Thursday, December 28, 2006
I've recently been going through some files of paintings I did a while back. I love the holidays, but late December feels like a distraction from the studio, it's constantly beckoning me to come and work. Anyway, I never got around to posting this piece... it's called "Philippe's at Night", oil on canvas, 20 x 30 inches. I painted a daytime version before I attempted this nocturne. It's an old saw-dust on the floor kind of place, located in Los Angeles close to the train yards of old Union Station. They serve up some killer french dipped sandwiches.
Meanwhile, in the studio I'm currently painting a couple large canvases that I will post soon. It feels slow-going, but I love the scale of the large finished work. I plan on working bigger and bigger, I want that sense of awe and grandeur in my work. Last night was my first chance in several days, but I'm back at the all-night painting binge. I think that working at night is why nocturnes appeal to me so much.
Sunday, December 17, 2006
I went on a little trip up the California coast this week. I didn't get much painting done, so I'm posting a plein-air painting that I did a few weeks ago, called "San Diego Harbor", It is 12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas.
My first stop on my trip was in San Louis Obispo where Bill Wray introduced me to a gallery owner. Once I get some new paintings finished, I look forward to perhaps doing a show up there.
Then Bill and I went on to San Francisco where we saw the de Young Museum's collection of American painting. The highlights of the collection for me were Rockwell Kent, an Edward Hopper, a major Thomas Benton tempera painting, and a couple Thiebauds. I looked at my list of potential galleries to show my work around town, but I didn't get the feel that I would fit in just right... I only liked a couple places. But I shot alot of film and hopefully will do some "Bay Area" paintings.
And finally we made our way to Stockton. The long awaited J.C. Leyendecker show was at the Haggin Museum there, we spent two days viewing the exhibit of 50 original artworks. I can't think of another artist who can paint the figure with more excitement and technical mastery. The above image is the kind of illustration work that he's typically known for, the idealized American male of the 1920's. I have a huge collection of Leyendecker stuff, dating from the late 1890's thru the late 1940's. He did covers for the Saturday Evening Post and paved the way for Norman Rockwell (who idolized Leyendecker). And since I want to paint the figure more in my work, there's few who's paintings can educate like Leyendecker's. It was great to see so many in person.
Thursday, November 30, 2006
"Rue de Rivoli, Paris", charcoal drawing, 23.75 x 35.75 inches
For a long time, I have been contemplating how I can put the figure into my regular gallery work. I've made several awkward attempts in the past, but I wasn't satisfied and rarely exhibited those pieces. I had been able to draw and paint the figure quite competently, but only by itself, never in one of my landscapes. I think that one of the most difficult things for an artist to do is marry these two worlds of landscape and figure. The figure can look out of place, or the landscape can look like an afterthought.
Knowing that the figure in my landscapes isn't one of my personal strengths in painting, I decided to do my homework with a fully worked out preliminary drawing. I don't know why I've felt so timid, lazy, or rushed to attempt this in the past, because I really like these two new drawings.
The first one, "Fashion District", is located in downtown Los Angeles on Broadway. I shot numerous rolls of film of people walking by. I got in a couple yelling matches (and nearly a fist-fight) with people who REALLY didn't want their picture taken. I understand how intrusive this method of photography can be, but anything for my art, right? I'm not sure if these two girls thought they were getting out of my shot, perhaps they didn't notice me. Their faces seemed somehow in thought and slightly self-conscious. I found their clothes interesting, their attempt to dress as much alike as possible, the same kind of over-stuffed coats with fur hoods, similar earrings, and they were each walking with their left hand inside their sleeves.
The second one, "Rue de Rivoli, Paris", is of course from my vacation a couple months ago. After seeing the Louvre, I felt quite compelled to paint the figure. Almost no great artist in the museums I saw completely ignored the figure. And I knew that I would need a new challenge for my work when I got home. The time I spent on the drawing was more focused on the landscape than the girl in the foreground, but she is certainly the star of the show. I shot some photos early one Sunday morning, Parisians sleep in quite late, so I had to walk 4 blocks to find a place that was open and had coffee. As I shot pictures all along the way, I fell in love with the patterns in the street, the gray landscape, and all of the Parisian buildings. It felt like the perfect moment when she walked into the scene, especially since there were so few other people and only one car.
I have already mapped out a couple of large canvases for Paris landscapes. So my next step is to paint something based on these drawings. Painting the figure, I would prefer to be less impressionistic, more layering and glazing like the old masters. In the end, I'm sure it will be a combination. But these two new images have been haunting my mind, they resonated with me somehow. I'm very inspired to paint them.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
This painting is "Fog Train", it is 12 x 16 inches, oil on canvas. I usually don't choose frames like this, but I fell in love with this one. I felt that the frame echos the train tracks, and the black against the grey/tonal palette of the piece makes for a striking presentation.
Last week, I went landscape painting around town with William Wray ( http://williamwray.blogspot.com/ ). We got alot of work done, I'll have to post my recent stuff soon.
Sunday, November 05, 2006
This is another little 8 x 10 inch painting that I did "plein-air", on location with Aron Wiesenfeld ( http://aronwiesenfeld.com/ ). We were on a grassy hill overlooking the 805 freeway, with some industrial warehouses below us and Tijuana off in the distance.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
With my vacation, plus getting ready for last week's Timmons Gallery show, I don't have any new paintings finished so I'm posting this one too. I did it for my June show at Tirage, it's called "LOS ANGELES VIADUCT", 16x20 inches, oil on canvas. The location is along the Los Angeles River, looking down from Elysian Park. I've seen some of the old 1920's watercolorists paint this view, like Emil Kosa Jr.
My show at Timmons went well on Saturday. We had an excellent turn out, the place was packed. I saw some old familiar faces that I hadn't seen in a long time too. Glad I could finally do a big San Diego show. Dan McCaw was last month's Timmons show, I really admire his work and there was some beautiful stuff. The gallery space in Rancho Santa Fe is brand new and shows off the artwork nicely, but they just moved from Solana Beach, so not everyone knows about the new location. The new Timmons Gallery will be a real gem to collectors when they get in there, alot of great art by various artists is available. My work will be hanging for a month, along with Aron Wiesenfeld's.
Meanwhile, I've got time to chew my fingernails, hoping sales go well. San Diego has a large number of wealthy people with large new stucco mansions, who desperately need art whether they know it or not. A variety of folks, from old money to the "nouveau reich" (especially from real-estate). Lots of empty wall space, or decorative mirrors and furniture store bought art. Typically, not often the creative or meaningful sense of decorating their homes by surrounding themselves with inspiring objects, yet there's certainly alot of money spent on fashionable decor and home improvement. I wonder if San Diego knows about it's reputation for being a "cultural wasteland"? I don't mean to be too critical or down on San Diegans, because I truly love it here, but it is certainly more of a sports-culture or beach-culture by reputation. For example, what often happens if I meet someone and in conversation tell them that I'm a painter, their first reaction is to say, "Oh! I really need my kitchen painted!" And I'll correct them and say, "Sorry, what I mean is that I'm an artist..." Then they get a generally confused look on their face. In contrast, with Los Angeles or New York, there's a sense of reverence for artists and all the arts. They've experienced the feeling and wonderment of great museums, they appreciate that beauty of the arts, which is the highest expression of the human experience. Discovered a deep feeling within them, having been inspired by creative works. Moved to find meaning in their lives. But then again, if their only exposure to it was some commercial gallery in La Jolla with sub-standard and mass-produced art, or modernist museums that leave them feeling excluded and confused, I can see why it doesn't whet their appetite. Understandably, San Diegans might make the mistake of thinking that all art is "stuck-up" and miss out. Hopefully, as people patronize galleries like Timmons, they can discover for themselves what could be some of the most enriching and meaningful stuff in their lives.
Sunday, October 15, 2006
My first big San Diego show opens this Saturday, October 21st, from 6pm to 9pm at the Timmons Gallery in Rancho Santa Fe. Everyone is invited, I'll have approximately 30 new artworks exhibited there. Please join us!
16091 San Dieguito Road
Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067
I'm honored to be exhibiting along with my very good friend, Aron Wiesenfeld, one of the most talented painters I've ever known. We're sharing a full page ad in this month's issue of American Art Collector (seen above) compliments of the Timmons Gallery.
Thursday, October 05, 2006
Well, I've been back home from Europe for a little over a week now. I finished up this nocturnal painting that I started before I left, "Bridge Lights", it is 24x24 inches. The location is along the LA river.
Europe was fantastic. I bought so many art books that when I was coming home, the airline almost wouldn't let me check my luggage because of the weight... and that's AFTER I shipped the heavy ones home. I saw just about every major art museum in London and Paris. Taking it all in was rather like drinking out of a fire hose. I was really struck by the Bonnard paintings at the d'Orsay Museum, that use of color and his whimsical treatment of subjects. Millet, Manet, and Monet all really struck a cord. And I loved seeing all of Delacroix's major works at the Louvre, they had a powerful presence. As did the Hubert Robert paintings. I was also surprised to find that the TATE had an entire wing of the museum dedicated to J.M.W. Turner.
This is me in front of one of Monet's murals in Paris...
I'm always attempting to successfully photograph a nocturne... this is "The Nag's Head" in London...
My wife Holly at the Tuilleries...
Holly and I outside the Louvre in Paris...
I can really only begin to express how overwhealmingly wonderful it all was. I shot approximately 1800 pictures in all, I have fantastic refrence for my March show at Tirage. I was impressed at London's immaculate cleanliness, orderliness, and polite manners (especially in contrast to the Parisians). And Paris has got to be the most picturesque city in the world, plus they win when it comes to their vast art collections. I hope someday to be able to make an extended stay and work there. I did little more than a handful of sketches because I was so busy seeing everything. And we walked so much that we had giant blisters on our feet. Not the most restful vacation, but certainly the best one I've been on.
Saturday, September 02, 2006
This new painting is called "Torrey Pines", it is oil on canvas, 20x24 inches. This is a favorite spot of mine, very close to where I live in San Diego. I frequent Torrey Pines State Beach as often as I can, mostly just to walk and enjoy the sound of the pounding surf. I painted this for my Timmons Gallery exhibition in Rancho Santa Fe in October.
I will be going on vacation on Tuesday, so this will be my last post until September 23rd. I've been burning the candle at both ends for months now, so I'm in dire need of a get-away. Fortunately I've had some decent sales since my June show, so I'm taking my wife to London and Paris for about 3 weeks. Yes, I'll be bringing my sketchbook and my camera. Hopefully I'll return with lots of ideas and inspiration for new works. Can't wait to see the National Portrait Gallery, the Tate, the Louvre, and the De'Orsay Museum. And I just booked our dinner cruise on the Seine... I'm sooo looking forward to some French cuisine.
Monday, August 28, 2006
This one is fresh off the easel, it's called "La Paloma Theater". Oil on canvas, 24x36 inches. The building is located on the Pacific Coast Highway here in San Diego. I believe the specific area is actually called Encinitas. Anyway, the day I drove by it for the first time, it struck me as something that I simply had to paint. The marquee had some other movie title on it, but I replaced it with "Some Like It Hot", a Marilyn Monroe movie that took place here in San Diego. Yes, the pigeons are eating popcorn.
Monday, August 21, 2006
This is my newest painting, "La Jolla Cove". It is 30x40 inches, oil on canvas. Right now I'm painting larger canvases of San Diego scenes for my October show at the Timmons Gallery. Historically, this scene has been painted many times at different angles by artists such as Edgar Payne, Maurice Braun, and several of the old "California Impressionists" back around early 20th century. Compositionally, I decided to focus more on the sky. Hopefully making my painting less typical of La Jolla Cove paintings I've seen. I used broader brushstrokes and very heavy paint than I usually do. I often like that kind of blobby paint in other's work, I don't know why I haven't done more of it myself. Perhaps it just takes time to work more confidently in "alla-prima". It makes for a more deeply felt piece in my opinion, because the artist is working faster and can maitain the initial thought that motivated him to do that particular painting.
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
I did this piece as a comission a while back. It was something like 20x30 inches, oil on canvas. The client's mother had worked in this building back in the day and he had a vintage photo of the building with the old Ford Model-T parked out front. The place had since been painted a different color, but was otherwise still there. I went and shot photos of the place and used a combination of my shots and his photo to do this painting.
At the time, I was working in a small spare bedroom in my Glendale apartment. My progress in my work had slowed to a pathetic crawl. The heat would get so bad in that apartment that I would spend my days lying in my underwear on the couch with a fan blowing, attempting to keep cool. It never worked. Thank God for air-conditioning in my new place. Being comfortable while I work is far more important than I had ever realized... I guess I'm kind of a baby. To paint, I need to be cool and not too warm, well fed, well rested, free of interuptions, a clear head, and to top it all off I need to feel inspired. Usually I can work myself into inspiration, but inspiration must be coaxed. If all these prerequisites aren't in place, I won't get anything done. If I worked at an office or worked doing manual labor, I wouldn't need to be inspired. I could just show up and grunt through it. But painting is a spiritual act. When there's no inspiration, the painting won't be any good. But working through the difficult times is imparative, it's the only way to come out on the other side. I really feel like I'm currently doing some of the best work I've ever done. It's taken years to build momentum. I feel continually anxious to see my own future paintings.
Friday, August 11, 2006
"Lake Hodges" is 18x36 inches, oil on canvas. After spending weeks on the "Muffler Monument" painting that's posted below, I wanted to paint something that would give me some instant gratification. I just finished this "Lake Hodges" painting, it moved at lightening speed. It's got some thick impastos on there, I think I used $30 worth of white paint. Lots of palette knife at the lay in stage and broad brush strokes kept me from getting too fussy with the details, just looking at the big picture. I had fun with this one.
Monday, August 07, 2006
Finally I'm back on line. Turns out that my DSL modem was on the fritz, so I got a new one. If you recall, a while back I did a drawing of "Muffler Monument". It was a preliminary study for this painting.
"Muffler Monument" is 36x36 inches, oil on canvas, a fairly large painting. I figured that since I'd done my homework with a nice finished drawing, that it would be easy-street in executing the painting. Unfortunately, it didn't move so quickly. I had started with an all burnt umber lay-in. It looked awesome, maybe I should have stopped there. Then I proceeded to apply color, that's when I got into trouble... I had to re-paint the sky at least three times. But they say that a good painting should show some struggle. I'm pleased with the finished painting, I'd better be for as long as it took. It will be in my October show at the Timmons Gallery in Rancho Santa Fe.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
This is another plein-air painting I did, it's called "Coronado Bridge". The size is 9x12 inches, oil on canvas. I enjoyed letting myself go a little bit in this one, the drawing is a bit quirky, and the paint rather thick in the sky. Perhaps I ought to let go a little more?
Believe it or not... this was another occasion that I was harassed by the cops when painting on location. My friend Aron and I were setting up our easels when a cop car pulled up. The officer had to run thru our drivers license numbers to see if we were terrorists or not. Fortunately, he let us go about our buisness. I always try hard to be nice to those jerks. I guess they need to fill out their stat sheets to account for their time not spent in the donut shop. Gotta look busy.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
This is a plein-air painting of "Soledad Lagoon", oil on canvas, 9x12 inches. I painted it on location, just off Carmel Valley Road by Torrey Pines. It was a nice cool evening and I was accompanied by my friend Aron Wiesenfeld... http://aronwiesenfeld.com/
The area has nice little trails and a parking lot for beach access. Earlier, when I was scouting around and looking for a place to paint, a park ranger approached me. I guess he had nothing better to do, so he started harassing me. Told me the area was off limits and it was a wildlife rehabilitation area (total BS, there was only a no parking sign). So when he gave me a ticket, I didn't have much to say. Later, when I went to court to fight the ticket, the judge threw out the case. Fortunately, as it turns out, the judge's mother was a painter too :-)
Monday, July 10, 2006
Although I started this one nearly a year ago, I just recently finished it. At first, I wasn't all that pleased with it, untill last week when I re-worked it. I'm much more satisfied with it now, I even re-named it "The Girl Next Door". It is 18x24 inches, oil on canvas.
I've been a fan of Edward Hopper for a long time now. I have too many favorite painters to name, but he's certainly toward the top of my list. I had him in mind when I was working on this one, this neighborhood is just like the kind he would have painted back in the 1940's. It is located in the old University Heights area, just east of downtown San Diego.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
This is a larger painting, 36x36 inches, oil on canvas. I'm calling it "The Night Drop". I actually started painting it a year ago and took it to the gallery. It was rented out (with a few other paintings of mine) to a studio set for the newest Diane Keaton and Mandy Moore movie called "Because I said So". But I still didn't feel satisfied with the painting, and it sat around the gallery for a while with no buyers. So I took it home and totally re-worked it.
Nocturnes are amongst the most difficult subjects for me. I picked away at it, changing the values, adding the cars, warehouse doors (the prominent center of interest because of the light), as well as the other city lights in the distance. That car driving thru this otherwise empty landscape made me think that perhaps the driver was up to something, so I gave it a new title "The Night Drop". The painting has an entirely different feel now, I like it much better than before.
Thursday, June 29, 2006
My show went well last Saturday, there was a great turn out and I saw alot of old friends. Wish I could have had this painting done on time, I was only a week off in completing it. This one is called "Musso & Frank's Nocturne", the size is a fairly large 30x40 inches, oil on canvas. I've painted Musso and Frank's before, but during the daytime. It's the oldest restaurant in Hollywood, it's been there since 1919. All the old Hollywood stars ate there back in the day, including Charlie Chaplin. In the Tim Burton movie, "Ed Wood", Ed went there (dressed as a woman) and met his hero Orson Welles. It was also a favorite watering hole of F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemmingway.
I feel that the best way to approach doing a nocturne is to get a strong foundational drawing, so that I have a good idea of the structure even when it's hidden by the shadowy darkness. I had to make up alot of things in this one, particularly the ironwork on the facade of the forward building. And importantly, the color harmony of this piece seemed to work for me. I pushed the foreground to a warmer purple and redish color, and the area further away into cooler greens and blues. I think it has a good feel to it, like a comfortable alone-ness.
Saturday, June 17, 2006
Finally, after nearly a year of work, I'm having my exhibition with 25 new drawings and paintings. It will be at the Tirage Gallery in Pasadena on Saturday, June 24th, from 5pm to 8pm. The address is One West California Boulevard, Pasadena, CA 91105. For more detalis, go to www.tirageart.com
This new painting is called "Crossroads", the location is the historic Crossroads of the World building on Sunset Blvd in Hollywood. It is 18x24 inches, oil on canvas.
Wednesday, June 14, 2006
This is "East Village Nocturne", it is 16x24 inches. The scene here is on St. Marks, the East Village bookshop, a brownstone, and Cafe Magador. One of my favorite little places in Manhattan.
Thursday, June 08, 2006
This painting sold immediately in my exhibition, there was alot of interest in it by several collectors. But the Tirage Gallery stalled on paying me for it, it's been almost two years now. Never did get my money.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
This is a drawing I did a while ago, back in 2002. I've got a new painting of it, or rather a variation of this scene, but I'll have to photograph it soon to share it here on the blog. I have long since sold this drawing, I believe it is something like 18x24 inches.
Back then I used to go on "urban photo safari" around Los Angeles with my friend Suong Yangchareon. He and I went to photograph at this location overlooking downtown LA and the 5 freeway, among other places. Now he's making the big bucks, he shows with Wayne Thiebaud and Diebenkorn up in San Francisco at the Paul Thiebaud Gallery.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
A little more than a year ago, I made a trip to NYC to see the John Currin Retrospective at the Whitney. Whenever I'm there in New York, I stay in the East Village. Somewhere down around St. Mark's and Avenue "A", right by Thompkin's Square. That's where the setting for this drawing takes place. I only finished it recently, it's charcoal on strathmore kid finish paper, making for really nice rich blacks.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
I had considered having a bunch of cops running a car off the road and chasing or tackling a crazed woman trying to flee on foot. It actually happened to my next door neighbor in Pasadena, she was a fruit loop, didn't take her medication and got caught in a high speed chase. I saw it happen on the news.
But then I thought... who the heck is going to buy that? Then again, it might work. Maybe I ought to try it in the future. Like Goya's series, it could be called... "I saw it happen".
Friday, May 12, 2006
I just got the June issue of Southwest Art Magazine, it features my painting of "Grocery" on page 62, and was picked for the Best of the West. It is promoting my June show at the Tirage Gallery in Pasadena.
"Grocery" is a brand new painting. The size is 24x36 inches, oil on canvas. I really liked this street corner and the old lamp post. Even the garbage can. As I was working on this painting, I had the idea of putting a shop keeper on the sidewalk. But I decided against it and went with strategically placed pigeons instead, making it a more whimsical piece for me.
Check out http://www.southwestart.com/section_display.cfm?section_id=25
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
This is a new painting called "ANOTHER VISIT". It is 16x20 inches, oil on canvas. I was in Coronado when I came across this scene and it struck me as something I really wanted to paint. That massive tree casting a shadow on the 1950's house, the play of light and shadow in the foreground that silhouettes the old Porche. It made me think of an untold story of what kind of dialogue was happening here, between the car's driver and the tenant of this home.
Friday, May 05, 2006
I just finished this drawing called "Muffler Monument", it is 20x20 inches, charcoal on paper. I've had the idea for a while to do some preliminary drawings for larger, more ambitious paintings. Some using the figure. I liked the oversized scale of the muffler-man statue I saw in Escondido, and in this drawing I exaggerated him even larger. The kid down below, looking up in wonder. I imagined, what if one day in the distant future, this statue will be dug up and put into a museum? Like an ancient Egyptian or Roman god.
Tuesday, April 25, 2006
"Bridge Over Rail" is a new piece, 24x36 inches. This is a variation of the earthy pallette, but with a purple-ish gray sky. Very thinly painted for me.
A few months ago, I dragged Bill Wray out to the train yards in the rain so we could get some photos. I wouldn't dare to attempt any alla-prima painting on location here. I needed Bill to come along to watch my back, so I wouldn't get rolled by any of the trolls or crack-addicts living under these bridges.
Monday, April 24, 2006
I'll be offering new giclee prints of "Hollywood You Marry Me?" in May. The size is 16x20 inches, printed on heavy rag paper. The edition will be limited to 75, all hand signed and numbered. These are archival and of museum quality, the unframed price will be $400.
I originally painted this view of the back side of the Hollywood Sign a few years ago. I took this painting to the old Mendenhall Gallery in Pasadena (when it changed to DNFA) and the director let me temporarily hang it in the show. Later that day, I took my girlfriend (Holly) up there to surprise her. She looked around the show in dislike, until she came upon this piece with excitement. She was confused when she saw my signature in the corner, since the show hanging wasn't mine. I told her, yes, it was my painting... and I said it's called, "Hollywood You Marry Me?" At first she asked if I was kidding, and I told her that would be a pretty sick joke. I showed her the ring, and she excitedly said yes, she'd marry me. We pulled the painting off the wall, and lived happily ever after. Holly and I will celebrate our 4 year anniversary on June 1st.
Thursday, April 13, 2006
This is a small 12x12 inch painting I did, "Glendale Freeway". Going with the theme of Los Angeles icons and architecture, I felt like these freeways and looming overpasses will be our generation's legacy, like the Romans' great structures (the aqueducts and the coliseum). These great creations that will one day outlive their creators.
The bold brushwork and dark palette was inspired by my mentor Richard Bunkall who died of ALS in 1999. Here's an example of his work (top image). If you want one of his paintings, good luck. They're $250,00 to $350,000 (if you can find one that's available).
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
When I first moved to San Diego, I went landscape painting with my friend Aron Wiesenfeld (see his artwork in my links). We set up our easels overlooking the freeway and painted this view alla-prima. Drivers honkingly-cheered our efforts, but that didn't seem to help for some reason. My plein-air painting that day bombed. But I went back to the studio and started this quite large 30x60 inch painting, "Sorrento Valley Freeway", to somehow redeem myself. It's finally finished and I'm bringing it to the gallery tomorrow.
Thursday, March 30, 2006
This is a brand new painting called "Presidio". It is 16x20 inches. I really had to struggle with this one, seperating the foreground, middle ground, and background. The landscape is in San Diego, the freeway pictured is the 8, and the building in the background is one of the earliest structures built in SD, the Presidio. The spanish built it in the 1770's, as it was a strategic location overlooking San Diego's old town area and the bay.
Monday, March 20, 2006
This painting is brand new and will be in my show on June 24th at the Tirage Gallery in Pasadena. It's called "Pink's" and it is 24x36 inches. Pinks is a well known hot dog stand on La Brea in Hollywood. It's been around since the 1930's and I've rarely ever seen the place without a long line out front.
Friday, March 17, 2006
This is a small 12x12 inch preliminary study painting I did called, "Seventh Street". It takes place on the east side of downtown L.A. (again by the L.A. River). It is quite painterly, and again, I used the earthy palette but with more of a bluish background. The large final painting was 42x42 inches and is now in the collection of a producer of the TV show, "Boston Legal".
When I was living in Glendale, my landlord would often stop by to see what I was working on. This small preliminary painting belongs to him now. He often took paintings in trade, the first 6 months I lived there I didn't pay a dime for rent due to his commissions. Kind of like an "artist in residence" arrangement, but more informal. And over the three years that I lived there, he took any painting I offered him as trade for rent. It was a catch 22 because I'd have a really cool painting on the easel and he'd really want it. So would my gallery. I'd feel the need to exhibit my work so folks could see it, but then again, it was sure nice to have an immediate sale.
Wednesday, March 15, 2006
This is a relatively new painting that will be in my June show at the Tirage Gallery. I called it "LA River Trains", it is oil on canvas and 16x20 inches.
In this series of the LA River, I've experimented with a pallette of earth tones. It's a gritty and old area of town, so I felt that those colors did the best job to convey the mood of the place. When I was down there, the security guards around the trains kept warning me what a dangerous place it was. There were little shanty towns built of cardboard boxes under those bridges, some pretty sketchy folks... drunken bums, crack whores, and other people in desperate need of a shower. I kind of liked being a little scared for the sake of my art, like I was on an urban safari.
Monday, March 13, 2006
This is an 18 x 24 oil on canvas called "Railroad Crossing". I had alot of fun with the surface of this painting, alot of build up and glazing. This one really needs to be seen in person. It has a real urban grit, the limited palette worked well for the subject. I started with just a burnt sienna lay-in, let it dry, and then began to paint an overall coolish variety of impasto grays. This gave emphasis to any remaining warm and thinly painted areas. But the sky was my favorite area to paint.
"Railroad Crossing" was the first painting to sell out of my previous Tirage show. Two clients were at the gallery previewing the show before it opened, they both happened to want this one. Since the show hadn't opened yet, the gallery let the buyer take the painting home and nobody else got to see it. *bummer*