"Out of Service"

12"x18" oil on linen.
Vacation is over, and it feels good to get back to unfinished work. Railroads and New York subway system remain to be a popular subject, so here is my latest painting – No.7 Subway line. .
click here for a larger view and purchase information.

See me in Somerset Home!

My gorgeous new copy of Somerset Home (Volume 3) has arrived and I am thrilled to see my "Let Them Eat Cake" painting and article in there. (pg. 72-75) This is one of my favorite pieces to date and Stampington did a wonderful job with the photography. The Magazine is sold at booksellers around the world and at craft and hobby stores such as Micheals and Joanne fabrics. Great eye candy in here guys...go grab your copy today! :)
Here's a sneak preview of my article:
Have a sweet day!!! :D
(sorry, couldn't resist)

yakking over lunch

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I was asked by Nathan Cartwrite, owner of the Hive gallery, to join him and artist Paul Torres to a lunch conversation webcast put on by a very cool website called laxartscene.com. We got lunch provided by 410 Boyd St. bar and grill, which was delicious! It's fun or boring or bullshit, but it was a nice way to spend an hour.

color chart or abstract painting?

I think if I ever went full on into abstract painting, it would be just about pure color. Maybe someday, you never know! Here's a color chart I painted on top of an old drawing demo from teaching. It's meant to explain a fairly profound idea about creating the effect of "chiaro-scuro", which is what anyone is doing when they make representational painting. I used it as a demo in class, and it turns out to be a good visual aide! It's too complicated to explain in words and outside the context of my class, so I'll let it stand on it's own as a visual riddle, and also something fun to look at. oil on paper, 24 by 19

The Street Painting Society's New Look

Check out our new Society website.  We have so many new features for our members including better portfolio galleries, a new Featured Artist each Month and Featured Project, a resources page where businesses can advertise their products to artists, and much more.

We will also be hosting a Day of Pastel Making.  Dates are still pending but sign up soon!  Space will be limited.

rod in paradise

that's the title I give this painting so far. Seems appropriate! Rod is my down the street neighbor and the only guy I trust to work on my car. He came by with his grandson Luciano and we all hung out in the backyard and Luciano and I painted this afternoon. There's too much to describe going on, let's suffice to say it was a fun way to spend a hot Los Angeles afternoon! acrylic on wood, 35 by 48

plein air for kids

I was at the Kidspace Museum today giving a one hour talk and paint-along to a group of 2nd and 3rd graders about 'plein air' and observational painting, basically about getting excited about painting the world before us all. They all were with a day camp, and got their own colors and brushes and canvas to work on themselves. I kept it fun but still talked seriously about what I was doing, but in a simple way. When the painting got to the point where they could make sense of the landscape around us and I could start putting them in the picture, they got really thrilled and all ran over to 'get in' the painting! oil on canvas, 30 by 24


I do a lot of work that I don't put on my blog, but after a recent comment I decided to post this painting dedicated to the_snowpooch. Type 'slap' into google, click images and this is the first pic that comes up. Acrylic, rocks, and leaves on found panel, 22 by 36

leo carillo beach

I went with John Kilduff to Leo Carillo Beach in Malibu for some plein air painting today. Man was it windy, my easel almost blew over twice! But it was a perfect day anyway, sunny, clear, and cool. oil on canvas, 24 by 36

Sistine Chapel Project featured in Tourism London!
For more info visit  Imadon's Expressions in Chalk Street Painting Festival...

Soul Journaling Prompt: Easy Backgrounds (part 1)!!!

For this prompt I’d like to share a few of my favorite backgrounds. Having multiple finished backgrounds done ahead of time is a great idea when journaling so that when you have the urge to write or draw or make a page, you can do so without worrying about having to prep you pages first. Making a bunch of backgrounds in your journal before you go on a trip can also be helpful for spontaneous art making and journaling. I always have 4 or 5 pages prepped and ready to journal on…more if it’s a long trip. :)

To start, I want to show you my most basic technique for priming a journal page and getting down a fast and easy background. This is the type of background I use all the time and is a great base for jumping off of with all your creative ideas!

Sarah’s must-have, easy-peasy basic background:

To start, glue down random ephemera onto your pages. Don’t use anything precious and do this in a fast haphazard manner. Ephemera can be pages torn out of old phonebooks, textbooks, dictionaries, sheet music, or any other papers you have lying around. This is a great way to use up small scraps of scrapbook paper and junk mail too. If you are using a thicker paged journal such as a watercolor book you don’t need to cover the entire page with ephemera. However, if you are using a thinner paged journal, take the extra time to cover all of your page to help reinforce it. Use any kind of glue you have handy to stick them down and don’t worry about them being perfectly flat. If they dry rippled it will just give you extra cool texture! ;)

When your pages are dry, dry brush a coat of gesso on top. “Dry brush” means to use a light coat and a dry (no water) paint brush to apply your paint. The gesso will give a light tooth to your pages and is a fabulous primer to protect your papers from sloppy paints and messy work later on.

Tip: Pay special attention to the crease of your book, giving it a second coat of gesso for good measure.

While still wet, draw or scratch into the gesso with the wrong end of your paintbrush or any other objects handy. Allow to dry fully. A hair dryer on low can also help speed up the drying process

Now choose 1-3 of your favorite mixable paints. For this, I chose green, blue and brown. They look nice separately and are fabulous when mixed together. If you are new to mixing paints try choosing a favorite color such as red and then using tints of red: made by adding black (or brown) and white to the red. This way you will have a red, pink, and deep red background. You can also experiment with color mixing and see what happens.

Tip: The more colors you mix, the better chance you have of getting a muddy brown color. When choosing colors from the opposite side of the color wheel to mix, such as purple and yellow, you will also get muddy brown. Instead, try colors next to each other on the wheel.
I added a dot of brown, blue, and green to different spots on my pages and then added water. I allowed them to mix and pool in random places.

For extra pizzazz you can add a drop or two of interference paints with water. Here I have added interference blue, and though it is hard to see in the photos, in person it is very sparky and pretty. Allow this to dry fully and you’re all ready to add art to your new background! ;)
To get the free easy to print .pdf file of this and other new prompts join our inspiring Soul Journaling Community at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SoulJournaling/
The following bonus backgrounds are also shown with instruction as part of the same easy to print file on our group. Come join the fun! :)

Here's wishing you a wonderfully creative day!

teaching painting

Here's a few of the works I did today for the advanced sketching for illustration class I'm substitute teaching at Art Center. We had two models in the center of the room with strong directional lighting and I decided to invent some background like they're in a restaurant. Two waitresses taking a break? In another restaurant? Who knows but I had fun drawing a couple varying compositions and doing a painting study. It's oil on paper and a limited palette: white, yellow ochre, burnt sienna, mars violet, and paynes grey. I'm primarily concerned with the lights and darks when I'm using a limited palette, but with this particular palette the painter is able to get very close to naturalistic color.

my friend John's 20 minute portrait

I went down to San Diego for my dear friend John Herrmann (visit his blog here). He turned 41 today, or as his cake said, the 1st anniversary of his 40th birthday. I've known John as long as I can remember, and for the majority of that time I've known he's had with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. It's never stopped his desire to live and enjoy life and learn. I'm honored to know him, and it was a pleasure to paint his 20 minute portrait, and celebrate his 41st birthday with his family and friends. Happy Birthday John! oil on panel, 12 by 9.

Expressions in Chalk Festival Poster

4th and broadway

I was downtown for the ArtWalk yesterday, the fun starts about 8, but I went down early to get in some urban landscape. Here's an 18 by 24 from the corner of 4th and Broadway. It was a fun to be out, plein air is always an adventure. The wildest thing that happened was some crazy guy came up and started to make incoherent conversation, then he took some brushes and started to paint on my painting. I usually don't mind, like I'll let kids paint on my painting if they want to because I know I can just scrape it off and fix it later. So whatever, this guy is writing 'loco' in bright green and saying paint this, paint that, but then he grabbed a big blob of cadmium yellow, pushed it on the canvas a little bit, and then wiped it all over his face and down his neck. He looked really scary. Then he wandered off and into a beef bowl restaurant. I hope he got some soap on his face! oil on canvas

"Sunny Day on Wall Street"

12"x28" Oil on linen. ....................Sold
I never painted so many windows in one painting before. I hope this work will find a collector who will appreciate the effort ..: -).

moby dick

It's a long story. I'm filling in for another teacher at Art Center who suddenly had to take the term off. An option for one of the previous teacher's assignments was to paint an image inspired by Moby Dick. So in class I decided it might be instructive to come up with an original composition. Like any designed painting, there are two elements to the composition: the line drawing or linear arrangement of the design, and the value arrangement or distribution of lights and darks in the painting. So here's what I came up with based on my brief reading (the night before class) of the synopsis of the story filtered through my love for Tintoretto and N.C. Wyeth. Of course I chose a moment of high drama! Fanatics of Moby Dick will probably find my painting completely ludicrous since I'm so uninformed on the story, but I tried... If I were to really paint a composition inspired by Moby Dick, this is how I would start it. The value study was done 90% with white, burnt umber, and ultramarine blue, with a tiny bit of yellow ochre and burnt sienna. From this point, if I wanted to be more realistic I would hire models and start drawing and taking pics... drawing 11 by 17, oil sketch on paper 8 by 12

Matador Beach

Kilduff and I could not resist going back to Malibu today, the weather is too perfect. So here's another view of Matador Beach on a larger canvas. It's a challenging light, I'm not sure if I got it exactly as I felt it, but this painting feels pretty close. oil on canvas, 24 by 30


I was at the Hive gallery last night for the July show and since I wanted to do some painting there but didn't want to paint portraits, I brought this piece and slapped some more color on it, adjusting the composition here and there. I think it's improved and I'm happy with the color and feeling for the lighting. oil on linen, 40 by 28

painting with kids

My neighbor down the street has been wanting me to give their kid a painting lesson, so today I had time and mom and grandma came by with Luciano and we had a short painting lesson and collaboration on a piece of doorskin painted white. FUN! Hopefully he enjoyed himself, I'd be happy to have a bunch of the neighbor kids over and do a BIG collaboration! acrylic on wood, 13 by 36

$1 portraits and Zuma Beach

This morning I was on Let's Paint TV. I was the subject of his $1 painting for auction today. Click here to see today's show, I think the portrait starts around 20 minutes. Also, click here to see and bid on the auction on e-bay! lulz

After the show we carpooled out to Malibu for some plein air at Zuma Beach This is a great place for sun, fresh air, and lots of beachgoers. oil on linen, 15 by 30

"French Bistro-NYC"

Oil on linen. 20"x16"
Balthazar is one of my favorite restaurant in the city. Of course it's not the place to go to sit down for a quiet meal in privacy. Very busy atmosphere, but it's fun. The food is just amazing.
It's my second painting of this New York city scene.

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