There is an area in Santa Barbara known as the Funk Zone. It is relatively small in size and houses local businesses like coffee shops, Surf Board Manufacturers/sellers, Wineries, Art Galleries, Pizza joints, etc. The tall building near the end of the street is known as the, "Bekins Building" which I believe houses some photography studios.
I painted this painting back in 2003 for my Solo exhibition at the Carnegie Art Museum, in Oxnard, CA. It was one of the rare occasions where I started off with a reddish under painting. I believe I started the painting at 8pm and finished around two AM.
Normally, there is plenty of traffic in this location; esp. on Sundays during the Beach Festival on Cabrillo Blvd. However at midnight to two a.m. there is another crowd of people who seem to come out of the woodwork and saunter through the streets.
My attraction to the subject here is the funk; this location has enough of "Old Santa Barbara" to keep me intrigued, without it becoming too melancholy. It is slowly being revitalized to make way for the "New and Tidy".
This night, the only real challenge was to stay focused on my painting, and not succumb to the smell of freshly baked Rusty's Pizza wafting from the building next door.
Regarding the content of the painting; it sure 'feels' desolate. Even in a beautiful city such as Santa Barbara, the Funk Zone is an extremely safe place to paint at night.
Midnight in the Funk Zone
24x32 oil/canvas 2005
Painting subject to prior sale