Friday, May 1, 2015

Joie de Vivre

Chorus of Dancers 30 x 25 in. oil on canvas
I just got back from the Startup Art Fair at Hotel Del Sol. Like ArtPad at the Phoenix Hotel in past years, two floors of Midcentury Modern motel rooms encircle a swimming pool for a glamorous and relaxed setting. Each room is a temporary gallery, giving a feeling of getting to peek behind private doors - with the chance to step outside and get some fresh air in between each exhibition. However, while ArtPad was populated by commercial galleries, Startup is for artists who do not have representation, including those whose galleries have had to close in the recent property bloodbath that San Francisco is going through. I really thought the art was just as strong as at any gallery-backed art fair. I saw many people I knew through so many different parts of life, and had lovely conversations with some new people. My favorite pieces were Naomi Frank's sincere oils of gorgeous and glamorous things, Bijan Yashar's photographs of light reflections on classical paintings, and Joy Broom's transformations of paper mementos into beautiful objects with a life of their own.
ArtSpan put out a call for ten artists to show in their room and I applied, ready to hang On the Dance Floor over a door for the party atmosphere and at the last minute chickening out and submitting something else. I wasn't selected but enjoyed the ArtSpan room which was heavy on sculpture - a good idea as Hotel Del Sol asks that no new holes be put in the walls.
Speaking of On the Dance Floor, pictured here is another painting I restretched and recolored until I was much happier with it. Happy May Day!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

We hope you have a painting-worthy week

Tiny Blue 2015 oil on canvas 4 x 6 in
Oh no, late again! We were away for 3 1/2 weeks, we were in Europe: North of England, then around and into London, then train to Brussels and Amsterdam. I don't know if I took any painting-worthy photographs but it was a wonderful trip. I found out about a campsite in Goathland, near Whitby, made of a circle of gypsy caravans and airstreams. It has an open air bath, circus tent and costumes. You can rent the whole place for 18 people. I want to do that next time! But not in March, it will be TOO COLD. Until I get to have a weeklong photo shoot with caravans at night and my beautiful friends, I gather these images wherever I can. Sometimes I even take a photograph of a toy camper, a food truck, or the TV. 

Monday, March 2, 2015

May you see beauty

Park Tree oil on canvas 10 x 8 in.
The trees are going slowly; I have been painting lots of tiny caravans with thoughts of spreading them out on the counter of a pretty boutique.
I paint, ideally, seven days a week, from noon to 6pm (the same hours as Rick Rubin works, apparently) and walk to and from the studio every day. That walk is so boring and I hate climbing the hill but the routine and the exercise keep me sane.
Sorry I didn't post on the 15th - not much new to report just yet.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

For You

Horrible photo taken with the selfie mode of my phone (because its regular camera is broken) of a new or almost finished painting. This one was based on a daytime photograph of the Truckee River, I think! These nighttime fires with water are my most difficult paintings because so much is up to my imagination - the fire is completely made up, and yet I'm trying to make a believable space and quality of light. Plus:  the reflections on the pond. But people do love that sexy teal water. I'll be doing a small series of them and put them up on my little fires in the woods page.
Anyway, sorry I'm late again and I'll try to check in again on the 15th. Why not write a comment? (Be nice, I've had a hard day).

Thursday, January 15, 2015

As Promised

On The Dance Floor (in progress) 2005 & 2015 oil on canvas 38 x 24 in.
Apologies for my first entry of 2015 being two weeks late, on the 15th of the month! To make it up to you I will try to write twice a month from now on:  on the 1st and the Ides.
As promised, here is one of the paintings I have spent time reworking. Like the recent movie Boyhood, some paintings could be 12-year projects! It's still not completely finished, but you can play Spot the Difference.
I always liked the two central faces. The long-haired man is loosely painted, which best portrays a body in motion, so I left him mostly as-is. The red-haired woman, with her eye contact with the viewer, is the strongest feature of the image so I only dialed up the contrast and color (I can't say enough about the impact of red lipstick)! I wanted these two figures to look like they were caught in a spotlight panning across the dance floor, so the peripheral people would become more of a vignette.
This previously mostly blue, green and yellow painting looked watery to me. I went back in adding warmer colors - red, purple and rich, velvety black - with the intention of catching the drama of a night scene. I made the hair colors more realistic, added a dancing hand or two, and am playing with skin tones and clothing colors until the painting feels real, special and harmonious. It would be nice to add the colored lights and flashes of a club, but it can't be gratuitous:  the photo was taken from the balcony of a night club looking down at the dance floor with a flash camera, and there was no fancy lighting. We are almost there.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Celebration in the Woods

Celebration in the Woods oil on canvas 16 x 20 in.
Thank you to everyone who came to our open studio. It was great.
This new painting is in the Berkeley Art Center's annual members' show called Here, open through December 14.
With the days being shorter and colder and some rain finally coming through California, this isn't a time of year when I get much painting done.  I have restocked at my beloved Arch and Flax art supply stores, and had a short trip to a strange, magical little town on the straits northeast of here. The trees and lights, trains passing through, Victorian hotel, delicious restaurant and the creative souls there have inspired me.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Right now I'm in the middle of this






Sean, Mark and I each have a piece in ArtSpan's Open Studios exhibition, which will be open through Nov. 9 if you'd like to see a sampling of 450+ SF artists' work.

I will also have a painting in Modern Eden's Open Studios "hub" show, 12 x 12 which will be on view Nov. 4 - 9 and can be previewed here. Modern Eden is a North Beach gem of realist and surrealist art.

And I intend to submit a piece to Berkeley Art Center's annual members' show, Here, running Nov. 15 - Dec. 14 because it's an unmissable array.

Finally, fabulous news! Seattle's Center on Contemporary Art is publishing a catalog of the summer's juried national, Postglamism: Glam Art in the 21st Century. You can order it here and preview the book too.
From the juror Michael Sweney's remarks: "The most traditional painter in the show, Hadley Northrop, depicts people from an apparent post-glam world, party-goers and scene-sters. The works are deftly-painted realism, but not literal, like an absinthe-fueled dreamscape."