Rogue Vegetables

I was at the ranch this weekend and after a morning bike ride with my brother, I set up to paint the vegetable garden behind the pool house. Mom and Roe say these are “volunteers.” No one planted them, so we will just have to wait and see what they are. Probably squash, but I’m hoping for pumpkins.

At some point, Bob Johnson stopped by and we had a nice conversation about the importance of chaos in art and John Singer Sargent. After that, I suffered in the heat until a little past noon, and the veggies started to wilt. With most of the painting done, I retreated to the AC to wrap up the details in more hospitable conditions.

9x12in oil on linen panel

Funston from the Car

It was far too cold and windy outside today so I retreated to the car and painted the houses on Funston Ave. looking west towards the hotel.

9x12in oil on linen panel
POV of me painting in the car

By the Bridge

Looking south-east towards Corte Madera from the College of Marin gravel parking lot. There is a tall thicket of dead grass there that caught my eye as the sun went down.

9x12in oil on linen panel

Piper park from Bon Air Landing park

Morning Plein air painting from the public dock in Greenbae looking south towards Larkspur and the fog. The rowers were out on Corte Madera Creek as usual doing there thing.

19x10in oil on linen panel

Dead Flowers

I’m not sure what these plants are called, but I love how their flowers dry out and turn pale in the summer. Every time I ride or run past this bramble, it catches my eye. I woke up early this morning for no reason, so I headed out to paint them.

9x12in oil on linen panel
Artist’s view

National Cemetery from Battery Sherwood

Traffic was heavy so I set up by Battery Sherwood to paint until it thinned out. This is the view looking across the freeway towards San Francisco National Cemetery from the bike path in the new park they made by the battery lineup.

9x12in oil on linen panel

Corner of Lincoln & Presidio Blvd from the YMCA parking lot

I set up perpendicular to the Tennessee Hollow trail looking back towards the post office and LDAC. It was windy as usual, but this time I thought ahead and brought a thicker painting panel mount. It’s a lot easier to paint when you’re not having to track a moving target. Probably should add paracord and some tent spikes to my kit for good measure. A few people stopped to talk as they parked to go to the gym, and I had a nice conversation about Duolingo with an older gentleman. Another normal lunch break in the Presidio.

9x12in oil on linen panel

Presidio Main Post from Tunnel Tops

Well, I tried to paint the main post twice. Two lunch breaks in a row, both days I didn’t have much success. Trying to paint the straight lines of buildings in the wind proved way too challenging. It doesn’t help that my brushes are as frayed as a cat struck by lightning. I definitely need to invest in some new sharp-edged brights if I’m going to start painting the buildings around here. The second afternoon, I returned with a more appropriately formatted canvas, which at least helped the composition, but the painting was still a mess as I had to hold onto it with one hand to keep it from flying off. Technical challenges aside, both attempts have too much detail and not enough depth. I can’t find the happy medium. I’m forcing it, and that lack of traction is coming through on the canvas. Time to move on.

9x12in oil on linen panel
9x15in oil on linen panel

Woodlark Apartments

The boys and I went to see Howl’s Moving Castle at the Lark Theater this afternoon and then after we got back home, they decided to go for a swim. I, for my part, wanted to paint, so I hiked up the hill above the pool and sketched the view looking back at my apartment. This place has been good to us, but we’ve been here too long. I wish I could find a house we can afford. Maybe I should trade my heart to a fire demon that seemed to work out for Howl.

6x15in oil on linen panel

Petlenuc Creek

Lunchtime paintings in the presidio will start being a regular thing again now that Lucasfilm wants me in office twice a week. My plan is to ride my bike in one day, scouting for locations, and then paint them at lunch the other. This place has so many layered vistas and shifting weather patterns, there will be no shortage of scenes to paint for years to come.

Today I set up on the Tennessee Hollow trail / Presidio Promenade Trail. Not sure which trail this is as the map says both names, which is a little odd. I regret not looking at the trailhead sign I was standing next to while I painted. Unofficially, I guess this is the view looking south across the Tennessee Hollow watershed from the bus stop next to the YMCA fitness center.

9x12in oil on linen
Artist’s view