Visitors to San Francisco are often struck by how its homes are painted in a variety of vibrant colors and soft pastels. Growing up in such an architecturally eclectic city has given me an appreciation for these homes of unique character and eccentric spirit. Painted on 4’x 5’ canvases, the houses I reimagine are filled with saturated, jewel-toned hues and tightly applied brushwork, which make my urbanscapes appear dense. This density further emphasizes the given structure’s functional and decorative elements, such as bay windows, contrasting geometric shapes, and trim. By amplifying these common elements with vibrant color choices and distorted geometric shapes, I transform each house into something new. It is my desire that the viewer reimagine the mundane as something worth investigating.
My process, at least initially, is somewhat accidental. I wander through a San Francisco neighborhood, and as I wander, I photograph homes that strike me as having undeniable character. Then I select a photograph and quickly sketch the building’s major structural elements. I configure these sketches numerous ways, at times tracing a previous sketch, further abstracting the form with each new rendition. The house is distilled into its essential forms, lines, and shadows. When transferring the abstraction to canvas, I use a pencil and a roll of tape to generate edges that allow the forms to warp and evolve. It is only once I tape a given sector that I decide on color. I am particularly interested in applying color theory to mold ambiguous spatial relationships.
Given this interest, I have studied with real interest other artists who employ charged colors and inventive forms, among these, Amie Cunat, who uses an energetic color palette and biomorphic shapes to create new ways of experiencing space and structure; TC Cannon, who uses rich colors and patterns in untraditional ways, creating an intense sense of atmosphere; Emin Guliyev, who uses strong geometric shapes, neon color, and multi-perspective sculpting to create expressive abstractions; and Gabrielle Garland, who distorts the facades of houses in imaginative and comical ways.