25 November 2014

Steal softly thru snow

In case you need a little help envisioning the season of promises, I drop by with a bouquet of mini flowers.

photo by Achim

photo by Achim

photo by Marco Moretti

photo by Nik Janssen

Captain Beefheart & His Magic Band - Steal Softly Thru Snow from the LP Trout Mask Replica (1969)

19 November 2014


Born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1965, the sculptor Tim Cherry grew up in Nelson, a town located among the rugged Canadian Rockies in southeastern British Columbia.

This is where he developed a love of wildlife and the outdoors. Escaping into the wilds was then (and still is) a spiritual experience.

Eight Tim Cherry's expressive agile animal bronze sculptures. Go here for a lot more.

Tim Cherry states, “My sculptural approach involves the use of simplified shapes and lines to produce curvilinear forms. I enjoy orchestrating these elements into sculpture that is rhythmical, flowing and inviting to the touch. Capturing the grace and elegance of my subjects is a primary goal.”

08 November 2014

Alley shadows

Alley Shadows

"I'm motivated by the beauty surrounding us in simple, everyday objects and scenes. I paint exclusively in oils and enjoy the challenge of working alla prima, both in the studio and outdoors, usually finishing a piece in a single session."

Michael Chamberlain

Alla prima (Italian, meaning at first attempt) or wet-on-wet is a painting technique used mostly in oil painting, in which layers of wet paint are applied to previous layers of wet paint.

Cafe at Dusk

Enjoy the selection I've made among the huge production of the generously prolific Mr. Chamberlain: 30 beautiful San Francisco square cityscape paintings.

 Cafe on Polk

 California Street

 Corner Store

 Crossing Grant

 Electric Bus

 Ferry Building

 Golden Hour

 Harrison at Embarcadero

 Hyde and Lombard

 Jackson Street

 Jones at Glover

 Larkin and Broadway

 Last Light, Side Street

 Looking North on Polk

 Mission Alley

 Narrow Street, Telegraph Hill

 North Tower

 Powell Street

 Red Truck Turning Left

 Sandwich Shop

 Sunset Power Lines


 Tall Buildings on Leavenworth

 Tree Lined Street

 View from an Alley

 View of Alcatraz from Hyde

 Washington and Mason

West on Broadway

06 November 2014

Striving for perfection


A wonderful (and unexpected – of course) surprise yesterday afternoon: the bird painter Rex Brasher.

Bald eagle

Known as "Connecticut's 20th-century Audubon", Rex Brasher (1869-1960) was born in Brooklyn, USA. As a youngster he became fascinated with birds. In 1878, at the age of 8, Brasher determined to paint all the birds of North America from life–and better [ahem] than John James Audubon (1785-1851).

Belted kingfisher

Rex Brasher started painting birds seriously around age 16 and produced 875 watercolors depicting 1,200 species and sub-species of North American birds. 

He strove for perfection, attempting to make his paintings as lifelike as possible by portraying birds in their natural habitats, illustrating gender differences and recording their everyday activities. 

Cinnamon teal

Visiting every state, Rex Brasher captured birds that are now extinct, including the Heath hen, Passenger pigeon and Eskimo curlew. 

Eagle and ducks

He often financed these trips by working at odd jobs, including stints on fishing boats (this allowed him to work while also studying seabirds). He also funded his work through more unusual means, such as betting on the horses. 

Great blue heron

Often unsatisfied with his results, he twice destroyed all his paintings, an estimated 700 canvases.
Mangrove cuckoo

In 1911, after having received a $700 commission for illustrating a book, Rex Brasher purchased a farm in Connecticut, calling it Chickadee Valley. 

By 1924 he had completed his series of paintings and attempted to have his work published. But the cost of printing all the plates in color was prohibitive. 

Roseate tern

Rex Brasher came up with a less costly solution: he hired a gravure company to produce black-and-white reproductions. And then he hand-colored the prints himself, using an airbrush and stencil technique that he’d developed. 

Snowy egret

This labor intensive process took four years to complete. The final book, Birds & Trees of North America, was produced in a limited edition of 100 sets of 12 volumes and included almost 90,000 hand-colored reproductions.

Swallow-tailed kite

I had a hard time finding large images without watermarks…