I thought of entitling this post, "Christmas Duck", but that is not really so... Although this is my Christmas Day post, the duck is a pet, and lives on Salt Spring Island, near Vancouver. I am delighted to have my dear friend, whom I worked with in the animation and edutainment industry in the 90's, now visiting and working in Marin for a few months. She brought me a copy of their local paper with a great feature about her work. Click on the images below to read about Christina.
Order a copy of the Gumboot Coloring Book Christina worked on
Monday, December 8, 2008Commission in progress; 12" x 16", o/c. I am working on two paintings of this lakeside cabin for a client. The client chose a photo with great shadows from the trees. There is a red bicycle in the foreground, still unpainted, but when I put the red bike in the foreground, it will pop forward with warm color. It's a nice composition to work with. It's always great when clients come to me with their special photos!
I had a really nice reception at Local Flora yesterday, from 3-6pm. The weather was fantastic and we pulled the food outside to enjoy the sunset. Thank you Kate Peper, Danielle, Mom and Dad, BJ, Annelise, Laura, and Silke. Please go visit the show, now through January 10th. For more information, see my previous post, or visit the Local Flora website at www.marinflora.com. To view photos from the reception, please click here.
This is the pricelist for my current show at Local Flora Gallery in San Anselmo. Click on the above photo to enlarge. You may also download this same pricelist as a pdf file for my current show. For more information about the show, please visit www.marinflora.com
My guess is that there will be a lot more murals to come in the next four years. It is a wonderful thing to see. This one is in Houston, Texas, outside of campaign headquarters there. This photo has been viewed on Flickr over 11,000 times. I think art tends to reflect what we are going through in the world, and artists really seem to be responding to Barack Obama's historical significance right now. His message of change, the idea of prosperity for all people- it is a really special time for the world, and I kept hearing people say how proud they were to be Americans today.
Yet, I got a pretty seething comment on my blog today, eluding to the fact that Marin County is "pure segregation" and wondering what this election will do for that. This goof was telling me to "paint black families, moving into their new homes in San Anselmo and Fairfax, and going to school with my kids." Sorry to disappoint your false sense of reality, but there really are plenty of black folks here, and yes, my kids attend school with children of color and they love them like all the other kids. I might paint a portrait of Obama's beautiful family someday, but until then, I have commissions from paying customers to help pay my own rent.
I don't know who keeps writing me these senseless messages, but it is really hateful, especially at a time when peace and hope have a real chance to prosper more than ever. Do I have to sit here and share with this freak who is writing me all the Black, Asian, Guatamalan, Korean, Thai, Hawaiian and so on... folks that live amongst me and yes, that I have invited into my home here? Do I really have to tell you that my sons attend a public school with black children to make you feel that Marin is not racist? That I have been a minority in a Church in Marin City? That one of my oldest friends is a white female preacher in a primarily black church community? That I have bathed a black person in a nursing home and tried to assist her in every way that I possibly could? That I have helped people that can't walk or see? That I have friends with children that are disabled? Friends and family with cancer? That I do care about all people? I hope there are not more people like you out there that don't believe in change right now... Our counry has spoken, and most people I know in my town, my friends, and family voted for Obama. Hopefully, he will draw the best and the brightest to work with him in Washington, and people will want to come and be a part of history, and help change things with fresh ideas. I believe things can only get better.
Why not talk about that, rather than put down poor artists that can't afford to pay their debt from attending art school? I have volunteered more time in the last 2 years to my community than I ever have in my entire life, and I get asked, almost weekly, to create art for free and donate it to this fundraiser, and the next one. Right now, 3 local fundraisers here have asked me for donations.... And yes, I will try to accomodate them, in between my paid work, my family, my volunteering for local schools, writing letters on behalf of other artists, newsletter design for groups for free... Please go and try to fluster someone else, Mr. Hateful Blogger. Marin loves people of all ethnicities and I have meet more worldly people here than I ever could have imagined.
"3 Belles, 1 Iris", Pt. Reyes, CA. 16" x 20", o/c. At Local Flora; $485.
I just hung a show of my paintings at Local Flora Gallery in San Anselmo. This is a unique Flower Shop which is a member of Marin Organic, and adjacent to United Market on Redhill Road, just before the Hub. This show will run through the holidays and I have discounted paintings 40-20% lower than usual. 40% of the purchase price goes back to the Local Flora Shop, and I donate an additional percentage of my plein air paintings painted on Marin Organic farms back to the Marin Organic Interest-Free loan fund for farmers. There will be a reception on Saturday, November 15th, so be sure to drop by and say hello and check out the shop. Photos to come later this week...
Wine & Cheese Reception; Saturday, November 15th, 3-6pm
Local Flora Flowers, Plants & Art Gallery
Adjacent to United Market
100 Red Hill Avenue, San Anselmo, CA
I am working on Holiday commissions these days; lots of paintings of people's homes and places they want remembered in a painting. Besides this, it's Halloween! I painted this face on my son tonight, as a test to see how it will look for tomorrow. I may be painting it on 2 more times before the Holiday is over.... He has a parade at school tomorrow, and then the main event trick-or-treating is 4 hours later.... I don't think he will want to keep the face paint on for 4 hours.... So... Looks like I will be a pro at face painting by the time the night is out tonight! I have never actually painted faces before, but I think I would enjoy it, as long as I have designs to work from.
I have spent some of the best days of my life with Border Collies, and the rest of them, with artists, poets and musicians. My kids are in there somewhere too... but Border Collie days are certainly at the top of the list! There is no greater joy and comfort than painting outdoors with my dogs at my side. They always provide companionship and protection with out the criticism. I will miss Quest very much. She was laid to rest near this hillside last Friday, just above the last neighborhood in Fairfax, reaching towards Mt. Tam and the watershed. We spent some of the best days of my own life out there together, running around the lakes, and playing fetch. Life is good, and Quest helped me to enjoy it thoroughly. Click here to view a photo memoir of Quest on Flickr.
Some of my paintings at Art on the Farm today. The "Jurassic Truck" (below) sold to it's rightful owners, which makes me very happy. Please click here for more photos from the event at Point Reyes Vineyards.
Two last paintings, completed early in the morning, for
"Art on the Farm"- The Show is TODAY only!
"Jurassic Truck" is from Carbon Farm, in Nicasio, CA.
"Chicken Portrait" is from Gospel Flat Farm, Bolinas, CA.
These are both 11" x 14", and will be framed and availabe for purchase at Point Reyes Vineyard during the show today.
"Mt. Barnabe Farm", Lagunitas, CA 12" x 24" o/c. Another one for the Art on the Farm show this weekend. Click here to view the first plein air session of this painting.
"Tree Shadows at Sunset", Cow Track Ranch, Nicasio, CA 16" x 20" o/c. I added final details to this plein air piece today, including grasses in the foreground. It was such a pretty day out there this summer, and I remember it very well. This painting will be available for sale this Sunday, at Point Reyes Winery, for Art on the Farm show and benefit for Marin Organic's Interest-Free Loan Fund to Farmers.
October 12, 2008
When you type in www.cproppe.com in your url bar, it no longer goes to this blog. Two months ago, I designed a simple website to introduce myself and my paintings to clients that was not a blog. It existed, but I never implemented the redirection. So, from now on, you will land on a new page and website when you type in www.cproppe.com. If you wish to follow my personal blogging, find my exhibits or updates in life, you can get there from links to my blog on my new site, or you can go to my Blogger site at cproppe.blogspot.com. I have really enjoyed using Blogger over the past two years, and I have learned so much. It has helped me to grow my business and share with my friends, family and clients. I will continue to use blogger, as it is easy, fun, and doesn't take up much of my time. When I would rather be painting, I really appreciate how easy it is for me to update my own photos and information on Blogger. Not only has Blogger helped me, but I have been able to share what I have learned with other artists, such as painter and poet, Kate Peper, and independent filmmaker, Holly du Rivage... artists who also don't want to spend a lot of time hand coding and formating webpages, but want to be able to update the public on their work. Thank you, Blogger. You have been a good friend!
2 Glass milk bottles from Strauss Family Creamery, California.
Two weeks ago, I began another small effort to remove waste from our landfills; giving up milk cartons. I decided that milk cartons are pretty big, we use a lot of them (by the time my sons turn 18, we would have potentially used over 2 thousand milk cartons), and because they are plastic-coated, they can't possibly be eco-friendly. I decided to start buying milk in glass bottles, and it has been fun, educational for my kids, and the bottles are so pretty. Perhaps I will paint a still-life soon, with these lovely bottles. Environmental Art is often beautiful and educational. Here is a link I found online enititled, "20 Unforgettable Works of Environmental Art". For a link to what artist's do with trash in San Francisco, have a look at the Artist in Residence program at the SF Dump.
One of my sons has increased his consumption of milk in the last 2 weeks because the milk just tastes better. I love it too. The milk is from an organic dairy farm in the Pt. Reyes National Seashore, about a 40 minute drive from our home. Happy cows, by the seashore, grass-fed and organic must be making the difference in taste. When I took the boys to the store to return the bottles and get our new milk, they were so excited. This is definitely a trend that should continue as people reach toward a greener future. Progress moves in waves. We were there already, now we have to step back a bit. Here is a post I found online about the return of the glass milk bottles in New York City.
• Information on Nurdles and the dangers of Plastic in our Environment
• Judith Selby Lang's "Nurdle Art"
• Flickr Photos of Glass Bottles around the World
Lemon tree before Mt. Tam 11" x 14", o/c.
With only 2 weeks to go until "Art on the Farm" annual show and sale at the Pt. Reyes Winery, I am working to finish all the plein air pieces I started on the many Marin Organic farms we visited this year. This one was started near sunset, in the Spring, at Fairfax Fresh, a meyer lemon farm owned by Patti Elliot, up in the hills of Fairfax.
Originally uploaded by cproppe
A few weeks ago I discovered "Wordle" online and started playing with it to create artistic word clouds. What I found most unusual about Wordle was that if you played with it long enough, changing the arrangement many times, changing the colors, etc... you would eventually get it to show you phrases from text you entered that would appear in really interesting ways. The most profound and spirited Wordle I have still seen to date was the one from Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. I decided to take Palin's most memorable phrases from the debate, and put them all into Wordle to see what it looked like. This was the result (click on image, above to see larger). From the above wordle, I have been able to generate a campaign graphic for Obama-Biden, and I intend to print it as a car magnet.
"We must consider the impact of our decisions on the next seven generations"., originally uploaded by cproppe.
I have been shopping for frames for my paintings this week, and gathering lots of amazing reference imagery and inspiration for my next "Art on the Farm" paintings. Our show is coming up on October 19th, and I am full of ideas of things to paint, but running out of time. This Saturday, I attended a wonderful event and talk about Bees at Draper Farm in San Anselmo, CA. Mia Draper gave an incredibly educational slide show talk to a group through Marin Organic. It was a fundraising event, including a honey tasting of more than 15 types of honey, and a tour of their CSA farm. I took a series of photos in their greenhouse of "Bo" Draper, the 1st generation farmer, caring for seedlings, and a young boy walking through the greenhouse. I am determined to paint this one. I really love it because it speaks to me about the value of sustainability, the dedication involved by farmers, and the education necessary to teach current generations.To view more photos from this event, click here...
I was able to take some photos this weekend at Marin Organic's "Ode to Marin" event at Stubbs Vineyard in Petaluma, CA. This vase of Hybrid Sunflowers was worthy of painting and photographing. The Art on the Farm group of painters visits Stubbs Vineyard this coming weekend, but I won't be able to attend. I was glad to be able to volunteer for Marin Organic and get to take some reference photos for future paintings. To view the photos from this trip, click on the sunflowers!
These are the postcards that will be available 9/16 for the "Art on the Farm" group show on October 19th, in Point Reyes Station. These cards were ordered before our poster was finalized, so a bit of the information is not updated, including the fact that we will have 46 artists on display, and locally grown grapes, not organic wine(my error on the type, not false advertising!). All other information on the card is correct. These cards are blank on the backside, and artists involved, if you wish to get some from me, please email me. If you are a patron or would like to visit our show, I am happy to email you a postcard to the event, so please email me also! Thank you! -Colleen
I went to meet a new painting friend at Rodeo Beach in Sausalito today. She was painting in the Califoria Art Club SF Bay Area Quarterly Paint Out. I showed up with family in tow around 3pm and painted for a little over an hour. As I was leaving, I saw artist, Christin Coy and several others taking shelter from the wind, painting in the parking lot near the headlands. Here is what I started today. I was hiding behind this pile of wood that doubled as a kid's fort.
"Truck Stop" 14" x 18" o/c. Started as a plein air painting at Clark Summit Farm in Tomales, CA a couple weeks ago, as part of Art on the Farm. This is the second session, in my home studio today. I wanted to give the feeling of the chickens dancing by me as I was painting, so I painted them loosely with varied brush strokes. It was a really unique scene, with the bright blue tub, and I like the way some of the chickens turned out. To see the start of this painting, click here to see the previous session.
This is a mock-up of a poster design for the Art on the Farm group show of paintings and photography, that will take place in a little over a month in West Marin, at the Pt. Reyes Winery. For more information, please visit the website. I maintain a blog for this group that talks about our trips to the different Marin Organic farms.
About 2 weeks ago, I decided to poke around with Twitter, Flickr, and some Web 2.0 apps. online to see what I have been missing the last couple years... I picked a few smart folks to follow around the internet, who are educators, technology entrepreneurs, and power diggers. I can not tell you how quickly I have been able to pick up on a few unique and interesting threads, learning about all kinds of things, from smartboards in the classroom, to the amazing things you can forage in nature and turn into a photogenic salad, and just tonight, beautiful "Word Clouds" of any text you paste into an online application called Wordle.
The art of the word was a focus of a recent exhibit in San Rafael, at the Artisan's Gallery. At the time, I thought I had nothing significant enough to possibly share in such an exhibit, but Wordle is giving me a fresh outlook on the possibility of art and words. I have been envisioning a project to excavate photos from my past, and turn them into some sort of art. I now see that Wordle has a way of allowing me to creatively include the words that most matter to me now; some memories, and some feelings I am still very much feeling as I move through life, missing a friend from my past, but being forced to move forward in a positive way each day despite the sadness I have felt for so long. I imagine finding a way to combine these word clouds with my photos and images from my past in a new project.
At the top of this post is a word cloud created in Wordle. I just pasted the text of a "letter" to my friend into Wordle, and it generated the imagery above. Another example, below, is a word cloud that shows the text from Martin Luther King's, "I have a dream" speech.If you want to make a Wordle "word cloud", go here.... Wordle.
I bumped into the Art on the Farm group of painters on Sunday, while picking up oysters at Drake's Bay Family Farms, to celebrate a friend's birthday in Marin. Kevin Lunny gave a talk and tour to the painters, and they were welcome to paint at the oyster farm or on his ranch. I was able to take some photos of a few of the left-over oysters I had from after the party here at home today, and perhaps a painting or two will come from these intimate, oyster portraits. The cherry tomatoes are from our backyard garden, as well as the Common Blue Borage flower, an edible and medicinal plant, most uniquely known for curing hangovers in Roman times. To view more of the photos from today, click on the photo, above.
I started this painting today at Clark Summit Farm, as part of the Art on the Farm series, for Marin Organic. I couldn't believe the color of the blue bath tub, with the reds and oranges of the chickens, dancing all around it. I had to paint it. I look foward to finishing this one from the photos I was able to take out there. The farm had many great old barns, lots of pigs, goats, chickens and dogs. All the animals were very friendly, and roaming free. It got very windy in the afternoon, and my painting actually fell into the dirt... Stay tuned to see if I can "fix it up".For more photos and info about today's outing at Clark Summit, see the blog post, here, at Art on the Farm Blog.
This photo was selected today by the Marin IJ as one of the two winners of their "Summer Fun in Marin County" reader photo contest. I won two seats behind home plate at an upcoming Giants and Rockies game in San Francisco. What makes this even more memorable is that this photo was taken on the weekend of my 40th Birthday. Thank you, Marin IJ!
Several months ago, I searched Flickr for photos of Iceland, and was connected to Rebekka Guðleifsdóttir's photostream on Flickr. I added several of her photos to my favorites, and then thought nothing about it for a while. Months have gone by and I return to see what she's up to, and have learned that she has become something of an internet sensation, with so many hits to her photos that she doesn't have time to reply to people. She was written about in the Wall Street Journal, and has subsequently done photography work for Toyota. Having fallen in love with Iceland in the 90's, I am excited to see this woman and mother of two boys doing so well with her career, doing what she loves and being discovered. Her work is phenomenal, truly inspiring. She is an online marketing genius and will certainly increase tourism to Iceland! Here is how you can see her work...
I actually wrote her about knitting sweaters for my boys, and I truly hope that she is too busy with fantastic photography assignments and won't have time for the knitting soon... Although... knitting is very relaxing and an art all in itself!
Visual Impact: Work by Recent Marin Arts Council Grantees
Marin Community Foundation
5 Hamilton Landing, Suite 200, Novato, CA
Reception: Thursday, September 25 from 4:30-6:30 pm
"Barn at Spirited Rocky Ridge", 12" x 24", o/c. I spent too little time at this lovely, hill top farm, just below the Mt. Barnabe Fire Lookout Tower in Lagunitas, CA today. The fog rolled in just about an hour after I got started painting, so I lost my sunny and colorful lighting. I hope the owners will let us go back another day. This was one of the trips by the Art on the Farm group of plein air painters. You can read a bit more about the trip on the Art on the Farm Blog.
"Bikes at the Depot", Lytton Square, Mill Valley, CA 2008
14" x 18", plein air, o/c.
This was my first year entering the Mill Valley Paint Off, in Mill Valley, CA. I chose to paint from a location on Lytton Square, behind the Depot Bookstore & Cafe. It was a gorgeous day, and I fortunately chose this sunny spot with good protection from the wind. I overheard other painters saying they were cold. We painted from 10:30am to 2:30pm. I took one break, but was painting most of the time. The spectators were very friendly and it was a great event. I was wondering why Mill Valley is the only town in Marin that does this, as it is really fun and the artist's entry fees pretty much pay for the winners awards. I did not win anything this year, but I had some nice people come and tell me they voted for me, which was really nice. There will be a show in September, of all 35 artists in the Mill Valley City Hall Council Chambers as part of the First Tuesday Artwalk, September 2, 2008.
I truly enjoyed the day and it gave me an excuse to pick up some amazing flatbreads from Small Shed Flatbreads, on Madrona in Mill Valley. I have been wanting to eat there for a while now, as I have heard fantastic things about this little spot, where everything is organic and hand-crafted. It was a colorful place, with red chairs outside, a large, but friendly, white bull-dog, and a contrasting black dog tied in front. I was wondering if they were part of the design there, as the interior is also painted dark red, and the red, white and black worked nicely together. It was a pleasure to see that Helen Steele's paintings were on the walls. I met Helen and her daughter this year when volunteering for the Marin Open Studios. I really enjoyed Helen's work, which is a combination of abstract figurative shapes, broad and inviting brushwork and built up, 3d "encaustic" numbers protruding from the canvas. Encaustic technique is something I would like to try someday. It involves mixing beeswax with the paint. Once the paint is mixed with the wax, and is molten and ready to use, it is applied to the painting surface. Heated tools may be used to sculpt the wax once it has cooled. Before leaving Small Shed, I ordered 3 flatbreads half-baked to take home, including one called "Mad River (VT)" made with sweet-maple fennel sausage and carmelized onions... superb. I'll be back soon.
I forgot my camera today, but I will post some photos of the Depot from earlier in the week.
This year's Paint-Off to be held on Saturday, July 19, 2008 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Pending my recovery from a stomach bug this week, I hope to be out painting in the Mill Valley Paint Off on Saturday. Stop by and check out the happy painters in the Depot...
Thirty-five artists set up to work between 10 and 10:30 am in the Plaza on the brick area behind the Depot Bookstore and Café. Each artist paints any scene visible from the Plaza vantage point using any style or medium. Painting takes place from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm. Each artist may then exhibit one completed work for judging which begins at 3pm.
The People’s Choice Award will be decided by the viewing public at 3 pm. All 35 artists will be invited for a group show in the Mill Valley City Hall Council Chambers as part of the First Tuesday Artwalk, September 2, 2008.
This is the first of a series of articles that will be published in the West Marin Citizen about the Art on the Farm Group I have been involved with this year. Click the above image to read the article. For more information, you may visit the Art on the Farm website, maintained by the organizer, Larry Bryson, or the Art on the Farm Blog I am slowly updating. Larry's site is more current, at this point!
Early June Lavender, Matanzas Creek, 16" x 20", o/c.
I went out to my Dad's favorite winery today to make him a Father's Day painting. Matanzas Creek Winery and Lavender Fields are located in Santa Rosa, not far from Glen Ellen. I had the pleasure of carpooling and painting with fellow artists, Kate Peper and Barbara Lawrence. We had a beautiful afternoon... Although I was disappointed they didn't sell any of my favorite chocolate with lavender, by New Tree. Here is the link to their Tranquility Chocolate Bar with Lavender and Lime.