"Beauty and Grace are performed whether or not we sense them. The least we can do is try to be there." -Annie Dillard
A painting for my friends in the Church of the Sojourners in San Francisco, an amazing oasis on Potrero Hill where they
"seek to respond to Christ’s call by living together family-style, sharing our homes, resources, and friendship, our weaknesses as well as our strengths—not because living together is a requirement of committed discipleship, but because it is one real way we have found to provide us with numerous daily opportunities for forgiveness, humility, service, gratitude, worship, prayer, and other practicalities of sainthood which help build us into “the full measure of the stature of Christ.”
|Above the Fog Line|
This is one of those paintings that started out with a big group of people, running and leaping. One by one, they all got painted out, .leaving just this one figure, flying high.
After it was done, I remembered a place I worked 35 years ago in Alaska. An old local guy pointed at a ridge of mountains just across the border into Canada with seven glaciers on them and told me that only a couple people had ever hiked there that he knew of. The glaciers didn't have names. I never wanted to leave.
The more I experience, the more there is to tap into for my work.
After dinner we sometimes race to fog and drive to the Marin Headlands, hoping to see the sunset at the beach. Usually the fog wins, bringing an early dusk. A week ago pelicans flew in stately formation, and dolphins made circular leaps.
I usually arrive with baggage but am able to let it go in the course of an evening.
Just finished a crazy week, taking a friends' kids rides to camp, teaching another friend how to drive every night, cooking lunch for 100 homeless people over by the bus station. Painting got pushed to the back burner, but when I had quiet moments I painted this. Wishful thinking .
I knocked on my neighbor's door. "Erica, I need you and Dana to pose for a painting..." A common request over here. She gently climbed on the hood of her mother's car and onto her boyfriend's shoulders. They stood politely, facing left and right until I said, "Okay, I'm done." Dana took off, walking up the stairs with Erica screaming. I should have painted that.
It's been a crazy week. I had to ship three boxes to Left Bank in Cape Cod for a solo show. (Thank you, Audrey and Doug!) And I had openings for two group shows the last two Fridays at the Collector and Rhythmix. (Thank you, Janet, Christina, Sam, and Skye!) Both of my kids are home. Whenever I've had a spare moment, I've been teaching a friend how to drive. So much life, but when I had time in the studio, this is what came out....
Homage to Oakland, my town.
"Blessed are those whose strength is in You, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a place of springs. The autumn rains cover it with pools." Psalm84:5-6
I love twilight, when colors get so rich.
I pulled out a box labeled "ghosts" this week and read old journals. This painting was in response to all the storms I read about....
|Lighter than Air #9|
I was on TV! A news crew came to the Sou'wester when I was doing a residency there, and they included a 5 second clip of me. Check it out at http://goo.gl/9FFz47. It brings back the whole wonderful experience to me, complete with raindrops on my sketchpad. I can't wait to go back.
|Storyteller with Guitar|
This painting just found a home. The man who bought it called me after he hung it. "It feels like it was painted for this place and for my family." I love it when that happens. My hope is that every painting I make has a perfect fit--or else it gets painted over...
I have a new venue for my work! The Frame Company in Dublin isn't the flashiest venue, but the owner, Sawsan Wolski, has a big heart and great taste. She has 7 new altered book paintings of mine. Her contact info is (925)829-4777 and 7038 Village Pkwy, Dublin, Ca.
When I was little, up at my great-uncle's cabin, a friend got lost during a hide and seek game. Boy scouts at a camp up the mountain were called out to search into the evening. I remember my mother getting the news that she had been found.
|Big Black Bicycle|
My favorite bicycle was a heavy Flying Pigeon that I used when I lived in China. I was much taller than the girl in this painting, but I sure felt small and vulnerable then, pedaling around Zhengzhou. It was a really turbulent year there. I'm not sure if that's what this painting is about, but the clouds in this painting feel like strong emotions to me.
|Boy in Tree|
|Suitcase Four Hands|
Tis the season of art auctions. This painting will be up for bidding at ArtSpan in San Francisco on March 28. For more information, go to http://www.artspan.org/events/28/03/2015/artspan-art-auction.
The golden rule of improvisational theater is "Yes, and..." If someone says, "It' sure is hot here," another actor can respond, "Yes, and where are we going in this handbasket?" A wonderful rule for life; say yes as much as possible, and...
Okay, this is what I want to know: how do I live expansively when I'm struggling with constraints. How do I let go of anxiety and embrace gratitude? I guess for me part of the solution is in painting something like this.