Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lands End Project

Lands End Project is a fresh series of paintings I've created in the last four months and is the first phase of paintings based upon my fascination with the region of San Francisco known as Lands End.
This series is another leap from the drawings in my sketchbooks to paintings on canvas. Sketching is a favorite ritual because it combines both internal and external observation. The sketches are glimpses, vignettes and often unplanned stories. They are a stream of consciousness where pen and ink make  the unintentional intentional. The results are a visual journal expressing the magic I find in this landscape of objects and place. 
There's a thread that weaves through my sketchbooks that advises me on what to paint and this group of artworks is another phase of my listening. 
Lands End Project distills my visual experience. The balance between opposing forces, the tension of opposites and the space between. The ephemeral nature of a ripe persimmon placed upon the enduring strength of the rock that remains long after the lifespan of the vibrant fruit. Mortality and immortality coexist. The sky and sea reinforce the solidity of the stone altar and speak to the changing climates and seasons of a lifetime.
At this point in my evolution as an artist I extend my artwork to integrate all the iconic elements of the world familiar to me near the coast at Lands End. In doing so I aim to unify these disparate components and reveal their essential meaning in a spectacular place where grounding gives way to an ocean of limitless possibility. 

- Jay Mercado

Friday, May 1, 2015

Painting Donuts will never get stale.

Much gratitude to Sam Whiting and the San Francisco Chronicle for the recent story about my donut painting exploits. I've been painting these timeless icons since I opened my art studio long ago in part because All Star Donuts have consistently been making the best classic donuts up the block at 10th avenue and Clement Street. I also paint subjects from the produce markets but the donuts have a unique allure due to their nostalgic whimsy. In April six of my donuts became a permanent display at the new Genentech building in South San Francisco to pay homage to the previous structure on the same foot where donuts were made. I had a big Donut exhibit at my studio in 2008 and perhaps it's time to create another? In the meantime my donut art can be found at CK Contemporary Gallery near Union Square in downtown San Francisco. I also have a few at my studio. Indulge!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

How art can impact a space.

This is an excellent example of how artwork has the power to impact an interior space. Two of my paintings here provide bold additions to a modern kitchen. So is it then bold modern? A new movement? Regardless, I'm pleased to see my art on the cover of Design New England!

Sunday, March 1, 2015

donuts downtown!

Several of my donut paintings are now enjoying wall space at CK Contemporary Gallery in downtown San Francisco. I've been painting donuts for years partly because there is a fine donut shop, one block from my art studio, at the corner of 10th avenue and Clement Street. I'm not the only one who feels they make the best classic donuts in the city, and the staff is always cheerful. Convenience of a subject notwithstanding, donuts are iconic. They represent a nostalgic whimsy. As a boy donuts were my reward at the last stop on my SF Chronicle paper route, a donut shop. Back then a hot cinnamon roll was my donut of choice. For me it was the king of donuts. Nothing created more incentive to complete a cold morning of tossing newspapers than the promise of a fresh cinnamon roll. Everyone that comes to me for a donut painting seems to have experiences to match. It's fond memories like those that linger and make me smile while painting this timeless American icon. 

Friday, February 20, 2015

Studio Harvest Art Sale this Saturday!

For those interested in the artworks that are integral in the development of the creation of a large painting I offer a small series of seven harvest paintings for sale this Saturday at my art studio from 1pm to 5pm. 
Each artwork is an oil painting on panel and measures 10" x 20" and is ready for hanging. Studies are often more loose, spontaneous and explore possibilities that inform the ultimate finished piece. I choose to make them for that reason. They are an important step for me and my process of discovering and distilling imagery for big art. 
Please inquire if you are interested and cannot come by. San Francisco offers many delicious diversions on these warm weekend days. I'm grateful to everyone who walks through my art studio doors to see what I'm making. Thank you!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

...gratitude as a ritual.

The recent Open Studios and studio 20th anniversary weekend was a blast! A parade of people came through and shared in artful festivities. For me those two days amplify my already growing gratitude for all the support I've received over the years at 10th and California. It must be true for all career paths right?Mentors, Medici, angels and patrons show up at the right time to keep the fire burning. The unexpected arrive at pivotal moments to stir up flames from embers. Sometimes they blow wind into still sails. Commitment, motivation and perseverance build fine momentum but even the most stalwart and steadfast person can be thrown off course. Trailblazers do get lost. And even what's perceived as a solitary pursuit actually requires many hands. Maybe especially, so as I remain wholehearted about my path I'm also wholeheartedly grateful for those who have supported this artist in countless ways. My flames are burning and my sails are full.

Monday, November 3, 2014

SF Open Studios & my 20th Anniversary Studio Celebration.

Many things in life are magical, mysterious, and unexpected. So embracing this truth has become a necessary part of my life and certainly instrumental in art making itself. When I realized my art studio has been up and running in the same location since 1994, I was mind-boggled. Twenty years? I've changed. My art has changed. San Francisco has changed. And I'm still here. In fact, my presence here is largely due to generous support from art patrons, friends, family and the community where my studio is located. Without these great people I'd be embracing an entirely different uncertainty! 
My art studio is celebrating this momentous milestone all weekend (both Saturday & Sunday) from 11am to 6-ish. Come visit and see what's up!

4754 California Street @ 10th avenue

Two prints from a series of silkscreen prints using favorite drawings from my 2014 sketchbook! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

...exploring possibilty.

In an effort to make its way out of the sketchbook and on to a bigger format this composition is at first underway as a drawing on panel. At 36"x "48" it seems to hold up. I'll try it as a larger charcoal drawing and then a big painting. Somewhere within the three methods exists the answer I'm looking for in which to proceed with the others. All answers are found in the labor. The unknown. How else will I know unless I just go? Ultimately it's not as much what creation comes from the hard work. It's what the hard work creates in the worker yes?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Saturday, August 30, 2014

...September exhibits.

I'm participating in these two exhibits this month. Both galleries are excellent and I'm honored to be hanging beside some incredible artists. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014 triptych.

I'm just about finished with a new triptych of still life paintings. When are they ever finished? When they leave the studio. From rough journal and yellow pad pen concept sketches to 48"x 60" canvases, these three jumbo creations have initiated my temptation series. Each will participate in the September still life exhibit at CK Contemporary Gallery here in San Francisco. 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

The 6th Annual Summer Studio Drawing Sale!

Join us this Saturday and Sunday 6/28-29 for drawings galore! 
Everything begins with a drawing. It's the most primal form of artistic expression. Whether it's charcoal on the finest French paper or charcoal on a cave wall. Whether it's graphite on Mylar or ballpoint pen on a bar napkin. Whether it's a pen and ink masterpiece or a doodle on a used envelope, drawing is the essence of creativity. Come and see!
Any questions or requests please call (415) 751-4232.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

...coastal harvest.

Last month I've been working on a harvest painting. It's my interpretation of a field and the workers there about forty-seven miles south of San Francisco. Along the coast the climate apparently is ideal for strawberries. It's a place I enjoy leaving SF to visit and observe. To sketch, draw and study. To get out of the studio and see real labor juxtaposed with a beautiful ocean backdrop is one way to calibrate myself. Making it into a painting is another.

Excuse the inconsistent photos. The reflected light from today's foggy sky causes crazy glare!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"...deserve your dream."

Three simple words. A thought distilled to its essence by Octavio Paz. What more needs to be stated? my studio are a handful of projects in progress including the details below.