Sunday, January 31, 2010

Doggie Diner Head
(From the Portals To Hell series)

10" x 10"
oil on panel

Here's a quick painting done this week of our local unofficial San Francisco landmark, the fully restored Doggie Diner head. DD was a small hamburger franchise which shut down years ago. Every restaurant had one of these giant fiberglass heads out front greeting diners as they walked in to get their greasy food. This head is the last public pooch, the others have ended up in private collections. It was fully restored and painted with a new coat of automobile lacquer- it shines like a sports car. Doggie now resides outside the north entrance to the San Francisco zoo where he continues to scare little children.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Revitalized copper-leaf and enamel bookcase.

This is a recent project where I took an old, inexpensive piece of furniture and transformed it into something unique. I find this kind of project very rewarding because it not only blends art with interior design, but it saves one more thing ending up in a landfill. This bookcase belonged to our daughters and held their books for years. It was pretty worn out.



Before I applied the copper-leaf, I added an additional piece of wood and molding to the top to bulk it up a bit. Then I attached short legs to raise the whole case by about 2 inches. The bird and leaf pattern was painted at the end.

When we can extend the life of a piece of furniture for another generation, then we are truly "green" practitioners.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Between Two Worlds
28 x 40
oil on sized panel

Some paintings just take longer than others. I let this one sit for a few months until I felt ready to bring it on home, so to speak. I pushed hard to complete it this week and I'm pleased with the results.

This painting, with the fire on the horizon, is really about two things. First, we've had some devastating fires in California the past few years and I wanted to represent the beautiful, yet terrifying fire-skies in paint. Second, it's about the transitory state we're all in, perched between land and sky, watching and waiting.

The title comes from an exquisite early album by Patrick O'Hearn, whose music has been filling my studio and head for years.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Morning Storm Over Big Timber, Montana
18 x 24
oil on panel

This is my first painting of this year. We were visiting our friends' ranch for a week and the first morning we awoke to this incoming storm at dawn. The colors were so vibrant you could drink them from the sky. I stood on the back porch to watch. A cool breeze carried a sweet morning essence across the ridge and far away I could hear the sibilant rhythms of water striking ground. It was truly a special moment, dare I say, sacred? Though I did take a few photos for reference, this painting is based mainly on memory.

I'm settling in nicely in my winter studio. It's very cozy, the cats like to sleep in here when I work and I can call out to April in the next room. I've got so much to work on I've decided to just plow through as much creative work as possible this winter. My friend Shawn gave me a small digital video camera for Christmas so there will be some interesting videos on this blog later on. But today I need to finish work on my class syllabus, classes start in less that two weeks.

Have a good week, back next weekend with another painting.

Monday, January 4, 2010

M is for Mockingbird
Oil on canvas with library catalog cards.

January is one of my favorite months. Quiet, sparse, and dark, it is a month of artistic indulgence and introspect. The sky takes on an incredible topography with every storm rolling off the Pacific, inspiration for throwing some color on canvas. Groups of oily black ravens land on my lawn heralding the new year with agitated squawks and caws. My studio is cold this time of year so I'll hunker down in the back spare room of the house to work. Warm, southern exposure is everything in January. Here's to you, my fellow bloggers, designers, and artists- I feel it's going to be a very good year. Cheers.