Thursday, November 29, 2007

Holiday Open Studio

It is that time of year - the holidays are upon us. I am celebrating by having a festive Open Studio over two weekends in San Francisco. Tomorrow I will put the finishing touches on everything and open the doors on Saturday at 1pm. I invite you to stop by and see my latest work.

Holiday Open Studio
Two Weekends: December 1-2 and December 15-16, 1-6pm each day

Special Reception: Friday, December 14, 5-8pm
3069 Washington Street at Baker, San Francisco

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Wide-Angle View

I have spent the past week taking photographs of my Muir Beach studio to accompany an article about my art and studio space for a new magazine, Western Art & Architecture. It has been a learning experience. It has shown me how I have cultivated an eye for detail, and this assignment really challenged me because it called for a wide-angle view. In fact, I don’t even own a wide-angle lens and had to rent one from Adolph Gasser. Seeing my creative space with this broad vision was rather exciting, and made me more aware of how the architecture of the space with its high ceiling offers a sense of expansiveness that I often take for granted. Above the clutter of my collage making materials there is clear space - clean, white upperwalls and empty air. I like to think that this is where my ideas swirl around and germinate before landing.

The article by Leissa Jackmauh will be published in the Winter 2008 issue. Click here to learn more about Western Art & Architecture.

A Glimpse of Cornell

The other day, I caught a riveting glimpse of Joseph Cornell. I was running errands South of Market in San Francisco and found myself with a pocket of time thirty minutes long. As I drove down Third Street, I said to myself, “If I can find a spot on the street, I am going to SFMOMA to see the Joseph Cornell exhibit.” And sure enough, as luck would have it, there was one empty spot on the same block as the museum. I pulled in, and dug for quarters in my purse, only to get to the meter and realize in less than 15 minutes this parking spot would become a tow-away zone (3-7pm everyday). So I had to act fast and decided to glean what I could from an even shorter visit than I had planned. Once inside, the elevator deposited me on the 3rd floor. The shadowy galleries (lit low to protect the work) revealed a space of dreams. There is such whimsy and reverie in Cornell’s boxes and assemblages. It was painful to rush past them – like skimming a really well-written book. I will have to come back soon to re-read this exhibition before it closes on January 6. But at least those 15 minutes introduced a bit poetry into the midst of prosaic day.

The image above is the cover of the exhibition catalogue, which I have added to my Christmas wish list. Click here to learn more about it, or click here to see a google image search yielding an array of Cornell artworks.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Making Mail

I have spent the last several days making mail – addressing, stamping, and notewriting on over 1000 combined invites for two upcoming art events. The first is for a solo show in Woodstock, NY at the Gallery BMG that opens the day after Thanksgiving (click here to view that exhibition online). The second is my biggest correspondence endeavor of the year – invitations to my Holiday Open Studio held in San Francisco over two weekends – December 1-2 and December 15-16 with a reception on Friday, December 14 from 5-8pm. If you would like to get a snail mail invite, please send me your address.

I have a tendency to underestimate how much labor it takes to do mailings like these. Friends have repeatedly advised me to hire help for this task, and yet there is something meditative and personalizing for me about doing this myself. I touch each name and think of that person, and often add a little note in red ink for them. It’s way of acknowledging the community of people that have collected around my art. I am deeply grateful for their presence in my life. I would still make art without this concrete sense of audience, but it is definitely affirming to know personally all these people who value creative endeavors such as my own.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Swimming to Turrell

A week ago Sunday, I was my father’s guest at a party at the Napa home of art collectors Nora and Norman Stone. They were celebrating the completion of James Turrell’s Stone Sky – an installation of two of his signature sky ceilings, one of which hovers in the middle of their infinity pool, encased inside the cube (pictured here on the left) that can only be reached by swimming under water. The Stones graciously provided paper bathing suits for their guests, yet only a few ventured into the warm water and dove under the edges of this box into the magically lit space inside. A perfect square opening in the ceiling revealed the sky, but unlike any sky I had ever seen. Somehow Turrell combines special lighting and optics to create an ever-changing colorfield. The occasional bird or insects flying above reminded one that it was the real sky up there, and yet the range of color was unusually magnificent – pale greens, purples, deep indigo, and even orange. The light had a strange, almost spiritual eminence. The process of getting wet, crossing the length of the pool, and diving under into the unknown enhanced the sense of pilgrimage or transformation of one’s reality. As an artist who is an object-maker, I have deep respect for this artist who is an experience-maker. The memory of it will linger with me for a long time.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Gifts of Sanctuary

I spent the morning prepping my pieces for the Bolinas Museum Miniatures Exhibition, an annual fundraiser benefiting the Museum. All work in the show must be 6 x 6 x 6 inches or smaller, so I printed some maquette versions of three pieces from the Sanctuary series (pictured here) and fit them into 5 x 3.5 inch frames. I am always charmed by small scale things, so this show is really fun for me to participate in. The Mini Show opens with a reception on Saturday, November 17 from 3-5pm. To learn more, visit

I have also donated regular sized prints from the Sanctuary series – 16.5 x 11 inches – to two photography non-profits for their annual auctions. Sanctuary #2 will be auctioned off tomorrow night, November 3, in Carmel to benefit the Center for Photographic Art. You could see the nice range of work donated by artists for this cause by clicking here. I also have donated Sanctuary #1 to SF Camerawork for their annual photography auction which will be held in San Francisco on December 1. Learn more by visiting their web site at

The secret about these art auctions is that most work sells much below its regular retail value, so it can be a great place to begin collecting art or add a treasure to your already existing collection. Usually 100% of the sale goes directly to support the nonprofit. As an artist, I can only afford to make a certain number of donations each year. It depletes my inventory, and under current tax law, artists cannot deduct the retail value of their work when they donate - only the material costs. The organizations that I do donate to are ones that I truly value and am honored to support in this way. I invite you to support them too by bidding on or buying a piece at one of these events.