Monday, February 25, 2008

Studio Gallery opening and some nice guys

So the opening went really well. The rain held out (mostly), saw some great friends old and new, and… (drum roll) I actually sold two paintings! These two:

Steel Plant, Berkeley O/P 6x8

Aquatic Park, Berkeley O/P 5x7

The second one, done at the AquaticPark in Berkeley was sold to a nice chap from Seattle who happened to be wandering by the gallery earlier in the day. It’s a pretty gray little piece, and I can only imagine that it reminded him of home ; ) Thanks to all, especially Jennifer and Rab at the Studio Gallery for making it all happen. Anyway, I’m feeling uncharacteristically chatty so I might as well update the ol’ blog a bit and add a few more links, and recognize a few good people. If I were hip, I’d be giving a “shout out” to these peeps, but I hate that phrase, unless I’m drinking with a Kiwi or an Aussie. The guy to blame for my addiction to this oil painting en Plein Air stuff is the super talented and all around nice guy Ian Berry. I worked with this guy back in the Lucas Arts days, and he invited me to come out and paint during lunch. I was doing these dull little watercolor sketches at the time, but Ian inspired me to switch back to oils and it was all over after that. I even have the exact day in one of my sketchbooks.

Check out the date! After LucasArts, I went to work for Activision at their Z-Axis studio in Foster City for a while, but eventually transferred up to Novato at their Toys For Bob studio where Ian had landed a job too. We resumed our lunch time paint sessions until Ian moved to New York (sniff…: (. Ok, a few more influences. My first Plein Air workshop just luckily happened to be with Matt Smith and Ralph Oberg in the Colorado Rockies, I just can’t say enough about these guys. Both talented, generous and supportive artists at the top of their game. Truly a remarkable week. The next workshop I took was Frank Serrano’s in the Sierra just last fall. Met some great people, the painting sites around June LakeTuolumne were beautiful, and I got a new painting buddy. Stay tuned for Jimmy and Frank’s Alaskan painting adventure in September. Besides the Studio Gallery here’s another gallery that bears mention, The Thomas Reynolds Gallery in San Francisco. I first discovered this amazing little gallery a few years ago completely by accident while wandering Fillmore St. It was so easy to miss, but it was one of those serendipitous little finds that happen every now and then in life. Besides having impossibly good taste in art Thomas is a gentleman in the true sense of the word. Recently, he generously took the time to give this artist, his honest and insightful (and yes it was solicited) opinion on some pieces I brought by the gallery. During this impromptu critique, I was treated to several colorful local characters who dropped by. This isn’t just a gallery, it’s a neighborhood institution! It was also through this gallery that Kim and I discovered the art of Terry Miura. We were both so taken by Terry’s work that we eagerly await each new show, in hopes of new work from this Sacramento based artist. Kim surprised me on my last birthday by taking me to Sacramento for one of Terry’s open studio evenings. I guess the theme of this post is “nice guys”, and Terry was no exception. He couldn’t have been more personable, and we spent an enjoyable evening drinking wine, and discussing art. Now that I’ve brought up Terry, he’s a perfect segue to my next topic here, and that’s the sharing of artistic knowledge. No not me, I’ve got too far til I can start imparting any pearls of wisdom, but Terry, through his blog really does just that. Rummage back through some of his posts and you’ll find a virtual art class on the web with salient thoughts on everything from color theory to design. The last link I’ll mention has much the same sense of sharing of artistic knowledge. You may or may not know James Gurney from his Dinotopia books, and if you don’t, crawl out from under that rock. You will be as blown away as I was to see Mr. Gurney’s amazing Plein Air paintings and sketches. Terry Miura and James Gurney’s blogs are must reads on the web. They are wonderfully personal accounts of working artists and their processes, so bookmark them now! Many more links to share, but for now I need to re-think the title of this blog. Laconic, yeah right… : )

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