Weekend 5/3/17

Field Tripping

I'm headed to Long Weekend in Oakland on Saturday for Alicia Dornadic's show New Words for Green. I am so excited for this show! Alicia makes beautiful work with a generally delicate touch. I have watched her work in Hawaii become more loose and bold. She joined us at the last Sofa Sketch and it was so much fun to have her there. I can't wait for this show!

You can follow her on Instagram.

Long Weekend is an awesome space too. I have not been in person yet, but from the internet, it looks like they have gorgeous art supplies and other cool stuff. 


I hate to be a buzzkill, but this article about parts of Australia's Great Barrier Reef dying is making me sad. When are we going to learn to change???


Don't go thinking I sketched this!  Suhita Shirodkar , urban sketcher extraordinaire did

Don't go thinking I sketched this! Suhita Shirodkar, urban sketcher extraordinaire did

A friend and regular at Sofa Sketch, Suhita has been capturing disappearing signs around San Jose. The site gives me a nice nostalgic feeling as I've lived here so long and know them well. I love her style between the freeness, accuracy, washes, line and color. A true master and total joy of a human, 

I love the illustrator Christoph Niemann. I recently mentioned the episode about him on the Netflix series Abstract. He recently went to the North Pole and made some paintings. I love how he only captures what is necessary. And you must check out this animated version on the National Geographic site.


Weekend 3/11/16

It's been a few weeks since a weekend post so I gathered a few weeks here. It's been all dog, taxes, cleaning and sketching around here lately. I'm heading off on a trip at the end of the month so I am trying to get everything in order before we go. 



Ahhhh, the studio looks so good again. I tidied it up for a photo shoot for an interview. It was the perfect excuse to clean the place. After a few recent art shows it became disorderly quickly. You'll hear about a creative block I had further on, but I think it happened because my space was messy.


Heading down to the beach

Heading down to the beach

We went to Fort Funston for the first time a couple weeks ago. It's basically a dog paradise where they can roam free off leash in bluffs over the sea and down below on the beach. We brought our new dog, Homer, with us and he loved it. 

Fort Funston beach

Fort Funston beach



I listened to this Nick the Tooth podcast with the founder of Shoyoroll. Only jiu jitsu fans will know what I am talking about, but it's great to hear a story of how someone got started in creating something. 

Marc Maron's interview with Abbi Jacobson and Iliana Glazer is so good. I think these ladies saved the day when I was getting frustrated by all the male ensemble comedy shows. Men can't have all the fun! Listening helped me uncover this video of a drum off between the ladies while doing Broad City Live. I had no idea, Iliana. 

I just discovered this Bay Area art podcast Congratulations Pine Tree. I will let you know how it is soon.



A rainbow just prior to sunset

A rainbow just prior to sunset

Unedited photo of the sky last week

Unedited photo of the sky last week

Having a dog has sent us to the dog park frequently. Because of all this wet weather here in Northern California, the skies have been really beautiful. I love having a dog for many reasons, they have awesome personalities, they are so loving, they make you get exercise throughout the day and when you are training a new dog, you have to be present and pay attention. Getting out of the studio to walk him has been really good for me. 



My friend Suhita Shirodkar was featured in this San Jose Mercury News article. She has been painting signs and relics in San Jose lately. I love her fresh style.

I read this great New Yorker article on Resilience. I think about this topic often. The author mentions you have to experience adversity of some sort in order to know whether you are resilient. I see how different people react to bad situations and I'm often amazed at how some people with the biggest hardships are able to overcome difficult situations and experiences.  

This article on How Complaining Can Actually Make You Feel Worse is great. It's short and really worth the read.



The nice thing about being someone who likes to draw all kinds of things is I don't get huge creative blocks. Sure, I'm stumped sometimes, but last weekend I couldn't get anything going in my sketchbook for three days. I know it was basically due to me wanting to make something really great and letting perfectionism get in the way. 

Lastly, I sketched my cat Stanny last night after she brought a mouse in the house. After we couldn't find it, we put Broad City on the episode had an eerily similar theme. I love when that happens:)



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."







100 Day Project: Days 71-80

Well, it's feeling pretty good right about now. I'm 80% done with the 100 Day Project. Funny thing is, this was probably the slowest going batch yet. At this point, I am really looking forward to the art to come after it's done. In fact, I'm already working on some new work based on these sketches from this project. 


Day 71 Take a break

I bought a large and long photograph of campers at the YWCA Girls Camp in 1917. They have the most interesting faces and I thought it would be fun to do a large Sumi ink painting of these ladies. Their expressions range so greatly! Some are smiling, some smirking and others frowning. It makes me wonder what life would have been like for them back in the day... 


Day 72 Only one element of each kind

On the day I drew this one, I realized lately I have been training jiu jitsu, sleeping, eating, reading and painting lately. It's been busy but productive around here. 


Day 73 Discard an axiom

I went with my dad to see Michio Kaku speak a little while back. His talk focused on the topic of "the future." It was pretty mind blowing to hear his vision of the future so I painted this portrait of him.

Day 74 Use an unacceptable color

I have often avoided the color pink because of the princess and girly association it has so I knew that would be my unacceptable color. While sketching with a friend at our neighborhood coffee shop, I decided to draw/paint these geraniums. 

Day 75 Simply a matter of work

I tossed a few unexciting ideas around until I thought of painting a Greek vase with some hard working silhouettes. I was so happy with how this turned out. I think I will be doing more silhouette and vessel paintings.


Day 76 State the problem in words as clearly as possible

I don't quite remember how I exactly came up with this, but it was exciting to me once it hit. I wanted to convey that my head was in the clouds. This painting came out quite naturally, from the hairs around the bun to the complementary orange and blue color scheme. 


Day 77 What are you really thinking about just now? Incorporate

Some friends and I were headed to a cabin for a friend's birthday at the end of the week. My mind was on the mountains and the possibility of seeing snow (which we did). This serene scene reminds of a tiny painting I made a few years ago. 


Day 78 Retrace your steps

I decided to draw my favorite shoes I have had over the years. These classic shoes have been trustily getting me from one place to the next: Salt Water Sandals, Vans, Sperry Top Siders, Bass and Clark's Desert Boots. I really loved how these turned out. 


Day 79 Voice nagging suspicions

As you can see at the top of this image, I decided to compete in my first jiu jitsu tournament. It makes me nervous and excited, but I am so glad I decided to do it!

Day 80 Accretion

You know, the build up of layers over time. I once visited the Oregon Caves, which were at the end of miles of windy road, cold and dark as you would expect.

Well, onto the last 20! 

100 Day Project: Days 21-30

As I slowly creep into being 30% done with my 100 Day Project, I feel a mixture of disappointment and excitement. I feel like I have had the best time on this project...but only when it feels somewhat successful. It's really hard to let go of the perfection and be consistent. I have lots of creative ideas in general, but when it comes to using these Oblique Strategy cards as prompts, I can get stumped or I have the desire to "outdo" myself on previous days. 

I have been quite busy with commissions and design projects, but right now I am between commissions, so I really do feel like it is time to be consistent on this. 

This week, I felt a transformation with the Day 24 and 25. First off, that meant that I was 25% of the way through! The other thing with Days 24 and 25 is that I was stretching some of my technique. It wasn't like I was doing things I hadn't done before, but the transparency and layering was happening much more. With the black hole painting, I woke up, had coffee and worked on it for several hours. That's the ideal way I want this project to go. 

I think this daily project is starting to inspire bigger works. I began this project for pure fun, so it's really interesting to me that I am starting to see some direction. I want to make a return to treehouses, houseboats and mysterious places. I am noticing this group's theme seems to be nature. 

Day 21 Don't be afraid of things because they're easy to do

I painted these ice cubes in 95 degree weather, after working out and riding my bike to and from the place I worked out at. Nope, not too easy. 

Day 22 Where's the edge? Where does the frame start?

With this piece, I wanted the white of the paper to match the white of the internet so that it felt like it was really floating whether on Instagram or this blog. It ended up being a little gray since I didn't go in and Photoshop it. 

Day 23 Abandon normal instruments

Immediately when I pulled this card I knew I would head to the backyard for some natural instruments. I used aloe and red geranium to make this leaf drawing. My tool was the stick which I dipped in water and stabbed through the geranium petals (the purple color). With the aloe, I just smoothed it onto the paper and smeared with my fingertip as needed (the yellow color). I was surprised by the color outcome. 

Day 24 Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them

Ah, it's ones like this that make me feel like I need to do a 180. Thoughts like, "Should I not use watercolor? Should I make something big? Should I use different colors? Should it not even be a drawing or painting?" pop up and make me really think. In the end, I thought that I often paint the moon and use a lot of blues, so this one is all warms and black with a sun. One of my favorite parts is that you can see the sun rays through the mountain, since they were painted first. 

Day 25 Use an old idea

I looked at my shelf of art papers and remembered I had this gridded green paper that we always had around the house when I was a kid. My dad worked at NASA, so engineering books, engineering paper and those green plastic drafting rulers. I think I was inspired by the previous day's sky theme with the sun. 

Day 26 Who should be doing this job? How would they do it?

I had a vision of this scene right when my eyes closed for sleep. I thought I would paint it and thought that Foster Huntington would be the right person for this job. A few years ago, I painted treehouses and I always meant to keep going with that series. I think it's time to get back to it as I am planning on working on some larger paintings this summer. 

One interesting thing is the next day I was watching Particle Fever, a documentary on the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, and remembered it has the same hexagonal shape. Everything is connected!

Day 27 Define an area as 'safe' and use it as an anchor

I had a few different ideas for this one, but nothing stuck until I decided to take our house, which feels safe, and put in near Anchor Island (in Maori Puke Nui), New Zealand. It looked fairly bland at first and needed more layers in the sky and contrast in the water. It still looks a little saccharine for me, but sometimes you need to just call it done. This is probably why I am drawn to painting the night sky. It's dark and more emotional than a day sky, at least the way I paint them. I've made houseboat paintings, before, but this one gives me the idea to create a larger one. 

Day 28 Water

This scene above is from the backpacking trip I did over the weekend. It was refreshing to see these ponds in the landscape, even if they were few and far between. The looked like oases in the middle of the dry grass. 

Day 29 Allow an easement (an easement is the abandonment of a stricture)

This one came with the following note:

This Bay Area basement apartment is 150 sq. ft., haunted and smells like rotten oranges. Only $4,999 a month. Serious inquiries only. 

This is a response, of course, to the insane housing prices in the area right now. I know a lot of people who have to live back home with their parents or have roommates because they can't afford an apartment or house here. Have a pet? Forget it. It's even harder unless you make $100,000+++++ a year. 

Day 30 Which elements can be grouped?

Of course #30 is inspired by the backpacking trip I did over the weekend. I drew up my supplies and with the exception of toilet paper, clothes and food, I got just about everything I brought with me. 

Only 70 more to go!