San Jose art

Weekend 8/5/2016


I'm finishing up work for a show that opens next week called Pairs. It's a group show that features artist couples at Empire Seven Studios. I can't wait to see what everyone puts together for this show. It opens next Friday, August 12 6-10pm. 

A recent painting of mine, Ascension, will be on display at Anne & Mark's Art Party since Empire Seven Studios will be curating a massive area of space within the event and my piece will be in that area. I really look forward to checking it out this year. I remember when they used to host at their lovely house. I love that it has grown so much. They are some of the best supporters of art in the area so be sure to check it out. The gala opening is September 24 and events run through October 1st. 



Tara  working on her motorcycle camping painting

Tara working on her motorcycle camping painting

Last week's SoFA Sketch was great. It was a hot night and we all just chose to paint whatever we wanted. Tara chose this motorcycle. She nailed it with all the camp gear on the back. The next one will be Wednesday August 24th.

And my sketch from the night. I had to finish it the next day. I'm always working toward simplifying and including only what is necessary. 

This is a sketch for a new painting for a show. I often like to move between reality and imaginary places of escape, solitude or strangeness. I am doing a lot of playing around in the studio this last week. I am not posting everything I make. I think that can defeat the purpose of making. I've been feeling fatigued by social media, both consuming it and just being bored of it in general. It can be so overly presented so I am having fun with posting whatever suits me or not posting at all. 



There's a really neat thing happening in San Jose right now. There's a giant white swing set in Cesar Chavez Park that plays music as you swing. There are four different colored swings each representing a guitar, harp, vibraphone or piano. The more in synch you swing, the more complex the music gets. It's super cool and up until October 2. 



I just finished watching Stranger Things. When you grew up loving John Carpenter, Italian horror, E.T.. when you saw Poltergeist when you were 5 (thanks dad), Spielberg in general, read Firestarter as a teenager, watched Star Wars, Stand By Me, D.A.R.Y.L, Flight of the Navigator or Goonies. All those movies where kids get into paranormal or imaginative mischief. If you liked Echo and the Bunnymen, Joy Division, the Clash, Television, this show brings to mind all those nostalgic memories from that time. The show captures a lot of the feelings of my youth and nails the era. Ah, the era before selfies :)

This week I watched Tacos and Punk: Discussing What Women of Color Face in the Local Scene. It gives some great insight on being a woman of color in the punk scene. I continue to find music and visual arts dominated by the same demographic. The same goes for the handmade world, bloggers, etc. It's hard to believe that not much has changed, but videos like these prove that maybe they are.

Chef's Table. I said it once and I'll say it again, Chef's Table blows my mind. It is such a great show about people who have found their purpose in life as it relates to food. These chefs often travel the world and lead carefree lives, while now running some of the best restaurants in the world. It's an absolutely stunning show. A ceramicist friend in San Jose, Rosella of RossLab, had her gorgeous bowls featured in the show (pictured above) and in the opening credits of each episode of this season. I really want to get a set myself. You can purchase them here

What Goes On 10/23/2015


I know I shared this picture in the last post, but I am just so excited about the new studio! Who says artists have to be cluttered and disorganized?? The room hit rock bottom recently and it needed a redo. I am so happy sitting at this desk writing this post.



I stopped at the Muji store downtown and bought these gel pens. They are AWESOME! I love how fluid they write and they come in a pack of six. I used the Muji pen for the sketch on the right in my new Cottonwood Arts sketchbook. I LOVE this sketchbook too. The paper is the perfect thickness. 


Persimmons! Oh, how I love you. I have been eating 1-2 a day since we went to the farmer's market. As usual, I will eat as many as I can.



I went to a lecture by theoretical physicist Michio Kaku at the Flint Center. He is a futurist with many interesting ideas about what's to come. I felt so lucky to be able to attend this event. In the last couple of years, I have been able to see Bill Nye, Max Tegmark and now Michio speak. My brain feels full.

I found this podcast interviewing Erin Gleeson, who authored my favorite cookbook Forest Feast. She talks about her path to making the book, which is really inspiring since I am currently in the works to write and illustrate several books.

Anna Sale hosts one of my favorite podcasts, Death, Sex and Money, always touting that these are subjects no one wants to talk about. In this episode, titled The Sex Worker Next Door, Anna interviews a woman in the field anonymously. The result is human and eye-opening. 

One of my favorite podcasts is Art for Your Ear by The Jealous Curator. This weekend she interviewed Kate Bingaman-Burt. The episode is titled "Make Piles of Crap" and I could not agree more! That's something I have been doing lately. Just drawing a lot and not really thinking of the end result. I've heard interviews with Kate before and she is always fun to hear. 



This list is well worth the read. I keep hearing about Stoicism and it's relevance these days. These guidelines are for creatives to keep calm in chaos. 

Sea Wolves! Yes, Sea Wolves. I had no idea these gorgeous creatures. If you are interested in seeing them in action, watch this sea wolf video



I saw these birds on a recent overcast day above the Los Gatos Creek Trail. I love how many there were. What were they meeting about?


SoFA Sketching

Last month's SoFA Sketch was my favorite one yet. I feel like it's finding its groove. I look forward to the next one on October 28th 7-9pm. I'm sure many will be working on their Inktober sketches. I will be making and posting the new flyer this weekend.



Check out this cool video of the awesome artist duo Kelly Tunstall and Ferris Plock. I have always loved the idea of two artists working together like this. 

Have a great weekend! 





Art, Art, Art Weekend in San Jose

Whew! Last weekend was something else for art in San Jose. Despite having to spend every waking moment wrapping up my taxes, I spent a little time checking out some exciting things in San Jose. The Silicon Valley Contemporary art fair had a diverse group of work from galleries across the country and attracted many visitors. It started on Thursday night and ended Sunday. I had a chance to pop in on Friday night and had passes for the VIP room for some free wine. Although I could only make it for a one-evening visit, it was really fun and I saw works by everyone from Andy Warhol to Chris Johanson. I didn't get to photograph too many artists, but there were so many great familiar and new artists to see.

Alex Katz  - one of my all-time favorite artists

Alex Katz - one of my all-time favorite artists

Mel Kadel  - another favorite

Mel Kadel - another favorite

I also debuted my first full-sized art installation for the Shelter show at The Citadel Gallery. It was nice to be part of this dual exhibition at The Citadel Gallery and Works Gallery while the art fair was taking place. As you may have seen in my previous post, I have been working for the last few weeks on this piece. It was an incredible experience, to build something up and let it evolve naturally at that scale. It sort of told me where it wanted to go and the result is what you see here. No rulers were used and everything was drawn freehand. A real chair and hanging bulb are the only tangible objects. All else is ink and paper. The show closes on April 26th.

My Shelter installation at The Citadel Gallery

My Shelter installation at The Citadel Gallery

Empire Seven Studios had their 6 year anniversary party and boy, it was fun! Many friends came out of the woodwork to celebrate their amazing influence they have had in San Jose. They showed work from artists who had shown their before and artists they would like to see in the future. Artists included Jason Adams, Jason Arnold, Ken Davis, Jeremy Fish, Jayde Fish, Mitsy Avila Ovalles, Kyle Pellet, Jai Tanju and a whole lot more. One of my favorite pieces was a black and white pyramid that you could sit inside of. It was all drawn in black and white. You can guess why I'd like that, huh?

Seeing Things Gallery showed work by Lance Cyril Mountain, a mix of oil abstractions, mixed media and photographs by the son of Lance Mountain. Last weekend was the closing party for the show.

Just before writing this, I came across this Forbes article about Cherri and Brian from Anno Domini. It's a nice read if you want to learn more about who I consider to be hometown art heroes.

The energy around town was pretty great. San Jose has come a long way!

Have a great weekend everybody!

Chris Johanson  at the Silicon Valley Contemporary art fair. He was born in San Jose.

Chris Johanson at the Silicon Valley Contemporary art fair. He was born in San Jose.