Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Sketch of 2011

What a beautiful day today in San Francisco. Both sunrise and sunset were melting layers of an orange sherbet push-up popsicle and a Cherry Garcia ice cream wedge. In between each display people spilled outdoors to embrace the day; a crisp and vibrant year-end gift. The above scribble-fest is this year's last. I titled it there's no here without there.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Season Hours

With a few days remaining why not consider making artwork a gift? A painting or drawing has the true potential to become a family heirloom. It's a gift born from imagination. Not only that of the artist but also the insight and vision of the gift-giver. Art feeds the soul and stimulates the intangibles within. It's made by hand and grown locally in my case. So give it some thought if you're facing creative block while looking for that unique present.
My studio hours:
Friday 12p-7p
Actually I'm there all day this week except for Thursday so....

Monday, December 12, 2011


I can't help myself. Donuts are fun to paint. Especially the sculptural ones found at 18th and Mission. The frame is a vintage egg and dart I found in Santa Barbara. I decided they belong together. Classic and whimsical at the same time.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Art Studio

Random studio snapshots are useful for personal archives. They help me to recall what was happening and what I was making. Photos assist with chronology and tell a story that may not show up in my journals or sketchbooks. I'm not trying to secure every detail of my life but I'm still trying to grow. So keeping a record helps to insure that complacency and stagnation don't take hold. And if those two fears seep through under my door then maybe this record keeping is all I need to check myself.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Art Show In Santa Barbara!

Hey! When in Santa Barbara please visit Sullivan Goss/An American Art Gallery. This month is the 100 Grand Art Exhibit featuring a vast array of artworks, all for prices specifically designed as a holiday gift to patrons. I'm grateful to participate with the above two 12" x 12" paintings in the show from my Beach Wall series.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I've been eating Fuyu persimmons like apples this year. They are the best! The Hachiya made an appearance in the persimmon pumpkin pie I baked last week. Incredible! For painting purposes I believe the Hachiya has a sweeter elegance. I began trying to capture that today in acrylic. The frame it's in here has been waiting for a painting to wrap itself around. By the time I'm done maybe they will be a team.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

...plums happen.

An oil study of Santa Rosa plums happens. Floating simply on a field of dark negative space, I feel only positive about how much power two plums have to inspire.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Field Photos

Wendell Berry: "Soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all."

Friday, November 11, 2011

Labor Art

This study titled Our Daily Bread is from the current exhibit at 555 California Street. Here the workers populate the field like a repeat pattern on a chunk of fabric. Generally overlooked and dismissed, these laborers are the backbone of American agriculture.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Quick Rough Sketches

One of my favorite spots for sketching is about forty miles south on the coast near Pescadero. Rows of strawberries stretch out toward the Pacific Ocean. There's something about this spot that feels right. I go there expecting to find the answer and return with questions. The sketches exist in between.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

555 California Concourse Exhibit

The paintings in this exhibit are each 12" X 24" acrylic on wood panels. This one is titled Fruit of Thy Womb.

Monday, October 31, 2011

New Exhibit @ 555 California Street!

This is a series of acrylic studies for a larger, more extensive body of work. Agricultural labor was the career of both my grandfathers. Each owned a farm: one in Nebraska and the other in Puerto Rico. I was raised in California and these paintings represent my extension of that legacy. Actually, everyone is related to agriculture since we all eat, but as small farms continue to disappear, we are becoming increasingly oblivious to the process by which food gets to our tables.
A drive in any direction from San Francisco ultimately features a landscape dotted with laborers in fields of one crop or another. What I find underneath the ruffling blanket of its politics is a beauty and clarity defined by the act of working the land. Stooped for hours in the sun, field labor is connected to the earth in an arduous and robust way that very few Americans experience. It's real and tangible. It's a ceaseless effort of gritty physicality. It's familiar and timeless, like the soil itself. It's everywhere and always. Right now, there are hands reaching, pulling and fully extending themselves for a necessary purpose. Bodies of all ages perform a backbreaking dance that can only be done by hand. We are all of the earth and dependent upon it, just as we are dependent upon those human hands that work it.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hands in Art

Featured here are random hands within different paintings in the permanent collection at the Legion of Honor Museum. Since I live nearby, and have become so familiar with many of the paintings there over the years, I sometimes place my focus on a chosen theme. For example, drapery, sky, water and this time, hands. I enjoy drawing and painting hands and the museum acts as an informal workshop through observation. My favorite are the El Greco hands sixth from the top. I feel moved by the pose and loose painterly rendering. Somehow his hands stand out from the rest for me.

Monday, August 22, 2011


One of my palettes, pictured here, is a small glass mixing area that's easy to clean with a scraper and sits upon a set of drawers on wheels. This palette features the intuitive method of paint arranging. Feeling instead of thinking takes over in this particular approach. It's a less is more approach, more or less with less technique and more expression. It looks good on the glass anyway so maybe...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Here I've edited out as much as possible from a larger composition. The intent was to distill the essence of a field labor scene without losing the integrity of the whole. This also gave me the opportunity to practice focusing my vision on a smaller scale. The painting is 20" x 24" oil on canvas.

Friday, August 5, 2011

how it begins...

This is not how it begins. Sketching, drawing and painting are the result of my time spent outside the studio experiencing the world. To discover a fragment of life and be moved by it is how it begins. The time spent noticing, seeing, gazing, looking, and observing is pivotal. What is paramount is trusting the feeling and intuitive pull that takes me somewhere and to something and to ultimately follow through with my expression in an effort to discover why.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Above are random recent images from my daily drawing ritual. I usually sit at one of the handful of cafes between my home and studio although not always. It doesn't matter where I perch or what I scribble just as long as I do it. Expanding my list of locales crosses my mind, and occasionally I do, but mostly I don't. I like a table and chair to sit at since I write too. The cafe across from Lincoln Park on Clement has pulled me in recently. It's funky inside with an old piano sitting unused like a prop and a backyard patio that is quiet. Quiet is something I have been savoring. There are very few places to go where music isn't constantly playing and crowding out the sound of silence. Maybe I'll try the museum today for a sketch and the Picasso exhibit.