Friday, November 19, 2010

"Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try!" - Dr. Seuss

Hmm... Taxie what do you think? I think we need to get some of these paintings finished. What's that you say? Yes, you are absolutely correct, stop thinking and start painting!

It's hard to believe it's been a month already since Open Studios. I admit it was a bit of a challenge to get back in my painting groove. I know is has been the same for other artists, the week following was so quiet around the studios.

I continued to work on the billboard painting (12 x 24") and it is coming along. I want to keep the statement very minimal; the focus being the white against the abstract blue of sky. Sometimes it takes longer to do what looks simple than what seems complicated. Here is where it is as of today, with a detail of the bottom corner.

While waiting for the oils to dry out enough to continue I went back to three paintings; Wiz Burgers (on 18th @ South Van Ness), Terrace Chair and Hill View #3: Corona. Both Terrace Chair and Hill View #3: Corona I had hurried to be ready for Open Studios and after... again that thinking thing, thought, no they are not done. Now they are! (First photos are where I left off and now where they are.)

The weekend after Open Studios we took off for a wonderful extended weekend at Sea Ranch (on the Sonoma/ Mendocino county line). The coast is so amazing and wild along this somewhat remote stretch of HWY 1. Taxie had a blast discovering snakes, skunks and other little critters (I did not completely share all of her enthusiasm).

This week I have started a new painting of the bluffs at Sea Ranch - so far I have laid in the composition. Photo from early morning walk with high white waves and churn - spectacular!

I guess that kind of wraps up the Studio 202 news and now to the fun random sightings! I have gotten a bit behind on posting some of this fun stuff... so here goes.

An especially exciting time for me to stumble upon this Italian urban artist I follow, Erica il Cane (his name is actually Erica - the dog part is his tag) in my neighborhood. Anyway, have no idea how Fifty24 Gallery (218 Filmore Street) scored this show, but wow, some of his work is right here in the Lower Haight hood. The show is titled: We were living in the woods. I hope that his murals remain for a long time for all of us to enjoy. Check it out while it's around.

Here are two that are, well, talk about random, just make me laugh.

The actual pieces of toast are nailed to a garage and the tag above say's; "Make toast not war!".

This one made me really laugh. Kind of self explanatory. Poor wanna be delinquent totally got "yo momma" wrong (please keep in mind that I am such a white girl that I had to google how to properly spell this - came up with two street speak, so I am going with this, but I am still confused). I laugh every time I look at this photo.

I have been seeing this little guy showing up all around town... don't know who the artist is, but a cool little stencil.

Recently there was a big re-paint party at Clarion Alley in the Mission, here is a new addition.

I find it interesting, the political statements are not as evident lately, this was also taken on Clarion Alley and it is all pretty much covered up.

Tail end (no pun intended) of Clarion Alley @ Mission.

And finally, one of my favorite things, more cool car sightings.

A NASH spotted on 24th Street in the Mission.

Morris Minor woody and I forget where I saw it, but how cool! The Morris Minor has always been one of my favorites.

... and check out this beautifuly restored FIAT 500 spotted on 14th Street - WOW!

To wrap it up, life and what surrounds us changes everyday, very exciting, do not forget to look!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Studios are open... it's SHOW TIME!

With another Fall Open Studios behind us a BIG thank you to the folks at Artspan for year after year making it happen in their support to us local artists. I would also like to mention and thank the Mission United Artists for promoting us.

As you might imagine, there is so much preparation the week prior and this year the City of San Francisco decided to tear up and repave several streets where many studios are located (mine included). This made it difficult to bring supplies and/ or paintings as I could not park or drive anywhere near the studio.

But not to fear! Taxie and I got creative. I had a painting that had been at the photographer as well as promotional materials, price lists, post cards and some painting supplies that I needed to get to the studio. So, I loaded up my city bike... dog, painting, and supplies and yes, we did get some odd looks and laughs as we made our way cross-town.

Friday... IT'S SHOW TIME! Studio 202 has Italian vino and we are get for go... home for a shower....

Speaking of SHOW TIME... this video on YouTube cracks me up. This is so why galleries exist. "We" artists are just not equipped to talk about, sell or show our own work. Herman Munster is just the best! "Man, that cat's so deep"!

Opening reception... thank you everyone for stopping in! We did have to laugh when the flash of the paparazzi went off... Geoff Wolf of Art Explosion snapped this photo... coincidently the photo he took at the last Open Studios was of the same friends.

I was surprised that one of my new oil paintings, Hill Top View #1: Bernal sold. And so pleased know it is going to hang in a beautiful home (I was able to see where it would be hanging when I delivered it on Monday).

Again, as I have stated in previous posts, I am very lucky as the 2nd floor studio group, where I am located, is comprised completely of private spaces with many talented, fun and hardworking artists.

Open Studios is an opportunity for us to see each other's new projects and spend time talking. Sharing ideas and new work is truly one of the reasons that I continue to enjoy crateing in a community studio environment.

On Saturday two artists whose work I respect stopped by; Kathy Fujii-Oka (her studio is up the hall) and Priya Assal Gheysari (is my next door neighbor).

Another fun part of Open Studios is that you meet so many people... here are four art savvy dogs that stopped in for a treat (from L-R, guest of artist Jason Rivera, Kathy Fujii-Oka's pups and just a guest enjoying the day).

Last year photographer, David Gartner, did a project of artists in their studios and if I recall correctly he was using his phone camera.

On Sunday David showed up again only this time with the real camera. He asked if he could take my picture for this years project. He is a really nice guy so I said sure, and told him this time I want to look like the serious artist that I am. He asked me to stand by the sock monkey. Well, so much for that. His project is very cool and worth taking a look at.

Monday morning I was tired yet anxious to get back to work on the several projects that I have going. As you can see in the photo I think Taxie was also having a hard Monday back at work... she could hardly keep her eyes open!

Hill View #2: Twin Peaks was finished in time for Open Studios

and I thought Hill View #3: Corona was... however after looking at it this week I decided it needs some changes.

As you can see in the photo below I've been making lot's of changes... it's Friday, so probably won't get back to it until next week.

Pacific Atlas has been completed...

and I have started another cityscape. This new one is of the blank billboard that I saw in the Mission and I was drawn to the starkness of just a blank white space against the sky.

I m also working on a grouping of oil paintings that are of the same subject, just different views and times of day. The first two are very small - color is being laid in.

And for something a bit different, completed a chalk and nu-pastel drawing, 18x24".

This week flew bye... not enough time!

To wrap this up... seems that the new theme for odd sightings is shoes... or for Open Studios is that shoe biz? Bright shoes hanging from the telephone wire in the Lower Haight...

and in the Mission... a little kids shoe.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The creative path is a journey; sometimes what you think is a change is only the continuation.

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.