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Linnaea’s Café will be showing “Blind Contours & Color Blocks”, my first solo art show. The paintings will be on display during Art After Dark, Friday September 6th from 6 to 9 pm. Two series of paintings explore color and abstraction of reality and fleeting moments of life.

Joni Mitchell is always in the background when the paints are out. Joni sings “Just a little green like the color when the spring is born” and I sigh. I’m a Cal Poly Art & Design grad who after 15 years, still lives in lovely San Luis Obispo. I find great fulfillment and joy from painting, and feel privileged to have an education that taught me the fun of artistic experimentation.

Abstraction in art appeals to me greatly, in part because I find it challenging. Josef Albers said, “Abstraction is real, probably more real than nature.” My experience as a graphic designer has trained me to approach design as a problem to solve. In painting, the approach is very different: the artist needs to feel more, think less.

What if I simplified a subject down to rectangles only and let the color become the painting? Pixilated images look interesting this way. I’m often drawn to a painting because of its color palette alone. A square of color and it’s neighboring colors can evoke emotion without meaning. This “Color Block” series show four landscapes, abstracted down to a basic grid to remind you of that fleeting feeling that a place gives you and a photograph cannot capture.

When I took my first drawing class in high school, we would draw our subject without looking down at our progress or lifting the pen from the sketchpad. The result would be a magnificent, distorted figure. I could create an abstract form without thinking about it! Pablo Picasso said, “If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.” This “Blind Contour” drawing method allowed me to really look at the subject and not think.

The “Blind Contour” series shows various figures sketched first without looking at the paper or lifting the pen, and then transferring that image to a canvas with graphite. The finished pieces are painted with acrylic using a palette knife and india ink on canvas. They show my friends, son, and dog in the moment. That moment can be here and gone so fast. The painting, “Sleeping Dog” was drawn as my yellow lab, Soda Pop slept at my feet. He passed away just 4 weeks ago, that moment is gone. The painting “Huckleberry” is of my 4-year old son eating a popsicle in the kitchen. I wonder how many more times we will catch the ice cream truck.

I hope my pictures and their colors pull some memory or feeling from the periphery of your mind.

I currently work from my home studio, pursuing painting, photography and graphic design. If you are interested in a blind contour portrait or graphic design work, please email me.