art shows

Weekend 1/29/16

I had not really thought through just how busy I would be around the holidays and now the early part of this year. There was the Screaming Hand 30th Anniversary Show, while continuing to work on commissions and art for my February show at The Arsenal.  This month, Seeing Things Gallery also contacted me to see if I wanted to show the last of my 100 Day Project art at their new space. Of course I said yes. Both shows will be opening next Saturday, February 6th. 

I'm in the process of changing some things on the blog. I am going to change up some of the categories and the way I use it. I think there will be a lot more studio shots, sketches and work in progress on here. I'm playing around with the title of this weekly post to Weekend since I usually post it on Fridays. 



I've been on the Whole 30 again. This means only eating real food and no commercially processed food. That means no alcohol, croissants, cheese, desserts. I am a little over halfway through. I feel great and I think everyone should try it once. You don't realize how much processed crap is in the things we eat. And I'm not even talking about typical junk food. Crackers, dips, salad dressings, pasta sauces can have long ingredient lists when you read the labels. Soybean this, extra sodium, hidden sugars and unpronounceable ingredients. I do feel a little over-disciplined right now between this cleanse and working on art. 



Bryan at one with the couch:) 

Bryan at one with the couch:) 

Lately, I am just trying to draw and paint as much as I can. I feel like the more I work the easier it is to make work and the happier I am with the results. I am trying to work really loosely and quickly. I am also trying to experiment more stylistically. 

Heads and some fruit

Heads and some fruit

I like the process of painting people with a shade of gray first and then adding line detail later. This is something I am working on for my show.

Pets! Some sketches for recent pet commissions

Pets! Some sketches for recent pet commissions

Monday blues

Monday blues

I painted these blue people while at a coffee shop on Martin Luther King Day. It was busier than usual for a Monday so I had plenty of subjects to work from.


SoFA Sketch

A table of artists sketching 

A table of artists sketching 

A sketch by  Genevieve Santos  - illustrator extraordinaire. Her style is so unique!

A sketch by Genevieve Santos - illustrator extraordinaire. Her style is so unique!

My art from the night. I felt like I was more on a roll than usual. 

My art from the night. I felt like I was more on a roll than usual. 

I had a lot of fun at this month's SoFA Sketch. I didn't end up taking too many pictures, but here are some from the night. I hope to take more pictures and blog separately about it in the future. 



I have been really interested in artist interviews lately. I have been going through weird emotions about my art so it's nice to hear what other's have to say. 

I watched this great talk with illustrator Christoph Niemann. It's exactly what I go through as an artist. Hilarious and awesome.

I can't believe how inspiring this interview was with Molly Crabapple. She has strong words to describe what she does and how she feels about art. Here are some highlights from Molly:

"My big wisdom to impart with drawing is that it's better to do the wrong line with confidence and style than it is to do the right line with hesitation and tentativeness."

"I like art because it shows that care was bestowed on something."

"There's always this really boring model for artists which is that you just stay in your studio and you create increasingly exquisite objects for rich people until you die."







What Goes On 9/18/15

This week I have been busy working on commission sketches. I have several portrait orders going, including a returning customer from 2 years ago. She wrote me to say that they have had a child and he is mesmerized by his parents' portraits and dog portrait I made. She wants to add him to the wall too. How sweet is that?

I am also working on some new make-believe book sketches. These are for a couple of musicians who live in the North Bay. Hopefully I can see them perform someday! 

Now onto the list...


Ok, LOTS of arting happened since my last post. I've been making it to more art shows recently and sketching out and about. 

Colin Frangicetto and Drew Roulette at Empire Seven Studios - I thought these two artists' works went great together after attending last Saturday's opening. You can see Colin's work above. I didn't get any clear enough photos of Drew's work, but you can see them side by side here.

One piece of exciting news is that I will be in a Screaming Hand group show at Empire Seven Studios in January. Jim Phillips came up with this image in 1985 and it has been a classic skateboarding logo since. The show is part of a Santa Cruz Skateboards art tour sponsored by Vans. It is an honor to be included in this show with such an iconic theme. Watch this Jim Phillips video to get a little background and for some good tips on being an artist.

Opening today, Naoki Onodera, one half of Bahama Kangaroo has a show at Luggage Store in San Francisco. I worked with him and his wife on Jen Stark's mural at Facebook headquarters. Both he and his wife are amazing artists. The work is just so pure, fun and brilliant.  

Also opening today, Nine Lives at RVCA in the Haight in San Francisco. If you didn't know, RVCA has an Artist Network Program that supports artists in many ways. You can watch some artist videos hereMitsy Avila Ovalles, an amazing artist I met in art school, will be showing amongst eight other artists. 


Drinking...and sketching

I have been having such a blast meandering around and sketching while drinking coffee, tea or wine. In the last couple of weeks, I have met with my friend Kyle Pellet a couple of times and it has spawned more sketching in public. I'm so excited for the next SoFA Sketch, which is coming up September 30th. I feel such a great sense of artistic community in San Jose right now. Between SoFA Sketch, The Exhibition District, gallery and museum visits and random meet-ups with fantastic friends, I am thoroughly enjoying being an artist in the San Jose and the Bay Area lately. It's about time:)

The sketch above was done of Le Bateau Ivre (French for The Drunken Boat), a great dining spot and cafe in Berkeley, CA. The brick section of the building is so cool and the place has a relaxed vibe with a kind staff. It's the perfect, quiet place to draw or read. We'll definitely be going back! 

Okay, this one wasn't sketched in public, but I really liked how it came out. I wanted it to be freehand and loose, embracing any wonkiness. I really liked how it turned out and I will definitely be working with Sumi ink a lot more. 

My friend Kim had a baby a few months ago and it struck me that she must continue making art even so. I invited her to come and sketch with me at B2 in San Jose. I thought we could stroll over and I could help watch the baby. It worked out amazingly well. We both got work done. I sketched her and she worked on her annual Halloween card. Her daughter fussed just a little bit, but mostly sat on either of our laps or slept. Parenting is easy, right?? 

Friday, I will be heading up to San Francisco with my friends Laura and Elissa to see the Turner exhibit at the De Young Museum. I'm so excited to hang out with them and meander around. It's gonna be, as always, a really inspiring day.



I made this last night. Boy, was it good. This is one of our classic meals around the house since it involves sweet potatoes, onion, mushrooms, kale, fresh basil, pork and an egg top. These meals are super satisfying and give me lots of energy, especially after working out. This time, I chopped up some insanely good pitted green olives and it really made the meal. I say put an egg on everything all the time. Same for olives.



I listened to Lee Fields on Employee of the Month with Catie Lazarus. He's one of my favorite singers and I love the way she interviewed him while he was on stage. So cool. 

Danielle Krysa on Tiffany Han's podcast - These two ladies are great. I've been a longtime fan of what they have to bring to the world. They have their own podcasts and do so much more to help the creative community. It was a blast to listen to them together. Be sure to give this one a listen. 

Last night we listened to so much good music. T-Rex, Vashti Bunyan, Ariel Pink, Roy Orbison, Talking Heads, The Cure and My Bloody Valentine. I've been listening to a ton of podcasts and interviews so it's always good to get back to the music I love.





I did my first jiu jitsu competition class (note class, not actual competition) last Saturday and second one on Monday. It was really hard, but awesome to put what I know together at a faster pace. Of course, you realize how little you know. The funny thing with jiu jitsu is I learned a lot in the first fundamentals class. You kind of think you know what to do, but when you go to apply what you learned you forget one or two little things: the placement of a foot, where to distribute your weight or to not let your arm hang out, and are immediately are back to square one or submitted. The technique is super important. 

I've probably said this before, but I do find jiu jitsu really amazing for the mind and body. It has changed my perspective and made me a much, much more chill, open minded and expansive person. No, really. I love being a part of Heroes Martial Arts. It's been amazing. I was pretty timid at first there and far less nervous or afraid then I was when I started. 

Have a great weekend!


Two Art Shows, A Cleanse, Pom-Poms, Taxes & Slowing Down

It was a very busy weekend with an art show at Collector in Berkeley, a workshop in SF with Dana Haim, an art show at the Citadel Gallery, crafting for a baby shower and taxes. Whew! I have been overcommitting for the last two months and while I feel lucky to be involved with all these projects, I have been feeling really burnt out. Luckily, I'm on a cleanse so that's really helping things! Ha, not really. I am cooking or preparing every single meal since I have not been consuming dairy, grains, legumes or sugar. It makes it hard if I go out to eat anywhere since I can't eat much of anything but salad. I've been somewhat of a homebody at this time. Anyway, I'm doing it to myself.



Great turnout at Collector

Great turnout at Collector

Talking with an art fan

Talking with an art fan

The art show opening at Collector was fantastic! A good friend, artist Elissa Nesheim came out all the way from Gilroy and there was a really nice crowd. I love working with this art shop. Skye and Christina have a great eye and they are so good to the artists. The shop has art-filled walls and an incredible selection of artist prints and handmade goods. Collector also now carries prints of my work. It was so hard to not eat the brie and drink the wine at this opening! 



Dana Haim in the center of all this yarn

Dana Haim in the center of all this yarn

All my poms

All my poms

My friend Anabella and I headed up to San Francisco early to attend a pom-pom workshop by Brooklyn artist Dana Haim at Makeshift Society. I saw her Pomifornia workshop tour on the Jungalow blog and posted by Makeshift Society. It seemed like it would be really fun.  Dana was so great and I learned a ton from her. The other guests were super fun too. I am brainstorming a summer project with these and hoping to include glittery yarn. I love learning new things and Dana Haim has transformed pom-poms into something new and exciting. Working on these fluffy little spheres was addicting. I loved "painting" with the yarn and experimenting with the designs. It reminded me that I love working with a variety of materials from paper to textiles and that I just love color so much.  

Faye Moorhouse at Faye's Video

Faye Moorhouse at Faye's Video

After the workshop, we headed over to Faye's Video & Espresso Bar to see the work of UK artist and illustrator Faye Moorhouse. I love her quirky, wonky work. Faye's wonky movie posters were just the thing I needed to see. 

An awesome turnout at Eye Tea at the Citadel Gallery, including Bella's parents seen in the foreground here. 

An awesome turnout at Eye Tea at the Citadel Gallery, including Bella's parents seen in the foreground here. 

The show Eye Tea opened at the Citadel Gallery on Saturday night. It was awesome to be a part of Slow Art Day. We were the only venue in San Jose to take part. The theme of artists reflecting on social media and information technology seemed really fitting for the idea of slowing down. Slow Art Day asks participants in galleries worldwide to view 5 works of art for 5-10 minutes each. The average time viewers spend in front of a work of art is said to be about 17 seconds. Slow Art Day asks viewers to stop and view the art. 

String Theory, art installation by Frances Marin and Anabella Pi ñ on at Citadel Gallery. Watercolor, paper, dyed string and cans. 

String Theory, art installation by Frances Marin and Anabella Piñon at Citadel Gallery. Watercolor, paper, dyed string and cans. 

Anabella and I came up with the installation String Theory. Two kids talk on a tin can, but there is a lot of noise and eavesdropping happening around them. A fairly simple and straightforward message here. We had been spending many hours on this in the last few weeks. I will be posting about the behind-the-scenes of this project soon. 



I spent time crafting in the morning for a friend's baby shower that's happening this weekend. We made banners and other decor for this. Afterward, I went to Bryan's jiu jitsu competition. It was so cool to see him win his first match. 



Still in my robe as I write this!

Still in my robe as I write this!

And then, taxes. For the last few years, I gather up my documents and data early in the year and get about 75% finished with my tax work. Then, life and projects get prioritized and I end up scrambling at the last minute. Since I have a variety of streams of revenue including teaching, wholesale, several online shops, events, direct sales, etc., my taxes are quite a bit more complicated these days than they were a few years ago. I am quite proud that I am so much more organized and knowledgeable about bookkeeping than when I started. It took years of hard work, but I feel really good about being able to handle this aspect of what I do. I have to be honest about not keeping up with bookkeeping in the last part of 2014. When I sat down and went through the numbers, I was really happy to have made more than I thought. I am determined to get my taxes done earlier in 2016. I'm also determined to stay more on top of bookkeeping for the rest of this year. 

Now it's time to slow down a little. I'll be going on vacation for the last week of the month. I think it's well-deserved after this crazy schedule I've had. I have a few fun projects to work toward until I leave, but it is so much less than I have had going. On the trip, I will have limited internet access and I think this will be a very, very good thing.  




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.