Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Friday, November 12, 2010
Scrubbing paint within the confines of a square canvas challenges me to simplify and play and discover. As the mind goes quiet the paintings start to paint themselves.
Monday, November 8, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
More American icon painting. These three old baseballs I had scattered around my workspace have come together to model for this recent painting in the spirit of the Giants World Series victory.
Thursday, September 30, 2010
I'm feeling a need to revisit my artistic influences. They are countless and each teaches something different. In an effort to return to fundamentals, with the emphasis on fun, I took an empty canvas and re-created a detail from an Alfredo Ramos-Martinez drawing titled Mexican Family, which he originally created in 1932. A pre-colombian influence combined with a hint of art deco results in solid, simple yet iconic depictions of people from his native Mexico. The images above not only represent my attempt to pay homage to a favorite painter, but also perhaps learn something by doing so. What I learned is to continue to simplify my vision. I'll be reminded daily since this 48" X 48" exercise is for personal use only and hangs in my dining room.
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
There is much to be found in a short walk through the neighborhood. Or a long walk. Or not walking at all, but instead simply watching light travel through a room and seeing what it catches.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Looking in. Looking out. One View.
Divided yet connected. Split. Wide open yet enclosed.
The great American author F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, "The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in the mind at the same time, and still retain the ability to function. One should, for example, be able to see that things are hopeless yet be determined to make them otherwise."
Nice. Easier said than done. I prefer to use charcoal and see two points of view at the same time.
Monday, August 30, 2010
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Nothing feels or sounds like charcoal. It's raw and messy. Black and filthy. It has a raspy voice like leafy branches scraping the side of a house on a windy night. Drawing with charcoal makes time stand still. A primordial connection lives inside charcoal. It's a link to ancient artists who took whatever they had and made something out of nothing. With burnt chunks of wood they made images, lines and marks. They made art.
Monday, August 23, 2010
Why do I continue to make artwork about labor?
Because it's real and tangible. It's a ceaseless act of gritty physical effort. It's as familiar, ubiquitous and timeless as dirt itself. It's everywhere and always. Right now there are hands reaching, pulling, pounding and fully exerting themselves for a necessary purpose. These stretching, toiling, striving hands perform a back-breaking work that can really only be done by hand. That's what I see. It's honest. That's what I feel. It's pure. Which is what I try to distill in my paintings of field labor harvest scenes.
The above painting of a grape gathering is based upon my observations and sketches during a harvest in the Alexander Valley. But it could be anywhere any year. It's the remaining available piece from this particular series. It's an oil painting on linen-stretched panel and measures 48" X 48" square.
Contact me to see how it will look on your wall.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
"3:48am...tuesday morning. have to pee. the full moon tricks me into thinking the sun is rising. hard to tell in a tent. it's a big bright floating globe hovering over a snowy mountain. below is a lake full of reflected light. it's a magical sight. the only sounds aside from my rustling are the applause of a nearby river and the wind blowing through a faraway canyon . the absent noise from the city is not at all missed. here the stars are a constellation party even with the moon waxing gibbous. i'd forgotten about stars. it's cold but i don't care as i walk into a bunch of boulders for relief while admiring the show at this newfound planetarium. i don't feel much like sleeping. i'll try anyway out of respect to the others. but i'd prefer to rise and begin the day. there's so much to see and i don't want to miss a thing."
-this journal entry is from day one of the benson lake loop hike 2010. so far it's the most challenging and necessary backpacking trip i've taken.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Kelp entered my artwork years ago. I usually see mounds of it washed up on the shore, bunched upon Ocean Beach. Like the mazes I enjoyed drawing as a child the kelp is a naturally convoluted entanglement. It's a knot that can't be untied. In the sea it's a bustling ecosystem of abstract, twisted, labyrinthian cords of green and amber. If you scuba-dive you'll see that kelp exists as a marketplace for countless underwater creatures and fish. I draw it because of its perplexity. I paint it because of my life-long connection to the ocean.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
A yellow legal pad is always in my bag. It's not quite a journal or a sketchbook. However it is a little of both and more. Perhaps it's a bridge between the two. It doesn't extract the confessions and observations that a journal might. It doesn't focus attention as a sketchbook might. But anything goes on the yellow pad. This should be true for the other books but the difference is the pad itself. Brainstorms burst better on a yellow pad and thoughts flow freely.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Thursday, May 6, 2010
The closest I can get to the Caribbean lately is to begin a painting inspired by the tropics. When on the island it's best to buy papaya from the guy who shows up sometimes with a truck full of edibles. Nothing is better sliced and stored in the fridge for snacking than the fruit of angels. Papaya. I found this beauty at a local market. Maybe it's from there. Maybe it's a variety of papaya that can be grown anywhere. Maybe it's named after a pirate. The sticker reads Caribbean Red. It tasted anything but rough and salty. The slice I savored was ideal. No maybes. My intention was to eat it all, not paint a papaya, but that's how it is sometimes. The papaya insisted and so it begins.