Saturday, February 28, 2009


Have not been spending much time sketching, mostly simple contour line drawings then I saw Picasso's Girl Before a Mirror, 1932, and I had to paint it. The act of trying to paint this makes me look at shapes, line, color and appreciate even more what he has done. The model was Picasso's favorite mistress, at the time.

I used and penciled in the watermark by mistake on her breast. Most of Picasso's cubist paintings I am not as fond of, faces usually look painfully reconstructed. I liked the way he did her face, body shapes, the striped fabrics, her arm and the reflection.

Now, the challenge is to do a painting using what I learned from Picasso and Leger. I need more practice and the right image.

I wrote the previous ode to a sock a few years ago when I looked at a stack of unmatched socks, certain that if I threw them out, one of them would reappear.

Ode to a Sock

"The Return of the Other Sock"
It was a day like any other summer day. Warm, dry, lots of sun.

An hour before sunset, he suddenly appeared, from out of nowhere. The white silky sock fell out of a folded pair of shorts.

He had been missing for four months. Only worn once than vanished. She asked but he wasn't talking. They were a pair once again."

For all the unmatched socks that hung around my sock drawer until they got used as cleaning rags then tossed.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Art Miles

One of the canvases I prepared for Art Miles at the aquarium. I cut out fish shapes, taped them down, painted ocean swirls over them and the children painted them with lots of color and pattern. I had the sperm whale at the top doing a vaudeville routine, enters on the left, exits on the right at the same time. I look forward to seeing photos of the finished canvas.

My favorite place to view Long Beach is from the Queen Mary. It rained on and off this day so it was not the usual bright sunshine. The city skyline has changed into a metropolis with skyscraper hotels and condos eating up the ocean views we used to have along Ocean Blvd.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


The Aquarium of the Pacific hosted the global Art Miles project.
I helped mentor the painting stations under the whale. The other painting stations were reserved for school and home schooled children, who came with sketches and ideas. I handled walk up children and adults. On the morning canvas I had outlined a herd of sperm whales across the top like a banner with the rest a blank canvas. Kids had fun painting fish and I was there to sketch something if they wanted. In the afternoon, I had pre-sketched images from the Yellow Submarine with a sketch of city pollution draining into the ocean killing animals. More adult participation with and without children. No one was bold enough to paint the Beatles so I will finish painting it and add blue to the ocean areas.

Art Miles will take the 12 miles of painted canvas and copy them to construct a pyramid in Egypt for March 2010 to celebrate the end of this 12 year project. A lot of stories, of people, countries, war, challenges. Something magical happens when children apply paint. The moment belongs to them. Even with the adults. Fun happens.

It was a pleasure being a part of the event. I hope you will click on the link to art miles. There is an upcoming MOCHA event Feb 28 in Oakland, CA.

Coincidence TED was holding its annual conference at the nearby convention center. Sylvia Earle won, amazingly talented oceanographer and passionate environmentalist. Her company manufactures mini submarines so the Yellow Submarine image is a tickle for her to collect. At the aquarium, she gave the speech she gave at TED. When asked what seafood we could ethically eat she named catfish and local Tilapia.
is the site for the Census of Marine Life, an ambitious 10 year data collection project to end 2010 when the second decade begins. 71% of the surface is ocean which produces oxygen in addition to resources which are being depleted at a rate which is become non-renewable. Large fish like tuna, sea bass, are fished before they reproduce.

Graphic art is a prime communication tool to educate the world. I think the Beatles Yellow Submarine with its message of LOVE LOVE LOVE is as valid now as it was in 1968. With love, people will care. They did talk about love when they painted the Yellow Sub canvas.