty sure cake tasting would at least be involved, which is enough for me.
I DID manage to cobble together a time-lapse slideshow of images illustrating the progression of this work, AND I kept track of the number of hours it took me to create it. Check out the video here. I’m trying to kick my art business brain into gear and determine how much time it takes to make these pieces so I am still earning a decent hourly rate- in the figurative sense that it only applies when I actually sell stuff, but you get the idea.
And in honor of that minor achievement, here’s a little contest for my devoted readers- enter a comment here on the blog to guess how many hours it took me to complete this piece. Entries will be accepted until March 31st at midnight PST. The person who gets the closest to the actual time will win a print of this painting! Unfortunately, I won’t be able to send that out for at least a month- it needs to dry enough that the shine lessens and I can take a high-quality photo without the glare, but rest assured that the winner will eventually get an 8″x10″ limited edition giclee of “Embassy of Cake” for free! Yay!
Also, in case you don’t receive my email newsletter and haven’t visited my Facebook Fan Page lately, I have a sale going on in my Etsy shop until March 31st as well. Use the discount code: spring15 to receive 15% off your entire order! I already have over 80 items in my shop for under $80, so it’s a great time to save. Happy Weekend, everyone!
*Warning- today’s commentary is a bit on the salty side. Just FYI. Not one to read aloud to the kiddies.*
Hello lovelies! The sun is shining, I’ve got a clear breathing path through at least one nostril, Radiohead just came out with a new album and I officially finished this painting last night, so I’m in a jovial mood. This, despite the fact that I almost suffered a cardiac arrest the other day when I picked up 2 tiny tubes of oil paint.
“$42?!?! Jesus, are they made from diamond dust crushed inside a unicorn vagina?!”
Somehow I stopped myself from blurting out my first reaction. I sense the term “unicorn vagina” isn’t really acceptable in polite company. Then again, charging someone $42 for a little yellow and blue isn’t something I’d consider polite.
At any rate, I made it home with the much needed pigments and they did prove useful. The lemon yellow and pthalo blue knocked this piece out. For my artist readers, here’s a quick rundown of water-soluble/water-mixable oil paints- they are awesome. Are you using them yet? Why not? Oh, you don’t want to spend a million dollars on new paint? I’ve done some legwork for you, so check it out-
Holbein Duo- CRAZY EXPENSIVE, but extremely saturated, high-quality pigments, great consistency, excellent blending.
Winsor-Newton Artisan- CHEAPEST, and pretty decent depending on the color. Excellent water-mixable mediums, oils, varnishes, solvents- but you don’t need all new ones anyway, the oil ones work just fine.
Grumbacher Max- MID-RANGE in price and quality, in my humble opinion. Small tubes only far as I can tell.
I have a few more nightscapes lined up. I’m enjoying working with images like this that include a couple of figures. For me, the high-contrast of the dark scenes emphasizes the sense of “looking in” and explores the boundary between intimacy and voyeurism.
To make paintings like these, I first have to roam around with my big DSLR, snapping images of people on the street without permission like some kind of roving Google Streetview flunkie. It makes me ponder how the increasing saturation of surveillance continues to erode our privacy… but of course, that’s not going to stop me from getting the pics I need to make my work. 😉 It’s like the lyrics from Radiohead’s “Life In A Glass House”… “well of course I’d like to sit and chat, only there’s someone listening in…”
As this piece features a hostess staring off into the night in front of a restaurant, I wanted to go with a food-related title like my last piece, “Pistachio”. Lots of good suggestions came my way… wasabi, wintermelon, ginger… but I looked up this place’s actual menu online and one of the first items jumped off the digital page and into my heart- “Jellyfish Salad”. To me it sounds like something off a Fear Factor challenge, but it’s also delightfully odd- just like me. 😉