Saturday, November 8, 2014

Works in Progress, or not to be?

I have been using some downtime to try and get a portfolio piece out there. You know, having that as a goal makes it really challenging to be creative at times. Pieces flow much better when they come from a place of true inspiration. As such, these are not ready for primetime and may never be, still I wanted to get something posted on here as its been a while since a real update.

Monday, October 13, 2014

art is hard

man, what a sketch. so much effort for such a weird thing. I am out of practice.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

St. Joseph Parish, San Mateo

I saw the morning light of early fall casting shadows on St. Joseph's Parish on the way back from dropping my son at school. I realized, wait a minute, I am freelance... I can just grab my watercolor pencils and sketchbook and run across El Camino and paint this right now!

   I took the sky in between the steeple and chapel too dark , if it was the value of the was on the left of the steeple, basically "just" there, it would have read much better. Live and learn. Used Ultramarine blue, Light Ocre, and burnt sienna.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Stryker Ride

Here is a dad whose daughter was hit by a car, driven by some militants that we were chasing down an alleyway. She seemed ok, but was shaken up and we offered to drive them over to the hospital.

We caught the guys who hit her and arrested one of them, they were loaded down with weapons in their trunk. We thought he might want revenge, but he said that it was not the way of his religion, Islam. It was the first time I had heard an Iraqi talking about the tenants of his faith relating to forgiveness and abhorring vengeance.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A couple of sketches from last months trip to Europe

A church just inside the western wall of Dubrovnic's old town. (AKA King's Landing)

A canal in Venice. You have seen a scene like this a thousand times no doubt, but being there in person for me, still shocked me with its mystery and beauty. Often things seem like they have been overhyped when you finally get there, but Venice, I could have spent much more than the 48 hours we had to see as much as possible.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Color Thumbs

Watched Feng Zhu's FZD design cinema episode 73 today and got inspired to do some color roughs.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Train Station

Its a train designed for interplanetary travel, using electromagnetic acceleration to escape the planets gravitational field.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

bar at the Aladdin

I got in to Iain McCaigs workshop today and that made my trip worth it for me. Watching a master concept artist at work, and witnessing the enthusiasm which animates him and those around him is an example of what is best in the human spirit. And it was just plain entertaining. Sat here in the second floor bar at the Aladdin hotel which is a historic building from 1925. There is a feeling of class in here, even though it must have been really something when it was brand new  during the roaring 20's. Michael the bartender was the only guy there when I started the sketch, after about 20 min, in walked a lady in a red dress as if my pondering the hotels former glory had somehow summoned this mysterious dame from a noir film. Turned out she was actually another artist named Prissila who was just dressed up for the award show. So perhaps there is no truth in the Aladdin being haunted, but it does turn up as such in a google search to be just that.....

Friday, May 9, 2014

spectrum fantastic art live

This place is really more than I could have expected. Kansas city Missouri is a world class art Mecca and I have thouroughly enjoyed my first day on the ground. I had a layover at LAX on Thursday and did this sketch and then made these characters on the flight to MCI.
     I met another artist from St. Louis who gave me a tour of some of the main attractions, including the jaw dropping Nelson Atkins Museum which had architecture rivaling Europe or anything we have in the bay area, but the treat was going inside and seeing paintings from all my favorite eras, and places on earth. NC Wyeth, Jean Leone Gerome (who had his own room) Monet, Sargent, and on and on.
     The town is phenomenal and this is before I have tried the BBQ which is my next goal.
Ended the evening doing figure drawing and ended up sitting next to Justin Sweet who was kind enough to sign a print earlier and gave a nice panel interview. That leads me too meeting Swayne , one of the three co-hosts of my favorite art podcast , . it was a goal to let him know how meaningful that source of discussions on art is to me.

Monday, April 28, 2014

View from "Le Croissant"

When I first began working in Burlingame about 5 years ago, I would always pop into Calvin's cafe. It is now the last privately operated coffee shop on Burlingame Ave. and has held onto his business despite the introduction of a Starbucks, Pete's and finally, the La Boulange within a block of his shop, "Le Croissant". His method is that he is his business, he and his wife know the name of every customer, their kid's names, their grandkid's names, the family pets etc... He knows because he cares about people and represents the kind of mom and pop businesses that originally built the small town charm that is Burlingame, and countless other suburbs like it.
    Sadly, with property values surpassing the 2007 housing bubble level, rents have gone up, and in his case, the most recent one will likely be what closes his doors. And what will replace him? Another franchise? The city has made a good investment revitalizing the avenue and I believe this is a wise and lasting improvement. But what good will that do if the street ends up resembling an outdoor mall employing a revolving door of people who are not connected to the community in the way a small business owner is?
    Until then, stop by Calvin's while he is still here. He will know your favorite drink, where you work, what you do and offer his food and drinks at a more than fair price.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Carolands Gate House

Got some early  morning light out here at the Carolands Gatehouse in Hillsborough CA. I got to meet two of Hillsborough's finest as the site of a guy sitting on the roadside is unusual in this community. I painted with Emery Miller, a friend and fellow Petaluman Artist who finds himself working down on the peninsula.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Counter Sniper Operations

Here is a cut-away view of a typical Iraqi cinder block construction building which lines main supply routes through the city of Mosul. Inside a sniper has created a fireing position from the 3rd story, looking down through a curtain and out a 2nd story window. This position allows him to place fire at traffic moving up the route outside, without giving away his position as his muzzle flash would not be visible to counter snipers who might be in other buildings in the area.

A SEAL team that was working in our Area of Operations found this sniper in short time. they located him using the sound of his shots and eventually circled around behind him and neutralized him in his sniper hide.

Japanese Tea Garden

After getting indoors with this one, I can see the values of the darks are kind of all over the place. Once the sun moves, if you are no longer in the shade, painting on a digital tablet can be very difficult do to the glare, the only real drawback. Perhaps I will have to go with a more robust set up, umbrella, chair etc.. and do it right.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Burlingame Post Office - 94010

Got a 1 hour study of the Burlingame Post Office sketched out. Every time I look at this building, it serves as a reminder of how much times have changed. In most small towns, the Library, City Hall and Post Office are some of the nicer looking buildings and symbolize the might of the government and its ability to provide services at the local level.
Burlingame is a fine town and looks well kept in most regards, but the Post Office has fallen into a state of decay. Since I have lived in the area, I have watched the chipped and cracked exterior lose even more of its paint and the sewage has been leaking on the rear lawn facing Lorton street for a couple of years at least, resulting in a patch of lawn that stinks and can be unsanitary for kids to walk through.
The worst thing is the Colors that fly on the flag pole are tattered and wind whipped so that the ends of the stripes are frayed and separated. I think this has been replaced at least once, but not enough.
The interior has nice features and if restored would be quite nice, but the need for this large of a building has passed with so many of us using digital media.
I am sure the city or a private developer has eyes on the property, and I hope that it will continue to have some public space no matter what they do with it. Perhaps it can continue to honor the spirit of it's former use and let people have a patch of grass and some benches to enjoy the rest of what the town has to offer.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

sketch a day 38 Presidio

Really nice day in the Presidio. brought out the cintiq and did a plein aire looking over Crissy Field toward Alcatraz from the Presidio Promenade. For many reasons, this Park is my favorite place on Earth.

Friday, April 4, 2014

sketch a day 37

picked up a sketch i started yesterday, trying to create an interesting comp.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

sketch a day 34 - Ol' Muni Bus Yard at Dawn

Study of a photo I took of a sunrise over the Muni Bus Yard on Geary. The mornings there were incredible.

Friday, March 28, 2014

sketch a day 31

Masha reading in a coffee shop while I scribble with a ball point pen.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

sketch a day 30 - Matthew Pionk

Tribute to my fellow soldier in "deuce four" 1/24 Inf regt. 25th Inf Div. SFC Matthew Pionk is seen here based on a photo from our 2004-2005 deployment, as those of us who served with him will remember, ALWAYS with a dip in. From training, to deployment, he was always our "acting" platoon sergeant. He was at this time a Staff Sergeant, which technically is not the proper rank for a line platoon sergeant, so occasionally our unit would come up with an E-7. But we all knew somehow he was going to be our platoon daddy on deployment, and he was such a good leader. We did have a proper PSG, SFC Viau who was a good leader for a time but was seriously wounded in a mortar attack, and once again Matt Pionk took his natural place as Platoon Sergeant. He was the type of leader that took his mission seriously, to train us up to be combat ready and manage day to day stuff within the platoon. Pionk would never throw a soldier under a bus to look good to the higher ups, he had zero pretense and made sure everyone was squared away. Rest in Peace.

his obituary

Monday, March 24, 2014

sketch a day 29

these got away from me over the weekend, back to back birthdays for my wife and father, and about 170 miles of driving. Ill catch up...:)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Sketch a day 24

Final day of my first class at Sadie Valerie atelier. Had a wonderful time. Really enjoyed meeting a couple other students there and talking with our instructor James Edmonds. I learned a lot and look forward to taking another class.