It took some doing and more than a few visits to the dump, but I made the move into my new studio. The space is a little over 400sqft with two large walls to work on and the floors are original, with years of previous artists paint splattered everywhere. Feels like home to me...
After spending the past 12 years making work in my West Oakland studio(above), I'll be moving to my new space at the Headlands Center for the Arts. I look forward to having the opportunity to work in beautiful surroundings as well as meeting artists from the bay area and beyond.
The "Rim Fire" was started in a remote canyon in the Stanislaus National Forest. The fire started on August 17, 2013, it was the third largest wildfire in California's history, having burned 257,314 acres. It was also the largest wildfire on record in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. More than one year passed before it was declared completely out on November 4th, 2014.
My mom lives in the Sierra Foothills , so I do a lot of camping in the area where the fire was concentrated. This past week I finally had a chance to go visit the fire zone to see what actually happened. To say the forest was devastated is an understatement. I've never seen something that made me truly understand the power of natural forces. What was once a dense forest had been reduced to a moonscape.
But as I walked through the stumps and piles of debris, I began to notice an odd sense of beauty. The contrast of thousands of stark blackened trees reduced to poles standing tall against the bright blue sky. The long cast shadows and now open expanses gave way to a new, unfamiliar abstract landscape that was captivating. I spent a few hours photographing and started to feel guilty for feeling that way, like I was a paparazzo taking images of a car wreck for TMZ. So it was a relief that at one point as I was walking back to my truck, I noticed something on the ground, something that was now oddly out of place in this new world...it was something green. One lush, little leafy plant. Actually, once I started looking around, lots of little green leafy plants. All doing quit well as a matter of fact. Oblivious to their surroundings, they were taking full advantage of all the new sunlight the fire had inadvertently created for them and were making the most of it. So, of course, while it looks pretty bleak at the moment, I was reminded that over time, the forest will come back. And probably better than before...as it has done time and time again.
Photograph with sketchbook overlay
All headed to the Paul Mahder Gallery, opening Saturday, February 21, 6-8pm. Show runs through April 15.
2am on a Tuesday night.
The closer it gets to deadline, the harder it gets to move around the studio.
"I only get pleasure [while painting] if there is a problem, and when I solve that problem I need to make another one" says Gary Hume. Part of the internationally celebrated group of 'Young British Artists' that studied at London's Goldsmiths College in the late 1980s, Hume has gone on to become one of Britain's most highly respected painters.
I was at a friends studio a while back. She had Bruce Mao's "An Incomplete Manifesto For Growth" pinned to her wall. At the time I was in a bit of a creative slump and it really helped to free me up. I now have it pinned to my studio wall. I will read through it from time to time, adding my own thoughts, as well as reinforcing some of the ideas that really resonate with me. It's a great list. Here's the link: www.manifestoproject.it/bruce-mau/
This is a photograph I took of two islands in the Galapagos layered with another image of a painting in progress.
Yesterday morning I drove down highway 1 to Princeton Harbor in search of live crab for Thanksgiving dinner. I try and do this every year. There is something so comforting about tradition. My dad started the crab tradition when I was just a little kid. He would take me down to the harbor. Buying directly off the boats. I have so much respect and admiration for the crabbers. Such brutal work for a living, they deserve every penny. If you have the chance, always buy direct and local.