Tuesday, May 20, 2014

California Road Trip

Am I alone in finding the Pacific Ocean and coast of California one of the most magical places on this beautiful planet of ours?

As I mentioned in my last posting I spent a few months last summer at the beach in Cayucos on the Central Coast  and when I returned I was far more grounded in what I want to paint (at least for now). 

I grew up on the southern coast of California and love all of those odd businesses that are on Highway 1/101.  I know them; I recognize them; I have driven bye on road trips since I was 16 and able to drive.  I suddenly realized that I don't always stop to really look or appreciate what I would call my "destination markers"; "Oh, there is … I have XX time to go before I get to XX".  This is what my new series is about, a road trip on the coast, my beach towns and those places.

It is a nostalgic journey for me and it is also very fun to paint.

Here are some of the paintings I have been working on and a bit about them:

Shell Shop - Morro Bay 24x20"

The Shell Shop in Morro Bay has been there since 1955.  I have some special memories of that The Shell Shop sign as the first time I was there was either 1969 or 1970.  My Mom, close friend Juli and I decided on “the fly” to take a road trip up the coast in my little Fiat 850 coupe.  My Dad had MS and was getting worse that summer.  With his blessing we took what was to be the last “jump in the car with Mom and take off somewhere” before he passed.  Very meaningful visual imprint for me and as an artist those things never go away.  This is what I chose to paint it first for the new series
Giovani's - Morro Bay 16x12"

Giovanni's Fish Market and Galley in Morro Bay was founded by Mike DeGarimore in 1973 his son, Giovanni took over the family business in 2004.

Why I choose to do this painting was because we spend several months out of the year in Cayucos and shop at Giovanni’s almost every other day (many times by bicycle with Taxie in her dog trailer… it is only a little over 12 miles round trip).  It is a special place for me.

Giovanni is into local seafood products and sustainable sourcing which is important to my household.  Just the BEST!  
Borradori Garage 24x20"

The Borradori Garage in Cayucos looks like an old abandoned industrial site. 

It was built in 1932 and in 1949 the state of California moved Highway 1, purchasing the property and the garage.  Sam Borradori  bought the building back and then moved the structure slightly to its present location at 455 N. Ocean Blvd. (I found info about the building on The SLO Tribune site)

The property is now owned by the Dante Borradori family. Dan (Sam’s nephew) and wife, Sharon Borradori did the restoration along with local winery owner Stuart Selkirk.  It is now used for nonprofit events.
Barbara's Fishtrap 11x14" (temporary iPhone photo)

Barbara's Fishtrap in Half Moon Bay (Princeton Harbor) was established in 1971 and has been one of my go to places on the coast for years… some really seriously great fish and chips!
Patrick's Salt Water Taffy 16x12" - in progress

This is the painting that I was working on when I left for vacation in early May... back to Cayucos again… 3 weeks later and back in Studio 202 continuing.  The under colors are now in… time to start the "real" painting.

Patrick's Salt Water Taffy is this crazy pink and white building on Highway 1 in Bodega Bay that has been there since 1960. Really, is there anyway I could not paint this?

I have, at the moment, 3 more paintings lined up and ready to start for this series… one at a time.

I am also working on (when I need a break) some small pen & ink drawings of the Dog Patch area of San Francisco.  I plan to eventually do some large scale mixed media drawings with washes.  On the back burner for now.  Such an interesting part of the city with all the amazing abandoned industrial buildings.


Monday, January 6, 2014

A new year in Studio 202

Happy New Year! 

2013 was a very interesting year for me as an artist.  I can usually judge my productivity around the number of works that I complete.  Not so much for 2013.  It was a year that I had work in flux: reworking, rethinking and repainting.  

My studio was in wonderful creative chaos as I tried to grasp an understanding about how to bridge my paintings and drawings and yet not loose sight of my California rooted paintings.

Bought some new paint brushes…. wow was it time!
This past summer I locked the door to Studio 202 and our household took off for several months and headed to the beach on the Central Coast of California. 

As I reflect perhaps this was actually Taxie the studio pups vacation!  She went to the beach everyday, she went for bike rides along the coast and country roads and enjoyed having a back yard.  Talk about a happy dog!

As artists we are never far from what we create.  If we are not painting (or doing what we do) we are thinking about it.  When I returned to San Francisco I realized how much I needed this break and how excited I was to get back to work. 

The Shell Shop - 2013
Above is a new painting of the Mid Coast (Moro Bay) and I have another that is in progress.  I am also very excited about the new drawings I am working on.  

New ideas!  2014 is going to be a GREAT creative year!