Musings on Being the Artist of Your Day

Tag: art (Page 1 of 3)

Sophia Green Creates Definitional Paintings

Definitional Painter Sophia Green. Photo by Mary Gow.

San Francisco Painter, Sophia Green. Photo by Mary Gow.

Her keen observations and agility with words were cultivated at an early age.

Sophia Green grew up in Massachusetts. Her parents had many friends who were writers, painters, and musicians. “In our household the arts were considered a legitimate career,” she said.

It was a close family friend and accomplished painter, Marilyn Powers, who gave her a formal introduction to creating Art. “One day she took me upstairs to her studio, set-up a small still life with a Mexican ceramic angel and instructed me to ‘paint what you see.’ I was nine years old. By the end of the afternoon I was hooked.”

To complete the lesson Powers handed her a book of Paul Cezanne’s paintings and said, “Study this and you will learn to see.” She still has the book.

When she was growing up, her father was an English professor at Boston University and read to her each evening before she went to bed. As soon as she learned to read she started to write.

“I wrote and illustrated an extensive series of storybooks detailing anything and everything going on around me from what I had for breakfast to the tugboats pulling ships through the harbor to my friend’s cat hunting imaginary giraffes. This love of words has never left me.”

Art by Sophia Green who's currently in a show at City Art Gallery. Photo by Mary Gow.

Art by Sophia Green who’s currently in a show at City Art Gallery. Photo by Mary Gow.

Green originally moved to San Francisco to work as a computer game artist and animator. Landing first in SOMA, she was soon forced to move and found a home in Bernal in 1996. She’s been here ever since.

After college she worked as a waitress and saved up enough tips to travel in Europe on the $1 per day plan. “While in Europe I got to see some amazing art and was especially floored by the humongous painting, The Raft of the Medusa by Eugene Delacroix.”

Though she felt awe and admiration for the European classics, “My psyche was more attuned to art movements of the 20th century, particularly Conceptualism,” said Green.

It seems a natural progression that words and their meanings have found their way into her visual work.

She’s working on “a very pragmatic approach using words (with their living, shifting, and malleable meanings), to probe and reflect upon shifting and variable social trends and concerns. It’s a continuation of a project I began last year and included a video installation and group of oil paintings titled, The Surveillance Series. The paintings draw on the current cultural environment of obsessive ‘watching’ and explore ideas of what relentless and pervasive observation means in our day to day lives,” she said.

She calls her current work “Definitional Painting.”

See more of her work at She’s in a group show that opens April 3 at City Art Gallery, 828 Valencia St. in San Francisco.

Open Studios in November

"Stepping Out...Slowly," mixed media by Mary Gow

“Stepping Out…Slowly,” mixed media by Mary Gow

It’s that time of year again when you can drop into artist’s studios and alternative spaces to see a huge swatch of the art made in the San Francisco area. The event covers 4 weekends in a row and begins this weekend and continues through November 9th.

Back in 2008 when I told my good friend, Regina Held (owner of Matrix Fine Art Gallery and New Grounds Print Workshop & Studio in Albuquerque, NM), that I was in Open Studios she said, “Well don’t be too hard on yourself. It takes three years to get it right. The first year you don’t know what you’re doing. The second year you make some changes. By the third year you know what you’ve got the hang of it.”

2014 San Francisco Open Studios will be my chance to show I’ve got the hang of it. My first two official appearances were at the Graphic Arts Workshop at 2565 Third Avenue in 2008 and 2009 in Suite 305 of the American Industrial Building. If you haven’t been by there I’d recommend you go. There’s a irresistible bakery across the hallway from the Graphic Arts Workshop that cooks up the pastries for many of the bakeries in town. There’s nothing like the lilt of cinnamon rolls in the air while mixing inks and rolling the press.

You’re cordially invited to drop by and see my work at the Grotto Gallery at 1590 Bryant Street, SF 94103, on Weekend #3 – November 1st and 2nd. There’s a party on the evening of November 1st so hours of viewing are 11am to 7:30pm. Sunday I’ll be there 11am to 6pm. Light refreshments will be provided. And it’s rumored the Fat Chance Belly Dancers are performing Saturday evening.

On view will be the best display of the range of my work – perhaps ever to appear in one space. I’ll be showing what my best favorite works in the main media I work in: photography, painting, monotypes, and cameraless art (also known as “photograms”).

Mention this blog entry and you get ten percent off any purchases of my work at the Grotto Gallery at Sports Basement at 1590 Bryant Street.

Click here for a PDF of a map of the areas you can visit each weekend.

Four Moments in New York

Mary and Hyeran at the AAF

Me with my friend, Hyeran, soaking in the Affordable Art Fair in New York

Waving to Liberty

Waving to Liberty, photo by Mary Gow

Need to clear out creative cobwebs?

I did. A trip to New York is what the shaman ordered.

I dropped by the fall edition of the Affordable Art Fair at their new venue at The Tunnel in Chelsea. This year it was easier to navigate than the maze I recall from years prior.

What does AAF define as “affordable”? $100 to $10,000.

Stay tuned, in a future post I’ll share my favorite artwork from the AAF show, a C-Type Lambda print that sold for $6,500.

On another day I rode the Staten Island Ferry. It’s an easy way to pass by the Statue of Liberty!

Couldn’t miss one of the grand spaces in New York at the atrium of Grand Central Station.

Grand Central Moment, by Mary Gow

Grand Central Station in New York, photo by Mary Gow

You can experience walking Manhattan without cars on the High Line, which is a mile long and runs from 20th Street to 34th Street on the west side, between 10th and 11th Avenues.

Walking the High Line on the West Side of Manhattan

Walking the High Line on the West Side of Manhattan

The World Trade Center Memorial is officially called the “National September 11 Memorial.” Currently due to construction it’s not a spontaneous thing you can drop by and see. You need to reserve a time on-line.

After you enter the park you’ll see two humongous squares which were where the towers once stood. Wrapped around each square are the names of the victims of Nine Eleven. There’s water falling on each side of the walls which then falls into a smaller square, which falls into a yet smaller square.

What a trip. New York City is grand, vast, and innovative. I left feeling like a creative thirst had been quenched. Like longing for sweets and finally eating chocolate.

World Trade Center Memorial

World Trade Center Memorial Park, photo by Mary Gow

A Lively Shape Celebrating 75 Years

International Orange by Kathrin Feser

“International Orange,” by Kathrin Feser

Her work has a sense of playfulness yet shows a serious understanding of color, line and form.

“International Orange” is a silkscreen print created by San Francisco artist, Kathrin Feser, to celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th Anniversary.

She created a limited edition of 75 prints that sell for $40 apiece, and come signed, numbered and dated.

You can purchase a print through Feser’s cool website. Through July 26th you can see more of her work in a series called “Orbital Drawings,” at 31 Rausch Street (at Folsom Street) in San Francisco. Contact Chris at chrismccaw dot com to set an appointment.

You might also enjoy:
Messages from a Spirit Photographer
4 Examples of the Artistry of Upcycling
Discovering Artist Nancy Adair

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