This portrait of Frank is from his job at Kaiser hospital where he was an MFT. He passed away three years ago and this painting remains an enduring memorial to his service and to our friendship.
Sid is a professional Ashtanga yoga teacher in the Mysore Style here in San Francisco. He was my apprentice at the time of this portrait. I gave it to him for his wedding to Ngoce. I also gave him this t-shirt.
Ngoce was a pharmacist from San Diego who decided to give that all up, marry Sid, and become a professional hair stylist in the Toni and Guy method. She cuts my hair, of course.
David, here, in my kitchen initiated my interest in this series of kitchen portraits. There is a movement called "kitchen sink" painters. Painters like Walter Sickert who washed their brushes in their kitchen sink like I do. I have a chess piece floor like the Dutch Baroque painters, and David's big lower lip and angular forehead reminds me of the Baroque painter Velasquez. It is common in Baroque painting to see paintings of painting!
Speaking of the Dutch Baroque here I am calling back the Vermeer work "The Allegory of Painting" Another painter besides the Baroque whom I looked at closely for full size portraits was Corot whose small näive works I found purely motivated and wonderful. The kind of painting that makes you want to paint.
Nick, Katya, and Morgan
I liked Morgan's posture here. He recently complained about not having any pants on in the picture. I just loved how contorted his body was and how much light bounced off his little body. If you notice Katya's hand you can see it moves quite a bit. I had just finished a comic book on tropes you find in in comics like ziggy lines to make a little figure have action and I couldn't see a good reason why that shouldn't work in a painting. You see this in Futurist work, but I just want more fine drawing and weight. By weight I mean can you feel the space beneath something.. like fabric or a shoe. Of course I mean this to look like the Trinity. Nick deserves that.
John is the current colorist for Batman. I am such fanboy that I was just too delighted to paint his portrait, his shoes, his yoga bag, and his DC comic bag. I saturated this with a spectrum of alternating primary and secondary compliments.. i.e. red and green, purple and orange.
Colleen is an art curator and art restorer out of Stanford. She and her partner Tamara posed in my kitchen. She made this calendar of the phases of the moon for me in the background. In the Dutch baroque landscapes always mean that there is a romantic passion present in the room. I loved her denim jacket.
Lance is the Executive Director of the Asian and Pacific Island Wellness Center He has always been an absolute inspiration to me professionally and is simply the nicest most respectful person with such immense dignity. I thought the coloring for these marriage portraits was a little Hawaiian which suited Lance's provenance.
Erik is Lance's husband and a brilliant hair stylist and owner of the Zindagi salon. He displayed my work there as a centerpiece for over a year. They own these portraits and have a stunning collection of art in their home in Bayview. Erik kicked his little foot up and I think it just made the picture.
Mr. Horace Austin
Mrs. Noellie Austin asked me for a portrait of her husband who is in failing health. The inscription from his namesake: carpe diem quom minimum credula postero