Saturday, October 25, 2008

still working

It's been a busy week. I have been super busy at the office so I haven't gotten much time in at the studio. I've finished another painting and started on one last one. I still need to leave time to varnish and clean up before next weekend.

Monday, October 20, 2008

more painting updates

I have been mostly absorbed with painting and getting ready for open studios. Since it's only a few weeks away, I'm happy to say that I have 4 pieces finished, one halfway there, and another still in the starting blocks. I'm feeling good about having some smaller (and cheaper) work to show. I'm still enjoying my San Francisco Close Up series. To see the work I did for last Spring, you'll have to go to my website. Here are some sneak peeks that I will post to the website next weekend or so. First up is the completed Askew painting. 127 lightbulbs in that A, I'll have you know. Next to it is the just started, yet almost done A Grey day, still missing some lightbulb detailing.

Under that are two smaller clock detail paintings. First is Almost Eleven and next is Half Past Six. The two clocks are my first completed acrylic paintings.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Work in Progress

This is just an update of some work in progress. I've got to finish one for the Artspan Gallery as part of this year's Fall Open Studios. The last time I was able to show here I sold the painting. That one was also a last minute paint and hang piece and I don't even have a photo of it. This year I am doing some smaller pieces based on my San Francisco Close Up series. The first one is an abstract Sutro tower, which may be just about done. It's interesting how looking at the painting through a photograph helps to see what isn't quite done or when it's finished.

The second one is an A from the Ghiradelli sign. This particular one is called Askew. Not only is the perspective a little askew (I even got a little dizzy taking my reference photos from this odd angle) but the frame I used to wrap the paper is also not square. I don't know if anyone will notice, but I'll be sure to tell whoever buys it, since it can't be framed in a normal squared frame. I still need to do a lot of work on the Askew painting. I'm definitely putting off the painting of the light bulbs. I liked the idea of them, but the actual painting of 50+ bulbs is less exciting.

Both of these paintings are done in a wrap-around style. The painting extends around the edges. I saw a painting in the CCSF gallery done this way and I was intrigued. Doing these painting was also fun, so if it's well received, you can be sure to see a lot more of these. Both are still in regular watercolor and will be spray varnished so that no additional glass is needed. I intend to do some smaller acrylic paintings with a watercolor technique. I've already prepped the wood panels, so all that's left is the painting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

100 little indians in a row

On a friend's recommendation, I made a point of driving down the Great Highway to Ocean Beach on my last AWS Friday. It was a little foggy on the coast, but it didn't take away from the view that day. San Francisco-born artist, Thom Ross, had erected his beautifully painted plywood cutouts along the beach in the same place as a his inspiration, a black and white photo of Buffalo Bill Cody and his Wild West Show, was taken back in 1902.

I took a few photos with my iPhone but the photos don't properly capture the scale and the fabulous detail work on all 100 life-sized pieces. I loved the flags, ribbons and feathers that were integrated into the painting as they flapped in the ocean breeze. It was a very enjoyable afternoon distraction. Below is my favorite indian. I was hoping someone would go up and pose while I was here, but alas no takers.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

stretching paper

I am branching out, so to speak, and trying something new. I was at a art material expo and was chatting with an artist who had these wonderful watercolor paintings of crystal and glass. She stretches her paintings over wooden stretcher bars and I was inspired to do the same. I boughts some big beefy bars so that there would be some substance to it and perhaps it would look so good I wouldn't have to frame it.

First I started with a big sheet of watercolor paper. I wet it in the tub and after the first couple of times I managed to stop spraying myself. I let it hang a bit so that I wouldn't slop too much on my way to the kitchen table.

I cut the paper about 3 inches over the frame and trimmed it again once I set the stretcher bars over the paper. I tried a bunch of different corner techniques and settled on one that gave me a neat square edge. I was a little worried about the bubbles, but after I stapled the frame using a standard canvas stretching pattern and set it to dry. They came out looking pretty good. I'll be doing some small and some very large paintings on it. I took a varnishing class as well so there are bound to be at least one or two good varnishing stories after I finish up the paintings.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Omnivore 100 meme

I came across this meme on the blog Very Good Taste. While I enjoy the occasional meme i don't tend to do that many myself. But I like to think that I'm a bit of a foodie, so I thought I'd give it a shot. If you want to try this meme yourself, here are the instructions:

Here's what you need to do:

1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.

2) Bold all the items you've eaten. (The bolding isn't showing up that well with my template. So I used a different color for the foods I have never tried).

3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.

4) Optional extra: Post a comment at linking to your results.

The VGT Omnivore's Hundred:

1. Venison

2. Nettle tea

3. Huevos rancheros

4. Steak Tartare

5. Crocodile

6. Black Pudding

7. Cheese Fondue

8. Carp

9. Borscht

10. Baba ghanoush

11, Calamari

12, Pho

13, PB&J samdwich

14. Aloo gobi

15. Hot dog from street cart

16. Epoisses

17. Black truffle

18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes

19. Steamed pork buns

20. Pistachio ice cream

21. Heirloom tomatoes

22. Fresh wild berries

23. Foie gras

24. Rice and benas

25. Brawn, or head cheese

26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper

27. Dulce de leche

28. Oysters

29. Baklava

30. Bagna cauda

31. Wasabi peas

32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl

33. Salted lassi

34. Sauerkraut

35. Root beer float

36. Cognac with a fat cigar

37. Clotted cream tea

38. Vodka jelly/Jell-o

39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail

41. Curried goat

42. Whole insects

43. Phaal

44. Goat's milk

45. Malted whisky from a bottle worth $120 or more (I think I’ve had this on a business trip in Boston, but I’d be happy to do this again just to be sure.

46. Fugu

47. Chicken tikka masala

48. Eel

49. Krispy Kreme orignal glazed doughnut

50. Sea urchin

51. Prickly pear

52. Umeboshi

53. Abalone

54. Paneer

55. McDonald's Big Mac Meal

56. Spaetzle

57. Dirty gin martini

58. Beer above 8% ABV

59. Poutine

60. Carob chips

61. S'mores

62. Sweetbreads

63. Kaolin

64. Currywurst

65. Durian

66. Frogs' legs

67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake

68. Haggis

69. Fried plantain

70. Chitterlings, or andouillette

71. Gazpacho

72. Caviar and blini

73. Louche absinthe

74. Gjetost, or brunost

75. Roadkill (I may have had this if eating a deer hit by a car counts)

76. Baijiu

77. Hostess Fruit Pie

78. Snail

79. Lapsang souchong

80. Bellini

81. Tom yum

82. Eggs Benedict

83. Pocky

84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant

85. Kobe beef

86. Hare

87. Goulash

88. Flowers

89. Horse

90. Criollo chocolate

91. Spam

92. Soft shell crab

93. Rose harissa

94. Catfish

95. Mole poblano

96. Bagel and lox

97. Lobster thermidor

98. Polenta

99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee

100. Snake

I was a little surprised how many of these things I’ve tried. Honestly there are some I wouldn’t eat again, but I’m glad that I tried it the one time. I thought I would have a few things crossed off, but decided that if I could eat all but 24 items, perhaps I should leave my options open. A few things I haven’t tried are there merely because the opportunity or finances didn’t allow it yet.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Wacky Twinkie Clay Sculptures

A while back I talked about this idea I had to actually sculpt stuff using twinkies. Well I hemmed, I hawed, I bought some twinkies. Then I bought more. I was cleaning and found the bag of twinkies and decided that something had to be done. So I called Becky and told her that I had a wacky idea and that she was just the accomplice for me. Yep this Sunday was the day.

So I pulled out 8 twinkies for each of us and we started cutting them, separating the yellow cake from the toasted brown bottoms.

Then you mush them up. For a while until they start looking like modeling clay. Modeling clay made from twinkies. At no time did I want a twinkie. I knew they were kinda old and the last time I ate them they were incredibly sweet to my palate. But after they start looking like a mushy ball of yellow and brown clay, you really get over any thoughts of eating it. Although I'm quite sure that it still tastes a bit like twinkies. We let it sit for a bit since they were quite a bit soft. After about 20 minutes it started looking good.

I decided to make a monkey since I was using the anniversary flavored banana creme twinkies. Becky began working on her mermaid. It was a little tricky getting the clay to stick to itself, but it came out looking pretty good. Now we just have to wait for the clay to dry.