Tuesday, March 03, 2015

The de Young Museum

Last weekend I found such pleasure walking through San Francisco's Golden Gate Park and visiting it's prized new-ish museum.
Back in the 1990's, the de Young Museum was a controversial project (San Francisco voters twice defeated bond measures that were to fund it).
In January 1999, designers Herzog de Meuron and principal architects Fong & Chan won a competition to create what I feel is a phenomenal structure surrounded by incredible sculpture gardens.
With perseverance the de Young Museum opened on October 15, 2005.
It features American art from the 17th to the 21st centuries, international modern and contemporary art, photography, textiles and costumes, and art from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas.
It's collection has over 4,000 years of ancient and European art.
Here is a look at what inspired awe in me...

Zhan Wang (b. 1962)
Artificial Rock, stainless steel, 2005
Henry Spencer Moore (1898 - 1986)
Two Piece Reclining Figure No. 9, cast bronze, 1968
Frank Duveneck (1848 - 1919)
Study for "Guard of the Harem", detail, oil on canvas, 1879
Edmund Charles Tarbell (1862 - 1938)
The Blue Veil, oil on canvas, 1898
Amedeo Modigliani (1884 - 1920)
Pierre-Edouard Baranowski, oil on board, 1918

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


We all have been hearing that there are 50 shades of it...
situated somewhere in-between black and white.
I love the color gray.
It holds power for me...
when I see it dropping from the sky;
when I draw from life;
when I depict my observed reality.

Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2013.
Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2013.
Charcoal on Paper, 2013.
Charcoal on Paper, 2012.
Charcoal on Paper, 2012.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Cordillera del Paine, Patagonia, Chile

It was a dawn boat ride across Lago Pehoé that began a day of supreme wonderment. The 10 mile trek to reach the plateau of the Valle Francés was one filled with ancient forests, bridges hanging high above rushing and deafening rivers, and breathtaking vistas.

Approaching the Valle Francés Plateau, Torres del Paines, Patagonia Chile.
The hanging glaciers of Valle Francés.
The massive granite and ice formations of Valle Francés.

Sublime beauty left behind by the unfortunate fire of 2005 in the native forests of Cordillera del Paine.
Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2012.

Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2012.

Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2013.
Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2013.

Friday, February 06, 2015

Sublime Patagonia, Chile

At the end of the world, there is beauty everywhere.
A mythic, far away land with a history of inhabitants dating back 8000 years, Patagonia is surrounded by great natural barriers, the sea, the mountains and ice fields.
My journey there last month was one filled with exploration and wonder.
It lead me to reflect upon the color ways of my art and how much I include the hues of the natural world in my figurative works.

Torres del Paines, a view from Salto Chico
Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2012
Grey Glacier
Grey Glacier

Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2012
Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2013
Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2013 
Soft Pastel and Charcoal on Paper, 2011
The Beauty of Patagonia

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The Vasari Corridor, Florence, Italy

This past Fall, I had the incredible opportunity to tour the Vasari Corridor in Florence, Italy. It is a magical passage filled with over 1000 rarely seen paintings, mostly self-portrait gifts from master painters beginning in the 16th century and still continuing today.
The Corridor was built in 1564 by Giorgio Vasari and served to link up the Pitti Palace, where the Grand Duke resided, with the Uffizi (or offices) where he worked. 
It is a covered walk, almost a kilometre in length, an overhead passageway that starts out from a secret doorway in the West Corridor of the Uffizi Gallery, heads towards the Arno and then, raised up by huge arches, follows the river as far as the Ponte Vecchio, which it crosses by passing on top of the shops.
Vasari created a monumental urban "footpath" that took the absolute power of the ruler right into the historic heart of the city!
The art collection, unique in the world, was created by Cardinal Leopoldo de' Medici in the mid 17th century, a golden century for collections, and receives regular additions to this day. It displays self-portraits by Andrea del Sarto, Beccafumi, Bernini, Annibale Carracci, Guido Reni, Salvator Rosa, Rubens, Canova, Hayez, Corot, Ingres, Delacroix, Ensor and many others.

The Ponte Vecchio with the Vasari Corridor above the bustling bridge and city streets of Florence.
The windows of the Vasari Corridor as seen from the Ponte Vecchio.

The secret entrance to the Vasari Corridor from inside the Uffizi Gallery.
Self Portrait   William Merrit Chase, 1849 - 1916
Self Portrait   Henri Fantin Latour, 1836 - 1904
Self Portrait   John Singer Sargent, 1856 - 1926
Self Portrait   Peter Paul Rubens, 1577 - 1640
Self Portrait   Giovanni Lorenzo Bernini, 1598 - 1680
View of the Arno and Florence from the Vasari Corridor.
View of the Arno and Florence from the Ponte Vecchio.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Inspired whilst travelling...

Henri Toulouse- Lautrec
La Blanchisseuse, 1884
Huile sur toile, 93 x 75 cm
Paris, Collection privée

Provencal Mas Overlooking the Luberon Valley, France

Duomo Cathedral, Florence, Italy