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Yellow Vines

[Reminder: I’m in a group reading in San Francisco on Monday, March 23]

I finished a new painting today, “Yellow Vines,” acrylic, 18” by 24”.

I’m thinking about these alien beings, the jivas, from a world called Flimsy, and the jivas have very long tails. But this is in fact a more or less accurate nature painting, based on a really big vine I saw on an oak tree at the far end of the Lexington reservoir.

I took a picture of it last month on a rainy day, and I was struck by the contrast between the pale vine and the damp bark. And I love the 3D curve of the vine.

I went back a week or ten days ago, and it wasn’t so rainy anymore, so the contrast wasn’t so high. I lugged my paint kit in there and started work on a picture. This photo is patched together from I think four smaller photos, Photoshop CS3 is really good at automerging photos. I noticed a vine on the left I could put in the picture, too, and further to the right was another vine I decided to bring in.

So my first draft of the picture looked like this. And then I spent a week making the trunks more three-dimensional, popping the color a little harder and working on the ground and the background. Layer after layer.

I’ve also been working on Jim and the Flims…it’s hard going, balancing out all the various constraints. Like, on the one hand, I want to have weird and surprising things happening, but on the other hand, I want to build up the characters as solid and believable by sometimes letting them just hang out and talk about ordinary things.

I saw this weird alien doll at my son Rudy’s house, he’d sewn together a stuffed baby-doll and a stuffed dog.

Painting (C) Vernon Head, 2009, possible title: “Tentacle Lake.”

My friend Vernon Head came over to paint with my last week. He’s a very skilled painter—he can knock out a gorgeous watercolor landscape in an hour. He felt like trying something different, so he added an SF element to his picture, like I often do.

I had a nice hike at Big Basin Park with my friend Emilio. This time I didn’t get off the trail and lose my glasses!

My artist friend Dick Termes is mounting a show of 50 of his paintings on spheres at the Dahl Arts Center in Rapid City, South Dakota, with a reception on Friday, March 20, 2009. Here’s a cool video of Dick setting up the show.

3 Responses to “Yellow Vines”

  1. Steve H Says:

    Rudy Jr ought to mass-produce those dolls.

  2. serah Says:


  3. Gamma Says:

    David Hockney? goes thru the tiny brainosphere

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