Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My New Studio

A few years ago, I moved my studio out to the garage and created a sort of Man Cave. I posted some photos a few months ago. Last night I decided to move back inside the house, for a number of reasons: I miss my boys and all the action and noise they provide; I wanted to be a part of things and still be able to paint; and it was cold out there.

Here is the new set up. It is very sparse and organized. All of my art supplies are in my red taboret; notebooks and reference books, reference photos are on the shelves, and in-progress paintings are against the wall. I will use my garage to make a nice framing department, and of course a hang out space for smoking cigars and talking with my boys.

Sketchbooks and Journals

I have a large collection of sketchbooks and journals beginning in 1979. Back then I used an A4 Architect's and Designer's Diary. Now I use a Lett's weekly planner for my scheduling and journal entries, a Aquabee spiral sketchbook for drawing and a pocket Moleskine sketchbook for both. This photo also shows my Canson Montval watercolor sketchbooks and my collection of Canson All-Media sketchbooks.

I recently discovered the very large Moleskine sketchbook, shown at the top. It is 12" x 16.5" and is perfect for capturing large landscapes and nice horizontal vistas. You can see its size as compared to my pocket version. I usually keep this one in my car and just pull it out when there is something big to sketch.

Waiting Sketches

One of the advantages of having a sketchbook with you at all times is those times when you are waiting for someone. Time passes quickly when you are doing something else and it is much more interesting to draw than just sit and wait. These sketches were done fairly quickly, 10 minutes each. I used a Sanford Uniball Micro pen, with some of the lines enhanced with a Sharpie fine point. I painted them later in the quiet of my studio.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

My Daily Journal

I carry a Lett's daily diary in addition to a sketchbook. I use it to plan my year, schedule meetings, and note significant events. I also use it as a sketchbook, design notebook and photo album. My journal and my sketchbook tend to influence each other: I write in my sketchbook and draw in my journal. By the end of the year, the book is thick with photos and watercolor- crinkled pages. And it seems to weigh more than a new, unused book, but that could be my imagination.

By the way, I know its Christmas morning, and yes, I do have a life. I woke up early to do this post, and soon will be cooking breakfast for my three boys (and my middle son's girlfriend), opening presents by the fire and celebrating the day with Suzanne.

Monday, December 13, 2010

I Love Los Angeles

I grew up in Colorado, in Denver for many years and then in a small town in the northwest corner of the state. I loved it of course, but always dreamed of moving to California, which I finally did after I graduated from art school. Here are a few sketches of life in L.A., a night time drive down the Harbor Freeway in the rain, and a view of the subway.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Where I Live

I live in Pasadena, a beautiful city at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains. I have lived here since 1980 (and on a few occasions before that). It is where I started to paint.

This is one of my favorite subjects: the Pasadena City Hall. I have sketched it many times. These are a few choice views, both done with pencil, pen, ink and watercolor.

Where I work

I work in South Pasadena, California, in the top floor of a two story brick building that was built by a ceramicist many years ago. South Pasadena is a great little town, full of restored craftsman houses and historic architecture.

The top sketch is the Rialto Theater. Above is the Fair Oaks Pharmacy, just north of the theater.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Design Sketches

I carry a small Moleskine sketchbook with me to project meetings as well. I am a partner at SKA Design, an environmental graphics firm in South Pasadena. We are currently doing a wayfinding and signage project for Griffith Park and I used my sketchbook to develop some design concepts while we were touring the facility. We are also developing a signage program for the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. We fleshed out some ideas at lunch after the project meeting. We are also proposing a citywide signage program for the Town of Danville, California. Here are some preliminary thoughts.

Everyday Sketchbooks

I use different sketchbooks for different phases of my life. I used to use the Aquabee Super Deluxe 808 all the time, and while I still love them, I like the Moleskine pocket sketchbooks more these days. I like to travel light, and the pocket sketchbook fits in my jacket pocket very easily. The top photo shows a row of completed ones.

Chris and I had to travel to Sacramento last month, and while we were waiting in the terminal to board our plane, I had a chance to sketch it. I painted it later in the studio.

Z and I went to La Costa for a weekend getaway. This quick sketch is the view outside the patio door.