the here and now

Guard at the gate at Golden Gate Fields. I liked the simplicity of this scene, and simplified it even further. Midday. This is a lonely job these days. Many people pass on the new Bay Trail section which follows the shoreline just a few feet away, but few go up the hill towards the race track, mostly trainers, vets, other support people. We chatted for a short time, his wife is an artist, but paints only horses, and more horses. I think he hopes she’ll branch out and try a new subject some time. I may work on this more, add some detail, or maybe not, it is ok with me.

Guard at the gate of Golden Gate Fields.
Guard at the gate.

July 30faces30days-completed

July #30faces30days from Sktchy was an awesome way to learn more about procreate and drawing the human face. To see them “closer up” check out my sketching instagram @2minuteeggs. Sktchy has a session each month, with great teachers. I loved all the different styles, some specializing in cross-hatching, some gouache, cartoon or comic style, or a restricted color palette. It was sometimes hard to get started on the day’s drawing, and it was interrupted by five days out of town, but I got through it!

collage of 29 of 30 sketches.

30 faces closer to 500!

Online Group Show at the O’Hanlon Center

I am honored to be included in the O’Hanlon Center’s online group show of self-portraits — “Me to Myself”. The O’Hanlon Center for the Arts is continuing, despite the current circumstances, to exhibit artists and connect people in many ways. The center is in Mill Valley, California, and the show starts today June 8, 2020.

View the show here: https://www.ohanloncenter.org/exhibits/current/

show graphic: Me to Myself

day 9. two tiny

Since these are so tiny, two will count as one. The little bowls were made by my step-mother. She delighted in making tiny vases, small enough for a single flower, tiny cups and saucers for her granddaughters, and these little bowls which were surprisingly useful. She mixed her own glazes, and liked the homemade look. Cherry tomatoes.

painting of handmade bowl 1
tiny pot with tomatoes
painting of handmade bowl 2
tiny bowl flipped to show the painted pattern

face 52 the Scotsman

While painting by the River Tweed with some friends last fall, which seems 3 decades ago, a fisherman kindly lent us a couple of chairs so we wouldn’t have to sit on the ground. He said he had been fishing in that spot for 40 years or so.

Scots fisherman
Scots fisherman

day 6. little boats

small boats are almost always charming, in my mind. Even if they’re ungainly or clunky, you can imagine all the utilitarian errands and occasional fun jaunts that they are put to. Those who use them put up with their sometimes flawed condition: broken oars, frayed ropes, leaky hulls. This one happened to be pretty stalwart, and a beautiful color as well. This is a very small painting, maybe 6×8, I don’t remember now, it’s gone home with someone else.

blue skiff

day 4. old school still life

at least, it seems a bit old-school to me! This was from a decade ago at least, but I could take another dive into still-life. There are many subjects which could be fun and informative to paint. This particular piece was done in pastels, maybe worth a revisit as well!

Eggplant, nectarines, garlic pastel painting.
Eggplant and companions

day 3. painting in the fog

a few years ago my plein air group and I took a trip up to the Guerneville area. We rented a cabin on the Russian River and spent three days eating, painting, socializing and generally having a blast. One of the days, we headed out to Goat Rock, along the coast. As we got closer to the coast, the fog became thicker and thicker, until by the time we arrived at our destination, it was a thick blanket you could scarcely see through. Some of us continued south until we could find some clearer skies, which we did, but I returned to Goat Rock determined to paint that almost-island. Still socked-in, but I set up my gear and focused on a nearby bramble tangle. It turned out to be an abstract, and super fun.

Goat Rock painting
Not Goat Rock!
Goat Rock painting detail
detail-so fun to push the paint around

Art Escape Italy challenge

Art Escape Italy recently presented a self-portrait-during-the-lockdown challenge. If you won, you would get a free workshop in Italy in 2021. What’s not to like about that?! I had been to one of their plein air workshops in 2016, so I knew they chose quality instructors and great venues. This was a “stretch goal” for me, to accept the Art Escape Italy challenge, but I figured it was worth it, since the worst that could happen was nothing and the best that could happen was to win a workshop!

It was fun to try, and my first selfie in oils. Although it makes a lot of sense to paint yourself, it doesn’t always feel comfortable as it feels narcissistic or something, so I haven’t done it much. If you don’t want to bother people to sit for even a photograph, much less an actual painting, you yourself are always there…  

They had about 150 entries. I did not win, but was close! The winner was a stand-out and I admire that portrait. Here’s Art Escape Italy’s blog post.

Micaela Marsden self-portrait
selfie 2020