Saturday, December 7, 2013

New Website!

I am really excited to have my new website up and running. I like the design choices I had and my ability to process payments through credit card is going to help a lot. Stop by and check it out at:


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Artist Discovery: Kiyoshi Yamashita's Japanese Art

A friend of mine in Japan turned me on to the artwork of Yamashita Kiyoshi and I've been mesmerized by his technique and his life story. Can you believe that he worked with tiny pieces of torn paper? She told me that my painting of a #Yakatabune in Tokyo Harbor reminded her of his work. He has long since passed away but I think this goes to show that if you create great art with all of your heart you can leave a lasting impression on the world long after you have departed.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cherry Blossom Festival painting wins the juror award at the KVIE art auction. .

I was surprised to get a call from the people at Channel 6 letting me know that I had won a juror's award from the 300 paintings in this show. I'm not exactly sure what that means but I'm happy about it. Thanks to KVIE! So I guess it's good to edit after all.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

To Edit or Not to Edit? That is the Question.

I've decided that rather than continue creating new works I'm going to go back and fix some of the pieces that have always bugged me, for one reason or another. For example, I've always felt that my large oil painting from the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, San Francisco, had a dull sky, not only in action but in color. (See below) The blue was kind of dead. I went back and added some clouds, birds, etc. and this gave it a lot more energy. I also added the "SF" logo to the Giants booth and included a lot of cherry blossoms in the air. I wanted the fans to be focal points so I added more white and added a darker red to the rising sun part. I'm much happier with the final version. Let me know what you think?

Painting wet in wet has some limitations and it takes a few months to let time pass and paint dry in order to see what you'd like to adjust. I took some inspiration from Terry Miura, who doesn't give up on a painting if it nags him for some editing a few months or years later. What are your thoughts?



Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book 3, Tread Softly Released This Month

I truly enjoyed painting the cover for JJ Marsh's third crime novel, Tread Softly, which takes place in the Rioja wine growing region of Northern Spain. The original has paint that is so thick that it has a 3-D effect. I had a blast painting it and I hope this book flies off the shelves. I can't wait for book #4 to commence in earnest.

Books Two and Three in Stores Now!

I'm happy to announce that books two and three from JJ Marsh's Beatrice Stubbs crime series have now been released in Europe. They are also available as Kindle versions from Amazon.

It has been a lot of fun working with JJ. I can't believe we are halfway done with this project.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pura Vida en Costa Rica!

I am writing from a little internet cafe in Quepos, Costa Rica, having just returned from Manuel Antonio beach. I didn,t go to the park itself. There is no shortage of artisinal talent there, but I didn,t buy very much because I can only lug around so many souvenirs. One item I like collecting is masks because many countries around the world have them and they each seem to tell a story. I have been keeping a little journal while I am here and collecting all kinds of cool stuff along the way. You never know who will see it someday.... I plan to head back to Sacramento on Friday.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Behind Closed Doors now available on Amazon!

I'm excited to announce that the crime novel by JJ Marsh is now available on Amazon, via Kindle. The paperback and hardcover versions will be printed soon.

Amazon link

Friday, February 3, 2012

Behind Closed Doors book cover finished

I've been very excited about this project from the beginning. Working with author JJ Marsh has been a pleasure. We had skype meetings to go over her ideas and visions for bringing this to life. That was both productive and fun. She was able to provide clear guidance for me and was also clear about what she didn't want. I was also able to read the book about detective Harriet Stubbs before anyone else, which was cool in and of itself. She sent around this video and here are some of the comments JJ received from those who viewed it.!

I LOVE the cover. Really, really beautiful. How did you choose the artist? He's great and the video is wonderful.

It's spectacular! What an emotional, brooding build up. Honestly now, did you shed a tear at the end result?

The artwork is fantastic. You would never imagine that much work would go into a jacket. It is mellow and enigmatic. It looks like something familiar to me and makes me feel comfy. It is absolutely the sort of jacket that will get the book picked up from a shelf for a closer look.
The colours are welcoming and vaguely reminiscent of Monet. The front cover looks appealing and hopeful. In contrast the back cover is that teensy bit menacing, with the dark tower and bleeding reflections into the water.

Fabulous. And I know that view so well! Brings back memories. It is a masterpiece and you must be overwhelmed. Brilliant!

Well done too for a perfect match musically. It is spot on. Even if your audience doesn't know the story, the marriage of visual and aural experiences conjure up notions of suspense, elegance and wide-eyed excitement. It feels classical, obviously the music ultimately takes you there. But the images too. I love the build up to a finale, that isn't a finale. You see the title and it fits. You are satisfied you now know what the artwork was building to be. But the music doesn't quit, it just fades out. Which I think your audience will find intriguing and it will make sense when they realise this will only be the first outing of Ms. Stubbs.

Wow. Utterly gorgeous! Seriously, it's like an impressionist masterpiece!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Fixing something that isn't working

I enjoyed Sacramento artist Terry Miura's latest post about making adjustments to an older painting.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Starting Crime Novel Illustration!

After a lot of preparation, I'm getting started on the book cover for a crime novel by JJ Marsh called "Behind Closed Doors." I have had skype calls with the publisher and the author in the UK and Zurich. I'm excited about how this oil painting will turn out and how it will contain elements of the story within. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Selling to Friends and Family

I met a few artist friends in Indianapolis recently and they had questions about marketing and setting up their business. I'll share a piece of advice I gave them.

You need to determine early on exactly how much you are going to charge your old college roommate, aunt Sharon, the lady who sits next to you at work, or a neighbor. It's easy to hem and haw when a personal friend or relative asks for a price because it's uncomfortable to ask these people for money, but here's my point. In the beginning, ALL OF YOUR CUSTOMERS WILL BE PEOPLE YOU KNOW PERSONALLY! If you can't look them in the eye and give them a straight answer you're dead in the water. Figure out a specific price point, then a discount for friends and family and go for it. I'll let them make payments if that works best.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

S.F. Art Shows

I just returned from city by the bay, where I attended two large art shows. The Fort Mason show has been in existence for many years now and featured some of the premier galleries in the US, as well as a few from overseas like South Korea and the UK. I had a good time and was inspired by some of the art work. It's natural to want to roll my eyes from time to time but I'd have to say that for the most part I saw a variety of artistic expression that was both sincere and well executed. The art world is full of people who take themselves a tad too seriously, but I think the economic situation of late has brought a number of people down to earth, if only temporarily. Still, I enjoyed conversations with different artists and gallery owners like Jack Fischer. He was an interesting person and has promoted interesting work for a long time now. My good friend Rich Ortiz was there enjoying the scene with me. We talked to a really cool sculptor who divides his time between the US and Italy.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Starting series of Victoria, British Columbia.

I travelled to Victoria a while back for a conference and stayed an extra day to take in the sights of this beautiful capitol city. It really is a little gem and everyone I talk to who has visited raves about it. I took some great photos and will be completing a series of the following paintings:

1. Don Mee restaurant at dusk in Chinatown
2. Fan Tan alley, also in Chinatown
3. Harbor boats at dusk
4. Victoria Harbour water taxi

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New Painting: "Maude in Malibu"

This is an 11x14 oil painting completed partially in Malibu then back in the studio.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

Nevada City Chamber of Commerce

This piece was completed for the show at Broad Street Bistro. It's an 11x14 oil and I'm happy with the way the values (lights to darks) came out. The price for this piece, framed, is $350. I recently sold the piece I did off Thai Basil Restaurant in downtown Sacramento.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Now showing at Broad Street Bistro, Nevada City, Ca.

Thanks to Theresa and the whole gang at this great little main street establishment in the gold rush town of Nevada City. This is where Lance Armstrong and all of the cycling teams launched their Tour of California. I have about 18 pieces hanging there. This one is entitled, "Jeremy Lipking's Door" which is based on the time I spent at his workshop in the Malibu area. He has a great studio and I thought he was a good teacher and an all around nice guy.

101 Years and Counting close ups

Fundraiser painting: "101 Years and Counting" completed and sold

A big thanks to benefactor and all around great guy, John Mitchell for purchasing the original oil painting. The money goes to the Livingston High School baseball program. The painting is based on a photo of the 1909 team. I'm still amazed when I think back on what life must have been like in the little farming communities at that time. This was 5 years before the start of WWI. Amazing.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shhh...Second Saturday at the Level Up Lounge

I'm all ready for the big show Saturday, June 12 at Level Up on 25th and J, just above Thai Basil restaurant here in Sacramento. The show will be there all month. I have 25 paintings on the walls and I'm very happy with the way everything looks. This painting is the title track of this show, called "Shhhhh". It's an oil portrait from a party I attended in the Philippines. I will be showing 9 portraits in this show. Come check it out and say hello. I'll be there from 6-11 pm.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Cafe Rolle Featured on Food Network's Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives with Guy Fieri

I found out recently that Cafe Rolle was featured on Guy Fieri's show. This is very cool and also hilarious. I actually bought all of the ingredients and cooked the lentil salad. Mine was okay but I used powdered chicken stock and it ended up being way too salty, but it was still tasty.

Cafe Rolle Painting Delivered to Chef William Rolle

I was finally able to drop off the original painting after I made some adjustments and chef Rolle was very excited. He's going to hang the original in the restaurant. 11x14 prints are $25 and 16x20 prints are $40. They are matted to that size. I am now able to complete credit and debit card transactions so let me know if you would like to purchase anything.

Thursday, March 25, 2010