Saturday, September 30, 2006

October mirror

At the Uptown through All Saint's Day.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Hail Mary 1963

This is a collage of watercolor, ink, paper and glue. It was made in highschool in 1963 and it won a prize. We were living in San Gabriel. I spent a lot of time in the shower or in front of the mirror, or walking to and from school where I spent all my time in the library, or in art class, or, at home, in front of the TV watching 'The Twilight Zone' and 'Rawhide', and the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
I'd been looking at the paintings of Claude Lorraine: the classical landscape.
'Seaport with the Embarkation of the Queen of Sheeba'... then Turner of course...I loved all that brilliant light, vast expanse and story telling...'Dido building Carthage'.

I loved all that brilliant light and story telling.
We lived at 916 Arcadia Street.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Tomato 1970

Tomato, 1970, acrylic on masonite, about 30-32 x 36 inches.

Jadis, si je me souviens bien, ma vie était un festin où s'ouvraient tous les coeurs, où tous les vins coulaient.
Jerry Pompili bought the painting that year or the next; he sent the digital over today.

Later, updated the 9th of October...
I was…we were all in Carmel Valley. Or Delano, or New York. Or San Francisco or London or Paris. We were in Saigon. No one watched TV.

We were young and unlined and if many were not so lucky, all of us were very beautiful. We were charming and a little rude in our high flying quest for peace and love and art: our mothers were concerned. We were not forgetful back then, we were stoned.

I am looking at my life in the best parts of the last quarter of the last century as if I were, as if I had been, among other things, the student of my own university with an all inclusive faculty of genius comedians.

But I get too far ahead.

Who are these women?

Which one is Blonde Connie?

Is this some kind of allegory?

Yes, ok, I guess it is. But there was more than poetry.

I was deeply in love and I remember each stroke of the painting, every line and color, the missing arms, the two hidden nipples, your lovely profile, our Little Sur dinners with Matisse and Picasso, Anais, Vita, even Gustav Klimt.
I remember catching butterflies in the surf, then letting them go. I remember laughing over the size of carrots and red chard from the garden, acid salad, the most delicious tomatoes, Amoreena in the cornfields.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Green Valley Ranch

Green Valley Ranch, 1983, watercolor on paper, 15x22 inches. Photograph by Greg Reeder.
The post card image for the 1984 Lawson Gallery show.
Crossing the dam to a corner bank of the Home Pond, just out of sight of the boat dock where you read and sleep in the afternoon, I have time enough to start this painting, to root the trees at least, laurels and oaks, time enough to run color up and down a trunk, curl a branch, drop in some leafy sploge before the sun falls and gets us both up.

My paint box snaps shut. The clink of your glass, then the smell of the grill is on top of the breeze.

One night you look at the finished painting and tell me you’re reminded of that movie by Antonioni… the sound of the wind in the foliage and the magnified frames… the grains of the photograph in the development tray…the rustling...they're the same.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Los gitanos reales

I'm grateful to Andrea Jepson for sending this photograph of her painting to me.
The 90's sometime in the 90's.
Fall of 94.
The Gypsy Kings with Susan and Kevin at the Greek Theater.
Noe Street.
Escucha me
I remember, I think, that I thought of painting doves and oh, a dozen seriphim at least: that what was needed was to add more light all around, toss the light into corners, sparks at the end of the guitars, fireworks between legs; I wanted to fringe the carpets with sunbeams, add more roses and flying mouchoir, as if light and each feathery stroke were the music of the universe and the whole thing were pure notation, a score for dancing, something someone else could sing.

I look at this and have the impossible idea that learning to play the violin is still an option.
Or that I will finish reading 'Don Quixote'.
I look at this and recall a conversation with a friend one Hollywood evening in France, the sun going down, the Gironde all farmer's red, Bordeaux in the glass, silhouettes to the west, and questions about art and work re-asked, like...our best shots...what painting is your very best?
I am in a theater.
I look at the stage and feel (Roman) concrete under my legs.
I watch silk shirts with Algeciran patterns, Dionysian sweat, Berkeley zip codes, and all that hot music.
I am in love with the audience.
It is a small painting on tempered masonite, 12x13 inches, one of several hundred pieces of masonite just the same, panels for shelving that once held plastic stick-on letters at the Flax discount art store on Market at Valencia. Flax recycled the boards, sold them for 50 cents a piece, I loved them, I bought a lot, made a lot of art on them.
Like this one.
And this one.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

San Francisco from Pt. Isabelle

The first image, the camfone picture at the top is the best image of the three above. It is from the Pt Isabelle dogwalk, looking southwest from Richmond, over the bay to San Francisco: 6:23pm on the 12th of September.
The steps running down into the water, then the water, (is this High Tide?), then the very small city quickly bring distance to mind. The city looks so far away. I wonder who built the steps; they must've pointed the steps directly to downtown, to the high corner of the city.
The second and third images are attempts to get closer. With MSPaint and little success. But there is a flatness to the second that seems real.
Speaking of dog walks, we've had fresh news that Mlle. Coco is recovering nicely after her proceedure at the vet.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Southern Sierra

This is a view of the Tule River watershed in California; the north and middle forks run down from the blue ridge line at the back of the view. Moses Mountain is at the left, then Maggie Peaks and the long serrated stretch up to Jordan Peak. Hatchet Peak is the dark green pyramid in the center, and the northerly face of Black Mountain is at the right.
I was looking east from a hill being readied for building a house.
This watercolor and the paintings in the previous post belong to Nathan and Linda Jessup and their children, Nathan Jr. and Alice.
Here they are on canvas smiling with their dogs Maggie and Ida beside the swimming pool at Globe, a cool oasis of love and peace and the very best food.
Here is Nate Jr when he was Little Nate jumping into the water.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Globe at 190

The atmosphere is true, the feeling runs to the perfect nth degree, and the line and shape of the hills are accurate, but the details are from memory and imagination.
A tractor path does lead up the side of an orange grove and points to a house at the top of the hill skirting Hatchet Peak at the intersection of two roads leading to and from Springville, but the house on the hill is not the grand stucco knob I've made it, all the oaks are arbitrarily placed, and the palms have been replanted, with paint, to frame the scene, one scene made of several.
Still, I know exactly where I am.
This is the view out over the Jessup's front drive.
This is a quick watercolor of Mineral King.
Beth took the photographs. She was brilliant with the reflections in the glass of the frame.

Below is Mt Fuji for Linda.

Sarah's 2005 marmalade

Oh Hells bells.
The last of the best is gone to Labor Day midnight frozen waffles.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Tomatoes & etc

Last night I went to Ann and Dean's for dinner.
Moen: Norway, Pichoto: Italy.
They have a lush vegetable garden, the best cherry tomatoes ever, grean beans, snap peas, herbs, figs, the works. Cans of tomatoes are stacked in the kitchen by the stove. Dean cooked pasta, then scallops in his fish sauce with sauteed leeks, while Ann and I looked at her video of the club. Their friend Rob was there, he and his family are just back from Italy, so tomatoes were a sub-plot to the music of the evening.
Someone, Dean I think, couldn't remember who sang 'Duke of Earl', nor could the rest of us, so we YouTubed it.
Dean and Ann have a six panel river painting hanging over the piano and the mirror in their living room. I photographed it, that's me up there with my fonecam in the mirror.

Ann made the beautiful bowl in the picture above. I thought about stealing it. The cherry tomatoes are the sweetest I can remember, but the bowl will last longer with normal care.

I love having a camera in my telephone but the image doesn't really convey the sweetness of the fruit... how could it?