Author: CredibleArt

Baseball painting of Derek Jeter holding his baseball bat in the bstters circle

Derek Jeter New York Yankees

Derek Jeter Says It All

What is so good about Derek Jeter quotes is that they apply to life in general.  I see some great comparisons to being an artist.  For example Jeter said, ” Sometimes people complicate thingsBaseball great shortstop Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees squatting  in the  on deck circle holding a bst and looking down. by thinking too much about what someone might think of what they said or did.”  Now, that quote really applies to art.

Painting With a Cat

Let’s say an artist dumps a cat into a can of paint then slouches the cat around on a piece of canvas. There is cat fur in the paint and maybe some scratch marks where that cat clawed to get free.  Some blood from the artist may have gotten mixed into the paint – but all of the fur and cat scratches end up on the canvas.  So, a critic comes along and tries to give some meaning to why the artist used a cat to paint a painting.   He’ll say something like, “The claw marks are an allegory of the artist’s struggle with his existence – and the blood represents the depth to which he will go to achieve his goals – and the cat’s independence is a metaphor for the artist trying to create a painting without the influence of others.”  Where in actuality the artist used the cat because all of his brushes were bad and he liked the way the cat fur held paint.   Or to paraphrase William Faulkner,  “Sometimes you just need a cat.”

More Derek Jeter Wisdom

Another thing Jeter said.  “You can’t be sensitive, because you’re going to get criticized. I don’t care who you are, you’re going to get criticized.”  How true in painting.  Everyone is a critic.  Everyone has an opinion.  I have painted a lot of portraits.  And no matter what, someone is going to say, “You know, that nose is crooked as a frog’s leg. ” … Or, “Her eyes look like that of an owl.”    I know when I create a figurative painting a lot of women say, on completion, “Could you make my breasts a little bit larger?”

A Little Bit About Derek Jeter

“Derek Jeter was born on June 26, 1974, in Pequannock, New Jersey. He was drafted by the Yankees in 1992. During 1996, his first full season in the majors, his performance helped the Yankees win the World Series against the Braves. Since then, he’s seen four more Yankees World Series wins in 1998, 1999, 2000 and 2009. Jeter is the all-time Yankees hit leader and was named team captain in 2003. When he officially retired in 2014, he ranked sixth in MLB history with 3,465 hits.”  Thank you for the information from http://www.biography.com/people/derek-jeter-189311

The Derek Jeter Baseball Player Painting is 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas by sports artist John Robertson

Journalist Al Martinez and artist John Robertson stands in front of Al's painting at the Huntington Library exhibit

Al Martinez Columnist Portrait Paintings

History of Al Martinez Painting

This painting of Al Martinez, Pulitzer Prize winning Los Angeles Times columnist was originally painted for a book signing promotion at Village Books in Pacific Palisades, Ca.  Later the painting was purchased by the LA Times and used on the cover of “Reflections: Columns from The Los Angeles Times” published in August 2003. The book has 100 of his best columns. Journalist Al Martinez and artist John Robertson stands in front of Al's painting at the Huntington Library exhibit In March of 2012 the Huntington Library  showcased an exhibition “Al Martinez: Bard of L.A.” Focuses on Popular Pulitzer Prize–Winning Journalist that looked back on Al’s six-decade-long
journalistic career.  The painting was used again, commercially for the promotion of the exhibit.  Later the LA Times gave the painting to Al Martinez when he displayed in his home.

First Meeting with Al Martinez

I first met Al Martinez when he came to my studio to pose for some reference photographs for the publicity portrait I was doing for an upcoming book signing at a local bookstore.  At the time my studio, was a 1957 trailer (which I used for fifteen years) that sat on the bluffs overlooking the blue Pacific.  He was fascinated with my living and working conditions and in his journalistic mind quizzed me on my lifestyle. Upon his discovery that I had been an executive with a large corporation for a number of , and left to become an artist, interested him enough to write a column about my transition for the Los Angeles Times.

Our friendship started then and I met with him a number of times and spoke occasionally over the phone.  I had never met anyone who had such a inquisitive mind- particularly because of his age.  He was in his mid to late seventies and still searching out interesting people to write about.   He passed away in January of this year at the age of 85.Portrait painting of Al Martinez Los Angele Times journalist and columnist  painted by artist John Robertson

Al Martinez wrote in 2009 in his final column for the Los Angeles Times. “They all mattered to me, the clowns and the victims, those who gave and those who took….”

Over three decades, Martinez chronicled life in Southern California as a columnist who had “an extraordinary ability to take something very personal and spin it out beautifully to make you laugh or weep,” said Sue Hodson, curator of the 2012 Huntington Library exhibit “Al Martinez: Bard of L.A.”

The original painting of Al Martinez by artist John Robertson is 4 1/2 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

John Robertson painting large scale painting on canvas at Santa Paula Art Museum

John Robertson Painting Demonstration

Cassandra Tondro posted on her blog a nice piece about my painting ( John Robertson ) demonstration at the Santa Paula Art Museum.  Here is a link to Cassandra’s website “about” page.  I have known Cassandra For a number of years when I lived in the Los Angeles area.  We attended the same art salon in Santa Monica that met once s month.  Her work is beautiful, using bright colors and in unusual ways.  Go to her website to see them.   The work I like of hers are the Botanical Ecoprints she makes.

Here is a short description from her website explaining what the Botanical Ecoprints are:

“Using fallen leaves collected on neighborhood walks, I create one-of-a-kind ecoprints made by steaming leaves against paper. No inks, dyes or paints are used — just the colors from the plants themselves.

On the way to the trash, the plant material takes a detour through my studio to leave its imprint as art before being tossed onto the compost heap.

The ecoprints have an ethereal feel. They beckon us to slow down, quiet our minds, take a closer look, and appreciate the spirit of the trees. The colors of the prints are a whisper of reality, their patterns a pale and delicate gift at the end of the leaves’ brief lives.”

John Robertson Painting Demonstration

What a treat! I got to see one of my favorite painters, artist John Robertson, do a painting demonstration at the Santa Paula Art Museum today. John starts with a black outline of his portrait, and fills in with his very loose style of painting. He’s also very funny and entertaining to watch. John uses house paints for his work, and he’s the person who first got me interested in house paint for my art many years ago.

Artist John Robertson

Artist John Robertson

Artist John Robertson Ventura, CA

Artist John Robertson

Three of artist  John Robertson’s finished paintings were on display on the museum floor. These are very large paintings — like 8 feet x 4  feet or so.

Artist John Robertson

Artist John Robertson

I’m a big fan of John’s work! He does portraits of sports stars for stadiums as well as portraits of regular folks. Very fun and creative!

Artist John Robertson painting on a large scale figurative painting of the egg man from the farmers market in colorful colors

Artist John Robertson Santa Paula Art Museum Painting Demonstration

 

Painting Demonstration John Robertson Gallery Talk

This is a short video clip of Artist John Robertson from my recent museum talk and painting demonstration at the Santa Paula Art Museum.  In the past I had participated in a couple of group shows at the museum.  Both shows were about art and agriculture.  Santa Paula is one of the most productive agriculture areas in California.

Egg man From Ventura Farmers Market

The figure you see in the video that I am painting is the egg man from the Saturday, Ventura Farmer’s Market.  Painting the egg man was in keeping to the previous paintings I have shown at the museum.  We have been buying eggs from the egg man for a number of years and seemed like an appropriate subject matter..  His eggs are pure bred – free range and delicious.

I have been working on a series of large-scale (8 foot) figurative, agriculture paintings based on a series of photos taken over the last four years at the Ventura County Fair.  They have a big livestock section where the 4H and other youth agriculture groups show the animals they have raised over the previous year.  Other subjects have been from the different horse shows and events at the fair.

About the Santa Paula Art Museum

“The Santa Paula Art Museum, Jeanette Cole Art Center was established as a not-for-profit organization with a mission to preserve and share Santa Paula’s artistic heritage including the famous Santa Paula Art Collection;  and to educate and engage the community through collection, exhibition, interpretation, programming and outreach.  “The information is from their website”

“The Santa Paula Art Museum is, in part, the repository and exhibition hall for the famous Santa Paula Art Collection. The valuable assemblage represents the accumulation of award winning entries in the Santa Paula Art Show which began in 1937.”…” The works that comprise the Collection reflect both Southern California’s art history and this community’s unique local history.”

 

Painting of man holding his hand in front of his face and text reading Does Art Open Minds

Does Art Open Minds? Artist John Robertson

Does Art Open Minds?

Painting of man holding his hand in front of his face and text reading Does Art Open Minds
Painting, “Does Art Open Minds” by Artist John Robertson is 4 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

Now – that is a good question.  Does art open minds?.  Does it?  And my answer is found in a great book by Susan Sontag “Regarding the Pain of Others.” if you are interested in social/political art “Regarding the Pain of Others.” really helps you understand the usage and meaning of images –in the case of this book – primarily photography.

In the book, Susan Sontag uses the idea of photographs representing war and violence, showing the sufferings of others.  And the question arises , “.  Does the viewer become acclimated  to the images and thereby feels no need for action or do they take up action.  Do we just become sympathetic to what is being depicted?  Do we  think that because we have an emotional response we somehow relieve ourselves  of a need to take action?  Because I view the image and feel your pain I am somehow relieved of any further responsibility to take steps to resolve the conflict that may be depicted?   And if I see enough images of paint and suffering do I become inoculated to the suffering – and thereby take no action whatsoever?

Opportunities to Change

As Sontag has said, “One of the distinguishing features of modern life is that it supplies countless opportunities for regarding (at a distance, through the medium of photography) horrors taking place throughout the world. Images of atrocities have become, via the little screens of the television and the computer, something of a commonplace. But are viewers inured — or incited — to violence by the depiction of cruelty? Is the viewer’s perception of reality eroded by the daily barrage of such images? What does it mean to care about the sufferings of people in faraway zones of conflict?”

That is the question.  What do we do when we see the images of suffering of others?   And does the artist face the same dilemma?  When I create a political piece of art what does that mean to me?  By creating the piece does that relieve me of the responsibility to do something more?   Is that my way out of taking a active role in making change?  I have been told by other artists that by creating a piece of art is taking action.  I don’t think so.  I don’t feel so.  It’s is just the easy way out of facing the issue.  “Look, this is what I created.  See?  I feel something?  I’ve done my part.”  No, I have not.

Not Transformed

“That we are not totally transformed, that we can turn away, turn the page, switch the channel, does not impugn the ethical value of an assault by images. It is not a defect that we are not seared, that we do not suffer enough, when we see these images. Neither is the photograph supposed to repair our ignorance about the history and causes of the suffering it picks out and frames. Such images cannot be more than an invitation to pay attention, to reflect, to learn, to examine the rationalizations for mass suffering offered by established powers. Who caused what the picture shows? Who is responsible? Is it excusable? Was it inevitable? Is there some state of affairs which we have accepted up to now that ought to be challenged? All this, with the understanding that moral indignation, like compassion, cannot dictate a course of action.” ― Susan Sontag, Regarding the Pain of Others

John Robertson Large scale painting of a tattooist painted on canvas used in a painting demonstration

Gallery Talk Santa Paula Art Museum

Gallery Talk Painting Demonstration John Robertson

The Santa Paula Art Museum has invited John Robertson to speak and and give a painting demonstration and gallery talk about  large-scale figurative painting. 3:00 PM, Thursday, March 10. Please join me at:

John Robertson Large scale painting of a tattooist painted on canvas used in a painting demonstration
Figurative Painting of Luis by Artist John Robertson is 40″ x 84″ ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas

Santa Paula Art Museum,117 North 10th Street, Santa Paula, Ca.

$4 Adults, $3 Seniors, Students and museum members free

The painting you see in the photograph is of Luis, a tattoo artist who works in a tattoo shop in the same complex where my studio is located. As you can see, he is covered in tattoos including his face. He has plenty of piercings also. Luis has been tattooing for about twenty years and is quite an accomplished artist. He paints in oils and not surprisingly his subject matter tends towards the dark side. This painting is 40″ by 84″ ink and acrylic on unstretched canvas.

The Santa Paula Art Museum has gallery talks every second Thursday of the month at 3:00 pm for talk and tour through the Museum’s galleries led by guest curators, artists, and experts.

portraits paintings musicians Sol Soloman

Portraits Paintings Musicians Sol Soloman

Portraits Paintings Musicians – Sol Solman

I had met the musician Sol Soloman over ten years ago.  I was invited to a recording up in a studio session on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood for the absolutely great song writer P.F Slown. P.F. Sloan had written some of the greatest hits of the sixties, “Eve of Destruction” “Secret Agent Man”, etc. and was recording some new music.

portrait of musician Sol Soloman
Sol Solomon musician
4 1/2 feet by 6 feet
acrylic on unstretched canvas

P.F died a few months ago. Sol was there for back-up with a number of other great musicians.  The great bass player Phil Chen bassist for Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart and countless others was there. I have painted him also and will post his portrait at some future date.  There was another great musician there, Bernard Fowler who was a back up singer and toured and recorded with the “The Stones”  (who I also painted and will post sometime)

Breakthrough Painting

Sol had this great look that I had to paint.  At the time I had been painting portraits for about six months and had not been able to do a very good job of painting them.  And when I first tried to paint Sol Soloman I also struggled.  The first couple of portraits musicians painting of Sol was not very good  and I usually just “forget about it” and go on and paint someone else.  But in this case, I really wanted to get a good painting.  And with a great bit of effort over a number of days I finally was able to create the painting of Sol Soloman.  A few years later, after meeting him, he tragically passed away.

I have probably painted three-hundred-and-fifty portraits paintings musicians and this is my favorite.  I probably have created over two thousand pieces of art and this is in the top five paintings I have created.  Although, a number of times people have come along and wanted to buy it, it is not for sale.  Meeting Sol Soloman was very meaningful and the painting itself has great meaning.  It was my breakthrough portrait painting which allowed me to grow as a portrait artist.

Portraits paintings by artist John Robertson

Portrait Musician Slowrider Painting

Portrait Musician 

Portrait musician David Gomez keyboardist from the group Slowrider. Around 2001/ 2006 / I was painting portraits of musicians playing at The Temple Bar in Santa Monica, ca.

Portraits paintings by artist John Robertson
Musician Gomez from group Slow Rider

I went to the club a couple of times a week and hung around to find interesting faces to paint. Obviously David Gomez has and interesting look. Over a period of time I probably painted 250 musicians. The paintings were all about the same size 50” x 70” acrylic on unstretched canvas. At any given time there was about 15 portraits hanging inside the club and in the front windows 4 hung facing Wilshire Blvd. at 11th St.

About Slowrider

At the time I painted this portrait the group Slowrider was part of the new wave of Chicano bands coming out of Los Angeles. They were blending sounds Brazilian and Caribbean rhythms, Spanish, Spanglish, hip hop, bilingualism, etc. and Mexican music. There was also some political overtones.  Here is a link to more current East Los Angeles latino bands on the music scene. Although I had followed a lot of bands when painting some of the local Los Angeles musicians I did not stay In touch. There were and still are hundreds of musicians playing nightly that a are as good as any you are going to see anywhere – it is always shocking to me how they struggled just to be heard.

I read a quote from David Gomez Like a D.J., we create a collage of music and take a little from different (parts),” said David Gomez, the band’s keyboardist, in an interview with Boca magazine. “That is how we put our songs together. It isn’t about being influenced by one genre of music or a specific time of music; it’s the past coming together with the present.

Julio César Chávez boxer waiting on his stool in the ring

Julio César Chávez boxer in decorated home

Julio César Chávez boxer painting  in home

Here is what my painting of the great boxer Julio César Chávez looks like on he walls of a client’s home. What is interesting to me is how well the painting goes in this casual yet professionally decorated room.julio Cesar Chavez on a boxing stool ready to fight I like the way they have brought in the orange color of the painting into the color of the chairs and footstools – and how the orange works with the blue color of their ocean view. What is also interesting to me about the room is that it is relatively small yet they are able to use this large painting effectively without overwhelming the space. The Julio César Chávez painting is five feet by six feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.

As an old boxing fan I feel a need to tell you a little bit about Julio. He is considered the greatest Mexican fighter and one of the greatest fighters of all time. He fought and was most successful during the eighties and nineties.

Julio Ceaser Chávez won six world boxing championships over a twenty five year

Julio César Chávez boxer waiting on his stool in the ring
Boxer Julio César Chávez painting is 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

career in boxing. His championships were in the super featherweight, lightweight and light welterweight divisions and defended his titles twenty seven times.

He had thirteen years where he did not lose a fight with is the longest winning streak in boxing. He went eighty seven and zero. He had great punching power and loved to stalk his opponents and attack the body. He also had a strong chin. All of this success led to Chavez being inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

black and white paintings forest stream

Black and White Paintings Give Life

Back to Basics: Black and White Paintings

One doesn’t think of landscapes being painted in black and white.  But what I like about painting in black and white is that it is about seeing the true shape of objects.  It seems to reveal more about the landscape than one painted in color.  The observation of things in the

 black and white paintings forest stream
“Forest Stream”
40” x 40”
ink, acrylic, charcoal
on unstretched canvas

photographic terms of the negative and the positive adds up to something different than what we normally see.  The scene becomes more apparent when you see only dark and light.   And it is easier, as a painter, to create balance in the composition of the painting.

Why Black Paint?

With that in mind my recent creative challenge is to use only black paint on a white background.  I have done so because black contains all colors. It is the most elegant and gives a sense of completeness. But it also can be the most intense. Depending on the placement, when black is incorporated into a white field of color it can bring into the space excitement or quietness. It can become aristocratic or base. Black paint is alive and gives life to the surrounding shapes and colors.

And nature seems to be a good place to use only black and white paint.  Landscape painting is what I started painting first.  My goal was to document the scene what I was seeing.  I wanted to capture what it looked like, as best I could.  But after doing a number of landscape paintings I felt a need to connect with the environment more.  So the paintings changed as I responded with nature.  The work  became more of a relationship with the scene.  With that the images became more raw and uninhibited – and for me, gave the experience a second life through painting that experience.  The black and white paintings seems to bring the painting back to the basic and these negative and positive, add up to something bigger.

Venice Pier used primarily for fishing

Venice Pier – Black and White Painting

Venice Pier for Fishing

My Sweetheart ( now, my wife) had a small cottage in Venice, Ca. and  in the early mornings, before sunrise we would walk to the Venice Fishing Pier.   So the painting is how I generally saw it – in black against the white, early, just before the sunrise.  There is something about the Venice pier that makes one want to walk to the end of it.

Venice Fishing Pier
Black and white painting of the Venice Fishing Pier in Venice California painte by artist John Robertson 60″ x 72″ Ink and Acrylic On unstretched canvas

Herman Melville wrote about being drawn to the water’s edge in the opening chapter of Moby Dick

“But look! here come more crowds, pacing straight for the water, and seemingly bound for a dive. Strange! Nothing will content them but the extremest limit of the land; loitering under the shady lee of yonder warehouses will not suffice. No. They must get just as nigh the water as they possibly can without falling And there they stand- miles of them- leagues. Inlanders all, they come from lanes and alleys, streets avenues- north, east, south, and west. Yet here they all unite….”

So the ocean, and piers always draw me to them.  I want to walk to the end of them – to the extreme end of land and pier.  I stare out to see as far as I can see – to the horizon.  And my imagination carries me past the line dividing ocean and sky.

Ventura Fishing Pier

My studio is now only a few blocks from the Ventura Pier.  If I stand on a crate I can see the ocean across the railroad tracks and through the trees.   My wife’s studio is a few doors down from mine.   Although we do not go down there in the early mornings as we used to do in Venice, sometimes we do take the short walk to the pier and have lunch at the fish taco stand.  Then, without hesitation we wander to the end of the pier and stare out to the horizon and the wonder of our good life.

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address16th President of the United Stated

Abraham Lincoln Portrait Gettysburg Address

    Portrait of Abraham Lincoln

I originally painted this wall-sized, black and white portrait of Abraham Lincoln because it seems the Gettysburg Address is just as important today as it was when Lincoln gave the speech – and  just wanted to paint it  for the fun of it. I like the whole idea of using an iconic

Abraham Lincoln Gettysburg Address16th President of the United Stated
Portrait of President Abraham Lincoln painted in black and white 5 feet by 6 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas

image for a painting. Most artists paint contemporary figures but, in this case, I wanted to paint the image of our 16th President which carries echoes of our historical past.   One of my favorite quotes of Abe Lincoln is timely.  ” America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”

And this seems a good as place as any for one to read the Gettysburg Address – probably one of the greatest speeches of all time.   What is surprising to lot of people is how short it is. 271 words long. Only a couple of minutes reading time – but a good read.  Worth the time.

The Gettysburg Address:

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

 Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

 But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

For those, like myself, life things explained to them, here is a good and simple analysis of the Gettysburg Address.

football painting of green bay packers player in snowstorm

Green Bay Packers Football Painting

football painting of green bay packers player in snowstorm
Green Bay, Acme Packers football player standing with his arms crossed in a snowstorm.

ART OF THE NFL Green Bay Packers

This is another one of my paintings of a Green Bay Packers player in a uniform of the Acme Packers.  The Acme Packers were the name of Green Bay used before they were the Packers.  The painting was in the Celebration of Super Bowl 50, a group Super Bowl Art Show (with five large-scale football paintings)

Early on in their history (in 1919) , the founders of the Green Bay Packers got money for their uniforms from the Indian Packing Company, a business specializing in canned meat. Even after the company was bought by another meat processor the Acme Packing Company they kept the Packers name and called the team the Acme Packers.  Though the original sponsor of the team was the Indian Packing Company, it was under Acme that the team joined the American Professional Football Association (soon to be the NFL) in 1921

The Acme Packers, Green Bay Packers, painting is 4 feet b y 7 1/2 feet, acrylic on unstretched canvas.  (No stretcher bars or frames.

The Super Bowl 50 was held in the San Francisco 49er’s Levi Stadium this year which is right down the road from the gallery.  The name of the gallery is JCO’S Place – Fine Art  Los Gatos.  You can see a great deal of my sports paintings by visiting my sports painting blog at: http://www.JohnRobertsonSportsPaintings.com

Famous landmark Randy's Donuts painted by artist John Robertson

Randy’s Donuts and the meaning of art

Why Randy’s Donuts?

Someone recently asked why I had painted Randy’s Donuts when there so many more attractive objects to paint. I try and paint only objects or scenes that have a personal connection to me. When an artist has a concern or personal interest in a subject then what shows up in the painting is the heart and soul of that connection.

Famous landmark Randy's Donuts painted by artist John Robertson
Black and white painting of Los Angeles’ favorite donout shop Randy’s Donuts – 48″ x 60″ ink, charcoal, acrylic on unstretched canvas

That is what I am really trying to paint – not the subject but the abstract connection between the subject and me. So, the case for Randy’s Donuts – . In my early twenties, and in college, I supported my family by driving a truck. For about four years I drove by (and sometimes stopped) at Randy’s. It was a landmark or milestone for my commute to the warehouse. When I passed by it on the way to work it was the starting point of the day. And on my drive home, in the evening, the large donut reminded me of my children whom I would shortly see.

Drawn to Ornaments

What does this have to do with owning and hanging a painting of Randy’s Donuts ? A site, or home or building that has a true relationship with the context (the owner, the environment, etc) may have little effect on first viewing but the more we are engaged with a good design, in its context, the more it attracts us. A site, an interior, etc. at first glance, may impress us by drawing us to its ornaments, the objects on the tabletops or mounted on the walls, etc that does not have a true relationship with the creator. That tends to be something mass produced.  And so, over a period of time ornaments will leave us cold when we realize and see the affected nature of its features. The beautiful interior or objects become just that – beautiful – and looks as cold as stone.  But a piece of art engages us through it’s quality and meaning to the viewer.  So – collect objects that you connect with personally , either through a personal relationship or context of the piece, and, in the long run you will find greater satisfaction in your collection.

Black andf White painting of the Los Angeles1st Street Bridge in Los Angeles California

Black and White Painting Los Angeles River Bridge Viaduct

Bridges capture my imagination.

Los Angeles River Bridge Viaduct not only join two sections but cross over a third. It is the beginning of one side and the end at the other – a symbol of the meeting and the crossing.

1st Street Bridge in Los Angeles California
Black and White painting of the Los Angeles River First Street Bridge Viaduct  24″ x 36″ acrylic and ink on canvas.

Much like a painting that bridges the gap between the decorative and the inspirational. It contributes to the nature of the space by intervening between the object and the viewer. Like the bridge the art cannot stand apart from the viewer but needs to reinforce the relationship between the two.

First Street Viaduct (Black and White Painting)

What made me think about the First Street Viaduct was that the 6th Street Bridge is being torn down and a new one constructed in it’s place. (What is a viaduct, you ask: A viaduct is made up of multiple bridges connected into one longer structure) The 3,500-foot, curving concrete 6th Street Bridge connects the Los Angeles downtown Arts District to Boyle Heights ( The “Arts District” is being gentrified and will be gone soon. Artist’s Lofts are being sold for over a million dollars so any artist worth his salt in art will not be able to afford to live in “The Arts District”). The two bridges have been in many film, television and commercials. It appeared in “Grease,” “Terminator 2,” Kanye West music videos and television epepisodes”Paladin” ” Gunsmoke,” “Little House on the Prairie,” Vikings,” “Lost” and “The Amazing Race.”

The historic 1st Street viaduct (bridge) was originally constructed in 1889 (wood and nails) and then torn down and rebuilt in 1929 at a cost of $975,000. In 2014 it cost $975,000 just to paint the stripes on the road. Again it was torn down in 2008 and reconstructed, after 3-year closure, in December 2011. Like the 6th Street Bridge it was a restoration of a cultural link between the city’s core and neighborhoods to the east. The bridge also was part of the extension of the MetroLink Gold Line’s Eastside tracks.

Here are some basic facts of Los Angeles’ First Street Bridge

Built 1929. Concrete arch bridge over Los Angeles River on First Street in Los Angeles
Design: Open-spand concrete arch
Dimensions: Length of largest span: 148.0 ft.
Total length: 1,327.2 ft.
Average daily traffic about 24,000 cars daily
Inspection (as of 09/2012): Deck condition rating: Satisfactory (6 out of 9)
Superstructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Substructure condition rating: Fair (5 out of 9)
Sufficiency rating: 72.1 (out of 100)
Hmmmm. I guess it is relatively safe to travel

Grain Elevator Bigalow Minnesota

Blackand White Paintings Grain Elevator Bigalow Minnesota

 

Grain Elevator Painting

The black and white painting is of the grain elevator in the town of Bigelow, Minnesota population 231. Recently I visited Bigelow where my sweetheart’s brother-in-law has a farm. (My sweetheart is actually, my wife)

Grain Elevator Bigalow Minnesota
Painting in black and white of grain elevator in Bigalow Minnesota. 24″ x 36″ charcoal, ink, black acrylic on canvas.

They live in a small community about ten miles away from the farm and he commutes out to the farm from town.  During the summer months he rides a motorcycle out to the farm.  That’s not exactly what  you would expect a farmer to be driving, but those country roads are great to ride on a motorcycle.

I’ve been to the mid-west a number of times and fascinated with the prairie elevators.  I’ve noticed just in the fifteen years that i have been traveling to Minnesota and Wisconsin that these grain elevators are disappearing.    This grain elevator is about a hundred-and-twenty-feet tall and in this part of the country usually stores feed corn or soy beans.  It sits next to the railroad tracks and at certain times of years the farmer’s trucks are busy hauling their crops to the elevators.  I’ve been on the farm during harvest time and it is interesting to see his big combine harvesting the field.  It is hooked up to a gps so it can actually harvest the field on it’s own.  The combine is guided up and down the rows harvesting the soybeans or corn.  He plows the fields in the same manner letting his big tractor guide itself by the gps.

 

Los Angeles Lakers basketball player paited on newsprint

Los Angeles Lakers Basketball Painting

 

Basketball art LA Lakers player paintiing

My Los Angeles Lakers

I am one of those typical Los Angeles Lakers fans who like the Lakers when they are winning and do not pay much attention top them when they are losing.  I try and only root for teams that are winning.  I’m a fair weather friend.  You’re not feeling well?  Sorry to hear that.  Please pass the salt.

As far as the LA Lakers are concerned, at least they have somewhere to go and that is up.  Maybe.  Here is the “no brainer” comment.  “They have to re-build.”  What does that mean?  I don’t know what that means.  I don’t know much about basketball.  I can’t even build my own life properly much less tell someone how to rebuild their lousy basketball team.  But I know there are plenty of people out there quite willing to tell anyone how to do anything.

I know. How about picking in the draft or getting a couple top-level free agents to “elevate” the team.  I think they know that too.  All I know is how to “elevate” on the escalator to the third floor level of the Century Mall to find Fatburgers  for a Kobe Bryant XXL Cheeseburger with fries. I find I need to put on more weight with the remote possibility that I can float better in the “Y” pool.

But what I do know is this:  Please, Los Angeles Lakers, no more wins this season.  Don’t do anything that may jeopardize your critical draft position.  We want to win – so you need to lose.

The painting is 20″ x 24″ ink and acrylic on sporting news newspaper mounted on stretched canvas then finished with a protective coat

Tom Brady New England Patriots Quarterback

Tom Brady Football New England Patriots

Art of the NFL Tom Brady: In Celebration of Super Bowl 50.

The Tom Brady painting is one of the paintings being displayed in the gallery  in Los Gatos ( near 49ers Levi’s Stadium where several of my pieces are permanently installed ).  The show is up from Jan 12 – Feb 7Tom Brady New England Patriots Quarterback

OPENING RECEPTION: Thursday, January 14th | 7:00 – 9:00 PM

 Special Guests

Dwight Clark (#87, Former 49er) was the receiver in the famous “Catch” which  refers to the winning touchdown reception by Dwight Clark off a Joe Montana pass in the January 10, 1982, NFC Championship Game between the Dallas Cowboys and San Francisco 49ers. The Catch is widely regarded as one of the most memorable events in NFL history. The game represented the end of the Cowboys’ domination in the NFC since the conference’s inception in 1970, and the beginning of the 49ers’ rise as an NFL dynasty in the 1980s. (source: Wikipedia)  Also on hand will be Kyle Nelson (#86, Current 49er, Tight End & Long Snapper)

JCO’S Place – Fine Art  – 45 North Santa Cruz Ave. Los Gatos, CA 95030