Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Random Barbi, Ken and friends sightings

Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that Barbi and Ken seem to be all over town these days? Here are a few recent sightings. Kind of creepy weird if you ask me.

Notice Hipster Barbi with her dogs. Love the "Barbi falls off her bike" in the new Valencia Street bike lanes.

And then there was the 4th of July Ken in the Castro?

And this poor guy in the Mission just ain't got what Ken's got.

And, well, Hipster Barbi Mom keeping buff.

Isn't San Francisco just the strangest place on earth? Gotta love it!

Draw local, treat your chalks humanely

Rumor has it that Michael Bruton put out about 700 pieces of art chalk last Friday night on Valencia Street near the Post Project by Michael Arcega.

The concept, as I understand it, was that the sidewalk would become an extension to the pole project extending the messages.

The good news is that it is quite fun to walk up the street and see the total chaos in non-permanent graffiti. And yes, there is the usual downside. People who did not seem to get the concept of the project insisted on writing on the sides of buildings.

I enjoyed reading all the messages and expressions that will wash away come the next rain. Looked like all who participated had a great time.

Walking up Valencia I saw these small picture frames (approximately 10" or so) with a message.

And on 20th Street near Florida I spotted two more. I am sure soon someone will identify this elusive artist. Cool project. I like it!

Taxie generally gets the last word... and here she is studying the latest painting. I can always count on her for a constructive critique.

The painting of Pacific Atlas is close to being finished and I am starting to prep for the next project.

I have decided to start working in oils again. Looking forward to the change in medium.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

“If I didn't start painting, I would have raised chickens.” - Grandma Moses

Friday (July 9) evening started out with a cocktail and Brie Crepe at Ti Couz on 16th before venturing across the street to the opening reception of Escape into Summer at Artist-Xchange Gallery.

As an artist I am always grateful to gallery's for accepting my work and at the same time it is always nerve racking to have your work up on "the wall" for all to see. It's kind of a schizophrenic feeling. You can always tell who the artists are; we are the ones outside of the gallery pacing the sidewalk!

Also, THNK YOU to the Haigheration BLOG for the great write-up!

Afterwards I walked over with friends to the opening of Illuminated Forest at The Lab. The show was really fun, like being given an E-Ticket for a ride at Disneyland or better yet, in the middle of some crazy enchanted forest. Very cool show! Congrats to the artists!

After our little jaunt up to Tahoe it was back to the Studio. I continued to work on some drawings. (pastel drawing of Tuscana, Italy)

I have been avoiding starting a new painting and not sure of exactly what I wanted to do. Today I just jumped into a painting of a very industrial building that I have been intrigued with, well forever, on 17th Street. I always find it interesting how it just happens. One moment you are not sure what to paint and the next you are painting.

In this painting I am working on pulling together my drawing style with my painting style and then just let it all happen. I got the color and composition laid in. I am looking forward to tomorrow when the painting really starts to happen.

The heat is back on again... submissions coming up and Open Studios (speaking of tomorrow... have to go over to ArtSpan to approve the image proofs) are just around the corner.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

"I thought of that while riding my bicycle." - Albert Einstein

As the heading on my BLOG states, I sometimes get side tracked with ramblings about dogs and cycling.

This past week Ms. Taxie Cab-ernet took some time off from her duties as Studio Pup and went on a squirrel chasing, hiking and bike riding adventure to Lake Tahoe. And for a Terrier I am sure it does not get any better than that!

Above: Tahoe Pinecone pastel drawing

For me it's been "about the bike" as far back as I can remember, from that first tricycle to the now hand built custom road frames. Grow-up? NEVER... it's just too much fun!

With the adoption of Taxie all cycling came to a temporary abrupt stop. No more city commuting, no more distance road rides. When you take on a rescue dog it's all consuming to move them through the issues, build the trust and there is so much to learn. It is a huge commitment. We do not know what her history is, all we know is that she wound up in the Modesto SPCA and was rescued the night before she was to be euthanized. She was less than a year old. We adopted her the following day. Poor pup was very scared. The reward? Simple. To see a happy dog and that unconditional love that comes with it.

Taxie has moved into a cycling family, so she needs to learn how to "be on the bike".

I have never pulled a trailer, but being determined to be able to take my dog with me I started the research. I decided on the dog specific trailer, the Tail Wagon, manufactured by Burly.

As I could not find any store in San Francisco that had one I placed a special order. It was a gamble to see if Taxie would adapt. This also meant that a bike had to go, so I sold my Santa Cruz mountain bike to make room.

When it arrived I brought it into the house with the wheels off and made a game/ trick out of getting into her "bikie". It did not take long before she was climbing in on her own and taking naps... became her favorite dog bed. That's when I knew it was time to hook it up to my city bike and give it a try.

My city bike is a relatively inexpensive Cyclo-Cross frame, the Double Cross by SOMA Fabrications. It is a great all round frame, steel and well suited for city streets and hauling the trailer. Bradley at American Cyclery helped me build this bike up; his shop is a great resource for a wide variety of city ride frames and hard to get Campagnolo parts. BTW he has a wonderful collection of classic Stingrays and tricycles... it took about a month but I finally got him to part with a little 1950's tricycle that I gave to my partner as a birthday gift. Every grown-up should have a tricycle to keep life in perspective.

For my road bikes I use and highly recommend Bespoke Cycles. Stefan Paske is, in my opinion, one of the best "wrenches" in San Francisco and an all around good guy.

We had a very fun time and Taxie is now officially a "Roadie", she has ridden Tahoe! Photo is at our break in Tahoe City... she found a really good stick, now that's one happy dog!