Apr 27, 2016

open studios


It's open studio season. Last weekend I showed my work at Hunters Point. Always intense, hauling 60 paintings over in a borrowed van (thanks Elmer and Annette), hanging down art down in the basement (thanks Ed), and meeting and greeting for two days. It's a rare chance to get direct input on my work. My favorite response this time was the woman who said, "Your paintings are of a world where hope exists." And the sweet couple who bought a painting for their wedding next week.

Sunday night, I enlisted another borrowed van and crew (thanks Mark, Brandon and Noah) and hauled 53 paintings over the Bay Bridge as it got dark. That sweet relief of the familiar cranes of the Port of Oakland welcoming me home.

Day after tomorrow it's a repeat performance, this time at the Hotel del Sol on Webster St. in SF. The stART up art fair will be Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, noon to 7:00. If you missed one, you can do the other. This one is new for me: 50 artists in a vintage 1960's motel. I would love to see you there.

Apr 12, 2016

Reading in a Night Wood

Reading in a Night Wood
36"x48"
It's open studio season. I am transporting carloads of paintings to Hunters Point for the April 23-24 show. A week later I'll be at the stARTup Art Fair at the Hotel Del Sol, also in San Fransisco. But all  I really want to do in curl up with a good book.

Apr 4, 2016

Reunion


Reunion

I'm often asked to donate to charitable auctions. An organization that placed me in a teaching job in China years ago asked if I would give something to their fundraiser, so I took over this painting. A woman I know named Shirley bid on it and got it, and I delivered it to her one Sunday morning at church. She was on her way to choir, and I had to go teach a class, but when she said, "I need to tell you why I had to have this painting," I stopped in my tracks. I knew she had something to teach me about the painting that would change and deepen it for both of us. She unwrapped the painting and started to cry. "My mother died when I was eight years old. We weren't a demonstrative family, very Chinese. But someday we'll have a reunion like this..."

Mar 31, 2016

Circle of Friends

Circle of Friends

We just returned from a trip to see old friends. What can I say? I miss them and so deeply appreciate them.

Mar 28, 2016

Traveler

Traveler

A friend just stayed with us on her way home from 3 months working in Thailand. She graduates from college in June. She was carrying a lot of stuff--intense overseas experiences, unresolved relationships, uncertainty about what to do after graduation. This painting is my prayer for her.

Mar 26, 2016

Mar 4, 2016

Three of Us, Man in Sky, Brave New World




It's spring here in California, which means it's time to ship work to the Left  Bank Gallery in Cape Cod. I drag up salvaged computer boxes from the basement and wrap 10 paintings in old sheets, wedged in place with recycled styrofoam. The guys at my house help me load them in the car, and I drive them  up in the hills to Doug's house, where he helps me ship them at commercial rate. And then they are flung out into the unknown world of planes and trucks, my children leaving home. Thank you to Audrey for giving them an audience so far away. And thank you to Doug for your part in the journey.

Feb 26, 2016

Every Day

Every Day
36"x36"

The artist's life--facing a blank canvas and trying to forget the mortgage, the kid's tuition, the gallery deadline, the dirty dishes and sick cat. My studio is a place to forget. It's also a place to remember what's really important. And somehow it all works out.

Feb 23, 2016

Three of Us

Three of Us
12"x9"

A prayer for our kids, that they be safe and know they're loved, even when they're far away.

Feb 9, 2016

Woman on Rocks with Suitcase, Again

Woman on Rocks with Suitcase
12"x24"

I am so grateful for friends who welcome me with my baggage, who listen when I feel stuck, who get me laughing when I don't see any options.

Feb 6, 2016

Five Balls

Five Balls
36"x36"

"That hunger, that desire for success is nothing more than a fear of failure....And the odd thing is that when you are actually succeeding, it tends to be quiet and comes quit unannounced and without a lot of fanfare. You will, in fact, be the only person who ever really grasps or recognizes the internal successes. The work of the work is visible only to yourself."
--Teresita Fernandez

Feb 3, 2016

Turning Point

Turning Point
20"x20"

"How should we take account of, question, describe what happens every day and recurs every day: the banal, the quotidian, the obvious, the common, the ordinary, the infra-ordinary, the background noise, the habitual? How are we to speak of these common things, how to track them down, how to flush them out, wrest them from the dross in which they are mired, how to give them meaning, a tongue, to let them finally, speak of what it is, who we are."  --Georges Perec

Jan 30, 2016

Beach Fire #6

Beach Fire #6


I got a big dose of creative block last month after the holidays. One thing that helps is to return to old themes. Exploring something familiar in a new way can help to open the floodgates and get new ideas flowing.

Jan 19, 2016

Snowy Road

Snowy Road
10"x36"

My family and some friends went to the Ripple Creek Cabins up in the Trinities after Christmas. There's a part of me that is so rooted in the mountains. I taught school in the Sierras when I graduated from college, and I loved it so much when the first snow came. The city is great, but I have to go back to wood stoves and snow boots once a year...

Jan 16, 2016

The Amazing Vanishing Act #3

The Amazing Vanishing Act #3
14"x14"

I'm very good at this. Third child in my family, I could disappear when things heated up. I passed on the skill to my daughter, but I always know when she's starting to vanish.

Jan 15, 2016

Embrace #17

Embrace #17
20"x20"
What can I say? Where do paintings come from?  Wanting to remember tight hugs, feeling safe, everything's okay, don't worry I'm here.

Jan 13, 2016

Pacific Grove Art Center show




I have a solo show called Vantage Points going on now until Feb 25 at the Pacific Grove Art Center. The opening was Last Friday night, and I really felt like a princess--so many wonderful people and great music and food. Many thanks to the staff and members  who did an amazing job hanging and lighting the work. If you are down by Carmel and Monterey, please stop in.

Jan 12, 2016

A Toast #3

A Toast #3
20"x40"

Rather risky, a woman making a toast. After all these years of art and community and growth, I still would prefer to hide in the kitchen.

Dec 11, 2015

The Long Haul

The Long Haul

This is another painting based on a sketch from 20 years ago. The symbols from then still hold true for me, deepening with color and light.

Dec 9, 2015

Mother and Child #40

Mother and Child #40

I have a big box of sketch books under a table in my studio. Lately I've been going through them, tearing out pages from old ones and referring to them for painting ideas. I found one of me holding my daughter, and that feeling of warmth and heaviness came back to me so strongly. God, hold me this week when I am tired and overwhelmed....

Nov 29, 2015

Reunion in Headlights

Reunion in Headlights


When I was 23, I moved to a small town in the Sierras to teach first grade. Seems like someone else's life. But I still remember getting really lost one night, going to a dinner party. I drove up and down highway 49, and I finally gave up. I called my friends from a gas station down the hill and cried and said I couldn't come. "No! We'll all stand outside and wave!" they told me. There was no more wonderful sight than this wacky group of missfits, waving at me in the forest.

Nov 28, 2015

Silver Water, triptych

Silver Water, triptych
I have this painting in my living room, filling a wall. I want to remember that safe feeling of being held, when everything is so big.

Nov 25, 2015

Up in the Air

Up in the Air

One phone call, one slip up, one passing comment, one turn-and-leave, and suddenly everything is different. One plane ride, one pregnancy test, one I-do, one knock on the door, and suddenly some things are gone forever and new possibilities open up. The only constant is that crazy uncertainty.

Nov 24, 2015

Storm Coming

Storm Coming



Do you remember that feeling, when the wind picks up and everything is blowing and alive, and maybe change can happen and it will all be okay?

Nov 22, 2015

open table


 Every Wednesday night we have an open table--friends know they can drop by for a bowl of soup and a home grown salad. The challenge for me is that I get restless if I just sit when everyone is talking after the food is done. So I've started painting the people who come. I want to honor them and remember the night, and I also hope to create an installation of 30 or so portraits, all 12"x12". Stay tuned.



Nov 21, 2015

Beach Fire, Pink Sky

Beach Fire, Pink Sky

It's cold, it's blue, but we're together, and this sky is bigger than all of us.

Sep 22, 2015

Windy Hilltop

Windy Hilltop
40"x40"

"Beauty and Grace are performed whether or not we sense them. The least we can do is try to be there."  -Annie Dillard

Sep 18, 2015

On My Way

On My Way
12"x12"

Nothing scares me more than traveling, leaving my nest and routine. 

Sep 13, 2015

Slow Dance

Slow Dance
24"x20"

Another prayer painting for someone I care about very much.

Sep 10, 2015

Sojourners

Sojourners
54"x32"

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.”

Aug 20, 2015

Parent and Child at Beach

Parent and Child at Beach
12"x14"

The more stressed and anxious I feel,  the more I want to paint peace.

Aug 17, 2015

Aug 14, 2015

Above the Fog Line

Above the Fog Line
30"x30"

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.

Jul 28, 2015

Sojourner

Sojourner
20"x30"

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.

Jul 25, 2015

Yosemite Reader

Yosemite Reader

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 .

Jul 15, 2015

Pyramid

Pyramid
40"x40"

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.

Jul 12, 2015

Rooftop

Rooftop
16"x16"

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....

Jun 30, 2015

Transcendence #2

Transcendence #2
40"x40"

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

Jun 27, 2015

Girl Dancing


Girl Dancing

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....