I have become interested in doing a series of abstract (and somewhat minimal) paintings on the views from the hilltops of San Francisco... the ones that I walk with Taxie on. The views are spectacular.
My paintings are progressively becoming more and more abstract and this is a direction that I am excited about. More color, less subject. It is all an experiment. This is what the artist does. It may not sell, but that can not be the focus. I am not a commercial artist, I am a painter.
With my renewed excitement of painting in oils I am drawn to painting these views... the way I see them. This led to the question; just how many hills (the big ones) are there in San Francisco? So, of course I Goggled.
What I found was "the original 7 hills" (Nob, Russian, etc. ignoring all those, well, something like 46 other hills we have), which, of course as a walker and cyclist totally made me laugh.
Then... one thing led to another and before I knew it I was reading about Greek Mythology, ancient Babylon and, well, of course (it always comes back to this for me) the eternal "real" city of 7 hills, Roma.
And... well, what's up with the number 7? How weird, there are 51 cities that claim to be founded on 7 hills. Why? From what I could gather, the short version is, as Roma expanded, and with her the myth of power... 7 hills.
This actually goes back to Greek Mythology, the number 7 being a symbol of completion, perfection... world influence/ power. Roma and her 7 hills may not be by accident. Interesting to think about.
This did not stop there for me. I got so tweaked up and sidetracked... hmm the number 7. There are 7 Continents, 7 seas, the 7 Emperors of Roma, 7 Liberal Arts, 7 Sages of greece, 7 wonders of the world.... I was born in the 7th month. Does anyone else hear that Twilight Zone theme music?
And all of this just because I wanted to do a post about the hills and the paintings. Geese!
So, back to the paintings.
The first of, what is now a series, has been completed. Very minimal statement. It is the view from Bernal Hill looking out over the Mission. This was a very fun and freeing painting to do.
I am now working on the 2nd painting. This is from Twin Peaks, looking downtown, Mt. Diablo direction. This painting is not taking on such a minimal perspective, yet, still, moving in a very abstract direction. It is still too wet to complete. I want to hurry it up, but with oils I can't.
Oils are so interesting... I now realize how much I have missed the medium. There is this quality of "old world" about painting with them. It slows you down, gets mephitical... let's you think, lets you feel. I am enjoying the process. Again, these may have no "commercial value", but it so feels like painting. This is not to say that I will not venture here and there in acrylics... that too is a very enjoyable medium... just a real different feel of brush to canvas.
And then there are always those everyday... on the walk to and from the studio sightings.
Another telephone pole beautify the city... or not, this one is a bit unique to say the least, but humous non the less.
And so, as a last word... we seem to have a Mr. Banksy imitator/ poser in the city. I might be wrong, however, after looking at this, I doubt it really is done by Banksy. Not as subtle as his work, and I am sure we would all know if the real Mr. B. was kind enough to visit our fair city. Why would you imitate someone else's work is the question. I guess for exactly why this is posted on my blog. Please. Get your own fame, much more satisfying.