Monday, May 25, 2009

Third Street Bridge - Memorial Day

The view from AT&T Park: the Third Street bridge being raised for a sailboat

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Bergamot Station

Most of the art galleries were closed when I arrived at Bergamot Station on Friday afternoon. I did manage to take in a wonderful photographic exhibition of works by Asako Narahashi. And I took a pic of sidewalk art posted on the outside of the buildings.

Experimental Artists: Photo Alteration Techniques

texturized photo

distressed, hand-tinted photo

bleached photo

I was invited to a workshop with the Experimental Artists' group while I was visiting Pasadena. Avinger N. showed us several techniques to alter photos. Last week I picked up an old movie still from the "free pile" at the recycling center's artists' reception. The old black and white photo was perfect for hand-tinting. I soaked the photograph in water for about 30 seconds to loosen the emulsion, then sanded it lightly. My watercolors took to the photograph easily and I was impressed with how well they blended into the image after drying. Avinger also showed us the effect of liquid Draino and bleach on color photographs. We used photographs printed on photo paper (versus inkjet photopaper) to separate the cyan/red/yellow colors. I used a bleach pen (which is like a gel pen) to draw "steam" on the photograph and left it on for about 30 seconds before washing it off. Left too long, the bleach strips the colors off entirely. It was more difficult to control the color stripping with a pan of liquid bleach - you had to paint areas you wanted to keep by painting gel medium on the photo first. The liquid Draino was very tricky - you dipped the photo in it for a split second, then put it face-down on paper. If done properly, you got a mirror image of the photo without the cyan colors. More often, we managed to smear color onto paper - the images were lost entirely. Another neat technique was using textured surfaces (you can buy textured plates in the scrapbooking section of Target) to create interesting effects on photos. You simply wet the photo, then rub over the texture with a fine-grain sandpaper. I had an old black and white photo I took of a train barn, and it came out fabu.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Avinger N lit in pink light at Don Cuco's

Retro movie theater closed for renovation

A funky bar in an alley in downtown Pasadena

I drove down to LA to participate in an experimental artists' workshop and to speak at a Collage Artists of America meeting. Arrived around 4:30 and Avinger took me to old town to walk around and discover alleys. Very cool architecture (Moorish influences) and narrow alleys. It was a perfect Southern California afternoon with bright skies and balmy air.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

MACLA Fundraiser - San Jose

We went to the annual MACLA (Movimiento de Arte y Cultura Latino Americano) fundraiser last night. It was quite an exuberant affair with lots of beautiful artwork donated by latino artists up for auction.

SF Recycling & Disposal Artists-in-Residence

View from the dump of train tracks and fog drifting over the hills

Gallery space - actually the artists' studio cleared away for this show

Outside the studio - a place to hang out

Some works made by previous artists

We went to a reception at the dump on Friday. They have a wonderful artists-in-Residence program there, started by Women's Caucus artist Jo Hanson in 1990. Artists work 40 hours/week for 4 months at the dump to create artwork from recycled materials. At the end of their residency, they get a show and leave their creations there for 12 months. This was my first reception and I was inspired by the materials available. Perhaps I will apply for a residency one of these days.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Water, Water Everywhere

I came home to a river of muddy water flowing down our street. A broken water main has shut down our street and brought the city water department crew to deal with the flow. Lots of drilling of street and shouting of orders outside our window. Not good to lose so much water in a drought year. A water main broke on our street several years ago and flooded our ground floor rooms. A connection to the replacement pipe may have come loose and caused this problem.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

SOMA Open Studios

We made our rounds of spring open studios today in the South of Market area. Bryant Street studios had works by Erika Meriaux, who used to work out of Art Explosion. Her new space is spacious and I really like her new works, which are her interpretations of Greek mythology.
We also visited with Mike Kimball, who was mostly showing his prints. Other studios we visited included the Garage Gallery, Second Street Studios and 8th Street Studios. The Second Street Studios are brand new and located near the Bay Bridge freeway entrance. Rather precariously perched but the studio spaces were nice & big.

Friday, May 8, 2009

First Thursday: May 2009

Elisabeth Sunday at Gallery 291, her solo show is titled Africa VI: The Tuareg

Enrique Chagoya opened at Electric Works with a show called "Super-Bato Saves the World"

We went to two openings last night - first to Elisabeth Sunday's solo exhibit of her recent photographs of African women. Her women are always beautifully elongated and their long, black robes transform them into human sculptures.

At Electric Works, Enrique Chagoya's paintings and artist's books focused on immigration issues. He also painted several slot machines and visitors were encouraged to try their luck.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Paris Book

Finally finished making the Paris travel book, which I started weeks ago. It documents my trip last September to attend the UN NGO conference at UNESCO. I created a number of signatures using postcards distributed at the conference as covers. I also incorporated packing tape transfer, gel lift and matte photo paper transfer techniques I recently learned from Dolores G. The time-consuming part was incorporating the many separate elements into some sort of cohesive whole, especially the photographs I took on the trip. I learned this book's form from Gail R. who taught a traveler book class at SF Center for Books last year. It's cool because the spine is flexible and can be as large as the number of items I want to put into the book. And the signatures help the book stand on its own when all are incorporated. Not the kind of book I would make for all my trips but it works well when one comes home with an inordinate amount of paper and ephemera.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Friday NIght Openings

Opening Reception at Hunters Point Spring Open Studios

At San Jose's North First ArtSpace