Monday, April 30, 2012

Brain Scan

 This painting used to have a a motorcycle, a donut, and a Basset Hound in it. 
"Brain Scan" 30"x30" oil on canvas

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Spring Is In The Air And It's Time For A Family Portrait

"Surreal Family"  36"x36" oil on canvas
I don't know what Spring and family portraits have to do with one another.  I just love a non requitur and I think family portraits are funny.  What inspired me was a glimpse of a painting in a movie I saw last week called "The Beginners" with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer.  The painting was a naive, folk art type portrait with two men  in the midst of a Henri Rousseau type jungle.  The jungle is very stylized and funky.  Then... get this, the two men are wearing... suits.  The incongruousness genius of it, cracked me up.  So it inspired me to do a painting with my daughter Makiko, my boyfriend Tom, Elmo (the dog), and me, all wearing bikinis.   (Okay, only Elmo is wearing a bikini, but you can't see it.)  Okay, no bikinis, but we are all wearing smiles and yes that is a smile on Tom's face.  Smiles are another incongruous  thing in a painted portrait because who wants to paint teeth?

I am making this painting huge too.  36"x36" same size as the "Tanker" painting.  Stay tuned, there's more to come if I don't f@*$ it up.
beginning Sketch

"The Dream" by Henri Rousseau 260 × 176

Thursday, April 19, 2012

The Dreaded Artist Statement

I don't know if many people read artists statements. I do know that it is one of the most dreaded things that an artist has to do to promote their work.  Painters in particular often think that the work should speak for itself.  It's true a lot of  these darn statements read like  a bunch of gobble-de-gook, mine included.  I have spent my life avoiding it.     I have written statements full of paint talk and probably makes most people's eye's roll back into their heads. However, writing this blog every week and sometimes twice a week has helped me observe what I am doing in the studio.   So here is my new statement.  I think it most reflects what is happening in my new work.  If you have a minute, please let me know what you think.  


My work starts with a collage of subjects that attract and repel me at the same time. Tom Robbins’s refers to the idea as life’s “yum and the yuck”. I find images that are compelling personally, yet are universal and relatable to everyone. The juxtaposition of these attractive and repellant images create a tension that alone would be enough, but together, enables them to become more powerful than they were individually.

My work also has a technical component that I find to be the most challenging and interesting part of being a painter. I seek to incorporate the rendered and realistic figurative painting with the ambiguous, lushness of abstraction. I constantly mix and seek contrasting visual combinations not only in subject, but also in technique and how I render each painting.

GRAPEVINE 36"x40" oil on canvas
I find the mixture of attraction, rudeness, realism, and abstraction to be a reflection of life’s relentless contrast of all things. There is no good without the bad.  There is no order without chance disguised as chaos.  Much like playing the Blues, even with the saddest subject or a distasteful one, played or painted with sincerity and care, it can seduce the senses and hopefully become something new.  

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Upcoming Events

An exhibition which presents and promotes art by:

Eugene Rodriguez

Alex Luke

Rocky Villanueva

Matt Lee

Lani Tanaka

Each of the works from this exhibition has an admirable characteristic that it will make you think about it. Works that pose questions about the temporal and historical nature of human existence.

Different points of view that emerge into continuous relationships to each other, the looks, space, art history and perhaps more.

Don’t miss the opening!
Friday May 4th 2012
6:00 to 9:00pm

Curated by: Betty  Bigas

ROLL UP GALLERY @ Public Works

161 Erie Street, San Francisco
between 13th & 14th Streets @ Mission Street

Machines, Muses, & Memories
Jhina Alvarado, Scott Inguito, and Lani Tanaka
August 11 to Sept 19, 2012
San Pablo Art Gallery
13831 San Pablo Ave
Maple Hall, Bldg 4
San Pablo, CA

Second Round of Open Studios

Here is your second chance to go to Spring Open Studios.

Hope to see you!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I Think A Little Easter Has Crept Into My Painting

The color is so vibrant and blooming in this piece.  I am straying away from my beloved "Giorgio Morandi" palette, of quiet grays and muted colors.      I had to push this painting in a final desperate act, but I am excited and pleased with the result.   I think I have found a new direction in both content and color.

Final Version of "Pole" now called "Glimpse", oil on canvas, 30"x30".  It has a lot of color.  I used a little of my Old Holland paint stash.  God I love that stuff.
This is what it looked like last week.  I knew it wasn't quite finished.

This painting was really bugging me and I didn't know what to do to fix it.  Finally in an act of desperation, I added the drippy grey to the top half.  This was a bit of a turning point.  I was going to finish it or destroy it.  The top painting is the result. 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Cute Dog

I get to paint the cutest subjects.  This is "Buddy".  He is a Walker Coon Hound.  He just loves to follow his nose. 

1. This is the beginning sketch with washes.

2. Here he is with the a interpretation of the original background.

"Buddy in Blue".  24"x24" oil on canvas.  I took out all the background noise and distilled it down to Buddy and his reading materials, or rather evidence of the presence of his owner, Ellen.