Monday, December 27, 2010

Third Street Bridge

Third Street Bridge. 48" x 48". Mixed media on wood.

My fascination with the Third Street Bridge in San Francisco has endured for many years. Here is a painting I did back in 2005. My recent screen print, of which I am very proud, also showed this structure (see my post dated December 16th 2010). Unfortunately I have never seen the bridge in an open position - whenever I'm in the vicinity there are never any boats wanting to pass through!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Urban Laundry Closed Down!

For the past six years I have been doing paintings of a building in the Mission District which housed a commercial laundry. What initially attracted me to the building were the old steel hooks which hung from rails outside the loading bays. They would transport bags of linens and uniforms from the delivery vans into the cavernous laundry space within. These wonderful hooks (which reminded me of sharper versions I had seen in the Meatpacking district of New York) are featured in at least five of my paintings.

A few weeks ago I was told that the laundry had finally closed. Yesterday I noticed that the hooks were gone! Today as I was walking past I saw men removing the rails which had held the hooks. I just had to ask....And now I'm now the proud owner of two old, heavy and greasy, red steel hooks!

Check out Trish Tunney's blog for great photographs of the laundry hooks.

Below are the five paintings shown in the order in which they were completed:

Urban Laundry (Diptych). 48" x 48". 2005

Urban Laundry # 2. 48" x 48". 2008

Urban Laundry # 3. 48" x 48". 2008

Urban Laundry # 4. 48" x 48". 2009

Urban Laundry # 5. 48" x 48". 2010

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Loading Bays

Loading Bay on White Wall. 48" x 39" (available)

Loading Bay Florida St. 36" x 23" (available)

Loading Bay Alameda St. 24" x 36" (available)
There's something about loading bays...simple, utilitarian, battered holes in walls. These paintings were inspired by bays I've seen in the neighborhood where I have my studio. It's an area of light-industry, warehouses, small businesses and, of course, artists. I find beauty in the most unexpected places every time I step outside.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Screen Print # 2

3rd Street Bridge. 15" x 10.5"

My second screen print! The bridge on Third St. (outside the ball park) in San Francisco has fascinated me for many years and is featured in several paintings and drawings. And here it is again. I had a lot of fun in the printing class but it was way too short - just six three-hour sessions. I think I'll do another class in the spring.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

New Pier Painting

Pier 28 (North side) SF. 52" x 48" Mixed media on wood panels.

I've just finished this new painting of a pier on the Embarcadero in San Francisco which is still used by a small fishing company. The painting measures 52" x 48" and is constructed in two panels which relate to the architectural module of the building. The water effect is created by applying the bands of oil paint with the edge of a piece of wood. This creates thick ridges which look great but which take a while to dry. In the meantime it is hanging in my studio.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

My First Screen Print

I'm learning how to make screen prints!
I have spent he last three Monday evenings at a class run by a screen print artist called Hilary Williams - check out her work at .
This is my first ever print - three colors on white. I know it's a little crude but I had fun and am really looking foward to knowing enough to be able to do it myself in my studio. I would like to print onto my paintings like my hero Robert Rauschenberg. In the final two weeks of class I will be working on a five color print.
As someone who allows my paintings to develop organically all the foward planning necessary for creating the different screens makes my head hurt!

Monday, November 22, 2010

New Painting - Port of Oakland

Port of Oakland. 40" x 48"

Port of Oakland (detail)
I've just finished this painting which was inspired by a visit to the Port of Oakland to watch a friend take part in the weekly summer evening bicycle training. (I understand that cyclists refer to this as the POO ride!) The painting is built from four horizontal wooden panels which were all prepared seperately. Once they were fixed together the painting was developed as one. The lower panel is pasted with yard tickets which I collected while walking around the bicycle route. The colored squares are collaged paper to suggest the freight containers. The upper panel shows the cranes drawn onto vintage wallpaper.
I had fun doing this one!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


The Senator and the Archbishop

Unfinished puppet

A few months ago I visited the work studio of my friend Bob who has been making wonderfully idiosyncratic puppets for many years. I was intrigued by the complex mechanisms he designs to make them move, and entranced by the personality each puppet exuded. Bob is very private so I kept my camera in my bag and did some quick sketches while he was telling his wonderful stories.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Coffee Time in the Studio

Old Mint SF (diptych). 60" x 72"

Today I thought I'd hang a painting I completed in 2007. I've always loved this one. It shows a space in the Old Mint building on Mission Street in San Francisco. Looking down into spaces gives you a wonderfully exaggurated perspective which is always fun to draw. And I love solitary chairs!
Note: The chair in the photo is not a real Eames chair - it's a fake which I found on the street in San Francisco back in 1996.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Draw-Your-Lunch event in the studio.

I gathered a dozen drawing pals in my studio on a rainy Sunday afternoon to draw and eat. Everyone bought visually satisfying food and we had great time sketching around the big table as the food gradually disappeared. The only rule was to check that no one was drawing what you wanted to pop into your mouth!
Here are a few of my sketches:

The last tomatoes off the plants in the garden.

Really tasty cupcakes!

Half-eaten chicken with colored pencils.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

New Paintings - Stage One

My studio feels empty now that Open Studios is over and my Merida paintings have been shipped to New York. This is when new things start to happen. I've spent the last couple of days getting messy with paint, sheetrock compound, posters, wallpaper and glue - this is how I develop my underpaintings. All of these panels willl eventually turn into paintings or parts of paintings. I'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Shipping my Merida Street paintings.

I'm just about to ship these four paintings to my gallery in New York. They are for sale individually but I think they look great as a set. Each one is a different house on one street in Merida (Mexico). They all link up, sit on the same sidewalk, and have the same roof line. But at each property line the architectural design and color changes radically. It was a fun street to walk down.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

A Day in the Life of.....

For all of you out there who think the life of an artist is one of leisurely creativity - here's what I have to deal with in my studio every winter:

Mopping up the flood after the first rains of the season. (The membrane on the roof above is compromised by construction works.)

Leaks in the ceiling over my painting area.

An afternoon spent (with a friend - thank you John!) fixing plastic to the ceiling to catch all the water.

A funnel, some 3/4" bilge hose, and some duct tape....

....and voila! My own drainage system. Thank you Ace Hardware!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Relaxing in my tent...

In my opinion the only way to wind down after an Open Studios weekend is to grab your tent and head for the hills. The weather was great so that's exactly what I did. After pitching the tent by a creek, I inflated the airbed and lay back to listen to the sounds of nature (and the other campers nearby). I'm back in my studio now - rejuvenated and ready to go!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Will I be finished in time?

Three days to go before Open Studios (see last posting). I've just got back from a trip, my studio is a mess, my ceiling is leaking, and I've got walls to paint. But instead of dealing with these issues I've been working on my Mexican street paintings - I hope to finish three of the four in time for the opening on Friday evening. So don't be surprised if I look frazzled when you visit!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Open Studios - October 2010

Put this weekend in your calendar if you are in San Francisco and would like to see some art:
Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th October. 11-6pm.
Preview Friday 8th October. 6-9pm.
1890 Bryant @ Mariposa. San Francisco, CA 94110

I will be selling my 6" x 6" paintings which I have been posting here in the last couple of months. ($80 a piece.) If there's one you really want make sure you come to my studio for the preview evening.
Over 50 artists will be showing their work at 1890 that weekend. Come and have some fun!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Building a Mexican Street

Merida Street - March 2010.

Paintings under development - August 25th 2010
Paintings under development - August 25th 2010
When I went to Mexico earlier this year I walked down a long deserted street where all the buildings were linked, sat right on the sidewalk, had the same roofline, and were of competely different designs and colors. It inspired me to do a series of paintings and build my own Mexican street. Here are three of the four paintings I'm currently working on. Watch this space.....

Monday, August 30, 2010

I'm featured in a new book!

I am one of the featured artists in a new book published this month about painters who use acrylic paint. It's called Acrylic Innovations by Nancy Reyner. Check out the link, especially pages 66 - 67. Oh, and that's my painting on the right side of the front cover.

50 X 50 Challenge Complete!

I've completed fifty individual paintings in less than fifty days! Each one measures 6" x 6". I'm very pleased with myself. They'll all be for sale at my Open Studio (8th - 10th October). Watch this space....

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Sinks and Shoes

Stolte Grove Sink. 6" x 6"

Platform Shoe. 6" x 6"
... A couple more panels for my 50 x 50 grid (50 paintings in 50 days). I'm hoping to finish all 50 in the next week and will post a photograph of the full grid. Meanwhile other (bigger) things are happening in the studio - watch this space.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Urban BBQ

Urban BBQ 48" x 31"
I've just finished this painting. It's already left my studio for it's new home where I know it will be much loved. I had a lot of fun doing it!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

I'm starting to see in squares!

#46 -Package. 6" x 6"

# 39 - Mexican Ruin. 6" x 6"
I completed another 5 squares since the last posting. Now only 15 to go. I can see the finish line!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Old VW Van

This weekend I went to stay in a small cabin in the woods with my book group. I woke on Sunday morning to the smell of coffee and the sounds of the birds. I grabbed my sketchbook and a cup of coffee and sat in the sun to do this drawing. The old van seems to be a structural component of the wood storage system. The windows are so dirty you can't see in, and there was a dead, decapitated and dessicated coyote underneath. Fantastic!

Small paintings: 30 finished, 20 to go!

#16 Toucan 6"x 6"

#6 Factory Worker 6"x 6"

#12 Chair 6" x 6"
I've done 10 more small paintings since my last posting. Here are three of them. Now only 20 to go before my wall grid is full. More later.....

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Additions to my Wall:

# 47 - Bee. 6" x 6"

# 37 - Male Portrait. 6" x 6"

# 41 - Hose Holder. 6" x 6"
Here are a few more of my "small" paintings. I committed to doing 50 and I've done 19 so far - just another 31 to go! I'll be selling them at my Open Studio on October 8th-10th. If there's one you're interested in come to the Friday evening preview. Watch this space for future postings.