A Physicist and Artist try to make it in Silicon Valley

A Physicist and Artist try to make it in Silicon Valley
In which a couple tries to thrive creatively and intellectually on and offline

Friday, July 30, 2010

New Painting in Progress

This is the beginning of my latest painting, "A Study in Silence". When I begin a painting, I always start with an abstract underpainting that people can generally only see if they are looking very closely.

I use the colors that I think best apply for the subject matter, though I may not use them again in the layers that follow. It's a way for me to quickly get in the mindset of the work, and quickly move past the intimidating blank canvas.

Sketchbook Friday #15

This week's sketchbook Friday is another sketch from my travel book. My husband and I were watching the sunset at our campsite in Zion National Park and I started sketching the cliffs. The light kept changing, so it was definitely tricky, but I really enjoyed rendering the light and shadow on the gorgeous sandstone.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sunny Seattle and a Family Recipe

This last weekend we went to Seattle for my husband's work and to visit my aunts. He had never been to the city before, and it had been 12 years since I was last there. We had a fabulous time eating, drinking, talking, and exploring.

My grandfather and grandmother on my dad's side ran a pizza business out of their basement when they were younger, and the pizzas were in such demand that they could barely make them fast enough. The recipe for their crust, sausage, and sauce are closely kept secrets in the family, but this weekend, my aunt taught me how to make them!

My husband and I have often daydreamed about owning a brewery and pizza parlor when we decide to settle down a little more, and now we are one step closer. My grandfather's pizza is the best thin crust I've ever tasted (and I've tasted A LOT of pies all over the country), but the recipe is closely guarded in our family. It was a fantastic experience to hang with my aunt and make a huge batch of shells in her kitchen.

Book of the Week #13

This week's book is: Outside Over There by Maurice Sendak

Most people think of Where the Wild Things Are and In The Night Kitchen when they think of Sendak, but this book was my absolute favorite of his when I was a child. The illustrations are gorgeous, and the theme of the book appropriately dark.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #14

I always carry a smaller sketchbook with me. Today's sketchbook Friday is from that smaller book. I used this design later for some hand made cards. I just thought that the robot was very cute!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Book of the week #12

This week's book is: The Grapes of Ralph by Ralph Steadman

I love wines, and I love the illustrations of Ralph Steadman. This book is a creative and unpretentious approach to studying the process and history of wine. It is also beautiful and hilarious. This is probably my favorite book out of all the ones we own at home.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #13

This week's sketchbook Friday is a series of sketches that I have created for my newest painting, "A Study in Silence".

Living in a city has made me think a lot about the nature of silence, and for me at least, it isn't the absence of sound, but being able to hear things that you normally would not be able to. My favorite example of this is being able to hear the snow falling. When I lived in Northern Wisconsin, it was a fairly common occurrence, but in Madison and especially here in Silicon Valley, it just doesn't happen.

The snowy owl is actually from a memory in high school. I was visiting a friend in the early Spring, and had parked my car at the bottom of her driveway (she had one of those crazy long driveways you see in the country). I got out of the car, and went to shut my door, but stopped, because not more than 6 feet away was a snowy owl, wide awake and looking straight at me. It was fantastic! I stood there for a long time, then finally shut my door, which caused the owl to take off. It was a beautiful moment.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Painting in Progress Status Update #5

It's finished! After 6 months and approximately 2oo hours of painting, my Painting in Progress is finished!

It is a part of my Myths series and is entitled "Creation of the Earth"

My husband really likes this one, and I hope you do too!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Market SF

Last Saturday I attended a great Art Fair called Market-SF in San Francisco. It was located at the Blue Macaw Bar in the Mission District, and was a great event.

The organizers of Market-SF are excellent people and very interested in promoting local art. We had a lot of traffic in from the street. This is the first art fair I have ever been involved in where all the work was fantastic. Every vendor had excellent work, and excellent prices.

Although the economy is bad right now, it is so important to support local artists. Market-SF is a perfect example of how to do that.

If you an artist in the Bay Area looking to get some exposure in a casual and fun setting, or someone interested in viewing and buying local art, I would highly recommend it! Plus the bar has drinks and food specials going on during the show!

If you want some more information, you can check out their website.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Book of the week #11

This week's book is Divisadero by Michael Ondaatje

Written in 2007 by the author of The English Patient (another one of my favorites) this lovely novel takes place primarily in California. This book is very different from many of Ondaatje's other work, but the characters are lovely and complicated as always and the writing is breath-taking.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #12

This week's sketchbook Friday is a sketch of a Tufted Titmouse I did for my Technical Illustration class in college.

My professor for that class used to sit in on surgeries as they were being performed, drawing and painting what was happening so it could be published in medical journals and textbooks. It was a very interesting course.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Book of the week #10

This week's book is Yosemite: The Embattled Wilderness by Alfred Runte.
In honor of 4th of July week and our recent jaunt cross country, this week's book is about the formation of the National Parks, specifically Yosemite (a uniquely American idea). If you watched the PBS show about National Parks, this book will cover some familiar ground, but do it a lot more in depth. My husband and I love the National Parks, so we thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Speaking of parks, we went to Pinnacles National Monument yesterday, which is a little south of Gilroy, CA. It was a very cool spot. The geology there is beautiful but bizarre. Lots of conglomerates, but in very strange formations. Tons of wildlife too. We are planning on going back in the near future to do some spelunking!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

My husband just opened an Etsy Shop!

I am so proud of my husband! He just opened an Etsy Store for his beautiful photographs.

He has posted two photos for sale this weekend, including this gorgeous mushroom photo on the left, and has already gotten more views than I have on many of my paintings! It is so awesome :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Painting in Progress Status Update #4

It is so wonderful to have time to paint regularly! I am finally starting to get used to being a full time artist, and I have already completed a new painting for my Studies series this week!

This painting is definitely coming along nicely now. I just have to add my birds and fix the hands and it should be finished. I think the vines on the right could use a little more definition, so I'll probably work a bit on those as well.

As you can see, I've messed with the mountains some more. But I think I might finally have them rendered to my satisfaction.

I am going to be very happy once this beast is finished.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sketchbook Friday #11

Today's sketchbook Friday is an illustration of my sister and I when we were in college.

I took her to see the Yeah Yeah Yeahs at the First Ave in Minneapolis for her birthday when "Fever to Tell" first came out. I gave her this picture with a card to let her know.

The concert was incredibly excellent, by the way. It was Karen O's birthday and she was spot on.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My new Business cards

Here is my new business card!
I received my order in the mail last night, and am absolutely thrilled.

I had an online printer create them, and they did a fabulous job. I was a little wary at first, because all the reviews of it I had read were endorsements from people who had gotten free printing orders, but it worked out really well.

So I'm going to shout out to the webernets- use UPrinting for your promotional materials. I have not received anything in return for this endorsement, but I was so happy with the results that I have to recommend them.

Here's why:
  • The process for uploading an original design is easy, and there is a tutorial if you need help
  • They do free proofing before they print
  • It's really inexpensive- I got 500 cards for around $30, including shipping
  • They got the order to me in 5 business days
  • The final results were beautiful...I almost cried a little.
Sorry to gush, but I hope this helps other small business owners like myself, who are wary of paid endorsements.