Saturday, December 24, 2011

New Series?

As I said in my last post, I've got a back log of a few recent paintings.  All of them were commissions and I'm stoked on how all of them came out.

This one is called Undertow (for now).  I started it as a painting for my friend Frances, and as soon as I was finished with my first session, I knew it was going to be a bit too dark (in feeling).  But, I was really enjoying how it was shaping up, so I just went for it and decided to paint Fran a new one.

 Here's the new one.  A bit lighter feeling and a lot more feminine.  I'm really happy with how it came out and I hope she likes it too!

This last one was done for one of my roommates as a Christmas present.  His friend's spirit animal is the bison and I jumped at the opportunity to paint one.  I'm currently spending Christmas with Casey and her family in Colorado, and looking at this painting now seems so much more relevant.

Happy Holidays!!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Holidays are Coming!

Since I've been truant with my posting, here is a catch up, starting from just before Thanksgiving.

My house is part of a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) group.  What that means is that a bunch of people in the city connect with a group of local farmers and directly work together through seasonal commitments.  That is a secured season for the farmers and a fresh basket of food every week for us.  Nice. 

 Everyone in each group takes turns sorting food for the rest.  In the week before thanksgiving, it was my turn to sort.  We each bring the baskets for our group and then divide up the boxes of fresh produce from the farmers.  This is what the start looks like.

This is what the end looks like.

 And this is what the happy consumers look like.  This is Jesse and Betsy, two friends who have been sharing a CSA basket for three years!

Moving on from the fresh stuff to the cooked stuff, it was Thanksgiving time.

 Here's Casey getting ready to carve into the turkey that I just pulled out of the oven.  It was my first big bird and turned out pretty good.  The breast meat was still a bit dry, but I'll fix that next year!

 We had a few friends over for our orphans Thanksgiving.  I wish I got some photos of the rest of the group, but after I took this photo, the only business to be had was eating it all.  We had a great time, with plenty of food, board games and digestion.

The next day, Casey and I rode our bikes to North Beach.  If you've ever been in that area of San Francisco, you know that it is right next to Chinatown and a strange experience to go from America to China to Italy in six blocks.

 I had to get some shots of Chinatown.

 The stores aren't shy at displaying EVERYTHING they have in stock.  It was pretty impressive.

 Except for the english "Bakery" on the side of the wall, I could picture this being in China.

 I wonder how you tell the storekeep which lantern you want.

 I'm not sure if they realize it, but Chinatown is very harmonious in color theory.  The complimentary pair of red and green are everywhere with this beautiful mustard yellow.

After leaving Chinatown, North Beach (aka little Italy) wasn't as ornate, and I didn't get many shots there.

But I did get one of this chubby pigeon.  It seems with all the bakeries and sandwich shops, these birds are well fed.  It was a somewhat chilly day, and this guy seemed to be keeping warm with his abundant plumage.

 It's buildings like this that make me love San Francisco.  Its on the famous beatnik corner where the culture is still kicking - more or less.

To continue with the holiday spirit, last night my house had a cookie decorating party.  A few of us had just gotten back from seeing one of our roommate's perform in a play to find another roommate wrapping up her cookie baking session, ready for us to decorate.

 Here's Casey putting the final touches on her batch.  We listened to Christmas music, drank hot toddies, each did some of our own work before the week started, and enjoyed the cookies.  It was a great Sunday night.

This last photo has nothing to do with the holidays.  I've been working on a painting where I used this orchid and I couldn't help getting a picture of it in my window at sunset.  I'll be posting the final painting, along with some others, soon.