Saturday, May 31, 2014

Mark your Calendars!

In two months Collage + Landscape = Collagescape will be on view at San Francisco’s Glama-Rama Salon and Gallery.  The show runs from July 29 to September 28, 2014.  The opening reception is on the evening of Friday, August 1 (7pm to 10 pm).

The show will have two parts:

On the main level, there will be an exhibit of my current series of collagescapes.  With collagescapes, I begin with a painting on paper.  I create proportional fields of different colors to represent a particular landscape.  The painting is then cut up into small pieces for a collage where they are reconfigured into various patterns.  The finished piece may appear abstract, but it is designed to retain the color palette of the place it represents. A preview of the work can be seen at
Collage Meets Landscape
On the upper level of Glama-Rama, I am curating a companion show of mixed media works, where the theme will be Collage meets Landscapes.  The exhibit will include the works of 11 different artists from the Bay Area as well as elsewhere in the U.S. and overseas.  The works of four of the participating artists have never been show in the Bay Area before and two of our artists are having their first showing in the U.S.  Be sure to follow my art blog.  Over the coming weeks there will be profiles of each of the participating artists.

Surf (detail), mixed media on wood panel, 24”x6”

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Hidden Collagescape

Hidden Landscape, 12”x24” mixed media on wood panel

The Collagescape series could be described as a culmination of years of my previous work.  It’s where my landscape painting and my collage work meet.  As I have been working on the series, I have been conscious of wanting to include some previous themes my work has focused on.  For example, there is a map-specific piece included in the series.  I also wanted to have a text rich piece in the series.  The results are shown above.  And keeping with the landscape theme, look carefully, you will find hidden words related to geography, geology and landscapes in general. 

There was also another influence on this particular piece.  Recently, I was surfing through art blogs and I discovered Alighiero Boetti.  I had seen a few images of his woven maps previously, but I really had not looked closely.  When I saw some text-oriented pieces, it got me looking closer.  My reaction was, “Why don’t I know this artist’s work already?”   I’m getting caught up.  As this piece was drying, I was at the library picking up a few books I borrowed via interlibrary loan.  Wow! Alighiero Boetti has joined the list of some of my favorite artists.

Hidden Landscape will be included in my Collagescape exhibit, July 29 through September 28, 2014.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

cut, cut, cut

Every now and then I get an idea.  And then, I am in the middle of the piece and I have that What were you thinking? moment.  This is one of those times.  I know I will be pleased with the results, but it’s back to cutting, cutting and cutting…..

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Surf’s Up!

Surf, 24”x6” mixed media. collagescape on wood panel

The Collagescape Series definitely needs a seascape, and here it is. a panoramic piece, a small glimpse of the Pacific Ocean horizon made out of approximately 2,500 small pieces of painted paper.  

Surf will be included in my Collagescape exhibit opening on July 29.

Surf,  24”x6” mixed media. collagescape on wood panel

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

New Mexico Collagescape

New Mexico, 12”x24” mixed media on wood panel (detail image below)

If I am not at home in California, New Mexico is pretty much my favorite place to be.  As this series has been underway, I have known it would not be complete without a New Mexico collagescape.  I was having trouble deciding what colors I should use to depict the landscape.  in New Mexico the colors are often washed out, dull and dry, a condition exaggerated by years of drought.  It all still looks good when contrasted against the blue New Mexico sky.  Yet, you might notice there is only a hint of blue in this work.  As I have been cutting up smaller and smaller pieces of painted paper to make this series, I suddenly decided to take my inspiration from the stone and adobe walls of pueblos both contemporary and hundreds of years old.  All the time I have spent at places like El Morro National Monument and Chaco Canyon played a big role in this work.  Now to decide, are the hints of blue the glimpses of sky through a window in a wall or are they small pieces of turquoise…..

New Mexico will be shown in my Collagescape exhibit opening on July 29.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Spring Mail

A sampling of the mail that has arrived this spring:

  1. A follow up to, Mark Dean’s Electronic Beer Mat earlier this year – this one solar one arrived in April.  I am trying to charge it in the sun.
  2. Diane Keys sent me what she calls “Motivational Trash.”  No, it’s a keeper, not trash by any means.
  3. A new print from Nico Van Hoorn in the Netherlands.
  4. Pamela Gerard sent a French Postcard from just over Liberty Hill in Noe Valley.
  5. And from Minnesota a box inside a box from Amy Irwen – and in the little box, a series of little eyes.   Is my mail watching me?

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Sentimental Objects

It might seem odd to get sentimental about this old plastic container from Double Rainbow Ice Cream.  But I have used it steadily to hold water and soak brushes for 17 years.  I was somewhat saddened to notice it had cracked last week.  This plastic container has been part of virtually every work of art I have made since 1997!  I can’t use it anymore, but I think I’ll save it. 

And then, hours later, I noticed a crack in the plastic handle of my trusted Exacto cutter.  This one has been given quite the workout for the Collagescapes series.  I really did not trust my masking tape repair and replaced this tool a few days ago.  You want your sharp objects to be in good condition.  

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Mount Diablo Collagescape

Mount Diablo, mixed media on board, 10”x8” and repurposed, vintage frame overall 14”x12”

Even after a dry winter, Mount Diablo is the land of California Poppies right now.  Perhaps not as green as most springs, but it’s still quite impressive.  I got out there last week to see some spring wildflowers and the natural recovery after last year’s massive wildfire.  As always, Mount Diablo did not disappoint. 

Wanting to stress that collagescapes are as much paintings as collages, I plan to place some of them in more traditional frames.  But this piece is not framed per se.  Rather, the repurposed, vintage frame is now part of the piece – they are meant to stay together permanently.  The frame itself was a bit beat up, garbage picked a few years ago and now recycled which is fitting as so much of my art has always included recycled materials.  The verdant California spring with bursts of poppies in a gold frame is also a nod to two great California artists – Arthur and Lucia Mathews. 

This piece will be shown in my collagescape exhibit opening July 29.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rousseau Collagescape

Homage to Rousseau, 12”x12” mixed media on board

This piece is an Homage to Rousseau (not the philosopher nor the painter, but the San Francisco architect.)  Oliver Rousseau designed understated, beautiful and livable homes starting in the 1920’s.   They could be described as the descendants of Arts & Crafts and Mission Revival styles of architecture.  Not every Rousseau in San Francisco is an actual Rousseau – he influenced many architects and developers in San Francisco and throughout California.  Some of the copies are quite good.  A closer look and you’ll notice the attention to detail in a genuine Rousseau.  If you step inside you’ll find more to appreciate from the hand painted beams on coffered ceilings to the small interior courtyards.

When one thinks architecture and San Francisco, the Victorian is what immediately comes to mind.  It’s understandable, as Victorians are the colorful, picturesque, tarted-up houses on every postcard.  But even in my neighborhood, where tourists flock to Alamo Square, there is another type of ubiquitous San Francisco home – the Rousseau.  They are everywhere in San Francisco, but they are more common in the “newer” San Francisco neighborhoods from the Marina to Glen Park, but particularly in the Sunset.  Tourists haven’t learn to appreciate our Rousseaus, but a trip to West Portal and a stroll along 17th Avenue is a good introduction to some of the most pleasant architecture San Francisco has to offer.

Homage to Rousseau  will be shown in my Collagescape exhibit opening on July 29.

A print and other merchandise is based on a detailed section of this work and available form Society 6.

Exit through the cyber gift shop…

As I drink coffee at out of my Gilbert & George mug that rests on my Van Gogh coaster, I muse, where is the Tofu merchandise?  When will you see me and exit through the gift shop?  Oh but wait, you can.   I have a bunch of my work available through Society 6. 

And this week, until May 11, if you follow this link, you get free shipping on most merchandise to anywhere in the world.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Grand Canyon Collagescape

Grand Canyon, 12”x36” mixed media on wood panel

The Grand Canyon is the most challenging landscape subject I have ever painted.  There are a huge variety of colors and tones to be depicted, you then have to factor in all the different shading and levels of light and finally depict layer upon layer of geological strata.  In a collagescape I anticipated the Grand Canyon might be more approachable.  In this process it’s all about extracting the colors, painting the various sections of paper, cutting it all up and reconstructing it — approximately 10,000 individual pieces.  This is the result.

A print and other merchandise is based on a detailed section of this work and available form Society 6.