Showing posts from 2012

Women Artists: Jay DeFeo

SFMOMA is now hosting a retrospective exhibit of Jay DeFeo's work. This above is her most well-known work, titled "The Rose". She spent years on it, layering and sculpting paint, scraping it away.

Born in 1929, she grew up in the bay area, went to UC Berkeley, earning a BFA and an MFA in studio art. Sculpture, drawing, painting, collage, printmaking, photography, she tried it all. Realistic, abstract, and in between. Taught at Mills College for a while.  She was part of the SF art scene, until she died of cancer in 1989.
Wanna know more about Jay and her work?

Happy Holidays from my house to yours!


There are no words...

to express my sorrow. So I do what I can. I take action... Maybe you will too?

Learning Chinese in the Morning Paper

Readng the paper in bed this morning, sipping tea. Glancing through China Daily, which had appeared on my doorstep for the first time, I found one of my illustrations and mention of  Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes: Share and Sing in Two Languages. China Daily
I'd forgotten all about that interview.  Nice way to start the day!

This & That...and Happy Holidays!

Sunday night Dan made dinner while I finished off the thesis... Look at that gorgeous calzone!  It tasted great, too. 
Signed, sealed, delivered. DONE. Yes!  We had a drink in the city last night to celebrate. It was fun looking at all the store windows decorated for the holidays. The hotel bars were full of groups of happy people dressed up and celebrating after work.  On a tuesday night. ... Hmm, guess I don't get out much.
 I'm back in tea towel production...for my neighbor's holiday bazaar this Saturday.
Requests are already coming.  I might just have to make a business out of this.
Oh, and I got some new business cards. I decided, cute as they are, the tiny Moocards are just too small. But look, they're just the same, only bigger. Still cute, don't you think?
 Leave your email address below and I'll send you a link for a 10% discount on moocards.


Here we go... the holidays are upon us. Now, with that thesis out of the way, it's time to make a list and get to work. Working on holiday card ideas today...

I like the silver and gold birds in the tree, but it's just not colorful enough for me.
Back to the drawing board...

One Thesis: Finished

Yes! I turned it in yesterday. Felt so good.
"Beyond Frida Kahlo and Georgia O'Keefe"
What's that, you say? Beyond Frida & Georgia? But they are great artists. Yes, they are, but there are so many other great women artists that I bet you have never even heard of, let alone seen a book or two about. Especially books for kids.
 I took a class a while back called Women in Art. I was surprised to learn about many women artists I'd never heard of before. I got excited, asked too many questions in class, til the professor told me to stop (she did, really).  Oh, I guess I can find out on my own. So I did.
And I wrote five picture books, each about a different woman artist.
 Rosa Bonheur, Maria Martinez, Sonia Delaunay, Elizabeth Catlett, Ruth Asawa
Look for them in print some day.
Who would you like to see a book about?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving, dear followers!  I am so thankful for all of you. I hope you have a lovely holiday with good food and great friends. And ... a reminder that my artwork is still up  at  Rick & Ann's restaurant in Berkeley,  til December 9th. If you're still hungry... stop by for breakfast, lunch, or even dinner.

Illustration Friday: Tree


Thank you!

Thanks to those of you who came out to Rick & Ann's for breakfast. Boy, their food is tasty! Cornmeal pancakes, gingerbread waffles, homefries, spicy sausages, giinger peach scones. YUM! 
Don't feel bad if you missed it. My artwork will be up til December 9th.  Stop by if you're in the neighborhood!
Rick & Ann's

Art exhibit at Rick & Ann's

These and more will be up and for sale at Rick & Ann's restaurant in Berkeley, Ca. October 30th - Dec.9, 2012 I'll be there for breakfast from  10 am -12 noon   Sunday November 4th. Come join me, I'd love to see you!

Inspiration: Ruth Asawa

Here's the last woman artist I'm writing up for my thesis. Aren't these two photos gorgeous? They were taken by Imogene Cunningham. Ruth Asawa was born in 1926 in southern California. Her parents were Japanese immigrant farmers, but due to the laws of the time, not allowed to own land or become US citizens.
When Ruth was 16, in 1942, her father was arrested by the FBI, and taken away for six years. Ruth, her mother and siblings were sent to an interment camp, first at Santa Ana racetrack, where they lived in horse stables. Later they were moved to a camp in Arkansas. Ruth finished high school there, and was taught by many artists also interned.
After the war, she studied to become an art teacher in Wisconsin.  To graduate she needed to complete student teaching, but couldn't get a position in a school, due to her Japanese heritage in the postwar era. She decided to go to Black Mountain College instead.
At Black Mountain College, she studied with Merce Cunningham, J…

Let's Go Shopping!

I am not a big shopper. I like to get in and out and be done. However, there are some stores I do like to browse in: Bookstores,  farmer's markets, shoe stores, plant nurseries, and any kind of art supply stores: fabric, yarn, 'notions', old-fashioned hardware stores. Anthropologie, for the colors, the patterns, clever displays!  (but way too expensive).
But my favorite is the once a year White Elephant Sale sponsored by the Oakland Museum, so big it has departments: clothing, shoes, art, housewares, furniture, books. A great big treasure hunt, all during the month of February. I usually go 3 or 4 times.
Where do you like to shop? 
 To counter all the materialism above, here's a film that looks great: 

And this miniseries on PBS, started last week. If you haven't seen it yet, check it out. We were on the edge of our seats, alternately laughing or in tears last night. 

Another Show...

this time atRick & Ann's They make the best breakfasts around!  (gingerbread waffles, anyone?) October 30 - Dec. 10. 2012 2922 Domingo St. Berkeley, CA

Proud Mom Alert!

He blogs now, too.

Take a look at this

Inspiration: Sonia Delaunay

Here's another artist I'm learning about right now.   Sonia Delaunay was born in the Ukraine in 1885, into a poor family. She went to live with her wealthy uncle when she was a little girl, and was well-educated by them, and they eventually adopted her. She went to school in Germany, then convinced her aunt and uncle to send her to art school in Paris.

 She married a gay art collector friend, Wilhelm Uhde, in order to stay in Paris. Her aunt and uncle wanted her to return to St Petersburg, marry and live the life of a wealthy aristocrat. She wanted none of it. Soon, she started exhibiting her work. Within a year she met Robert Delaunay, divorced Uhde, and married Robert. They had a baby, Charles, in 1911. She made him a 'modernist' baby quilt, which began her explorations with fabric. However, Robert's career often took precedence over hers.

Sonia started designing clothing around 1912. She continued exhibiting her work. In 1917, the Russian Revolution caused fu…


Look at those pretty yellow pears on the table...
Think I'll paint them. This is how it looks in phase one,  before I covered it all up with ink...

And... the final painting. Sorry, a crooked photo will have to suffice, couldn't scan it...yet. I'm in new computer hell here, having to upgrade everything, with nonstop glitches along the way.  BTW, thanks for all the kind comments recently... so far all is going well in Rhode Island.  (classes start tomorrow, with a 5 hour drawing class - sounds like fun to me!)  Our dog, Roo, has been climbiing the spiral stairs to his attic room and sleeping on his bed the last few days. I know how she feels.

On his way...

So, our boy left for college on the other side of the country today. The listmaking, scrambling, packing, and rushing around has been intense in our house these last few days. These are not very good photos of the quilt I made, at his request, for his bed in the dorms; "Kinda dark, maybe brown, lumberjack-ish, and would you please use this old plaid shirt of mine?"
OK, one brown quilt, coming right up. I didn't want to put a huge amount of effort into this one, 'cuz who knows what kind of shape it will come back in. I fondly remember my time in college dorms and all the crazy things we did. My mom will be pleased to know he also packed the baby quilt she made long ago.
To wrap up in when he's homesick? Maybe.
I'm looking forward to our first skype chat tomorrow, and a tour of his new digs.
Oh, my boy, the house is already so lonely without you.
And so am I.

What do you need for a happy life?

I was asked this question at my first 'back to school' staff meeting. A moment to pause and reflect, before the race of the school year begins.

I need sunlight and flowers and raindrops. I need walks in the woods, on the beach, on a city street, in a museum, or a beautiful garden.
I need some animals around, usually a dog, who love me just cause I walked in the door.
I need my bike to ride, my legs and arms to stretch and run and do yoga, and someone to rub away the pain. Or a hot tub soak now and then.
I need and am grateful for good health.
I need the laughter and comforting acceptance of old friends, and the possibility of new ones.
I need ART and music and dancing and great food and drink and someone to share it all with.
I need all the colors of the rainbow. And some paintbrushes, paint, fabric, thread and yarn.A sewing machine, too.
I need BOOKS, piles of books. And time to read them.
I need explorations near and far, sometimes alone and sometimes not.
I need to do …

Gardening frustration and other things

My vegetable garden has been rather wimpy this summer. I did get some great kale, chard and lettuce in June. But the rest of the summer it has been one issue after another. Battling with the squirrels, above, over squash. This was going to be a beautiful butternut, one of my favorites for making soup.

 It remains to be seen if we get any red tomatoes, September is usually when they ripen. It was a fog in the morning- sunny afternoon kind of summer, with many warm days, so I'm not sure why my vegs have been so lackluster.

Here is a leaf painting I made last week. A photo will have to suffice. Just got a new computer and now I have to upgrade everything, CS 5 or 6, Word, etc... it''ll take a while to get all the bits working. It's one of those 'if you give a mouse a cookie' sort of things... one thing leads to twenty more. Ugh!

We did get a lot of gorgeous anemones, though. Usually they don't bloom til September... and this was last week. Do you think we'…