Thursday, November 24, 2011

side of a building

Well it's been a few years...
No, I'm not referring to when I last posted on this blog, even if it may be close to being true...

Today, Thanksgiving actually, I will share a project from more than a dozen years ago. When I was living in San Francisco. I had the opportunity of painting a mural on the side of a building on the bottom of Potrero Hill. It had the unique placement of being at the corner of 8th street and 16th street.

At the time this building was the showroom of Alexander Baughn. Housing beautiful furniture designed by Peter Alexander and David Baughn.

I painted this over a holiday weekend, Memorial Day I think. It actually took me 4 days, a day longer than I had originally predicted, due to a little misfortune caused by the need of the sissor-lift to be recharged over night. I left half of a chicken sandwich in the refrigerator of David's studio overnight not knowing that he unplugged the fridge to charge the lift. After the consumption of the sandwich it was much more difficult to focus on painting, actually the movement of the lift was the worst part. It was fortunate that the top of the building was completed before the effects of food poisoning set in.

The architecture of the building as well as the preexisting signage influenced the layout of my painting. The division of space allowed me to juxtapose the springtime California landscape with it's hills of poppies and lupins a more dramatic close up of the flowers. I like a change of perspective in a painting and this building gave me the opportunity to zoom in on the foreground. The chaos if the adjacent lot where building supplies were stored also influenced the choice of the larger scale for the bottom.

This 9"x12" oil painting of the building after the mural was done is my keepsake of that time. I may have wanted to savor the memory of Peter's old Mercedes as much of as the painting on the side of the building.

The building has new tenants and the painting is no longer there.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

small paintings

Posting images of my paintings is never as much fun as painting them. I has been a while since I posted anything so I am offering up these paintings for your perusal. The persimmons must have been painted last fall, so maybe these are not as current as I thought. They are off my tree, my whole crop for the year. I like the look of the fruit on the tree after the leaves are gone, so I don't think about harvesting them. But the birds seem to like the fruit too.
8" x8" oil on board

The navel orange from a neighbors tree, where the hard to reach fruit still dots the trees I see from my window. I still have some oranges in the house but this is the only one that made it to be a subject of a painting. The interaction of the shapes; the pattern of the painted table top, along with the shadow and reflections set off the orange as they divide the space.
10" x8" oil on board

Again the same table top with it's bisecting spirals is the backdrop for a couple of mid-century candle holders. They are the ones that use those skinny candles, a little fatter than a birthday candle. I don't think I ever had candles in them, I just like the shapes. In painting one is perched on top of a stylized silver bell, enhancing the space-age feeling.
8" x8" oil on board

Here again the tabletop is in view. My favorite teapot, the one I would only use for company because I've seen how quickly I can get chip on the spout or crack the lid. It is glazed a deep cobalt blue with creamy white maple leaves, the handle, spout and rim are glazed in silver.
8" x8" oil on board

The last image in the post is of the mannequin on the mantel. Half of a child sized figure sits above the fireplace with a pair of wing paintings hanging behind it. One of the wings can be seen from this perspective. This vintage mannequin (I think of him more of a boy-a-quin) bring up some childhood memories that I have not totally identified. Maybe it goes back to my elementary primer; "Fun with Dick and Jane". I named him Randy.
10.25" x9.25" oil on board

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

three foot squares

Two recent paintings that I completed in the past couple of weeks. The biggest thing they have in common is there size. Though both canvases are 36" squares and are both representational still lives, the execution and paint are different.

A kaleidoscope of color, these pincushions are painted with oils. Knowledge of my oil paint pallet allowed me to capture the color jewel tone satins of these kitschy little pincushions. Working with warm and cool hues of the primary colors; red - blue - yellow, I am able to represent the color relationships of the objects set up in front of me. The intensity of the colors in this painting catch me by surprise when I see it in daylight.

The painting above is not an oil painting. Painted with water based mediums, I integrated a combination of different materials and techniques to get the effects I was trying for. A still life with a toy car and the ceramic items in front of it seemed to be about the space around the objects as much as the objects them selves. Painted with a limited pallet of about 6 random colors, focused more on the value and color temperature than a particular hue.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

reflections on the new year

It seems that the calendar page has turned again, actually the calendar it self has changed. At this time of transition I try to reflect on where I have been and where I'm going. Looking for insight to guide me through the upcoming year. All this introspection doesn't come easy to me. Maybe I'm to literal, but when it came time to reflect – I looked into a mirror.

All this rumination and this is what I came up with:

It seems that I can no longer paint a self portrait with out wearing glasses.

each 8"x8" oil on board