In the Studio Today... City Bike: Day 4

Saturday, June 23, 2012
City Bike I:  The Crepe House on Polk and Washington © C.Proppé

the painting, drying outside on this gorgeous day!

Hooray!  What a beautiful day outside, and I have finished this painting to the point that I am happy with it.  It's outside in the sun, drying so I can take it to San Francisco to share with STUDIO gallery on Polk Street for their "City Streets" exhibit.  There will be a reception on July 15th.  Please come visit me in the city!

I will have a solo show of city-themed cycling paintings in September, 2012 at Café Ross in Ross, CA.  The new shop is owned by an old friend, Ross Barclay.  He is doing great things with the shop, including showing local art.  I am delighted to be on his list of upcoming artists!

In the Studio Today... City Bike: Day 3

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"City Bike: The Crepe House on Polk and Washington"(in progress) 18" x 24", oil on linen
Spent part of today adding details to the street signs, the awning and the bike rack.  Added the details on the people inside the shop.  Touched up a few windows.  Is it done?  Close, but not quite yet.

In the Studio Today... City Bike: Day 2

Tuesday pm:

"Nob Hill Bikes: The Crepe House"   Day 2/work in progress by C.Proppé
I took another couple hours to add details in front of the shop, including a bike rack with 7 "loops", and more reflections on the windows.  There is an ornate, metal gate in front of one of the businesses, which I tried to suggest as well.  Still lots more to come...

In the Studio Today... City Bike: Day 1

June 11, 2012

"Nob Hill Bikes at The Crepe House" work in progress 2012  C.Proppé©

Made a new goal to paint every Monday.  The start of this is a new bike painting, and I hope to continue with a Summer Series of "Bikes in the City".  This one is definitely in progress, with lots of details still to come.  The image is "The Crepe House" on Polk and Washington in San Francisco's Nob Hill area of the city.  The shop has bike racks outside, and they will be painted into the painting soon.  Here are a couple snapshots of the start of this one:
 This is an 18" x 24", oil on linen.

The linen is what I chose because I like to have a nice edge when I do not frame the canvas.  I have more recently been using gesso board, which has a wooden edge, but they were out of the size I wanted for this painting, so I selected the linen and gessoed it myself yesterday in preparation for painting today.

I like the way it is coming out so far, but there is a lot more detail to go.  Stay tuned!

In the Studio Today: The Meaning of a Painting

Tuesday, June 5:

With my latest painting, retitled: "Beauty in What's Left Behind"

I entered this painting (see my previous post) into the juried "Still Life" exhibit where I work.  It was not selected from the 200 entries... wow, 200 entries.  They could only pick about 40 pieces for the exhibit, so I don't feel too badly today.  You never know what will inspire each juror or the quality of the works entered.  There is no point in deliberating over a show rejection-- just move on to the next one!

I was thinking more about the meaning of this painting to me today, and how it highlights a place not that many people seem to know about from the Bay Area.  What should be so significant about Salt Point to San Franciscan's is that it is the place where they removed rock to use in the building of the streets of San Francisco in the 1800's.  I was also thinking about "emptiness", "cavities", "convex forms"....  Beauty in the hollowed out spaces that are left behind when something dies?  We love shells, which are shiny, colorful and beautiful remains of what once was.  These hollowed out tafoni rock formations look almost skull-like, mimicking the cavities in the eye-sockets of a skull we might see on Halloween or Day of the Dead.  The only thing here that is alive is the Rhododendron, but it's blossom is ephemeral, and it too will fade, leaving behind only the empty vase.

This piece speaks to the beauty in things that are left behind, empty and now transformed into something completely unique, for us humans to marvel at.  We go to the beach and hunt for treasures left behind by other creatures.  It is a very lovely and thoughtful thing to collect seashells by the seashore.  Imagine if there was nothing left behind for us to collect and marvel at?

In the Studio Today: Salt Point Still Life

May 29 - June 2, 2012
photo of tafoni and muscle shell at Salt Point State Park, CA
This still life painting was inspired by the geology, flora and fauna of Salt Point State Park, North of Jenner and South of Gualala, California. The oil painting is 24" x 24" and includes tafoni sandstone formations, red abalone, rhododendrons, a muscle and a snail.

Salt Point State Park includes the Kruse Rhododrendron Preserve, an underwater park where sea life is protected, Gerstle Cove, where divers and kayakers can be seen, hunting for abalone, and the tafoni rock formations. We had a wonderful camping trip here this Memorial Day weekend. View more photos from our trip here.   One of my sons wrote a 4th grade, "California Report" on the park.  Click here to read his report and learn more about the significant history of Salt Point State Park, and how it relates to the streets of San Francisco.

The painting on a wall(note the 2" thick gessoboard with natural edges):