• Trace 2014, origins and new work

    The Trace series continues to evolve, with images calling out from unexpected places and circumstances. I take them back to the studio, explore the marks, their patterns, and lay down a few of my own.

    Trace, shot February 2014 downtown Napa. I never know when a remarkable work will appear. Or disappear.

  • A new year filled with small pleasures

    A new year filled with small pleasures

    Photo: All day hike out to Baker Beach, under the bridge, through Marina and into North Beach, concluding with cocktails at Tosca.  Truly a San Francisco day.

    December offered up holiday rituals with family and friends, a spectacular hike on Christmas Eve, and a heartwarming end to a transitional year. Hiking both urban and rural trails has taken me to new territory, shared with beloved friends.

    Photo: Annual Artist Supper with Julie, Jeff, Kitty, Margot, David, Paul

    Photo: Walking the labyrinth overlooking the Golden Gate with favorite teenagers Elena, Katherine, Ben and Griffin

    Photo: Back in the studio, the Trace panels take on new dimension with 5’ length.  A commission for Oracle is taking shape alongside new red, green Edge canvases.  The new year is already yielding amazing opportunities, for which I am thankful.

  • Fall

    The leaves from my neighbor’s ash tree pile up within 2-3 days, and the brilliant reds of the Virginia creeper are fading.  Sunlight is low and luminous, often refracted through a haze which explodes afternoon light into minute particles.  Color is everywhere.

    Open Studios were exceptional this year.  Among the artists I visited were Terry Connor, Howard Hersh, Claudia Kussano, Robin & Monica Denevan, William Salit, April Hankins, Soad Kader, Priscilla Otani, and Rachel Sager.  Howard’s deconstructed panels (pictured here), Robin’s flowing luminous landscapes, Monica’s emotive, intimate photographs, Claudia’s nature-bound stone, bone and metal jewelry, William’s penetrating portraits, Terry’s visual travelogue, April’s new spare, gestural layered drawings, Soad’s pulsing raw poured paintings, Priscilla’s deeply felt conceptual installations addressing Japanese myth and culture, and Rachel’s explosive new cloud canvases inspired and challenged me to work in different ways.  This is part of the magic of OS, this collegial atmosphere of sharing, encouraging, questioning and pushing one another.

  • Summer into fall

    Summer into fall

    (image: Trace, Santa Monica Pier)

    I hopped a plane to LA on an art & baseball pilgrimage.   Most notably, I experienced the Turrell show at LACMA.  It’s a multi-sensory experience, an immersion.  The effect of light and color on us is profound: my perception altered, I slowed down to really look, try to see the gradual shifts in color, angle and intensity.  The experience gave me a chance to reflect on my process and how the experience of color affects me as I work.  

    Of course Rothko’s luminous canvases were conjured, all pulsing fields and saturated depths.

    Turrell achieves with light waves, what I as a painter aspire to: pure formless light, radiant color suspended somewhere between the source and viewer.  The immersion in his work was deeply moving, and if I can spend the rest of my working life conjuring this quality of light, I welcome the challenge.

    (Images: James Turrell)

    Being in LA, of course, provided source material for Trace.  I was able to shoot this one near the Santa Monica Pier, where I sat on a grassy cliff at the feet of a gifted accordionist.  He played sea chanteys, music from Disney films, to the more elegant standards from 1940s Paris, all wordless and seamless.  His companion was a small elderly greyhound with a damaged eye.  A treasure.

    And oh yes, the Yankees spanked the Dodgers.