Wednesday, April 27, 2011

"Cafe Du Soleil"

6x8" oil on hardboard

I love this place. It's located in the Lower Haight in SF. The coffee is superb and the almond croissants are unbelievable. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Granite Lake"

8x6" oil on hardboard

This is Granite Lake in the Sierra Nevada mountain range east of SF. Even though it's an alpine lake (elevation about 8000 ft.) it was surprisingly warm. I should say warm for a mountain lake, the water was probably about 65 degrees. It felt great though because it was a hot July day.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"N Judah"

8x6" oil on hardboard

Here's another dusk painting. This time it's of a streetcar on the N Judah line in the Sunset district of SF.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

"Beach Shack" - SOLD

6x8" oil on hardboard

This is the beach at China Camp in San Raphael. It's a very popular place for plein air painters. I think this building was used as a snack bar many years ago, but it's been closed up ever since I can remember. This is a really nice spot to spend a summer day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Taqueria" - SOLD

8x6" oil on hardboard

This is a taqueria in the Mission District of SF. I haven't actually eaten in this particular taqueria, I usually go to Pancho Villa or El Toro. Both are excellent and SO inexpensive. A burrito and a cerveza is up there on my list of favorite meals.

Monday, April 18, 2011

"Calla Lilies" - SOLD

5x4" oil on masonite

This is my submission to this week's DPW Challenge. I chose to go with the Primary Color scheme. I used Cadmium Yellow Lemon, Cadmium Red, Cobalt Blue and Titanium White. 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

"Cold Drinks" - SOLD

8x6" oil on hardboard

Here's another one from the Toy Boat Cafe. If you're ever in SF you should certainly stop here for coffee, ice cream or dessert. The atmosphere is wonderful and the staff is really friendly. It's sort of like visiting an antique toy museum, there are hundreds of old and unusual toys decorating the walls and shelves. 

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"Green Triumph" - SOLD

6x8" oil on hardboard

I've been feeling the need to experiment. One thing I love about daily painting is that it motivates me to try new things. For me that's what keeps it exciting. I recently shot a bunch of photographs from unusual viewpoints where the perspective is really exaggerated. I worked fast on this one which I think helped me focus on the abstract and not get bogged down in detail. 

This is my 100th post!

Friday, April 15, 2011

"Dessert Case" - SOLD

6x8" oil on hardboard

This was done from a photograph my daughter took at the Toy Boat Cafe on Clement Street in SF. I handed her the camera and let her shoot away. It was fun to watch how into it she was. When I downloaded the photos this one jumped out at me. It has a unique sort of light, a greenish glow that for some reason I find appealing. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"Reflected Rowboat" - SOLD

7x5" oil on masonite

I'm in frame production mode. I'm making natural wood floater frames for my 6x6" daily paintings for an upcoming show. I've looked online but can't find anything I like at a reasonable price. Anyone have a favorite frame source?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"Happy Hen" - SOLD

6x6" - oil on Gessobord

This is another submission to this week's DPW Challenge. I'm happy with the way it turned out but I had to work for it. She looked mean and angry on my first two attempts so I ended up wiping them out. Then I tilted the image slightly and to my surprise it seemed to soften her expression! I think she looks sweet and friendly now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Free Range" - SOLD

5x4" - oil on masonite

Well I can add chickens to the list of animals that are fun to paint. Fun but difficult, especially their little heads! This is my submission to this week's DPW Challenge

Sunday, April 10, 2011

"Delta Dive"

7x5" - oil on masonite

I'm really enjoying doing these dusk paintings. This one is was painted from a photo I took while up in the Sacramento River Delta area. Merci and I were up there exploring and looking for places to paint. The Delta is mostly visited by boaters since there are hundreds of miles of waterways to explore, but it's a cool place to visit by car as well. It's like going back in time.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

"Beach House"

5x7" oil on masonite

This is an old beach cottage in Half Moon Bay. Half Moon Bay is a small coastal town about 40 minutes south of San Francisco. There's still a lot of farming going on in the area, mostly pumpkins, artichokes and brussels sprouts. The farms continue south for about fifty miles until you reach Santa Cruz. It's nice to have so much open, undeveloped space so close to a big city. I've done quite a bit of plein air painting on the coast, mostly during the winter, summer can be foggy. Fog is good for artichokes but I'm not too motivated to make foggy paintings.

When I first started painting, I remember being nervous about setting up in public. I thought Half Moon Bay would be a good place to break the ice and not be noticed. I parked on a small country road just outside of San Gregorio. I stood there for ten minutes admiring the scenery, not a single car came by. Perfect! 

I set up my easel and began the struggle to make something out of all that green! Within minutes my painting was completely out of control and I had no idea how to pull it together. That's when the first passerby appeared. It was a guy on a bike, no big deal. But then another, and another, and then HUNDREDS! The bikes passed me slowly as they climbed the hill. One guy heckled me, shouting something about "Hey look, it's van Gogh!" At least they didn't throw rocks or try to rob me.

Well the painting was a disaster, but I'd survived my first plein air experience. I'm happy to say I no longer seek solitude to set up. The city is now one of my favorite places to paint, right on a busy sidewalk. 

Friday, April 8, 2011

"Winding Road" - SOLD

5x4" oil on masonite

Yet another submission to this week's DPW Challenge. I had some left over masonite so I made some 4x5 inch panels. I don't think I'll go any smaller than this, but you never know. I may be inspired to do a 1x1 inch, three brush strokes and then call it a day! The biggest problem with the small panels is attaching them to my easel. 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

"Crossing Fillmore" - SOLD

7x5" oil on masonite

Most people have heard of the Upper Haight or Haight Ashbury, the area that achieved fame back in the late sixties. Lower Haight is less known but much more interesting. I lived in this area for about five years back in the nineties. It was sort of an edgy neighborhood back in those days. It still has a bit of grit to it, but it's much nicer now. There are lots of great restaurants and cafes and of course the architecture is awesome. I just learned that the practice of painting victorians in assorted colors only began in the early sixties. From 1920's until the late 1950's most were painted with surplus paint from the wars... they were battleship grey! Glad those days are over.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Country Road" - SOLD


5x7" oil on masonite

This is my submission to the DPW Challenge for the week. I had a lot of fun painting it and now I want it to find a good home. It was done from a photograph of a German road posted by Carol Marine, but it actually looks a lot like some of the roads we have here in coastal California.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

"House on Horse Point"

5x7" oil on masonite

I've been invited to be one of the featured artists in a program for school kids based on Art in Action. Every other week the kids will learn the history, style and techniques of a given painter and then create their own work using a similar approach. One advantage to being the only living artist included is that I can actually visit the classroom! Sounds like fun to me.

Monday, April 4, 2011

"Polk Street Shadows"

7x5" oil on masonite

It was a beautiful weekend in SF. So much color, such lovely light! Tried to keep this one thick and creamy. I read a quote where Peggi Kroll said she likes to paint as if she's frosting a cupcake. I love that.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

"Cherry Blossoms"

7x5" oil on masonite

I thought I had missed my chance to paint cherry blossoms this year since the ones near my house had already fallen off the trees. However, while out walking with Merci in her lovely new neighborhood, we came across a whole street full!

Friday, April 1, 2011

"Island Flowers" - SOLD

6x8" oil on masonite

This is my contribution to the DPW Help Japan Challenge. I'm donating the proceeds from the sale of this painting to Japanese "Aid for Bed". Please visit the challenge page and check out all the great work for sale! They've raised over $22,000 so far.