Sunday, October 23, 2011

Supporting the Locke Foundation

If you read this blog, you know that Locke, California is one of my favorite places to paint.  It's also the home of several of my artist friends including Martha Esch, Ernie Wester and Chris Spencer.   Going to Locke is always a treat...and of course a beer and hamburger at Al the Wop's is required.

The Locke Foundation is the Locke town council and they raise funds for improvements and historic projects in the little town.  Saturday was the Harvest Homecoming Festival, a fund raiser that included Chinese singers, dancers, a chinese orchestra and, of course, Chinese FOOD!  A great time!!

I donated three paintings that I've done over the years in Locke.  All of them sold in the silent auction!!  I was very pleased to contribute the proceeds, and also pleased that they all sold!  How about that!?? 

I could only find pictures of two of the paintings and they are included here.  Both were 12 x 16 I believe. The one on main street was painted during the annual chili cook-off on stretched pre-toned canvas.  Painting while your insides are being dissolved by incredibly hot - and delicious - chili is a challenge.  The tequila shots that many of the chili vendors pass out as bribes to vote for their chili don't help a lot either.  The painting of the buildings in the alley behind main Street was done on a toned canvas panel.  I've always liked this painting.  I used black acrylic gesso to sketch the scene and also to block in the darks.  The rest of the painting was done in oils.  This black gesso technique gives a painting a lot of contrast....something my work can sometimes lack.  The gesso is also really nice to paint over with oils...Take a look at the handrails painted over the black gesso in the lower left of the painting.  I like the effect.  The third painting not shown here was also painted from the end of Main Street during the Chili Cook-off a few years ago.  It was a large painting done entirely on location.  I think the beer helped me see it through

 Don't miss a chance to visit Locke if you get it!!


  1. Bruce, I love these paintings of Locke! The shapes of the buildings are so active and lively! The colors sing! Very nice work, indeed!

  2. Bruce,
    You have a great website! Nice paintings of Locke. C'mon back, we miss you. Say, August 4 2012 is our 5th annual Self Portrait Contest in Locke. You might be the $100 cash winner by public vote. Come join us and bring your fresh self portrait at noon on Aug 4.
    ~Your Friend, Martha

    1. Hi Martha! Great to hear from you. I haven't forgotten about is and always will be one of my favorite places. I haven't painted a self portrait in many years. Don't know if I can get one done it time, but I will try to make it down there whether I do or not.

  3. Hi Bruce. I have shown one of your paintings to some friends. You are a wonderful artist. I'm a writer in San Francisco, and found your work after visiting Locke. I google Locke and one of your works came up. Just wanted to tell you how much I am enjoying your work, and letting people know about what i find. All the best, Meg Pokrass, San Francisco

  4. Hi Meg! What a pleasure to find your very generous and kind comments today. I continue to paint in Locke whenever I have the opportunity. There's something about the place that draws me back again and again, even when the results aren't so great. I guess it's a bit like golf: you always will do better next time! And then too, there are some wonderful folks there, including several talented painters: they certainly add to the attraction.

    Thanks again for your encouraging words. They are particularly meaningful coming from a fellow artist.