Found this piece while digging through some of my old work. This was painted from life during my first semester at the Academy of Art University back in 1991. It was for Melissa Marshal’s beginning Illustration class. How time flies. Happy Easter everyone!
Vince Tofanelli and I walked his mother’s vineyard this morning while he told me wistful stories of growing up. Afterward, I sat for a couple of hours sketching the property located in Calistoga (north end of the Napa Valley). The mustard was in full bloom and with the help of the warm sun, the air smelled sweet.
While getting a coffee at Plank in Cloverdale this morning, I spotted this classic, blue bike parked next to a white picket fence. I couldn’t resist parking myself for the next couple of hours capturing it in my sketchbook.
Just as I finished the painting, I man in a cool black hat claimed his bike. After discussing my sketch, he acknowledged he too was an artist and used to teach Design at the College of Arts and Crafts in Oakland. Turns out he created the cover for Taj Mahal’s Mo’ Roots album back in 1974.
Back in the winter of 1976, I sketched this backyard tree while falling snow hid the towering Rocky Mountains behind it. From the warmth of a nearby fireplace, I spent most of a morning trying to capture the leafless tree’s limbs exactly as I saw them. At 12 years old, I had never spent so much time drawing a single subject, nor did I know that the process of drawing from life would be a life long pursuit.