Looks like it’s going to be the winter of obsessive paintings


Obsessive. After painting 2(!) commissions of David’s Oath of the Horatii many years ago, I tore the cheap, paint and dirt incrusted source material into random strips on the studio floor and took some shots of them, then forgot about it. Then I found them on my computer, printed them out, stretched some canvas and blocked them in, with the idea of painting all the smudges, tears and wear. It was really hard, plus it started to seem like a pretty stupid idea. So I gave up. A year later I thought I’d take another crack at it. By then the photos had done that weird digital random color shift fade. I couldn’t reprint them because after all the new ink I bought, my Epson printer was telling me that it wasn’t REALLY Epson ink but it is! Look at the stupid box you stupid machine. And I do not want to be on tech support all day for something that’s by now looking like a mega stupid idea. So I moved on to do what I was supposed to be doing anyway (working) which is after all much more pleasant and rewarding. So another year later here I am again, during this break painting them again. Because now that they are fugitive blown-out source materials  that are themselves getting covered in paint, of the original low quality source materials torn up and photographed and output on a crappy printer and they are literally fading away as I try to paint them and I’m slow because it’s been awhile so now my all likely hood they could be blank by the time I’m done, I’m happy. (BTW This one is the least faded).

Shoe Problem


I see a gray sky and I want to paint it pink

more art 4 u

more art 4 u, a holiday group show at Mua in Oakland, up through January. This one’s a small gouache painting, Joe’s Cat.


J Otto Art is a Steal

When I bought my sloth I had no idea it would be so customly packaged. You all need to get your sloth on too. http://othergoose.bigcartel.com/

Cat Painting

I took a photo of the painting, because I’m pretty sure I’ll wreck it before it’s done.

OK here is round 2, not completely messed up yet, still a chance!

shark again and not so decipherable notes to self

Round 2 where everything gets muddy and awkward and second guessing. Yay!

So many thoughts flying around while painting so I jot them down

OK what I can decipher from this part of the list

1.  “Michael Alfe” was a reference to the fact even though really smart people use and recommend something, doesn’t mean that you should too. 30 years later I realize that Stand Oil was great for his painting, but totally inappropriate for what I was doing. duh, I’m slow.

2.” foto realism”.  I like to paint from photos or random scans of things. I don’t project or trace them—something in the process excites me.

3. “lines and edges”. Most of us when painting or drawing will draw a line around stuff. Those lines don’t really exist in nature were everything blurs and reflects. I always try not to, but still I get false lines and edges.

4. I have no freaking idea what Shern Oil ban refers to.



shark painting was still wet so I started this new one today

It smells better than it looks (details)


After a long break I’m making art and painting in oil again. The smell is soooo good. To make it even easier I’m going to paint whatever I feel like, starting with Laine and gummy sharks. So there. Makes me miss smoking though.

Its weird how natural it feels. I like to start with semi-rough gesso’d canvas and muscle on the first layer of paint with a too small brush. Looks like I used it a leeetle too enthusiastically. Sad brush and canvas full of tiny hairs hahaha.

3 new canvases gesso’d

Just finished the last coats of gesso—many profound thoughts going through my head, like the theme song for Beverley Hillbillies and how I loved that they called the pool a cee-ment pond. These paintings are going to be deep, man.

Art @ Mua Oakland December 2010

Artwork up at Mua

David’s Oath of the Horatii (commission)

Here is one of the paintings I was commissioned TWICE! to paint,  David’s Oath of the Horatii 6′ x 8′.

Someday I will paint it again, only something like this:

Catalog from a 1992 show @ Walter/McBean—wayback machine

In them olden days, didn’t have websites, but some really nice printed catalogs.  I only had 2 pieces in this show but someone bought this one. Also Kenneth Baker reviewed it and said something like “Leslie Straw’s work does the same with a lot less effort”. I remember my cousin thought it was an insult, but I told her I thought it was a good thing.

Paintings from random fb+ photos

This is a series of small paintings (about 3″ x 4″) in gouache,  4 up on  11″ x 17″ pieces of paper. The images are mostly from facebook, twitter, etc. I stole the gouache from chef Phil. I usually use oil or graphite. This is what gives them the demented paint by numbers look, which I think at least works for the chicken.