Monday, January 24, 2011

sunny and warmer expected

Napa has been beautiful this last week. Not even the end of January and I'm seeing budding on trees, and gasp, mustard flowering under the grape vines on the many drives up and down valley.

When I first moved here three years ago, the rains fell, day after day. My bank, unfortunately enough, was located 25 minutes up valley in St. Helena, a community as yet undiscovered by me.

What I found was dirt black, gnarly vines, growing from neon yellow fields of grape vines under cool mist colored sky.


Thus began my vineyard paintings, sometimes "realistic" sometimes abstract. (Think vineyards at 60 mph)

Going back up valley a few days ago, the third year of my residing here, the vineyards did not let me down.

This week in the studio: Here's a look at me spackeling then brushing on a layer of gesso on a stretched canvas panel. It's like frosting a really big cake.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

This week at the studio

Have logged many hours at the studio this week. In order to sell art, I have to keep a rather large inventory of art at the ready at all times, and this requires me to be painting, researching and creating new work during all of my studio time.
It is time I enjoy immensely.

If I get a call from an interested client, I have to actually have paintings to show.
If I am contacted by a group that wants to show my work at their space, in multiples, I must have available paintings that are ready to go.
If a gallery I show in sells work, I need to have possible replacements and new work available.
I must always have new work in the hopper for upcoming shows, in anticipation of selling.

Indeed, I have about sixty paintings that are farmed out, in production, showing at a gallery or hanging at the studio at any given time.

The images today are paintings in progress. Generally taking two to four weeks or more of time from stretched canvas to the final varnish coat. Two to four paintings are being worked on at various stages.

The business of art is one that like fashion looks like all glamour on the outside, but is very dirty, scruffy, hard work. Much time and energy goes into a finished painting, exhibition, catalog, gallery, installation.

Heads roll, hands wring, teeth gnash, fur flies.

I love a good metaphor.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh happy day

Finishing and delivering paintings is the second thing I like to do in the studio. This week was a fruitful one despite my children needing to be occupied on their third week of holiday (curse you unified school district!)

I finished two paintings and delivered each, albeit a wee "damp" shall we say? Not to worry: hang them on the wall and for God's sake, don't walk too closely as you'll brush up against the uh, "yet to fully set" paint. And get it on your clothes. Like (all of) mine.

What with february around the corner, I've been recently notified as to a gallery's upcoming show, themed around none other than "love". So this week, I will put my artists head back to the grindstone and figure out how I can make something that says "love". Birds? Frankly, I'm in more of a crow mood these days. Crows: fighting over a bloody heart?

A student of mine confessed that he found my blog somewhat autobiographical. Too much?
Why do I keep this up if not for putting shocking thoughts out to the universe? Undoubtably for laughs.