Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Under the Overpass

'Do Not Enter - Wrong Way'.........oil on canvas panel........6x8 inches
Walking along Riverside Drive which runs adjacent to the '5' freeway, I discovered this delightful cityscape of concrete canyons draped in lush, green vinery. I set up to paint directly across a freeway exit while Jose settled for a more panoramic view of the overpass. Being engulfed by a swirling mass of exhaust fumes from cars exiting the freeway was exhilarating, and I hoped that some small grit from the freeway would imbed itself on my canvas like a gnat might for my country bumpkin counterparts. Two homeless men of good cheer emerged from the shadows, one carrying a sporty homemade spear created from an old broom stick, a sharp piece of rusted metal, all wrapped together by a coat hanger.  He claimed to use it for his fishing expeditions in the L.A. river. His compatriot was dressed in an old military jacket doused in vodka, and was incapable of human speech, making only gurgling and clicking sounds which attracted several squirrels to him. With large toothy grins they invited me and my painting buddy Jose to join them in a jaunty walk by the LA River in search of fairies and magic, talking catfish.  I declined, silently feeling inside my backpack for my pepper spray. Good times......;-)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Red Blouse

'Red Blouse'.........oil on canvas panel.........11x14"
I painted this portrait of Yolanda, an aspiring actress, during a three hour painting session at the Los Feliz workshop (please click on Los Feliz Workshop link to the right for more info regarding the workshops)
Initially I met the lovely Yolanda at a local diner Ben and I frequently visit. While Yolanda was taking our lunch order, I finally summoned enough courage and asked her to model for our painting workshop. She affably agreed and was a complete joy to work with. She conducted herself professionally and remained motionless the entire time she posed.

...........a few sketches

25 minute charcoal sketch

5 minute charcoal sketch


'Griffith Park Brush Fire' - May 08th, 2007
(picture taken from studio rooftop at 9:30pm)

A few days ago, Ben and I (as well as hundreds of Los Feliz residents) had to evacuate our home due to the rapidly encroaching brush fire that swept through one fifth of Griffith Park. I'll never forget the feeling of panic washing over me as I stepped out the front door to witness a wall of turbulent flames creeping down the hillside towards the homes nestled close to the park entrance. I raced back into the house to grab my cat and immediately fled the house and found refuge at our art studio located a little less than two miles from our house.
Throughout the evening we were barraged with numerous phone calls from anxious friends and family members who were concerned about our our safety......many generously and benevolently offering their homes for us to stay overnight or as long as we needed. My sister Sophie, her fiancé Andy and a few locals kept us company as we solemnly watched Griffith Park being ravaged by flames from atop the studio roof.
Fortunately (and thankfully) there were no major injuries or deaths and no homes were damaged. The newly renovated Observatory, the enchanting Cypress Grove I frequently hike to and the LA Zoo were also spared due to the tremendous dedication and hard work from our local firefighters. Wednesday night we were allowed to return to our respective homes safely and soundly.
Now that the dust has settled, the smoke has cleared and the embers have extinguished, life in Los Angeles is promptly getting back to normal and has already begun the healing process of physical and spiritual regeneration. Onward!