Friday, January 28, 2011

Shelf Life: In Our Kitchen

Shelf Life: Kitchen, Top Right
8x8, oil on panel
A kitchen still life where Italian Renaissance Art and The Cokesbury Stunt Book (1934) mingle with Texas BBQ and Betty Crocker. Add to that some pretty white primroses that sneaked into my grocery cart this week and a can (empty) of Good Luck Blackeyed Peas - an annual holiday gift from friends. I wanted to see a smaller painting in the Shelf Life series but intend to paint this scene larger. I like what sits just to the side of the peas. The Cokesbury book includes chapters on Luncheon Stunts, Group Stunts, Stunts for Leaders, Party Stunts, Stunts for Boys Camps, Mental Stunts, and Conundrums.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I {heart} San Francisco

The Mayor, Sir Francis Drake
11x14, oil on panel
email for info
The distinguished doormen at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel clearly own the piece of our world at the corner of Sutter & Powell, San Francisco. We spent Christmas week there several years ago and, while Mr. Right and the kiddos slept in each morning, I would sneak down to enjoy a quiet cup, sketch, and watch that intersection come to life. It was always the same routine: the festooned cable cars made their first runs, the corner newspaper man unpacked for the day, the taxis picked up their airport fares, the merchants swept their sidewalks, and the doormen seemed to orchestrate it all... while greeting a steady parade of locals and tourists with handshakes and holiday wishes. This gentleman told me it is the greatest job and that he'd been there 30 years and {I quote}, "put two kids through college in this flowered hat."

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Does "Plein Aire" Include My Dining Room?

Shelf Life: Top Left
10x20, oil on stretched canvas
An old wooden chair upholstered in a re-embroidered fabric with inset mirrors, the Bibles and Books of Common Prayer belonging to at least 3 generations from our children back through our parents, P.G. Woodhouse, Molly Ivins, and an ancient little Texaco Home Lubricant oil can. I think this one is my favorite so far - I enjoyed finding the purple in the shadows. Maybe it's time to switch rooms. Or even houses... I'm starting to dream about the shelves of my family and friends.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Continuing With Shelf Life Series

Shelf Life: Top, Far Right
10x20, oil on stretched canvas
An old and crumbling wooden Santos I brought home from Guatemala, Robert's Rules of Order, Austin's Landmark Art (Vikki Loving), a 45 of Why Can't We Be Friends (S. Allen/H. Brown, Far Out Productions, 1975), and a shallow, black Pre-Columbian bowl leaning in the back (250 a.d.). Plus some other stuff that doesn't mean as much to me... but might to others. I love these still lifes that have been just waiting, patiently, for me in the next room. I got so excited when I did the first one that I forgot to underpaint the panel. I just grabbed it and started drawing and was painting before I realized - yikes - I'm painting on white. It was okay... not difficult but, for me, yawn, uninspiring. Ahhhh, turquoise. Wish I'd thought to paint the walls in our house turquoise before painting them Naples yellow.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Using What's Right in Front of Me

Shelf Life: Two Down, On the Right
6x12, cradled panel
It feels good to be well, technology-friendly, and back in the studio. While [thinking about] de-decorating the house after Christmas, I realized there were some pretty groovy still lifes around here. All set up, lighted, and waiting to be painted. I've used these Stafforshire dogs before, here. The blue and orange box in front holds Mr. Right's grandmother's original "Sun-Pruf Goggles" - she was blind and these were the dark glasses she wore back in the day. We tend to stick all manner of mementos in the walls of bookcases that meander around our house and I'm intrigued by the subject matter. Sorry for the glare in the shadows.