Friday, May 31, 2013

Week 17

Fan, acrylic on board, 12"x12"

Realizing time was getting short I did a big push last weekend to get ahead on these paintings. It was thoroughly enjoyable to paint so much (I did 5 paintings in two days). I wish I could paint that much all the time. I still learn something new every painting.

Porch Chair, acrylic on board, 12"x12"

When I was taking the photo for this painting, a man whipped open the door and said, "Can I help you?" Somewhat aggressively. I said in my most non-threatening voice, "Is it okay to take a photograph of your chair?"... He answered, "Yes.... what's this for, 'Berkeley Porch'?" 
Something like that.

Anne, acrylic on board, 10"x 8"

From a photograph by a young photography student of her mother. 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Week 16

Pt. Reyes, Acrylic on board, 12"x 9"

I've been using a charcoal pencil for my under drawings and letting the line mix with the paint. Somehow I retain more of the quality of the drawing, which I like. I love drawings, but always feel I have to paint an entire image without letting the drawing show. It's interesting the self imposed rules that emerge, but I find most of the time when I try to break them, I am not happy with the result. Always trying though!

Gram I and Gram II, acrylic on board, 8"x10"

My other child. Sigh, as always, not quite right, but it looks like him. I only have a couple more portraits to go in this series and I haven't gotten where I want to with them. Perhaps I should paint the next one with my eyes closed.

After seeing the post online, Gram looked like he was reflected in a fun house mirror. It's amazing what the brain thinks it sees and what is actually there. Each part of the painting looked alright to me, but when it was strung together, it was really off. I repainted it, still not quite right, but it looks more like him. 

I looked through one of my art books with hundreds of painted portraits by well known artists and there were only two showing teeth. One was a Picasso. 

Peony, acrylic on rice paper from a Japanese ledger over wood, 5"x 5"

I love this paper from an old book I bought in an import shop. I have been doing Japanese images on the pulled out pages... I have a hard time with flowers! Next I should do a flower series until I can paint them the way I want to. I tend to get too literal with the's always a question of how many do you add?

Friday, May 17, 2013

Week 15

Nia, acrylic on board, 8"x 10"

Lately my life has been about this girl. My one time little one is turning 18 tomorrow and leaving for Montreal in the fall. I knew I wanted to do a portrait of her but couldn't find the perfect photograph and then realized I never would. And to do just one would be impossible, so here is one of more to come.

Richmond San Rafael Bridge, acrylic on board, 12"x 9"

The bridge that connected us to my grandparents... I can still remember driving home from their house at night as a child sleepy in the car watching the overhead lights flicker by. 
The only time I've been in a traffic jam on this bridge was the morning my grandfather died and we were in a hurry to get to him.

Polaroid, acrylic on board, 14" x 11"

I could paint cameras for the rest of my life and would be happy doing so.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Week 14

Tea and Milk, acrylic on board, 12" x12"

From a photo taken a long time ago by my then young son. My tea, his milk.

Road in France, acrylic on board, 12"x 9"

From a photograph of my grandfather standing on this road with a bicycle in a suit and bow tie. 
I don't actually know if it's France, but I know he went there on a trip as a young man.

Becca, acrylic on board, 8" x 10"

A portrait of my friend Becca on what should have been her 55th birthday. 
I painted it for her daughter and gave it to her tonight.
I thought it might be hard or sad to do this portrait, but I found it was the opposite... it was as if she were with me, and quite cheerful. I knew her since childhood and she became my climbing partner.
She died of cancer a couple of years ago. I miss her.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Week 13

Virginia Woolf, acrylic on board, 8"x10"

This was completely enjoyable to paint. I found two different versions of this famous photograph of Virginia, with her gaze slightly different in each. 
Background color is chosen last, I hardly ever use pink.

Crockett, acrylic on board, 12"x 9"

Very loose painting, more like a sketch.

Hose, acrylic on board, 12"x 12"