Tuesday, December 6, 2011

In Search of Balance 16" x 20"

I have an aluminum Christmas tree with pink lights, pink ribbon, and pink and green bulbs. I nearly squeal with delight every time I see it. I think having a well designed and well dressed tree is something I'll do from now on. I'll keep my collection of mix and match ornaments for now, but I'm ready to toss them all out and start each year with a design challenge and then execute it. I know it's not so "green" but at least my tree will go back in the box and come out again next year.

You may be wondering what that has to do with encaustic painting. Well, it's a challenge to maintain balance in ordinary times, and especially challenging during the holidays. This painting is a little reminder.  Here's to all the big and small efforts.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Autumn Flight

We camped at Manresa in September for Trish's birthday (and our anniversary). On the way home we hit a bunch of beaches along the coast. This was taken by Trish while I ran around the beach trying to get the gulls to fly. They were so accustomed to beach combers they barely got off the ground as I ran around waving my arms in the air. She should have taken a picture of that. 

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Old Soul

A couple of years ago we spent the holidays in our friend's home on Westside Road in Guerneville. Trish took photos of trees and grapevines for me. I never used the grapevines until recently - I couldn't quite imagine it working. Now I can't get enough of them.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Encaustic Image Transfer - Willow Flycatcher

The success of encaustic carbon image transfers is wildly dependent on ambient temperature. In the new studio I need more lighting so choose flood lights because they are big and bright. They are also hot and affect the cooling of the wax.  In contrast,  I now use an industrial fan to vent the studio and it creates a very cold breeze. I must have tried and failed six times before I was able to complete one piece, too hot and too cold, all at once.  My latest experiment is to heat the water used to peel the paper away and move piece away from the flood light. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, November 7, 2011


I've been working on this little bird for a few days. The thing is, I drew it on colored paper and it did not scan well. So I futzed with it for a while until I was satisfied. I haven't had a chance to put it into wax yet as I've been fighting a cold for a few days - okay, maybe "fighting" isn't exactly accurate.  In any case, I'll look forward to how this little darling looks all coated in wax with some groovy fabric behind it. 


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Winter Clarity

I'm putting up a small show at City Art Gallery today. The Opening Reception is Friday, November 4, from 7 - 10 pm. This will be included in the show, along with other small works that I finished recently. 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Potrero and 17th

November 6th from 2:00 - 6:00 is the opening reception for Studio Gallery's Tiny Show. I have quite a few pieces in the show which runs until December 23. Trish Tunney, Catherine Mackey, Wendy Miller, and many others from 1890 Bryant will have work there. Hope to see you at Studio Gallery!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Capp & 26th

I've noticed the birds in San Francisco seem to change their flight patterns in the fall. I know that migration is related to food availability, and there's plenty of that in the City, year around, so they're not migrating. But they do seem to fly around in big swooping flocks and land in new places. Last year I noticed dozens of birds on the lines around Bernal Heights and promised this year I would carry my camera to capture them.  Maybe they're stopping in on the way down South from Canada. In this shot, my neighborhood pigeons are hanging out, where I can count on seeing them year around. 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Analogue Ivy

At some point the power lines will come down and the urban birds will find new places to perch. In this shot, which is a favorite of mine, the ivy has grown around the telephone poll and given them a second option. I went back to Saint Mary's Park to get more images of this scene and the ivy had been cleared away. I wondered by whom. The City gardener? The telephone company? Do they even exist anymore?  Hopefully by the time the world goes entirely digital, I'll have moved on to new subjects. In the mean time, I'm working to capture this urban scenario that I can't seem to get enough of. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Another view of the Bakery Outlet

The Bakery Outlet at 17th and Bryant is a puzzling relic. I know my years in California, along with my innate tendency to be impressed by healthy foods, fads, and happy cows, have taken me a long way from my Midwestern Wonder bread roots - actually it was Gardner bread in Madison, Wisconsin. So I have to wonder (ha!) how does that bread maker that bakes that yummy smelling "bread" survive in the land of gourmet baguettes and vegan, gluten free pastries? I can smell the bread being baked while in my studio up the street, so I know they're not shipping it in from the Midwest. I guess it's good the squishy white bread lovers of the City still have a place to buy day old bread.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Stopping for a Chat

An entire week has passed since my Open Studios - three days of chatting about my work to the public. This year, I really want a do-over.  It takes so much energy to get the work completed and get it up on the walls, clean and organize the space, paint the walls, buy food, get labels and mailing lists, figure out what to serve and by the time it's all over, I am really sad.

And this year, we were competing with "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass," a huge festival in Golden Gate Park so I didn't feel like I had the usual crowds we're accustomed to seeing at 1890 Bryant Street Studios. Also, now it means I need to get back to work, and prepare for the next show. So you see, I want a do-over so I can hang out in that tension and relief of wondering if anyone is going to come, and oh yay, they came, they bought. Now it's over, until spring.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Looking for Birds

It's been a very exciting and busy week. Art for AIDS took place Friday and it was, as usual , an incredible event. The new location in the Galleria at the San Francisco Design Center is fabulous.
Trish and I are now the proud owners of a second piece by Sonya Philip.

I also volunteered at SOMArts for ArtSpan on Sunday checking in art for the 2011 Fall Open Studios gallery exhibition. This piece is in the exhibit and the kick off party is tonight.

And...my new studio at 1890 Bryant Street is painted, cleaned and filled with art. I haven't actually moved my studio furniture - that will happen after this weekend - after Open Studios.
Come by if you're in town, Friday, 9/30 from 6pm - 10pm, Saturday and Sunday, 10/1 & 2, 11 - 6.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Crescent Street Crow

I've been trying to catch a crow on this electrical poll for years. Every Friday after the garbage trucks roll through Bernal Heights, the crows are picking through the truck's path in hopes of some juicy scraps. They pop up to this poll when cars go by and the fly back down to the street when it's clear. I usually don't have enough patience to wait too long, so catching one really means one happens to be up there when I walk by. Thus, it's taken me years to get the shot.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vineyard Sentry

I delivered this piece to Collage Gallery for a customer who liked my work but didn't want birds. I used the fabric as the back ground and included more of the ground beneath the tree. Afterward, I found myself reminiscing about the tree shots. Now that my skills in photo shop have improved I've gone back in and worked on some of the wine country oak trees and will make one for Open Studios next weekend.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rusty Respite

ArtSpan's Fall Open Studios is nearly here! I'll be showing at 1890 Bryant Street in Studio 311 October 1 & 2 from 11:00 am - 6:00 pm. Our Preview Party is September 30 from 7:00 - 10:00. If you're in town, come by and see over 50 incredible artists, and come up to 311 and see my new studio space! I've wanted to have a studio at 1890 Bryant for a very long time and am very excited that it's finally happening. Hope you can make it!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Holly Park Robin Visits Lynnly

Often I am surprised by the relationship between the image and the fabric after I've laid down the image. Sometimes it's too busy or two confusing - what is the image and what is the ground? In those cases, I have to scrape the image and put something else down. I originally had telephone poles and bus lines on this ground but it looked terrible. I went for the bird, and now I'm in love with this piece!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bryant Street in the Mission

Come to ArtSpan's Funky Flash Friday Mixer at 1890 Bryant Street next Friday, September 2, at 6:00 pm. Mr. Rogers will be our resident dj along with his groovy bunnymatic and friends artworks. Trish Tunney and I will also be on exhibition, so if you're up for some art, drinks, music, and snacks - this preview to Open Studios is for you!

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sunny in St. Mary's Park

I've reproduced this transfer on other back grounds but this is my favorite, yet. The fabric absorbs the wax medium in a way that adds depth and richness and makes the colors really pop. Set into one of those groovy black float frames - this one found it's way into a new home last week. Farewell, little bird.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Oak Tree

I'm getting ready for an event at 1890 Bryant Street on September 2nd - ArtSpan is organizing flash mob Friday's and Trish and Mr. Rogers and I will be hosting in Studio 311. Hopefully I'll have enough work completed so that when Open Studios comes around the following month, I'll be ready to go. I'm pretty excited about the new work and I am hoping flash mob Friday is a success.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

26th and Mission

Here's another piece from the San Francisco Show at City Art Gallery. This was taken outside my house in the Mission where the pigeons hang out when the peregrine falcon are not chasing them down for dinner. Every now and then one of the falcons will land in our back yard and it is really something to see them up so very close, just the window between us. All the finches and doves scatter and we hear a big thump - the weight of the falcon landing.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Does This Fence Make me Look Fat?

This little lovely found a new home today along with "Heather's Flock." An English woman stopped into City Art and asked if I still had any of the work available from last months show. It was one of those serendipitous moments, because I am not ordinarily at the gallery on Friday at noon. Thank you England!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Float Frames

I ordered some float frames to see if I couldn't bump up my presentation a little. They are having their debut at City Art Gallery for the San Francisco show. I had an idea the frame would look good, but I under estimated just how much it would make the carbon pop. I'm definitely pleased with the effect.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

View from Bryant Street

With my new batch of fabric lined boards, I set out to find images that might make good transfers. I wasn't sure how this one would translate. After taking the photo, I converted it to black and white, took all the clouds away, but decided not to repair any of the missing parts where the sun was shining on the objects, making them disappear during the contrast process. Even after seeing it printed I still wasn't sure about it, and only created a few copies, since I was so unclear if it would look cool or like a big mess. Once I began to peel the paper away I had my first glimpse that it was actually pretty successful.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Heather's Flock

This has been on exhibit at Secession since the beginning of June - it seems I didn't get around to photographing it before the show went up. Heather Robinson is one of the resident artists there and I think I was channeling her when I drew in the pattern - she does cool stuff with patterns and fabrics. If Trish hadn't pointed it out, I might not have made the connection. I feel pretty lucky to be influenced by so many talented local artists, whether it's conscious or not.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Muni Lines at 17th Street

City Art Gallery is doing the annual San Francisco show and I decided to go out into the City with my camera to see if I might find something that is distinctly San Francisco for my transfer series. This was taken at the entrance of the Muni bus garage on 17th Street in the Mission. I found some other little treasures and even got some new boards and frames for a whole new look. The opening reception is Friday August 5 at 7:00pm. Hope you can make it.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Bird Named Sue

Okay, I realize naming is not my forte, but I was having some fun this week while in my studio listening to my pals music on iTunes. She doesn't have play lists so you just hear her music alphabetically: one minute I was hearing Elton John, and the next, Johnny Cash. Apparently the strangeness found its way into my titles.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Boreal Sings like Elton John

This may be my favorite incarnation of the Boreal drawing. The owl is sporting some new fabric that I picked up and became so excited about I couldn't wait to start applying the wax once the fabric was adhered to the boards. Working with fabric really makes me cheerful!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Polka Robin

Carbon image transfers can be fickle - if the wax isn't warm enough when I set the image down, the carbon doesn't adhere. If it's too warm, the paper becomes glued to the wax and there's no way to separate the paper from the carbon - when that happens I melt and scrape the whole thing off and start over. The suspense increases the further along I get in the process. This one crackled in an interesting way, and I almost scraped it off but was able to let it sit long enough to decide it's cool.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Retro Toast

I can see now that I didn't get a great shot of this piece, but decided to post it now and then re-shoot it tomorrow. This is part of my kitchen series, such as it is. I'm still working on the French Press, and blender so stay tuned.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Painted Pears

Originally this was going to be another carbon transfer of the pear drawing but once I put the image down it seemed like it was missing something. I stepped out of my usual style and filled in the pears with pigment (encaustic paint) and am now super happy with the outcome.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


This is from a drawing I began last fall but because it was in a sketch book I don't use much, I forgot about it. The initial drawing was very loose but by the time I competed it, it was quite detailed. I think it may be the graphite, or perhaps just a character trait I can't overcome - I strive for loose.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Pink Martini Towee

Finally, a success, after three attempts, and three failures - this bird just did not want to stick! Now she's off the Antwerp, Belgium to live with someone who came to Open Studios last month - wish me luck with shipping!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Hunters Point Ship Yard Birds

Last October on our way back from visiting Open Studios at Hunters Point Ship Yard Trish and I came across this lovely flock of birds (pigeons) visiting and doing what birds do. It's taken me until now to process the image - between computer troubles and a tricky bit of image handling. What I mean exactly is that the sky was so deeply blue, it was difficult to pull the blacks out of the pole the wires, and the birds. Eventually a little lesson in Illustrator (which means I watch while Trish does the work) and now I have another fun transfer to play with. Thanks Trish!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Good Froth

This is one of the drawings I did for the Delicious Show at Studio Gallery. I was out of town and did not get a chance to go to the opening reception, but I heard it is a great show. Instead I was floating in the mineral pool at Indian Springs in Calistoga - wow, was that heavenly. It was raining and chilly outside and we were so happy in the warm pool. Now that was delicious.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rufous-sided Towhee 12" x 12"

I didn't know anything about this bird when I began drawing it. I just found an image and thought it looked cool. I don't think I've ever heard anyone utter the name towhee, but definitely not "rufous-sided towhee". It was fun to read that they are every where. Maybe now I'll see one flying about San Francisco.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Eat, Draw, Pray

I was invited to submit work for the "Delicious" show at Studio Gallery so I worked on some new images that would fit with the theme. I found this little drawing in my sketch book from Catharine's "draw you brunch" party. I'm having fun thinking of new things to draw for my image transfers.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Boreal with Branch

I am back in my studio but have to offer a R.I.P to my trusty Toshiba who finally died after limping along for oh so many years. I'm borrowing one of Trish's laptops but find that her tools are so up to date, I can hardly process my images. I long for the old Photoshop CS or plain old Elements. I opened the newest version of photoshop and was so entirely lost! Soon I'll bite the bullet and get a new laptop, but either way, I will need to update my image processing skills.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Another View of the Mclaren Raven

I have not been feeling very inspired lately. It may just be that the beginning of the year is a time to get refueled for the next batch of inspiration. I mostly believe that. Occasionally I find myself thinking, "that's it, I'm done, I have no more art inside of me." But I know that is the voice of fear and this year I'm choosing to look at this time as a time of percolation and enjoy how nice an clean my studio is becoming.