Mural - Coin Op, San Francisco.

So I've never done a mural of this size before.  I don't draw with Sharpies a lot (practically never) but didn't think this project posed any difficulties and that drawing with a sharpie would be all that tough.  Boy, I couldn't have been MORE wrong.

I started with working with the ladies @ sfHEIMAT here in San Francisco on drawing to present to the owners at Coin-op.  Eva, my wife, is a co-owner of sfHEIMAT, really helped steer the direction of the process, as the original drawings were designed around the theme presented by the client. Coin-op is a Bar/Arcade.  Don't think "dive bar", though.  It's like a young, professional adults playground.  The custom artwork and interior design elements need to mesh well, and complement one another in a fluent way.  That was the goal.  We settled on the frogger theme.  

The preparation was nuts.  I originally planned to start the project in July, and didn't start until November!  I wasn't able to prepare for this like most other projects because Coin-op was rushing to open and had a house FULL of contractors at any given time.  We all needed to work in harmony, and in some cases, use the same tools.  I also didn't know the bar would be pre-installed, canceling out my plans to project the drawing on the wall and trace the original design. I then decided to project in small sections, and try to stitch them together.   That worked until it didn't, and I just realized that all my planning is failing. It was at that moment, where I just basically said "fuck it", and just DO it!  Figure it out!

From here, I just drew off the cuff with little reference, and no sketch.  Just a whole bunch of rulers, string, and white paint to act as an eraser, and a thousand times up and down the scissor lyft until I completed it.  I have no idea how many hours I spent on it, but I'm pleased with the result.   Let me just say this mural was THE HARDEST thing I've ever done.  Hand down.  It was VERY rewarding, but hard.  Very hard.  

Drawing on the window with a sharpie was a new thing for me.  

Drawing on the window with a sharpie was a new thing for me.  

sfHEIMAT killed these lights, and bar designed. 

sfHEIMAT killed these lights, and bar designed. 

Back breaking cross-hatching.

Back breaking cross-hatching.

From afar. 

From afar. 

Family Painting of Cashus.

I originally did a painting of Cashus when we first got em.  He was much younger, and I was just doing a study and not really a finalized painting.  Even thought we had the PERFECT frame for the painting, I felt it wasn't a final for our home.  All in all, it turned out.  Eva's parent's came to visit and they loved the work (with the painting) and purchased it from me.  The painting currently hangs in their kitchen in Schekon (Switzerland).

After the sketch, (freehanded) I then spray fixed the pencil to seal the marks before acrylics.  The plan was to try and handle this painting the same as I did before, and kinda like I did with the desert works that I was doing in 2015.   

Taking into account the scale, the stature of the pose, the frame, and the intention of the painting, I decided to change up the game.  I started researching baroque portraiture, and paintings from the greats of past noblemen from that time.  John Singer Sargent has always been a favorite of mine, and his technique on handing the background directly influenced the outcome of this painting.  It was then I chose to turn the background a turkey umber/burnt umber mix, that would bring Cashus to the forefront, which enhanced his already regal stance, and draw emphasis to the collar, and light source.  Cooling down the shadow with a thick coat of deep phthalo blue helped make a stark contrast in finish, and in temperature. 

I hung this heavy shit myself.  It had to be about 55lbs.  Purchased something called a "cleat", and a stud finder to make sure it was secure.  The picture isn't the best of the painting, but it's the latest photo of the painting hanging where it lives, and Eva feeding Brooklyn.   Oh, can Cashus' can't be bothered in this photo.  

Pregnancy Photo Progress.

The photo documentation of this pregnancy was interesting.  We tried to stay on it the best that we could, and be consistent.  We also wanted to stay away from the normal postings of pregnancy development that most people show off on pinterest, instagram, etc.  We used natural light, and nothing else but the camera and her disposition.  Here are a few of the standouts. 

Fatherhood.

Fatherhood.  

I know nothing about this phenomenon.  I have no experience with this career change.  I'm a bit worried about the "unknown", but I do know one thing.  That this feeling is to be expected and that I'm not alone.  

I'm EXCITED and I'm seeing myself change everyday, naturally.  I'm doing things a little different than I used to without thinking about them, so I wonder how men change physiologically!?!

Anyway,  I'm over the moon, and I know how lucky we are.  Not everyone is so fortunate and we understand that.  And we are both anxious to bring this baby BOY (yes, it's a boy and I'm not even going to tell you how much that made me happy) into this world, and make him a contributing, and honest member of society.  

I'll try and post more as I gain more to speak about!  Below, you'll be able to see what Eva looks like nowadays. 

And Oh,... we don't have the name finalized yet.  But we are more than happy to hear suggestions!

Russia, 2015.

Below are 3 photos that I took in St.Petersberg, Russia.  Whats funny about them, is that I was standing in the exact same spot when I took the photo, on 3 different days, at 3 different times. Let me be clear.  This was NOT intentional!

Puffin Project.

Puffin Project.  

Long story, that I wont get all into right now.  However, I'll promise to come back to it and explain actually what the idea is/was. 

None the less, it required a few paintings of puffins that I needed to spawn off.  I did one a while back and ended up painting over it.  I even painted over it upside down!  It was absolutely horrible, and no, you nor anyone else will ever see it.  I won't even tell you what I painted over it, just to make sure someone would have a hard time finding it via blacklight.  I was just not 100% into the project, and I needed to be to produce better work.  I learned that being at 90%, is a dangerous thing.  You either have to CARE, or not at all.  That middle ground forces the brush to do odd things. 

So, I stopped caring.  Painting a few paintings/studies that I enjoyed.  Very quick.  

The one on the left a friend of mine (Nick, I'm talking about you) and I painted on drunken night when he told me he had a hard time with paint.  I told him that theres nothing to it, and that I'd spin up a session with him.  He painted the majority of it and I stood over his shoulder helping when he had questions with color, strokes, etc.  I always felt like I might be a decent teacher because it runs in my family, but this session confirmed it. 

The one on the left a friend of mine (Nick, I'm talking about you) and I painted on drunken night when he told me he had a hard time with paint.  I told him that theres nothing to it, and that I'd spin up a session with him.  He painted the majority of it and I stood over his shoulder helping when he had questions with color, strokes, etc.  I always felt like I might be a decent teacher because it runs in my family, but this session confirmed it. 

This was one that I did for my dad.  It was about a 2 hour painting (and thats being generous).  He remembered the project a while back, and just wanted one for his man cave.  Done and done. 

This was one that I did for my dad.  It was about a 2 hour painting (and thats being generous).  He remembered the project a while back, and just wanted one for his man cave.  Done and done. 

Red-Skins.

I love football.  I didn't play much of it when I was younger, and its one of my oldest regrets.   Seriously, I really wish I got on that train at an early age.  The kids will definitely be getting some snaps.  Yes, I don't care what she says.  Bad Parent?  Nah.  Kids are here for you to live vicariously through, right???

The game has always been magical to me.  These Titans in flashy clothing, clashing every Sunday for the ultimate week finale.  If someone took football away from america, I'd move.  No bullshit.  The league upholds a certain american standard and tradition, that creeps past the spotlight and lands in the subconscious of our youth.  Yes, a lot of our children (much like I did) look up to sports figures or organizations, and mimic what they do without realizing the patterns their accepting.  Parents have a hard time seeing this, and doing otherwise because they too were raised fairly similar and the cycle perpetuates.   So, why would I not be upset if one of these "stand up organizations" decides that it's NOT going to change it's company name and logo because its a none-issue?  What does this teach everyone? What is it saying about our traditions? What does it say about our country?

"Redskin" is a slang term referring to Native Americans in the United States American English it is labeled "usually offensive","disparaging", "insulting", and "taboo".

How are we able to turn a blind eye to this, and act as if theres nothing wrong with this name.  In America, exercising your 1st Amendment basically means we all soapbox and complain about other shit that doesn't matter to us on a day to day basis.  Lets take, public bathrooms for 500, please.  This issue has been going on for YEARS now, and now North Carolina believes that we should make a change and agitate this already combustable society.  Transgender individuals have been around for years, and seemingly perfectly happy with urainating amongst the sexual group they relate with.  So why poke a sleeping bear?  I don't know.  However, if we are waking up sleeping giants, then why can't we talk about the hypocrisy which floats around the racial slur that is the Washington Redskins.  After all, thats what it is.  A football team, who's mascot (source of symbolic pride amongst a group united by a set goal) is a flat out described as "utterly offensive", and "insulting" to a group of individuals, we to this day live amongst.  

The Redskins came into existence in 1932.  To put that into perspective, Hitler had not yet invaded Poland to jump start WW11 yet.  He was just getting warmed up.  The following year, the Nazi Party rose to power, thus persecuting and removing Jews and other minorities from Germany.  If that doesn't give you a good perspective on how antiquated this way of thinking is, think about this....  In 1933, it was illegal nationwide to produce, import, transport of sell alcoholic beverages here in the great US of A.  With just these two instances, think about the mindset of that day and time.  Both of these instances in this day and age are now are not only laughable, but outright offensive.  Yet the Redskins logo and name aren't huh?

Listen,  I get the argument of "when will it stop".  Or I get the "when I say Redskins, I don't think of it being derogatory".  I get that to.  When I say the name, I don't think of it as immediately offensive as I would the "N" word (hard ER) simply because we didn't grow up around anyone using it on the daily.   The word/logo itself does not offend me directly.  But given this fact, should it not be something I stand up for?  Plenty of people in the past stood up for my people who couldn't directly relate to the factor which oppressed us!!?!  Being able to relate to a significant percentage of america's population who have been referred by disgusting names for a long stretch of american history, I could only imagine how I'd feel if I were native american and called this great nation "my home". It would make me hate the great game of football and the land that it was played on.  It would definitely make me hate the people who stole that land from me. 

I have never liked the redskins logo, thats true.  Colors have sucked, and as a kid there was nothing that drew me to them.  I like them about as much as... lets say, the San Diego Chargers.  Well, no... I actually like the Chargers throwback colors and uniforms.  Ah, the Buffalo Bills!  I could live with them, or without them.  They are there, and I acknowledge them as that random week 12 opponent on your schedule that is a stepping stone win to help you edge out your devision.  Much like the Redskins, their noticed.  But the Redskins need to be addressed for their sigil.  I personally don't know any Native Americans (sadly), but I don't need to know them to address my opinion on the hypocritical postion the NFL is taking at the expense of all native americans. 

My father is a great man.  He taught me plenty of things growing up that I use on a daily basis.  One thing that sticks with me is this : Don't complain about a problem, and not have a proposal for a solution.  Otherwise your just complaining and nobody wants to be a complainer.  Thats true.  Complainers are the worst.  The painting is my proposed solution.  I felt like putting a woman in as the subject, for a predominantly male dominated sport as the spokeswoman for their brand was a good touch.  Also, be it that she's white, and from Switzerland really goes against the grain. I turned her in the opposing way of the current logo as a metaphor to my resistance.  Lastly, this Red Skin.  When I think of red skin in reference to native americans, I don't think of pigment.  I think of bloodshed.  

So yes.  Redskins, please consider changing your colors, team name and logo.  Although the Pats didn't change their name, the definitely switched up their colors and uniforms, and look what they turned into.... #facts.

-CB 

The boy always be watching the work unfold. 

The boy always be watching the work unfold. 

Underpainting, acrylic wash.

Underpainting, acrylic wash.

First layer.

First layer.

King just decided that my painting days are numbered, and he's going to chew through my shit.  He did NOT go unpunished.

King just decided that my painting days are numbered, and he's going to chew through my shit.  He did NOT go unpunished.

Taking form. 

Taking form. 

Touchups. Final.

Touchups. Final.