Friday, November 30, 2007

Imaginary horizon

Trying out new modes of working to distill down to favorite symbols.
This is my first painting from imagination rather than a photo.
Larger version of endless horizon. Inspiration remains my train view


Infini painting

Third phase of train horizon. Sense of place that I normally focus on for work has broken into glimpses from a train window - seemingly disconnected bits of picturesque marsh, punctuated by refinery, housing tracts, ship graveyards, dumps and small towns. Started out building these in a square format, but am now stretching out sideways, making it up as I go.

super fav chocolate cake

1 1⁄2cups all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1⁄4 cup natural unsweetened
cocoa powder, such as Ghirardelli or Hershey’s
1 tsp baking soda
1⁄2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup cool water

* flr in pan
* mix sug, cocoa, bak soda, salt in bowl
* whisk into flr
* add vin, van, oil to dry mix
* pour cold water over top and mix

350F (180C) @ 30 minutes or till springey

abridged from regan daleys "in the sweet kitchen"

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


Late train entertainment. Warhols Cousins and near familydiscussing
what they thought he created while in the USA
Day 2 on the marsh painting makes me wonder how worthwhile it is to
spend much time pre-intellectualising my pieces. Tonight, i painted
over some middle rows and turned em into an elongated horizon. I may
stick with the idea of interchangeable panels since it seems relevant
to the train view, but I'm leery pf it as a mark of indecision in
composition or (worse?) the urge to add a gimmick to make painting
have a dialogue with the current installation style art. Despite my
digi-schooling (watching documentaries of real artists)
my best effort still comes from a spontaneous place. Subject is just a
seed which ideally leads
to a flow of light and color. Deliberate efforts are currently
taking me to a dull place. Hence, some comedy...

The last farm

In the davis cemetary district, wedged between suburban starter homes,
an abandoned pony farm awaits conversion to condos. Past a treelined
periphery is a large barn, slumped outbuildings, an old schoolbus,
robust palm trees, open fields, and a graceful dip of land. Our
advanced painting class received permission to paint here twice
weekly, in exchange for the promise not to sue for injuries or use
artwork to inspire preservation of this open space.

McKee Gallery

Like the sculptures of puryear ... Coming to sfmoma in 2008.

- -
Ph 510.649.7524

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Fictional art

marsh paintings have been living in my brain all quarter. Ideas of
continuity and interchangeability are motivators. Aesthetically, love
the flow of grass and sky colored water. Small panels will ideally
allow me to swap pieces and expand. Now that its down, I like the top
row and bottom. Middle feels anemic.
I gessoed these with the idea of letting each panel represent a pixel
of marsh color in order to build one big painting later. This would
allow me to focus on brushstroke a d color alone. In mind, sounds
great, but on fabric, I like that thread of real image. The question
remains how much to take away (detail) and how much to add (in depth
of layers and pieces of canvas) in order to give feeling of the scale
of this landscape.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


Copying the caravaggio three times is an exercise in rhythm, geometry
and color play. The man was triangle- obsessed. Every fold of clothing
or bend of arm forms a geometric pointer to lead you through the
painting. These angles sometimes conspire to form a major diagonal
that leads the eye in a slow rhythmic descent till it lands on the
main subject, the virgin Mary laid out on a bed. Dark hues play in
the shadow, reds are luminous.
On copy number three I still haven't tired of the composition.
Inspired, I starting to edit my highway paintings, adjusting the
amount of city, cement piers and interchanges to tell the story
intended. I realize how unecessary it is to leave any unappealing
form. I am not editing to create the picturesque, but with the goal of
better rhythm and flow of color.
The practice of copying Caravaggio and reading weekly about the
aspirations of avant garde film makers are stirring up change. While
my end result appears to belong to an older (some would say dead)
tradition of 2-d art making, the commitment to process is shared. I've
heard a few people mention that art should demand something of you,
the artist. It is easy to see how this applies to a performance or
endurance piece, but I think it applies to the object-based art as well.
My current test of this is to use color and brushtrokes in new ways-
allowing sky to go brown or pink and ground and houses to to blue.
This is creating a new exciting cohesiveness to the painting itself,
breakinmg my tendency to fill in bands color. I want texture and
layers, and the brushstrokes to show. Getting over my initial
bashfulness about my medium and am enjoying exploiting its qualities.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Transformation #2

Second hillside
Trying to perforate the darkness which was there previously.
Getting overly optimistic with the pink

Back inside working on my sky

Lots of ideas on the wipey board, but I want to follow thru on some
projects I started. Just when I started to feel ok with the use of
some blending, I have become captivated by the opposite quality.
Enjoying letting the eye mix the colors. Remain inspired by a chuck
close documentary i watched recently, where the entire portrait
painting is made up of little abstract squares


Local pipes - charcoal sketches for large square ptg

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Budget deficit

Our dept couldn't afford enough seats
In the mondavi center, so many are seated in the foyer staring at a
stone wall listening to the disembodied voices of thiebaud, neri, and
wiley echo through the room. When I can decipher the comments I try to
guess at whom the speaker might be.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Second pass - uber caravaggio

Hard to let myself use enough paint on this size
60" x 40" - oil

My commute

Tuesday 9:30 train. Just crossed the delta heading inland. Reading/
grading papers on surrealist film screenings, filling my margins with
comments.. The variety of visual pattern out the window helps keep the
mental gymnastics required to digest the avant garde art works in

Monday, November 5, 2007

Nielsen Gallery - Jon Imber

Like these landscapes!!!!!

Fwd: Stapler

Stretching a 48" x 48"

The housewife painting

A comment by a visiting artist inspired me to push it further in the
"pixelated" direction. Mega pointallism maybe? Trying out some Meo-
meglip medium to help add volume in the paint. Also working more
freely between sky and ground to keep more continuity of color and
thickness. Like the idea of image emerging from a pattern - shimmering
into existence.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Color roughed in

Stretched my 60 x 40 canvas for this one. Trying to work bigger with
each project. Have a vision of filling my studio wall with on piece.
Used sponges to keep strokes generalized for starts. Cut up teeny bits
of sponge this time which allowed me to be frugal with amount of
paint, while still working to really spread it over the canvas

Brushes for rough in of color

Sketch in charcoal

Final caravaggio copy - gridding it out

Remote office

Heading north on a Sunday. Rereading some film/video articles en
route. The twenty songs I have on my iPod are adequate to dull down
the phone chatter, chip crunching, and toddler talk from the car.
Watched "pollack" movie last night, and facets of it keep passing thru