daily painting | dark corners

Not sure how to describe this one. It’s been a week of raw emotion, retirement-planning confusion, wanting to know what’s around the corner, wishing I could see into my future (how much future do I have left?), wondering if I’ve missed important signposts along the way. Is there such a thing as a post-mid-life crisis? Am I lost? Or is it just the middle of the night in dense fog and the headlights only illuminate 10 feet in front of me? I want a good high-def crystal ball, dammit. Experiencing life and all its glories (eagles in the east bay hills!) and pains (cancer? F–k cancer; why shouldn’t my sister live forever?). So here I am, bumping around in the dark, wondering how all the puzzle pieces fit (and yes I’m trying to come up with as many metaphors as possible to stuff into one post). I have no answers, and it would seem my spiritual path is accepting not knowing. And having faith in life, in myself, in love, in the divine. Splashing around in wet paint lubricates the sharp edges and for that I am grateful every day. Thanks for reading this, art fans. And for your kindness.

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pencil on claybord = $185

 

 

 

daily painting | helen’s lemons

Bounty! My dear friend Helen is kind enough to bring me bags straining with her gorgeous Meyer lemons from her prolific tree in her yard. I LOVE them and have gotten so spoiled that when her tree is patiently nurturing new lemons and they are not available, I buy them. Expensive! So I am eternally grateful to Helen and her generosity and for making sure I will never get scurvy. Meyer lemons have a golden yellow color and smell so yummy and today on this chilly and windy but gorgeously clear day it was time to create a lemony still life. Thank you thank you, my wonderful friend.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

 

 

 

daily painting | melted engine block

It’s finished, this 9-foot long melted engine block from the Santa Rosa fires in 2017. A commissioned piece from Barbara, the head of Greyhound Friends for Life (GFFL). I will go and find the right topcoat for protection and figure out how to photograph it attractively. When I first started it, after quite a bit of prep work (thanks to advice from San Leandro Color as well as the wonderful folks at Artworks Foundry in Berkeley), I had at first envisioned it as a flow of red and orange and russet colors blending into each other. Looking earthy and a bit blackened and really sophisticated. That all went away the more I worked on it, as it turned into its own creation, closer to Dr Seuss characters than Rothko—a colorful, whimsical creature that rose from the ashes. It has a lot of personality and I’m kind of in love with it; the above pic shows about 1/3 of the piece. Hope it finds a good home and raises funds for GGFL.

 

 

 

daily painting | green skirt

This one went almost neon. A small reworked piece on claybord as I was in the middle of 3 different paintings (update on the melted metal piece tomorrow; it is finished!). I worked on this over the weekend when honestly I was immersing myself in the creative process as a way to soothe myself after the art reception at the Frank Bette satellite gallery (see the “about” button on my site for info). Probably a collision of various tender spots—feeling raw as I often do, showing my work, worrying about serious health problems in my family, getting old. I’m not even that interested in knowing the particulars of these emotional squalls any more—not necessary, and I hold myself tenderly and with care as I let the storms move through my inner landscape. I’m encouraged by those who care for me that being deeply sensitive makes me a good artist. I think a thorough frontal lobotomy would be nice.

8″ x 8″ acrylic, pencil on claybord = $75

 

 

 

daily painting | spring blossoms

I’m not really sure if these are cherry blossoms, but they had a grace and a kind of floppy beauty that appealed to me as I jogged/walked along the waterfront recently (with these storms I’m guessing they have all been blown into the estuary by now). It was a late afternoon whim, doing this painting, as it was getting dark and rainy and light was limited and I knew these flowers would have a short shelf life. Sometimes the wet paints flow so beautifully and sometimes they puddle up into a page of boredom. I liked this one though; a valentine’s bouquet and quite gentle and soft in my little vase. And also a welcome distraction from the angst of preparing for the art reception this evening (navigate to the “about” button for info about the Frank Bette satellite gallery show). I am so honored to be invited to show my art, and very much enjoy meeting people who are there to look at my paintings and afterward I often feel raw and exposed and skinless. That’s when it’s time for a strong adult beverage and a hot bath.

10″ x 7″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

 

 

 

daily painting | the launch

Poking around Alameda’s “Bay Ship” shipyard, I took a photo of this as sister-in-law Jane gave me a bit of a tour as she walked me back to my car. I was quite enamored of this small boat, which she then told me was the launch for her dredging ship, The Yaquina. Apparently it is being replaced soon so I hope my small painting memorializes it properly. This has been such a joy, reconnecting with family. Jane’s success as a merchant mariner is impressive — it certainly is a man’s world, and she’s as smart and tough as any of them.

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

 

 

 

daily painting | inner harbor

New abstract on claybord. It wanted to be dense with color and shapes in the middle, and there’s a rough heart shape (not intentional) as well, so it’s an appropriate painting for this particular week in Feb. Maybe an unconscious expression of wanting to protect my heart? Maybe a celebration of a sturdy array of inner parts? Don’t know. But it felt fierce and authentic and powerful to me. So here it is. A party of wholeness. Time for a parade! (No clowns or politicians, though. Just ticker tape and luscious old convertibles and 60-year old beauty queens.)

12″ x 12″ acrylic, pencil, oil pastel crayon on claybord = $185

 

 

 

daily painting | pilfered bouquet

On my jog/walk the other afternoon I swiped a few flowers on the way home; only from commercial properties though. Don’t want to aggravate residential folks or be overly rude. I’m a bit klepto when it comes to lovely blossoms and I’d had kind of an isolated day and the posies cheered me. The bouquet was lush and a bit big for my little vase, but it sits on my coffee table and looks happy. I kind of wanted it to be a messy and loose painting. If I try too hard, I usually produce mush. Happy weekend and stay warm out there!

7″ x 10″ watercolor, pen on paper = $90

 

 

 

daily painting | purple blooms

At the Fort Mason farmer’s market last weekend I bought a $5 bouquet of beautiful poppy-like flowers (while the blustery wet weather was blowing things all over the parking lot; had to hang on to my hat). Was attracted to the rich purples and violets of the sensual blossoms — colors so dense and deep it was almost overkill on nature’s part. After I returned home I was painting other scenes (unsuccessfully; still can’t quite capture the Posey Tube towers out my window) and it was time to put away my paints and start dinner, but I couldn’t resist a quick watercolor sketch. Very wet day, took forever for paint to dry so I kept it simple. One of those times when I swooned over the richness of Daniel Smith watercolors. I never know how they will look after drying and I love how they do what they want. I was tempted to do more detail in this painting, but I made myself stop as I didn’t want to make it fussy.

5.5″ x 5.5″ watercolor, pen on paper = $40

 

 

 

daily painting | driveshaft

More reworking of older abstracts on boards. The surface of a canvasboard is rough and textured and fun to paint on as it takes paint completely differently than smoother surfaces (duh). Making shapes, lines, loops, fields of color and letting my creative urges follow their own path is a challenge and when I’m done I sometimes feel raw and exposed. I was working out various emotions (driven, maybe?) on this day, and I am glad for the final result. It was an honest process.

8″ x 8″ acrylic, oil pastel, pencil on canvasboard = $75