Thursday, February 18, 2010

“I begin with an idea and then it becomes something else.” - Pablo Picasso

In preparation for the April show here in the hood, I finally finished up the latest painting of the Lower Haight series, Gentlemen’s room - Toronado.

The painting was centered on graffiti in a very abstract/ expressionist statement of color. Not literal. I am sure the guys will cringe to have been represented in pastels. I thought it to be a slightly funny statement. But that’s me, and it’s my painting.

If you live in an urban environment, such as San Francisco, then you understand the difference between graffiti art, graffiti and tagging.

You also know that as San Franciscan’s we embrace the expression of murals/ alley and wall paintings. We actually take pride from hood to hood in these paintings.

Graffiti can be traced back to Ancient Rome, Greece, Egypt and beyond. And through history has been a sounding board for politics, love stricken poets and like in the cave paintings, the expression of visual artists.

The distinction being that tagging is a modern gang territory marking statement that is based in violence and not art. You also know that when tagged, the property owner is sited by the city and made to pay to have it cleaned up, not the person(s) doing the damage. Tagging is not art.

Without going into the whole subject, the reason I bring this up is that in this painting I was trying to balance graffiti and the painting when I happened to look out my studio window and noticed the tag/ graffiti (this one is on that fine line) on the building across the street. I love this. A tagger with a sense of humor… this guy/gal has a future. It simply says PEST. So brought me back into urban focus and made me laugh.

I have wanted to resume work on a summer vacation series (the first being the Beach Motel) and do a painting based on a trailer that I saw in Southern California.

So, I sat down at the drafting table, got out the pastels and started to sketch out my ideas.

I must say, that drawing in pastels is fun – it’s so fluid and free. The paintings are always so different than the drawings – they are two different expressions and two different statements.

I finished up Trailer. It was a fun small painting to do, 12x12”.

I spent the day trying to decide what to decide… there are so many paintings I want to do, but as usual, something gets in my head, makes me laugh, and I put on hold those “real” ones. It’s my downfall.

I am itching to do this very wonderful deep color portrait based in Paris, but then there it was “gotta paint a box of doughnuts and gotta paint that in the pool thing”.

Tomorrow should be interesting. I guess Taxie, the studio pup (she is such a critic), will chime in and I’ll get to work.