Art Thoughts

Nicholas Coley Abstract Landscapes

Edge of the Wood by Nicholas Coley

Nicholas Coley Art Exhibit: Many artists fall in love with painting because of the sensual qualities of paint. Thickly brushed on oil paint is satisfying to use precisely because it is luxurious. Thick yet malleable, it can be moved around the surface of a canvas easily. The buttery quality of the paint and the richness […]

Celebrating Sculpture at the Art Festival

Sausalito Art Festival, Celebrating Sculpture

Celebrating Sculpture: I always enjoy going to the Sausalito Art Festival  as an observer rather than an exhibitor and this year I found myself celebrating sculpture instead of painting. There’s something about three dimensional art that just displays better in an outdoor environment. Lifting and Schlepping I’ve tried my hand at outdoor shows and festivals […]

Ed Ruscha: A Western Odyssey

Standard Station by Ed Ruscha

Ed Ruscha: Ed Ruscha developed as an artist in the Pop Art culture of the 1960s along with his better known contemporaries, Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Leaving his home state of Oklahoma at 18, Ruscha drove through the Southwest along Route 66. The sights, signs, and scenes of that first journey have shaped his […]

Red Bathroom Blues at SFMOMA

Red Bathroom Sinks, new SFMOMA

Two Lobbies The red bathroom is what made the strongest impression on me last week when I finally had time to visit the newly reopened San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The expansive new building was designed by the acclaimed firm Snøhetta. The new building joins to the old familiar Mario Botta-designed building which faces […]

Unfinished at the Met Breuer

View from the Met Breuer, Photo by Susan Sternau

I was in New York recently, and had the opportunity to visit the new modern art collection of the Metropolitan Museum which is now housed in the familiar landmark building designed by Marcel Breuer. Once home to the Whitney Museum, the new Met Breuer  at 75th Street and Madison Avenue is a great addition to […]

Marin Open Studios: The ICB Experience

Marin Open Studios ICB

Marin Open Studios is always a fun event. I love the experience of visiting other artist’s studios and getting a glimpse into their creative process. I enjoy looking at their art and I always marvel at the tremendous variety of creative expression. I also really like talking to artists about their methods of working. I […]

Textures and Patterns Lesson

Textures and Patterns, Demo 1

Introduction to Textures and Patterns: Textures and patterns are eye-catching and add interest to paintings and drawings. This exercise is a great way to build skills and strengthen your powers of observation of textures and patterns. It will get you to start looking at the world of everyday things around you in a different way. […]

Bonnard and Animals

Bonnard, Demanding Cat

Bonnard: Painting Arcadia, a special exhibit at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor Museum is a trove of wonderful paintings. While I have seen some of this art exhibited or reproduced before, many images were new to me. Or perhaps I was just seeing them through fresh eyes. What I noticed most were the way so […]

Color Wheel Circles Painting Project

Color Wheel Circles Demo 2

My Color Wheel Circles painting project is a great introduction to the color wheel and color mixing. I’ve been using this project with students for over eight years. This painting project doesn’t require drawing skill because the design is made with circle templates and ruled lines. This frees students to focus on color. This project […]

Stain Painting Surprise

Stain Painting Demo 1

Stain Painting Project This stain painting art project encourages freedom and experimentation with color and brush-work for all ages. Results can be surprising and unexpectedly pleasing. The Acrylic Flow Release mixture can be irritating to skin and eyes, though, so caution should be used. I wear gloves when brushing the mixture on the canvas and […]