One of the best experiences I've had since moving to the San Francisco Bay Area is to bike the Golden Gate Bridge. Every time I've done it (and it has been twice lately), I've come home exhausted, but it has been a "good" exhaustion! The cool air, sometimes high winds, blue skies mixed with fog, views out to the Farallons and the Marine Headlands are so rewarding. Top it off with a descent into Sausalito or Tiburon (and lunch!) and it's a day made in heaven. Just remember that if you descend...at some point you pay the price and make the ascent back to the Golden Gate. I'm okay with getting off my bike and walking the uphill leg. This painting is about the essence of that experience in a very abstract way. You should be able to see wheels, spokes, golden trestles and water.
Paintings have stories. This one is a note, a letter of deep gratitude. I had the opportunity to get to know a very special couple, Julie and Brendan in Denver, Colorado back in August 2012. They reentered my families life under some very difficult circumstances and helped beyond measure. My (our) oldest son was injured in an accident a long way from home. They were with us from the first day and continue to help us all heal. I really don't think they know how much we value all that they did. They spent their evenings gathered around the hospital bed with pizza and movies. They retold college events and laughed. They brought gifts...t-shirts with biking logos, gloves and one day they brought sunflower seeds that they harvested from their garden. They were the glue that held us together at times. When they walked through the door, it was a remembrance of days past that were so good and hope for better days ahead. Yes, there is only one person in this portrait, Julie, but around her neck is a pendant with the letter "B" for Brendan. I'm hoping that someday I'll have time to do another portrait of Brendan. Maybe he'll have a hat on with the letter "J".
I'm a lover of bare branches and old barns. As soon as leaves drop in the fall, I bring bare branches in and prop them in corners or arrange in some pottery on the mantle. And lately because of some construction in our area, I've noticed a dear old barn coming down. So these two ideas merged into this "shaped" painting. In the midst of Spring, the leaves have emerged, flowers are blooming and I can hear the rumble of the earth movers as new houses pop up. Farewell old weathered barn. I'll miss you.
"It was a great Piazza as I thought, anchored, like all the rest, in the deep ocean. On its broad bosom, was a palace, more majestic and magnificent in its old age, than all the buildings of the earth...and...a cathedral, gorgeous in the wild luxuriant fancies of the East."
Wow. I found this quote from Dickens on Basilica San Marco and Mark Twain thought it was a "warty bug on a meditative walk." Lots of opinions on the architecture of this place. The Piazza seems to be a favorite for artists. I'm looking forward to the day when I can pull out pen and paper and get reacquainted with this grand beauty, but in person listening to music from the cafes, chatter from tourists and dodging the pigeons.
I was recently commissioned to do this work and was hesitant as it has always been important to me to have visited a place or had some sort of experience before committing paint to canvas. Florence and Rome are in my travel journals, but not Venice.I believe as an artist, I need to have a connection to whatever work I'm doing...so I did the next best thing. I read up on the architecture and the history of Venice and came up with this painting. Now I'm looking forward to seeing that beautiful city at some point in my life. Through painting, I have started my research!
West Coast Abstract Painter with roots to the South