Bay Area Stairways

Hundreds of secret stairways lead up and down the hills of the San Francisco Bay Area. From them you can spot alleyways, rooftops, and backyard nooks, and take in cityscapes and sweeping views. My stairway paintings travel along these paths, carving them out with crooked angles, curves, light and shadow, and warm, happy colors. 

In the spirit of Picasso and David Hockney, these works explore how to paint the journey of a city walk. They show a stairway not as if the viewer were staring at it from just one point—an artificial view—but as we experience it: walking up the path, looking left, looking right, glancing back down; taking in the broad view, and admiring each petal on a flower. 

The series combines my delight in the playfulness of stairways—their ups and downs and curves and turns—with the simple love of the Bay Area’s neighborhoods and hills. That love grew even deeper during the pandemic, when the hills provided respite from the lockdowns.