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*
Saturday, March 11, 2006
This is a brand new painting that I just brought to the Timmons Gallery in Solana Beach. It was originally called "Park by a Freeway", but we retitled it as "Sorrento Valley". It is 12x12 inches, oil on canvas.
I actually started this painting last year, it had a subtle palette of bluish and milky grays (top image). Then I reworked it and painted in the orange sky with the radiant light, all out of my imagination. I pushed it into an overall warmer palette with an impressionist approach (bottom image).
Lately I've been really cranking it in the studio, working toward my June show. Sleeping the Thomas Edison hours... work till 5am, sleep till 9am, back to work, take a nap... days on end of this cycle. It works for a while, but finally fatigue sets in. But if feels great to be so excited about my work. All I want to do is work! I know it might sound like hype or *rah rah* but I've gone thru periods where I wasn't so confident about my painting. I'm glad to be on a working highpoint and grasp some refound enthusiasm.
Tuesday, March 07, 2006
This is a painting that I did a while back called, "Night Pantry". It is 30x50 inches, a fairly large oil on canvas. It was painted in 2002, and has remained one of my more popular works. Now I've got a giclee print of "Night Pantry" in the works, it'll be a limited edition of 75 signed prints.
The older urban areas have always captivated my interest, this building has been around since the 1930's in downtown LA. I wanted to paint a nocturne because I think it's one of the most challenging things to paint. The evening I went there to photograph, I happened to get lucky with the light, just after sunset but before it's too dark.
After much spurring on by another artist friend (William Wray) I'm finally starting my own blog.
This painting is called "THE LOS ANGELES SKY" and it's 36x36 inches, oil on canvas. It will be included in my upcoming June show at The Tirage Gallery in Pasadena.
I really had fun with the color choices, the composition is inspired by Maynard Dixon and N.C. Wyeth. I'm a huge fanatic of art history and especially early 20th century American artists like them, Edward Hopper, George Bellows, Rockwell Kent, and numerous others. Anyway... I did this painting with a collector in mind (a law firm in Los Angeles). This law firm has purchased many of my paintings, they collect Los Angeles art, mostly recognizable locations. I felt that this painting has a unique drama, those looming clouds dwarfing the city below. I chose to depict an older area of Los Angeles, including an LA River bridge and City Hall.