Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Caribbean Red

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.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Past is the Present

Lately the past has a way of becoming the present. Thoughts of my former days in Los Angeles have found new life in my imagination. I loved living in LA. It was so different. So big. So full of unlimited opportunity and the unexpected. Not only because it's the land of dreams, but also because it is quite literally endless. By contrast San Francisco is a great big small town. It's a village full of villages and I grew up in one of them, the Sunset District. I wanted to sample the vastness and contrasts that could only be found in the giant southland. UCLA was my gateway. Of course, I now live in SF, but I miss many of the feelings I associate with my time in the megalopolis. Feelings that I hope to bring to life again with a fresh perspective and open enthusiasm. One of the top reasons I moved north is illustrated in the painting above. I made this plein-air study on the fire-trail where I often ran to escape the urban madness and strengthen my resolve. It winds steep and wraps around the top of upper Mandeville Canyon off Sunset Boulevard in the westside of town. The lush canyon was at one point designed to be gardens for botanical research and exists now as a community of ranch-style homes surrounded by enough flora and fauna to make you think you might live anywhere else but LA. That's why I drove thirty minutes from my home to go running there. That's why I painted my running trail. That's why I left LA. There's just not enough natural beauty left to embrace. No places to run. I wonder what gems I might have discovered had I remained there but now I'm here. There's an abundance of natural beauty right outside my front door, full of unlimited opportunity, and the unexpected.