Friday, September 23, 2011

I don't paint things. I only paint the difference between things. ~Henri Matisse


How true that statement is. As a painter, as an artist, I see the lines between the lines, I paint the colors between the colors. That is what I find fun and rewarding, the endless possibilities of color.

San Francisco Open Studios in the Mission is almost here (weekend 1)! Hope that you will visit me at Studio 202 @ The Art Explosion Studios, 744 Alabama Street (@19th). So many wonderful artists and designers will also have their studios open. When? Saturday October 1 and Sunday October 2: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm. There are so many studios to visit in the area, a great way to spend the weekend.

Also in October I am apart of a group show at Roll Up Gallery / Public Works; Wayfarer, there is no path, paths are made by walking. Very cool gallery and should be a good show! I do not have the names of all the other artists who are apart of this show as of this posting, so can not give credit, hopefully will be posted on the web page soon. Opening reception is on October 7ths from 6 to 9 pm @ 161 Erie Street. Below is the painting in the show.
"Still Dancing"

Last weekend Valerie Aigron made a special stop in San Francisco while traveling on business in North America. The occasion? Well two fold. Spend some time with us (such an honor to call her friend) and to pick-up her painting; “The Martini”. As I said on my Facebook Fan Page, I am very excited to have my painting go to France. As a painter I find this to be very romantic. Valerie is the Export Manager for Cave de Rasteau, located near Vaison-la-Romaine in the beautiful region of Provence. And BTW, the wines are quite nice and at an unbelievable price point… they are available in many fine wine stores and at Whole Food Markets, give them a try.

My partner Anne made us an amazing (Bond, James Bond) Martini to toast the transfer of the painting... a toast... viva la France! Viva la California! Life is so great. Viva your close friends from around the globe!

The total eat/ drink local (Slow Food) can be done for one fantastic Martini! Where there is a will there is a way. Vya extra dry Vermouth. Produced in Madera California. Meyer’s local lemons Vodka of your choice (in the case of the painting Grey Goose of course)… want to stay total local food shed? No problem, Hangar 1 Vodka (made in Alameda, California). I have never been one for distilled bevereges, so it has been an aquired taste. But that said I have always wanted to understand Bond, James Bond. Vodka = lemon. Gin = olive.

In Studio 202. I finally finished the 2nd painting of Golden Gate Park, Golden Gate Park #2 (oil, 20x20”)

and Summer Swim (oil, 48x36”).

I have three new paintings started, always have new paintings and drawing in the works, will have to wait to get back to them until after Open Studios.


Some very cool car sightings recently… this posting is the international tour! German, English, Italian and USA.

Check out this beautiful 1962 VW Bug that was parked in Hayes Valley.

Also spotted was this really nice Triumph TR4 (known as the TR4). This model was produced between 1961 and 1964, and a blast to drive!

Loved this Fiat 500 (I think it’s a 500, some of the models were very similar). How cute it this car! More like a pet.

And speaking of cars that seem to be more like cute little pets. This one is our new MINI Cooper S Clubman Ice Blue. We waited for 10 weeks for her to be made and delivered from England. Fun? Wow talk about the fun factor! So love having an English sports car again! Our new girl is a very fun shooting break!

And for the another cool car sighting in this posting check out this 1940 Chevrolet Special Deluxe model I spotted in Moro Bay, CA. This car is restored in original condition, meaning, there are some flaws, but that’s the beauty of it (well for us car buff’s).

As a wrap up to this postings car sightings, here is a little something you can pick-up for a mere $145k. Audi R8 V10 spotted in Avila Beach.


And now to some of the cool new street sightings I’ve come across in the last couple of months.

This is a Colla stencil, lasted less than 2 days on Valencia Street (@18th). Probably the most beautiful stencil I have seen in a long time and I have my guesses as to why it was painted over so quickly, but, this is not a political blog, so I won't go there.

Here is a sidewalk stencil I came across in the Mission.

This Zoltron, also on Valencia Street, had additional graffiti on it within days. Also like the Fox News tanks, not sure who the artists is as of this posting.

Another street stencil that I really like spotted on Filmore Street in the Lower Haight.

This is very funny! If you live in San Francisco you are aware of the Koi Fish stencils by Novy. I love these fish, they bring color and whimsy to the street. Recently someone (still trying to get the name of the artist) has been following up with a cat eating the Koi. This photo was taken on Church Street in Noe Valley. Humor like this makes it so fun to live in such a vibrant city.


To wind up this post I have a new category… Hipster watch. Well, kind of Hipster first dates and mostly on rooftops. Are they not just the cutest (if not like everyone on a date, a bit awkward). These cute little (at times, annoying) Hipsters have no idea that I can hear every word they say from my balcony, even when across the street. They seem to want to climb anything and everything... the Hipster 1st date watch is on!

This couple was so shy. My favorite. They were very cute.

This couple was trying to get it together... a lot of small talk.

These two guys cracked me up (I have a photo of them from a previous Friday night)... I call them the Hipsters with no date. They came back a couple of nights later and were taking photos of each other. My guess is that there is some new date site called What do you think?

I did like this couple... they were actually talking. What a concept.


To wrap up this posting. I know I get behind, but I do enjoy my random walks around San Francisco and the friends and casual friends that I come across everyday. What a wonderful city we live in. And, yes, how lucky am I to be able to be apart of this vibrant art community.

I hope you will take the time to visit myself and all the other hardworking and wonderful artists for the San Francisco Open Studios.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Embrace change... and wish your friends well!

On Friday, July 17, a few of us from the 2nd Floor Studios took some timeout from working to give Kathy Fujii-Oka an arrivederci party. Kathy has decided to consolidate to her home studio because that is where she ends up doing most of her painting. We sure are going to miss her and the great energy she has brought to the group. The good news is that she will not be far away so I am sure we will still get to see her and her beautiful work.

Above: Amy Spohn (Keith), me (Taxie), Kathy Fujii-Oka (Kanai and Matisse), Summer Makovkin, Janet Ji Song (Twizzle) and David Dworman.

The party was actually more a studio dog free for all. Five (Taxie, Kanai, Matisse, Keith and Twizzle) of the 8 little dogs that are regulars, chased each other while also trying to get to the food.

I decided for Kathy’s party I would order in from Danny Bowien’s new pop up, Mission Chinese Restaurant. A few weeks ago my partner and I got together with neighbors to give it a try as we were all curious after reading the article in The New York Times. Wow… the food is GREAT! Par with a nice French Champagne for the perfect meal. David provided crazy sugar high dessert... gone in a flash!

David Dworman will be moving from across the hall into Kathy’s studio next door to mine at the end of the month.

David does not have a web page so I consider myself very lucky as I get to view his paintings on a regular basis because his studio is near to mine. His paintings have this “not quite right” aspect to them and that makes you go back and back for another and deeper look. There is always this somewhat wonderful eerie feel and yet soft and beautiful, I have so much respect for his work. I can share one of his landscapes that is in my home. I love this painting; it is subtle and beautiful.

Update on what’s up in Studio 202. I have several projects going and these photos are with my IPhone… so not so great. (I wait to have photos taken until I have several because it saves me $$ in the set-up fee.)

I finished up the blue woman, the 2nd in my series about ageing and becoming invisible in American culture.

I also finished the 2nd oil in the Golden Gate Park series. I am enjoying exploring this subject; I find it relaxing and a rewarding departure. I walk quite a bit in the park and always see great light and flora; we are lucky to have such a beautiful and peaceful place in our urban surroundings. I am already to start the 3rd painting.

I am also in about in the 3rd week of a new larger oil painting (48” x 36”) of a swimmer snorkeling to add to the summer vacation paintings. I also love this subject matter and keep going back to explore a bit more. The painting is about 50% on it’s way… much more to do!

Now back to work!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

“I am still learning.” Michelangelo

(Above: new drawing, nu-pastel on paper.)

I have no idea how I get so behind on writing this BLOG. I think about it, take photos and yet just don’t seem to find the time to get it all organized.

Paintings? Yes, working on new paintings and always trying to experiment with departures from what might be the norm from my style.

(Above: new oil on canvas of Golden Gate Park on a spring day.)

Although, I do realize that if one looks close, there really is no departure at all. I am always aware of not wanting to do the same thing over and over. I am also aware that there is a perception that an artist should be identified with a style from a commercial perspective, however, I am also aware of the pitfalls of formula painting. It is a tough choice sometimes… I just follow the need to paint or draw a subject that is in front of me. And probably like every artist hopeful that at some point it will “be the one from the heart”. Other artists will understand that statement.

(Above: painting in progress, new series about the invisibility of women in America as they age)

Some of these become series… can’t be completed in one painting or a single drawing and for some it’s just one statement. The ideas stack up. At times I go back a year or so and sometimes just have to get into what I saw yesterday. This is what makes being an artist so exciting, there is always so much to get on the canvas and it seems you never actually get to what it is you want to say. And then, one painting will be exactly what you wanted to do. It is a personal journey that, if you choose, you share with the world.

(Above: new drawing, Transformation, nu-pastel and pastels on paper.)

I remember the first time I saw Michelangelo’s David. To be specific, it was August 1. I was a vagabond hippie art student traveling for the first time in Europe. The point is, I was taken by a statement that a friend I had made along the way, Sally (an artist), from London, made to me; “The look in his eyes are as if seeing as far as one can”. Obvious to anyone who has ever seen this work, it is from love and the heart. Did Michelangelo ever think he had created the perfect work? Unclear.

After the earthquake and then followed with the nuclear disaster in Japan, like many my thoughts have been there. I put aside what I was working on and had to make an expression. I did an abstract, it is called Radiation, oil on canvas.

I also FINALLY completed the painting I was asked to do over 2 years ago (never tell an artist "take your time"), The Martini, for Valerie Aigron to be shipped to France. Now I just have to figure out how to do the shipping! Perhaps I should just hand deliver it?!

And to further catch up (there are others... but I guess that's what a web page is for?), I went back into and completed a large drawing of the thickets and oil painting of my walks along the bluffs at Sea Ranch on the Sonoma Coast. Not my usual to paint a sea scape, but I was so taken with a storm and the white water that I felt compelled to do a painting and yet I wanted to keep it loose and just an impression of that day.

Well, there are many projects I am working on at the moment, this is just a quick (phew) catch up. Now on to what I call the fun stuff!

Cool car and a cool bike sighting...

Check out this Corvair (my guess is a '64?) I spotted parked in front of the studio on Alabama. Really great orginal condition.

Saw this pretty rare old Royce Union frame on Church Street. I am not an expert, but think these frames only came in one size. Way cool bike!

photo of the head badge

Admittedly, not in the "cool car" category, but I thought is was funny. Saw this on Market Street. It say's; "Hillbilly dental - we loan you our toothbrush -Mobile Unit/ House calls".

And now some cool street art sightings in the last couple of months.

This kind of make me laugh a bit. You have this little gnome kind of guy and then graffiti that say's bitch. Just kind of odd.

Sidewalk stencil in the Mission. It disapeared within days. Loved the graphics.

Stencil in Hayes Valley. Was pretty cool, painted on a black building wall.

I came across this on a wall, 18th Street near Mission Street. Very detailed work and an eery reminder.

Below are three works by London based artist ROA. He was in town for a show at White Walls Gallery. It was great to have the opportunity to see some of his work in person, I am in awe of the detail and size. The Rat is located on Valencia Street (between 15th and 16th), the Sea Lyons is on Bartlet in the parking lot next to Mission Fish Market @ 22nd St. and also the Rabbit on Hemlock St. (near Polk St.) I love his work!

And yet another London based artist showing at White Walls Gallery, Ben EINE for the show Greatest. It is kind of fun to figure out what these say, like reading license plates. And I totally admit that at first I did not get it and then got into it. Here are two of the public space works that were apart of his show that I have found. I love the treasure hunt aspect of street art!

On Myrtle Street... get it? (louder/harder)

Hayes Valley parking lot. (brighter/ faster)

Left over from my last entry.

My friend, Milano based artist, Teo Moneyless Pirisi, was in San Francisco in February for the Linear Empires show at White Walls Gallery. Teo's work, which he calls Flying Graffiti, is very complex in it's simplicity. He translates his paintings into two dimensional installations. These are meant to be temporary. Many are installed outside, and many times in isolated natural settings. Teo said that he finds it interesting to revisit these as they change and disintegrate from being exposed to the elements over time. What is amazing about these works is that they disappear in space. Because they are mathematical solutions it is so fun to look up and walk around as the space in and around them changes.

o1 Structures, acrylic painting on PVC which we purchased. Love his work (you can see it in the photo below with installation)!

As any good Italian Mothers would do, we tried to feed Teo while he was in town working hard (and partying even harder). He completely took us by surprise and wanted to do an installation in our home, admittedly our space works very well for his work (so hard to translate into a photo... but see below). Thank you Moneyless!

As if the gift of the installation was not enough, Moneyless had another gift in tow from Italy. Ozmo, or OZ as we call him, sent this amazing print to us (see below image). It is now framed and a center piece in our home. We need to get White Walls to do a show for Ozmo so we can feed him too! Ozmo is on the forefront of European/ Italian graffiti art scene and yes, his work is not only well executed, but sends great messages. Check out the links I have posted below to view some of his work.

Gionata Ozmo Gesi (aside from his web link, you can also view images of some of his work here: ozmo1 )

Smoking Madonna with Prada sunglasses

There is always more to say. Never enough time. It is always changing.