Sunday, September 13, 2009

Mobile Mansion of prune orchard

In a trailer looking south, I can see the little creek that runs behind the Los Molinos Middle School. Behind that school is I99. There is a constant buzz in the air, from truck engines and crickets and sometimes the distant screeches of the school kids at play. My home, the Mobile Mansion was built in 1954 of aluminum siding and a wood paneled interior. It’s front arcs forward like a thing in motion but it has likely been parked in this old orchard for many years. Across from my door, is the tiny creek, the irrigation kind that flows high and deep or muddy and sluggish depending on the needs of the surrounding farms. Large trees flank the shores of my creek. Their graceful branches dip and crease the surface of the passing water. There are always birds here chirping and squawking, buzzing around --great herons and blue jays, woodpeckers, ducks --flying below the tree line and skidding to a landing. I can see a bright orange pylon submerged in the murky brown depths. Its point peeks out. Tiny fish dart in and around the cylindrical body and nibble at the soft algae clinging to its sides.
Acrylic on wood support20” x 24”

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Looking in- Los Molinos laundry

I spent the early part of this summer on a ranch just outside the sleepy town of Los Molinos, comprised of a few simple buildings and a tiny strip mall set right on Hwy 99. I lived in an old trailer parked in a thicket of ancient prune trees and lanky oaks. On Saturdays I would visit the mall laundry matt that sat next to a bar that stayed open all day. Inside the bright launderette, under the watchful gaze of security cameras and the transparent eyes of dryers, I stuffed my washing (sleeping bag, pillow case, jeans), added a pocketful of quarters, then went outside to sit on a bench and read. One morning a bar patron wobbled out of the bar, lit a cigarette and joined me on my bench. Without introduction, she began a story as if we had been sitting there for hours. In the intimate tone of an old friend she talked of a wayward spouse that moved to Texas and ended up marrying again leaving her nothing but debt. The story went on and on, as if the sound of her own voice alone could restore humor and lessen the murky disappointment. As she talked, I sketched the inside of the matt looking through the window from the bench where we sat.
Acrylic on wood support
23” x 30”

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Acrylic on pine panel. 24" x 30"

Monday, June 8, 2009

White Star Laundry (in Durham, NC)

In front of the White Star Laundromat young families hang out in the heavy southern heat, blasting Spanish music from their parked cars. The moment I step inside the olive green interior, the thick glass muffles the street noise. In the cool air conditioning, I can sit for hours uninterrupted in my thoughts. There is the thump of drying clothes and repetitions of things outside, telephone poles and streetlights, to soothe the mind. They multiply in the reflective surfaces, on the wall length mirror and picture window, merging with the scenery inside.
Acrylic on wood support
18” x 24”

Durham Dive

The "Four Flames" Motel in Durham, NC has seen better days, for sure. I love the textures and colors created as the exterior decays--the peeling blue paint reveals older coats of red and yellow, and the falling paneling lays bare the cinderblock wall beneath. This motel stood as a sort of welcoming landmark near the freeway exit to downtown Durham. I believe it has been torn down. Acrylic on pine panel.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Weary traveler

Waiting in Albuquerque airport for a three hour delayed plane, I drew this passenger (bottom image) because she sat uncomfortably on the edge of her seat in her heavy coat and stockings. In the window behind her, the drooping wires of the tarmac seemed to echo her resignation. She never looked my way once as I sat and drew only a few feet in front of her. Above image- a reading passenger sprawls across an empty row of seats, enjoying that rare luxury of having no neighbors. New Mexico. 8" x 8" Oil on panel.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ocean Bluff - Drawing at Shelter Cove, Pacifica

I came out once to sketch here awhile back and became entranced by the odd shifting of the rocks along the cliff, and the way the gentle swooping trail follows the curve of the cove, up to the bluff and eventually back down to a rock quarry inland. I decided I would attempt a painting here. The trail to this spot meant lugging my easel and supplies uphill about 45 minutes while trailing the dog. From where I sit along the hillside it's a steep drop down. I can see hikers but they can't see me. The dog is somewhere behind and above me, sniffing out gophers in the sea grass, or just relaxing, looking west, contemplating his existence. Acrylic washes on Watercolor Paper. Available. For inquiries

Friday, February 20, 2009

Alongside a trail to Lake Genevieve in Desolation Wilderness

This creek winds in and out of visibility alongside a long mountain trail up to Lake Genevieve near Lake Tahoe. At one of the invisible spots you can hear the rushing sound of a steep waterfall. One day I hiked away from the trail and down a cliff and through a thicket to get a good view of this fall. The closer I hiked the louder it became so I figured it must be huge! But I never could find a good viewing spot in all that brush. I gave up and sat on some rocks near the river and drew.
Acrylic on wood support
14” x 18”

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Craters of the Moon

This painting was based on a drawing I created last spring on site at this National Park in Idaho. The painting seems to have taken on a weirder, eerier quality than the drawing. The park, which made a good camping layover on route to eastern Oregon, sits on a massive lava flow that spreads across a flat plain in the high dessert. It once attracted Indians that came here to perform ceremonies in the caverns that wind endlessly beneath the craggy surface. Acrylic on wood panel. Available. For inquiries-

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Driving south -Dakota highway scenes

From my right side passenger's view the valley expanded far away in varying layers of strata. In front of me mountains loomed like clods of dirt, and clouds like sinking smoke signals above the highway. I scribbled an old tire tread into one cell, when something that looked like a football goal post appeared for another. When I looked up from my page, the scene had darkened; we were in those distant mountains on a detour. Acrylic on pine panel

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Driving to the Black Hills

Heading south on a thin snaking highway with little to do but stare out the window. I try to capture the terrain, and place the unobstructed horizon on the page, but it is pitching, meandering, never holding still for me. Painted with acrylic, ink and gesso on wood panel. Original drawing done while in a car on route to South Dakota.