I grew up the son of two San Francisco Visionary Artists. They were both really good. Not only did I grow up around art, I began making it when I was young. The first pieces I can remember were some abstracts using India ink on some foam board. Dad tacked them to a stool that swiveled. I remember pouring the ink on it and spinning the stool. The ink went all over the place, but it was a fun way to make art. Later, I painted a rooster from memory at the Junior Randall Museum. They brought it out, then took it away. And we had to paint it from memory. I gave the watercolor to my grandma.

Oil Painting
The oil painting from my senior year of high school

For the first two years of high school I took Art as an elective. I went to a college prep school so it was more or less an afterthought, but it was my favorite class in school. I would doodle in my homework notepaper, drawing things in the margins. At some point I had a sketchbook which I filled with all sorts of creatures and faces. I also painted a couple of jackets with more of the same, one of which went to a store for sale. Rock art, I suppose. I even made cassette art work of my own for mix tapes or if a friend taped me an LP. After my sophomore year, my mom tried to get me into school of the arts, but we applied too late. I ended up going there for my senior year and loved it. At SOTA (now the Ruth Asawa School Of The Arts), I had two class periods of art. Marsha Pannone was my teacher, although there was another teacher that came in to show us oil painting. I seem to recall working on my oil piece for three months. I don’t remember if they were upset at me for taking so long, but I think I was just unaware that I was supposed to go back to the regular class. It was during that time I found blending paint and color with the brush to be intoxicating. Feathering the paint. This would be the only oil painting I’ve ever done. My first acrylic, done earlier in the semester was on display in the theater although no one brought it to my attention until after the fact. It was an image I took from one of my sketchbooks. The overall image was an anhk shape, but was also an egg, a screaming face, and a tombstone.

First Acrylic

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June 1, 1990