Monday, December 28, 2009

Urban Bicycles

When I go on my walks around the Mission district looking for "street stuff" to include in my paintings I notice how many bikes there are everywhere - tied to posts, parking meters, grilles and benches. So numerous that we stop seeing them. They are such an important part of the urban landscape that I should put more of them into the "urban patchwork" paintings I'm working on. To that end I have decided to spend some time drawing bicycles in my studio. It's hard - much harder than drawing the figure. All those funny brackets, cables and gear components. And wheels at an angle - aagh!
Here are a couple of the sketches I did today.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Great demolition!

This enormous warehouse on 3rd St. at 16th in San Francisco is being demolished. When I took these photos last week the siding had gone, leaving the windows suspended on the steel framework - seemingly floating against the blue sky. The grid of blues and grays is lovely! I'm sure it will all be gone in a few days.

My Christmas present.

What a great present I had from my friend Diane:
It measures 30" high and is made from heavy wood from which the paint is peeling, and it comes from the recently demolished Goodmans building on Bayshore Boulevard in San Francisco. Diane managed to get most of the letters which spelled "BUILDING MATERIALS" through friendly and persistent negotiation with the demolition contractor. Unfortunately she didn't manage to get the M (for Mackey) but the N is just as good. It now lives in my studio. Thanks Diane!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Patchwork Paintings

I think a new painting might be about to happen! I've been working on a few panels relating to my favorite building - the Mission laundry on Alabama St. at 18th. When I'm working on the panels I have no idea whether they will ever feature in a painting - that's the fun part. I threw some of them onto the floor last week and I sensed compositional potential. I'll try to make a decision and fix them together before the holiday. Then I can have a great underpainting to get back to when I return to the studio.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The good thing about storms......

The good thing about storms is the sky they leave in their wake. This was yesterday afternoon. I looked up from my mixing counter and saw these beautiful clouds hanging over the bus depot on Bryant Street.
If it wasn't for the freezing temperatures and the water coming through the ceiling I'd venture to say that I have one of the best studios in San Francisco!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cold weather getting you down?

To any of my lovely followers who may be feeling miserable in this cold weather: Please feel free to visit me in my studio for a deeper appreciation of how cold it can get. You will leave (probably immediately) feeling that your life is warmer than you had imagined.
Trying to heat my studio in this old concrete factory is pointless - any heat generated just flies straight out of the single-pane metal-framed windows. So I bundle up and keep moving. I have re-invented the term "kinetic art": instead of the artwork moving the term describes the artist in perpetual motion.
Happy winter to all!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Great Drawing Evening

I'm part of a small group of artists who meet on Thursday evenings to draw from the model. This week's meeting was really fun - good conversation, plenty of snacks, and a great model who brought a lot of patterned outfits with her. The fabrics were crazy! Here are a couple of my drawings done with conte pastel on pre-prepared paper.