Monday, March 10, 2008

Prettier than normal

En route to Martinez , a city I only know for the labrynth of c&h
sugar processing factory pipes the train travels thru. By contrast,
the road takes us into ridiculous abundance of green.


A union pacific train derailed in Richmond, so now we are driving
slowly through city streets on a bus - hopefully making our way
towards the highway.
We drove past an wedge shaped lot bearing a sign indicating a future
teen exercise center. Two men in bright orange vests weild gas powered
weedwackers- patiently clearing knee high weeds one foot at a time.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


a few weeks back, a professor slipped a card of gustavo acosta under my door. like seeing his angle on city paintings.
i feel bad swiping and posting an image here... so you'll have to click on the link. Its worth it! Iconic, surreal, monumental. My favorites are the city grids, where familiar shapes dissolve into pattern. The aerials seem most interesting vantage.
will try to catch his show down south this month


the shock of the first year review is subsiding under a pile of woodcarving chips and the thick odor of oil. I spent some days under the sweatshirt hood, moping around. But I am ready to refuel. I went west for the Ann Gale opening at Hackett Freedman last week. After navigating SF traffic to retrieve my spouse, we parked in the rainbow-levelled parking lot, and elevatored up to a brightly lit gallery. Ann's work is intriguing on an lcd screen thumbnail, but captivating in-person. The varied marks are gestural, loose yet deliberate. Like giacometti's drawings & paintings, Ann seems to hone in on her sitter's face. As she approaches the head, brushstroke vary into delicate hatches or cuts, and a judicious application of stronger hue draws attention to an ear, neck, or chin. Up close, the faces are all texture, but from a step or two back, there is palpable presence. And I didn't tire of searching through the greys, blues and browns in the background. The tone of the paintings was sober (bordering on morbid) and beautiful. The interplay of these qualities left me sad, happy, and inspired to paint.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Monday, March 3, 2008

Bike car

Caught the 7:59 out of Berkeley. My haste rolling down the hill earned
me the two minutes needed for a coffee stop, and a seat in the bicycle
car- a special car fitted with lots of bike racks instead of the
normal 3 slots per car on the amtrak. With the brompton, I can usually
wedge it in a suitcase spot anyway, but this is a big improvement for
the Davis crowd.
Busy day today between ta-ing and seminar.