In the Studio Today... "Ascent"; Final Painting

Monday, August 31
"Ascent" on Ridgecrest Blvd., towards Mt. Tam. 16" x 20".
I just finished this painting moments ago, and will hang my show in Mill Valley TODAY! In 3 hours, I will be at the Mill Valley Depot, hanging the cycling paintings... Hooray! This painting is very simple, but I love the feeling of climbing into the clouds, at the top... It's a great metaphor for finishing a set of paintings and hanging one's show. Hope to see everyone at the reception, tomorrow night.

September 2009
The Depot Bookstore & Cafe
Solo Show of Cycling Paintings
87 Throckmorton Ave., Mill Valley, CA
Opening Reception; September 1, 6pm to 7pm

In the Studio Today... "Ascent"; Session #1

Sunday, August 30, 2009
"Ascent" (cyclist on Ridgecrest Blvd., near Mt. Tam) 16" x 20", o/c.
Day 1 on this canvas... I have wanted to paint this one for some time now, but it's been a busy time, getting the kids back to school and looking for additional work. Tomorrow, I hang this show of cycling paintings at the Mill Valley Depot. This one will be the last in the current set, but more are definitely planned. 10 cycling paintings in all for this show. I considered having a couple of my older paintings printed on canvas and stretched to look like paintings, but instead, I started this one today. It has to be finished tonight, or it won't be dry enough to hang tomorrow. I am using Liquin as my medium today, so this should be fine to hang tomorrow.

I hope you will all come out for the reception, Tuesday night, 6-7pm, at the Mill Valley Depot Cafe and Bookstore. We plan to head for dinner afterwards to celebrate a friend's Birthday, so it will be fun. Please stop by! Wine and cheese provided by the Depot.

Out in Nature... Gathering Imagery

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Input before output... I am home this week with my kids. Visits to Grandparents are over, Camps have ended, and all the big trips of summer are behind us... but yesterday, I took the boys on a "Staycation" one night camping trip right in our very own Mt. Tamalpais State Park. One of my favorite places to camp locally is Steep Ravine Environmental Campsites, right on the coast, just down from Stinson Beach. The boys and I did it! We arrived at 3pm, set up a tent by ourselves, hiked all our gear into the campsite, and then went out to the coast to explore for the day. It was wonderful, and as the sun was setting, we watched nearby campers on their bikes, riding down into the campsite. I grabbed my camera and snapped a few photos for reference for my next paintings. View photos from our trip on Flickr.
Photo: Cyclist Descending Steep Ravine, by "Shark Fin" Rock(that's what we call it)

You have to get out for input... One of my favorite children's stories is "Frederick", by Leo Lionni. My mom used to read this to me as a child. Frederick was a mouse who didn't help the others gather food much for winter. Instead, he sat staring into the sunset, and looking at the leaves and colors of nature. In the winter, after all the food was gone, and the mice were sitting in their home, bored with nothing to do until Spring, Frederick began telling tales of life, the colors of nature... He was a poet, and he made all the others happy by bringing the colors of life into the darkest times. I think of Frederick when I am out gathering my images for painting. I hope that my images bring happiness and joy to those who end up with them.

The Bicycle Works Grand Opening

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Bicycle Works Grand Opening, originally uploaded by cproppe.

It was fun to see my paintings in "The Bicycle Works" yesterday, and hear some of the comments by the visitors. This photo shows a few of my paintings up high, with some great black and white paintings by John Hersey. I stopped by at about 5pm and there was a healthy crowd, both indoors and out back, enjoying food donated by Sol Food of San Rafael, and discussing the possibilities of this neighborhood cycling hub. The favorite thought was coffee... all the neighbors want coffee with their bikes. If you'd like to visit the new shop, or see my paintings through August, you can find it here:

The Bicycle Works online


Photos of the Grand Opening on Flickr

In the Studio Today...La Coppa Coffee Bikes & Show on Loan to "The Bicycle Works"

Friday, August 7th - Saturday, August 8th
"La Coppa Coffee Bikes", Downtown Mill Valley, California. 16" x 20".
• View Session 2
• View the start of this painting, in the workshop, with Christin Coy
This painting is the 9th in a series of paintings, "Cycling Through Landscapes", that will be available for purchase in September, at the Mill Valley Depot Cafe & Bookstore. A percentage of the sales from paintings sold in September will go to The Bicycle Works, a new, co-op style, community bike shop, opening this Sunday, in San Anselmo, California. To read about this new shop, check out today's article in the Marin IJ. Some of the paintings from my new series will be on loan to the shop for the next few weeks.
We hung part of the series up this evening at The Bicycle Works. Click photo to enlarge... Pictured in the photo, above-left, is Spokey Godfrey, Director. Come out tomorrow for the shop's Grand Opening Celebration, with food by Sol Food of San Rafael, and film "The Triplets of Belleville", provided by Tom Boss of "Film Night in the Park". The paintings give the shop a little color, in contrast to the black and white of the bikes on the stands.
My painting from last year's, Mill Valley Paint Out, with bikes in the bike rack... next to a Breezer commute bike, by local cycling legend, Joe Breeze. Breezer Bikes plans to give a portion of sales from it's bikes at "The Bicycle Works" back to support the new shop and it's mission.

In the Studio Today... Burley Parade; Day 2

Tuesday, August 4, 2009
"Burley Parade on Shaver Grade", near Phoenix Lake. 24" x 30".

To read about the inspiration for this painting, click here to read my previous post.

In the Studio Today..."Burley Bike Parade
on Shaver Grade"; Session #1

Monday, August 3, 2009
Day 1; "Burley Parade on Shaver Grade", near Phoenix Lake. 24" x 30". I have been wanting to paint Burley bike trailers into my paintings for a while now, but have had the hardest time coming up with a concept for this. We have pulled our twins in Burley trailers since they were under a year old. They are pretty much beyond Burley's now, at age 7, but we have a very fond appreciation for the great rides we were able to take, with the boys keeping quiet in the trailer, or falling asleep for much of the bike ride. We even pulled them with a tandem mt. bike with string lights all lit up at night. I hope someone will enjoy this painting with memories of transporting their kids as I have. It's a gamble to paint something new and different, but if you don't take the chance, you never grow... right?