Art Battle SF

I’ve been selected to paint at the next Art Battle San Francisco. A group of artists (several of them friends of mine, as it turns out) get 20 minutes to turn a blank canvas into a painting, then the audience votes on what painting (or artist) they like best. Top scorers compete again at the end of the night, with the overall winner going on to higher levels of competition. All paintings are up for auction at the end of the night. In a nightclub.

What have I agreed to?!?


I’m closer to 50 than 40 and I haven’t had a drink in nearly six years, so nightclubs are no longer my jam. I paint quickly, but not THAT quickly. And competition? Seeking approval? Having my work judged? Shit.

I’ve heard “if you’re not growing you’re dying.” So I’ll look on this as a growth opportunity. My debut may be the Gong Show, or it might be A-OK. I’ll have friends among the fellow artists, and hopefully among the audience, so it should be a lot of fun in any case!

Witness it all shake down a week from tonight at The Great Northern in San Francisco (ages 21 and up).

Edit after the event: it was so many kinds of fun (and a little stressful)! It’s breathtaking watching artists create in front of you. Some had a more or less complete painting within five minutes (amazing!) that they refined for the remaining 15, which others worked very methodically, with the painting only resolving in the final moments (thrilling!). Here’s what I created, which is in some ways entirely unlike any other painting I’ve made. Photo credit goes to the collector as I forgot in my excitement to take any snapshots. (All pieces created are available via silent auction at the end of the night.)

Snap by collector.jpg