Saturday, September 19, 2009

New mural projects developing in (almost) real time.

Using my iPhone, some social media services and my new Wordpress blog, I've been tracking two mural projects developing this summer/fall, one almost completed and a second well underway.

Here's a picture of the almost done Cafe Mundo mural:

Anyway, this is just a reminder that I'm not keeping this blog regularly updated except for my Twitter updates at the top-left, so for more mural painting and faux finish project photos, updates and more, please check out, follow me on Twitter or find me FaceBook, both are connected to these updates.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

New Faux Finish Classes (finally!) posted at the San Diego Finishing

The show of my paintings at Joe Bedford's Coalesce came together really well for last Friday's opening reception.

Another thanks to everyone who came out to Little Italy, though I'm supposed to focus on the faux and mural painting on this blog and leave the rest to my new Wordpress blog".

The real reason for this (on-topic)post is to make sure anyone reading this who is interested in my teaching about faux finishing and mural painting in San Diego know that I've FINALLY scheduled two sequential days of semi-private painting classes at the Banker's Hill studio I share with HGTV Design Star Jen Guerin at the end of the month.

These will be complete intensives in my entire set of strategies for utilizing water-based media to achieve an incredible array of faux and painted finish effects.

Learn to interpret other surfaces and finishes and design your own one-of-a-kind painted finishes with non-toxic, low to zero VOC materials in creative ways that help position your faux-finishing or custom painting business for success.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sky Painting Show opens this Friday July 10

Spent a couple hours of this gorgeous San Diego Sunday in the studio working on the sky paintings for this week, here's a quick picture:

The show of my paintings with Joseph Bedford's custom furniture opens this Friday at Joe's Little Italy space Bedford Built. Our reception is part of the first "NoLi Notte" or "North Little Italy Nights, which is a monthly art event that's emerged out of Kettner Nights.

The first round of "Little and Large" shows open at other spaces that night in Little Italy, but my wife Heather will be joining Joe and I in his space at 2360 India Street to debut her LifeChain project.

If you haven't seen the LifeChain series of videos we've done of Heather in her studio, I'm putting the first episode here below; I'll be posting parts 3 and 4 tomorrow on Heather's new WordPress blog at Check it out!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Return to the Sky Paintings

In addition to my teaching projects and a surge in new phone calls for custom painting and faux finishing work, I've been busy working on my own paintings for the first time in almost two years!

If you've been following along you know I've been working in art marketing, picture framing and a few other creative niches in San Diego in that time, and to be honest, I wasn't even looking for a show this summer, or really anytime.

Studio mate Jen Guerin introduced me to furniture designer Joseph Bedford, who needed a show for the July 10 opening of "NoLi Notte" ("North Little Italy Nights") in San Diego's newest art & design district, (you guessed it) Little Italy, conveniently located down the street from my house and studio.

I've been doing chalk art and ArtWalk in Little Italy since 2002 and a fan of Little Italy art galleries Seminal Projects and Noel Baza since last year, so its will be fun to see my own stuff in a gallery for a different perspective.

Anyway, more coming on these paintings soon, but here's a quick pictures of the two "Colisseum" paintings that have been sitting, moving and getting stacked over and over while taped and masked for all that time, here getting work on a sunny afternoon in the 5th Avenue studio (time that was a Father's Day gift from my family!)

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

SDFS partner and HGTV celeb Jen Guerin!

I am thrilled for my studio mate Jen Guerin whose participation in this summer's new edition of DesignStar on HGTV was just announced-- congratulations, Jen!

Here's a screenshot of HGTV page featuring Jen, click the image to check it out directly.

Check out Jen's first video from the show here.

And if you're in San Diego, come by Tin Can Ale House four doors up from our studio this Friday night to see Jen's newest fine art pieces, and meet Jen in person before you have to go through her publicist (Design Star premiere is July 18).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Back to murals and faux finishes here....

If you've been following this blog, you'll know that I've ranged all over my different activities here despite the very specific title "hand painted murals, faux finish walls".

Well, now that I've decided to follow my own advice an develop my primary online catalog with WordPress software (sorry, Google), I'm going to get this blog dialed back down to specifics of my mural and faux jobs only, and talk about the rest of my various work on, a new WordPress blog which will cover my fine art projects, promotional and marketing work for my clients, updates on my teaching project for artists and small creative business at the San Diego Finishing School and all the other bits that don't really belong here under the current title.

So check out when you have a chance, even though its brand new, for updates on other projects, back catalog pictures of jobs in process, and what will eventually be a truly comprehensive portfolio of my work, including old furniture design from San Francisco, stage work from North Carolina School of the Arts, and my web and print work for my marketing clients.

The first posts will be about my upcoming show of original paintings here in San Diego's Little Italy at Bedford Designs with furniture designer Joe Bedford. The show opens July 10 in conjunction with NoLi Notte, the latest incarnation of the Kettner Nights evening art walk in Little Italy.

I hope to see you there!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

adapting, painting, teaching & following my own advice

What happens when you learn enough new stuff to radically alter your current opinions about running a business?

I've always preferred the word "adapt" when it comes to my creative endeavors, art, business or fun, and so over the last few weeks I've been adapting to a few new circumstances and "ah-ha" moments that have required some serious consideration.

I haven't tried to keep up with my posts and updates, which some of you have noticed since keeping up with kids and your own business is already more than enough for one person to do when combined with any kind of serious soul searching.

Fortunately, I have continuing demand for my various services, and more than one "ah-ha" had to do with delivering these services in better ways to the wider audience I've been developing through my online portfolio, this blog, and on Twitter, one of the many social media tools I teach other artists, contractors and small businesses to survive in the new economy.

So look for some changes and and new info over the summer with what I'm doing online as I respond to what's going on around us using the same theories and strategies about online marketing and social media integration that I teach my students.

Of course I'm still running a mural and faux finish business, and even though my marketing tools need tweaking, they've been running solid in bringing the work to me even in this economy. So here are some pictures of a little mural job I fit into my schedule this week at the new Broken Yolk Cafe in the Gaslamp, for everyone who wants to hear about hand painted murals and faux finish walls.

Per my usual, this painting project includes multiple elements of scale drawing, faux painting and aging techniques, and brand continuity-- everyone in San Diego probably recognizes their graphic from the flagship cafe in Pacific Beach.

mural restaurant gaslamp San Diego

The desired aged style of this piece was based on another San Diego restaurant mural project I did last year at the now all-new Lucky D's Bar & Grill.

vintage sports logo murals in San Diego Gaslamp restaurants

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Stage Design: "La Boheme" edition project for Franco Colavecchia

One of the reasons I've been excited for Franco's show here in San Diego is that it coincides nicely with the development of my Artist Services' project at The Frame Maker, specifically the fine art reproduction capabilities of the project provided through our partner Moebius Color.

As a student of stage design, I love Franco's stage design rendering work for its accuracy to the stage experience. I don't mean realism, but a painterly immediacy that transports you directly into the theatre audience; they are after all, stage design renderings, even though I admire them primarily as paintings, and their true function is to talk about a production of the design on a real stage with real people in real time.

That said, I find the timeless quality inherent in great paintings in Franco's best stage rendering work, yet, for a variety of reasons, much of it is unavailable to be seen or shown in the original ever again. This is where the Artist Services' project comes in.

Working together with Raber Umphenour of MOSDO, the Museum of Stage Design Online, San Diego Artist Services is proud introduce the first of a series of small fine art editions reprinting selected images from over 30 years of Franco's stage design rendering for theatre and opera.

In 1982, while living in New York City, Franco's designed the sets for Philadelphia Opera's "La Boheme" featuring Luciano Pavarotti. This production went on to tour Italy, and the subsequent PBS production won a series of Emmy awards.

This set of six different scenes and design concepts from La Boheme have been scanned from the original slides shot to document the work at the time and are printed in the original monochrome palette at full size, approximately 20" x 14" on heavy archival paper with UV resistant inks.

Here's a screen version of the second rendering of the six:

The first complete sets of six will be reviewed by Franco this week during his annual teaching visit to San Diego and presented as signed artist's proofs in his show "Franco Colavecchia: SoHo Memory Paintings", opening reception this Thursday June 4 in The Frame Maker showroom.

This is the first west coast show of Franco's work and the first appearance of any kind of reproduction of Franco's work anywhere, so if you live in southern California and are interested in theater stage design, come check this show out and meet Franco at a rare San Diego event on Thursday night!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Distinguished Artist & Designer Franco Colavecchia in San Diego!!

If you've been following this blog, you may remember how excited I've been for Franco's annual arrival in San Diego this year, partly because Franco is a dear friend and mentor to me as an artist, partly because we are presenting a show of his original paintings at The Frame Maker this summer, with an opening reception for Franco next Thursday June 4, 2009.

Called "SoHo Memories" after the series of paintings Franco began as he battled to retain his eyesight 1997-98. These paintings focus on the New York of Franco's career in the 1980's designing stage sets for New York City Opera and Luciano Pavaratti, among others.

Franco was also honored this year by the United States Institute of Theater Technology for his carrer achievement as a stage designer, so I'm reprinting this text from the USITT website here:

Franco Colavecchia has designed internationally for opera and theatre, working with Luciano Pavarotti, Gian Carlo Menotti, Frank Corsaro, and Ian Strasfogel among others such as Tommy Tune.

Mr. Colavecchia has designed productions for locations as varied as the New York City Opera, Chicago Lyric, Houston Opera, Wolf Trap Opera, Washington Opera, New Opera Theater at B.A.M., Pittsburgh Opera, San Antonio Festival, The Music Opera Association/Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles, Den Norske Opera in Oslo, The Wexford Opera Festival in Eire, and Glimmerglass Opera.

He designed the Italian tour and the Broadway version of La Boheme for Mr. Pavarotti. His work has been seen in numerous locations around the world and he has worked for The Oxford Playhouse, the Roundhouse, the Edinburgh Festival, and the York Festival in the United Kingdom.

He was the assistant to Julian Beck of the Living Theatre on the London Production of The Brig. His designs have also been seen on PBS television for La Boheme for Pavorotti in Philadelphia, Faust for the Opera Company in Philadelphia, Carmen for New York City Opera (Live from Lincoln Center) and Treemonisha for Houston Opera.

He has also worked on several documentary films and has exhibited his paintings and drawings extensively through out the country. His designs have been included in the Prague Quadrennial three times, and some of his work is in the permanent collection at the Tobin Collection in San Antonio.

He has taught and mentored numerous students at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he continues to paint and to design. He also has taught at DePaul University, Colgate University, SUNY Purchase, Carnegie Mellon, and Harvard University. He continues to be a guest lecturer in rendering all across the country.

Look for more on Franco and this show here and on The Frame Maker Events blog.