Sunday, December 1, 2013

One Minute Tutorial

Halloween 2013, oil on canvas 24 x 32 in.

The current show at City Art will remain up until January 25 2014, and will include a group of my oil paintings of musicians. I have wanted to show this group of paintings together there practically since I started in 2007! Please don't forget to go, and when inside, look above the front windows.

I was recently asked about giving painting lessons. I think it would take about 5 minutes to explain my technique, but part of it is rules to work by and here are a few of mine:
I start by placing the heads in the composition, then adding the line of the shoulders and plane of the torso.
In the end, if the faces look weird, the whole painting will.
I don't use paint straight out of the tube: most colors need to be mixed.
I don't use every color in the rainbow in a painting:  if you leave out part of the spectrum, even one color, the painting will have atmosphere.
A few years ago I took a workshop with Stanley Goldstein and he gave us his own set of rules to work by - it changed my life! One was that pure white paint may very well only need to appear on a painting when representing the light source (such as light bulbs or flames).
And. . . get your artwork professionally photographed (unlike what I have done here).

Friday, November 1, 2013

The City Art Postcard!

Open studios was a success and I'm so grateful to everyone who visited and my friends who helped out. Still exhausted from it. Tonight was an opening at City Art:  another month, another show. I was flattered that they used the image of my painting for the postcard. A lot of my new paintings are there now for my Day of the Dead (and one Halloween) theme. We went to visit my mom this week and she said (about my painting and showing) that I'm relentless, and I liked that.

Sunday, October 13, 2013


Please visit my art studio in the stable building at:
2169 Folsom St. (between 17th & 18th)
Studio S-107 (gate at north end of complex)

Saturday & Sunday October 26 - 27
11am - 6pm

With the stunning photography of Sean Vallely:

Previews on the ArtSpan website:
Hadley Northrop
Sean Vallely


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Open Studios is at the end of this month, so I should be finishing paintings in progress

My wall at City Art, October 2013

Yesterday, instead of the precarious work of saving difficult areas of paintings while not destroying those I like, and having it all hold together (it is so much more fun starting art than completing it), I took out a very old painting and began reworking it. My early paintings tend to be less saturated in color, as I believe I used to begin drawing in black with white, bringing in grays (nowadays I usually start with white, then yellow, then orange). The finish was usually matte, but often with the texture of previous even older paintings showing through, and my style was bold and loose in a way that I do miss now. The drawing was strong too, but I didn't go beyond the photographic source to really flatter the subjects and create a little world like I do now. So, I started by adding red lipstick to the women in the old, unsold painting and just like in real life, it livened them up. I couldn't stop there. Looking at my Pinterest page of favorite paintings, I see the common themes of people and a black-white-red-violet palette, so I want to see if I can make this painting into one of  those. I will also have to restretch it to address the compositional awkwardness, and frame it to hide the rewrapped edges.

Monday, September 2, 2013

"In a Very Old Pub"

 2009 oil on canvas 30 x 28 in.
Just saw "World's End" and then brought up this painting and the place it depicts: the Wykeham Arms in Winchester. It won the Good Pub Guide's Town Pub of the Year 2013. Congratulations Wykeham Arms! You still look great after 258 years!

So I'm basically showing at City Art from now until the end of January! They're open Wednesday - Sunday noon - 9pm with openings on the first Friday of every month from 7 - 10pm, so any time you go in the next 5 months, you'll see my paintings in the front room along with other gallery members' art.
September:  oil paintings on canvatex (canvas that is in sheets like paper), matted and framed.  People always assume these are photographs at first look! Bar and restaurant scenes from Paris, San Francisco and England.
October:  a mix of oil on canvas and the canvatex paintings, ranging from 10 x 10 in. to 30 x 28 in. - united by the opulent motifs of ornate gold frames, mirrors, and lighting fixtures.
November:  Day of the Dead
December, and January 2014:  Musicians

Back at Arc Gallery & Studio, Squared Alumni September 4 - 28, reception September 11, 6 - 9pm

Art for Aids October 25, 5:30 - 10pm

And of course, Open Studios October 26 & 27, 11am - 6pm
And ArtSpan's show at SOMArts featuring work by hundreds of San Francisco Open Studios artists.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Arrangements in space

Above the stairs at my studio - I love fitting paintings into spaces but this arrangement will probably have to come down to make way for new paintings at Open Studios. These are all scenes from Headlands Center for the Arts' Mystery Ball.
In addition to the upcoming shows listed in last month's entry, I will also be in the UCSF Alliance Health Project's Art for Aids. I haven't been at this spectacular fundraiser since they began holding it at the City View at the Metreon and can't wait to see. Friday, October 25, 2013 5:30 - 9:30pm at 135 Fourth Street, San Francisco.
I also signed up to show at City Art Gallery October 30 - December 1. In honor of the time of year, I will show Day of the Dead paintings, many of them new and to be on view for the first time at Open Studios at the end of October. 
In addition to the Day of the Dead scenes, I have some new small night time landscapes, bar scenes on canvatex to be behind glass, and it just happens that I have been painting children a lot recently. Children are a challenging subject, with their chubby faces that can go so wrong, but these are bold, colorful children, in costume and out in the night - maybe even some gypsy children will be on the way!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Let's cool down with some polar bears.

Polar Bears, oil on canvas, 20 x 16 in. each, only #3 still available

The year is halfway over! Here's what I have planned so far:

Fundraiser for the Teen Van at Arc Studios & Gallery Sep. 11
Showing at City Art October 2 - 27, preview October 4
Signed up for Open Studios (October 26 & 27)
(Send me your postal address if you'd like to be on my mailing list and receive the postcard!)

And I'm applying for various other shows and commissions which I'll let you know about.

Saturday, June 1, 2013


Compassion Made Visible is the name of the show and event at a.Muse Gallery:  June 15, 2013, 7 - 10pm

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Choosing images

2013 oil on canvas 28 x 22 in.
Here is one of the three paintings I did for the evening of Maitri residents' stories at a.Muse Gallery, which is coming in June.
The professional photographs provided made it easy to dive into this project. I responded to this pianist's face, in reverie with her music, the happy, bright pinks, and the compositions with strong diagonals and people surrounded by their interior settings. Another powerful image was a snapshot of a resident as a child with her brother and father, a poignant personal memento that at the same time feels familiar, as I grew up in the same era myself.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Four Elements

Fiery Path, oil on canvas 9 x 12 in.

This month my work will be included in an exhibition at the San Francisco Zen Center for their celebration of Earth Week.
Honoring Earth: The Four Elements will be on display in the Julia Morgan-designed City Center at 300 Page St. at Laguna in San Francisco from April 1 - 30 with a reception on Friday April 26 from 7:30 - 9pm.
The Zen Center is open to the public, and has a bookstore that is open Mon. - Fri. 1:30 - 5:30pm and Sat. 11am - 1pm. The The SFZC website will give you information about other hours and events. I hope you can go and experience the architecture, the art, and the Zen.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Mission Nights

Mission Gate 2012, oil on canvas, 10 x 10 in.
Woman at Velvet Underground Night 2012, oil on canvas, 10 x 10 in.
How lovely to be invited back to ArtZone 461 to show again in a group exhibition of small works. E. Dale Erickson is in the main gallery, and about ten of us, several of us as guest artists, have a few works each in the side gallery. Tracy Taylor Grubbs, who was my studiomate at Belcher, is in Small Works too so it was nice to be reunited (well, I've seen her many times since we all lost that beautiful studio, but now our paintings are together again)! The current show runs through March 31 and is open Wed. - Sun. noon - 6.
A funny thing happened with "Woman at Velvet Underground Night" on Facebook: ArtZone put up an album, comments started on this painting and the multi-band tribute night it was from, and we were able to determine who the mystery woman in the yellow dress was! She seems happy with it.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

"Heart of Candles" 2013, oil on canvas, 11 x 11 in.
Sorry this post is a couple days late! I'm still planning out what I will be doing and trying this year. I look forward to receiving lots of rejection letters and having a few exciting new things pan out in 2013!

In the Spring a. Muse Gallery will host a special fundraiser for Maitri (residential care for people living with AIDS). "Significant Others" will feature readings of residents' amazing stories, and an art exhibition which I'll be a part of. I'm currently working on portraits of a couple of Maitri residents.

I hear that some of my little fire in the woods paintings will be included in the San Francisco Zen Center Art Lounge's April group show; in honor of Earth Day it will have a four elements theme.

I have an Etsy shop but don't know if I'll continue:  it feels like Etsy has changed and it's really hard to get views of your shop now without promoting. So, please visit my shop!

Finally, I have a Pinterest (and am trying to figure out what that means). Why not go see and share my stuff on there as well as my board of artists who inspire me. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy 1/1/13!

"Magic Underwater Tree" 2012 oil on canvas, 9 x 12 in.

Show at PinUp Galleria in San Rafael open until Friday January 11 (Mon. - Sat. noon - 6pm)

Wonder at the Berkeley Art Center through January 27 (Wed. - Sun. noon - 5pm)

I think I'll try for Arc Studios & Gallery's Guerrilla Show: Join the Revolution, Bay Area Juried Exhibition & Off-the-Wall Sale January 19- 26 (Wed. & Thurs. noon - 5 and Sat. noon - 3) 

And lots more to come this year. Thank you for visiting the blog!