Category Archives: exploring

Periphery Project

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The last few weeks, I finished walking the stretch of South San Francisco shoreline and started back at Hwy 92, heading south from there. I’m still kind of catching up here with the images, and after this I think I’ll try to post at the end of each week with my favorites from that week’s walk. I’m still fumbling around in the studio, establishing my parameters with new work, and learning how these walks are influencing my painting and drawing. I’ll try to post later this week and let you see what that looks like (hint: it’s a mess). Until then, some photos…

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The photograph above was taken from the empty Candlestick Park parking lot, facing northeast…

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RIP Candlestick. I did not grow up going to games there, so I don’t have any attachment to the place or structure, but it was fascinating and a little sad, standing in the adjacent field, watching the demolition. Every now and then, a cloud of white particulate would rise from the center, like smoke. This area next to the bay is going to change a lot in the next few years. For now, it is an exceptionally quiet stretch of Bay Trail. A little unnerving, really, with a sense of abandonment.

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Back in Foster City last week I walked a few miles of mud flats and tidal inlets.

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Some sections of the trail seem bland and unexceptional, but I am always surprised by the texture and color that are there if I slow down to notice.

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And of course this, constantly, overhead. Airplanes tracing diagonal likes across the sky. This week I’ll be picking up where I left off and walking in Redwood City. Have a fantastic week!

The Periphery Project

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For the handful of you that follow me on Instagram, you’ve seen my #peripheryproject hashtag… and probably wondered what I’m up to. I’m so excited to tell you about this project! You all know that I paint. And those of you who know me personally know that I walk. A lot.

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As of this year, I’ve been painting for 25 years. I’ve been reflecting lately on the continuities in my practice over the years. I’ve been examining what has worked for me and what hasn’t. I’ve been making art long enough now so that I’m finally starting to really feel that I know what I’m about, and what my work is about and what keeps me coming back to it. Like many other people, I don’t process much of anything without moving. And let’s face it, art practice takes a lot of processing. So when I walk, it really feeds my practice. Walking, for me, is like art fertilizer.

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For the past several years, most of my walking has centered around where I live, and I’m lucky to live in a beautiful place, with lots of open space–fields and bluffs stretching to the ocean. And the work I’ve produced for about 5 years has centered on the light and atmosphere here, and those walks. I’ve written about this here quite a lot. Consistency and repetition are important. I like to visit my subject (location) repeatedly, from different angles and times of day, in varying light and weather. I want to get to know it, to discover it’s secrets, and feel that I have inhabited it, and it has inhabited me. This is where so much of my work has come from, for at least the last 20 years. This is one of my consistent threads, one of my continuities.

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Which leads me to The Periphery Project. In 2013, I ordered a set of Bay Trail maps, and thought to myself, “how cool would it be to walk around the entire San Francisco bay?”. This year I decided to finally start. So far, I’ve been walking each week, several miles each time, and I figure it will take me about two years to walk around the bay. The trail is not contiguous; there are stretches that are not accessible. But even so, it covers 270 miles of the bay shore. I think I need to buy myself new walking shoes!

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Each time I go out, I take photographs. The photographs serve as a record of what I notice, and even though I don’t directly use photos as the subject matter for my paintings, they do influence my compositions and color choices and at times certain shapes or geometries from my photos will make their way into paintings. They are complimentary; the relationship is reciprocal. I am already starting new paintings in the studio that are inspired by what I’m seeing along the trail. Stay tuned here for more about this project, and you can always follow along on my Instagram, for trail pictures, as well as works in progress and whatever else I’m noticing and photographing in my world.

*All photos taken on the western shore of the Bay Trail between the San Mateo Bridge and Oyster Point with my iphone.

Hunting the Unseen

A few days ago we had a low, low tide- the kind of low tide that only comes once in a blue moon (literally, this time…), and so we all bundled up and headed for Maverick’s beach by the harbor. The sky was dark, the clouds low and threatening. It was windy. But I was so glad we went out.

There is so much beauty in these gray and blustery days, and this particular day, we had the pleasure of seeing what is usually hidden by the sea. We walked on rocks usually submerged. We could see the kelp anchored to the rocks, starfish clinging, and crabs backed into the deep cracks, staring out at us, as if we had crashed their party, and they were utterly annoyed. The beach becomes unfamiliar, foreign, and all the more beautiful for it.

It occurred to me that this is often the work of the artist- hunting the unseen; making it seen. Finding unnoticed beauty, and bringing it to the light. And sometimes a low tide is just what we need…

Here’s to 2010, a new year, and a new decade. May it bring you all light, love, and prosperity!

Inspiration: Snow

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I went to visit snow and play in it last week, and the timing couldn’t have been better. After many months of drought, we’ve been blessed with precipitation. Here on the coast, it’s been rain and more rain. In the mountains I was greeted by a blanket of pristine, dry, sparkling snow. My daughter and I went snowshoeing, and I brought along my camera. The landscape reminded me of my “White” series, and I was totally inspired. I’ll post a few more of these this week… I think they may inspire a few new paintings….

Work In Progress #5: Encaustic

A peek into my studio, and a look at what’s been coming out of it…

Getting ready for a show here in Half Moon Bay at Enso

Some work, newly finished…

And now, I’m off to play some hookey with my friend, Chandra… camping with the kids for a few nights. Looking forward to some campfires, grilled pizza, swimming, and SUN! Bye-bye fog! (for a few days, anyway)

Another new work update soon!

Back again, mostly

Well. Thailand certainly does have it’s moments.  Like climbing endless stairs, lotus flowers in hand, to visit a buddhist temple with thousands of Thai students. Like chaotic tuk-tuk rides, careening around corners like a wind-up toy gone awry. Like the night markets with their endless lit stalls. Like the street food everywhere, with it’s myriad smells and textures (mmmm…fried banana). Like the lethargic dogs, their panting bodies draped over the sidewalks of Bankok, sleeping in the heat.  Like incense burning in front of the spirit houses in the morning. Like the high hum of cicadas at night, near the Burmese border. Like seeing a white lotus flower as big as my head. Like the sudden afternoon downpour after a muggy, 100 degree morning. Like sipping many, many iced teas with my sweetie.  Like chasing hundreds of toads around outside our bungalow at night. Don’t even get me started on the curries.

 

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Now, if only I could get back into the swing of things here.  I arrived home a week ago, but it seems as if pieces of my self are still arriving, like little packages to be unpacked. Slowly, slowly, I’ve been coming back to earth, back to my routines. Yesterday I spent some time in my studio, preparing some new panels for painting. The day after I got back from my trip, I delivered some pieces to a gallery in San Francisco for a group encaustic show there.  I’ll have the info for you all very soon…..

And now, I’m off for some 4th of July and birthday celebrations with my family. Happy 4th to you all.


Painting: New Work

Here are two newly finished nest paintings that I’ve previously shown in earlier stages of development….

Both 24 x 24 inches, mixed media and acrylic on canvas.  I just finished the embroidery on these this morning, while drinking my coffee.  The top image was painted from a nest that my husband’s parents found in their wood pile.  The second, from the nest found outside my studio. I’ve been working so much in encaustic lately that these two poor things have been sitting, forlorn, in a corner, waiting to be finished for a few weeks now.  Sometimes I think I enjoy paintings more after not looking at them for a while.  It was nice to come back to these after a break, and see that they held up.  A little space can be a good thing.

However, sometimes a little space can turn into too much space…. that has been the case lately with my husband traveling for work….. (sigh).  Can you tell that I miss him?  It’s been several weeks, this trip, but I am very happy to say that his company is flying me to spend some time with him in……Thailand.  Yes, that’s where he’s been working, and that’s where I’m going, for two weeks.  I’ve never been to Thailand, but it looks like a lovely, wonderful country, and I’m taking my sketchbook, two blank art journals, and my camera and anticipating lots and lots of inspiration.  Not to mention my sweetie, and our 15th anniversary.  I’m hoping I’ll be able to keep up with my blog while I’m away, and share some of this with you all, so stay tuned!