Sunday, March 13, 2016


Roger-Viollet Rue de Seine 1910

It's finally raining in Northern California and it's coming down in buckets!

Am preparing for an exhibition in April and spending many hours in the studio.
The exhibition is titled Tributary and references the importance of water within my own artistic process and also as a metaphor for time and movement.

 ‘All our final decisions are made in a state of mind that is not going to last.’
“Toutes nos décisions finales sont prises dans un état d’esprit qui ne va pas durer.”
Marcel Proust

I've been enjoying the freedom of painting on canvas and my connection between abstraction and figuration grows stronger.  With each decision the possibilities narrow and the conversation between artist and material takes shape.  Intuitive logic rules the day.  

As the hills turn green, my heart rejoices!   
Color has a spiritual impact.

A link to the exhibition at Abrams Claghorn follows

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

A Persian figural pottery bowl, possibly Kashan c.13th century
As the new term is beginning, we in the ivory tower are graciously allowed to reinvent ourselves. A future bright as we can make it.
Our dreams and visions fly far outside the realms of assessment and roll calls.
The world of the spirit is exquisite and at our fingertips.
Creativity is the joy that we feel when we invent.  The world is our oyster.
Let’s go into 2014 with a courageous heart.

Niki de Saint-Phalle, plasticienne française 1970s

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

International Woman's Day- Elizabeth Catlett

                                         March is Women's History Month

                                 In celebration of Elizabeth Catlett, Sculptor

Elizabeth Catlett was born in 1915 in Washington, DC.  She earned her BS  cum laud from Howard University in 1935 and her MFA in 1940 from the University of Iowa's School of Art and Art History. She became the first woman to head the sculpture department at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, School of Fine Arts in 1958.She received the International Sculpture Center's (ISC) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.The visionary life and work of this powerful artist is inspiring.  At 96 years young, she continues to exhibit her works in sculpture and printmaking. 

   Elizabeth Catlett we salute you!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Kathryn McBride

Kathryn McBride "Loaded with Potential"

Kathryn Mc Bride left us for the Great Kilns in the Sky this winter 2012. 
A kind and generous person who created wonderful and poetic tromp l"oeil sculpture has been taken from this world.  She was the type of person and artist who wanted to talk about your work.  She was humble, kind and extremely gifted. These are the types that seem to get out fast.

I feel her spirit above me in the Pacific air,in the light dancing off the ocean.  She inspired us with her grace and her poetry. The craftsmanship within her works is remarkable.  Her poetic narrative is captivating.
 I want to see more of her work.  She left some beautiful art behind and touched many students at Cabrillo College along with all her compadres. She made her beautiful mark.
 I wish I had known her better.  We shared the same alma mater, SFSU. 
She made us all proud.

 To know the artist is something special, a hidden peek within the CREATIVE.  She is one of our own and it is a heavy loss. The beautiful delicacy of her spirit will remain.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Minoan Pottery

               "Nature Always wears the colors of the Spirit."
                                                              Ralph Waldo Emerson
Minoan Jar
Minoan Jar from Knossos 1425 BCE with Papyrus decoration. Housed in the Heraklion Museum, Crete.

                              Marine Style  Minoan Ovoid Rhyton from Palaikastro, Crete.  
The interlocking scallop design forms a wavy pattern of bubble shapes that appear to rise towards the top of this tapered vessel.  The calligraphic elegance of the strong staccato lines running vertically up the sides of this vessel provides a poetic unity to the composition.  

Bridge spouted Jar from Aghia Triada, Crete 1500-1400 BCE,

Shard of a Marine Style Jar from Heraklion Museum, Crete.
This lovely shard has an exceptionally fine slip painted design.  The brush marks show a fresh and improvisational quality.  The combination of thick and thin lines create a lovely filagree.  This shard retains it's aura of exquisite beauty, even in its battered state,

Minoan Abstract Spiral Stirrup Jar from Kato Zacros, Crete
The spiral is a universal symbol replete with meaning.  It suggests motion, growth, transformation and directional force.  The  motif is sometimes related to the solar calender and reflects the rhythm of the seasons.

The powerful element of Line and its infinite capacity to describe rhythm and motion, its ability to evoke emotional response from fury to serenity, is employed gracefully through the hands of the Minoan potter.
Tension is created between the lyric freshness of the brushstroke and the expert control of the tools and materials.  The slip decorations suggest a highly evolved method of improvisation and artistic virtuosity.  Possessing vitality, breath, ease and fluidity, the innovative wares of the middle to late Minoan period remain a high point of artistic achievement in the ancient world.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Beauty in August

The difference between utility and utility plus beauty is the difference between telephone wires and the spider web.
Edwin Way Teal
There are several pressing subjects that should truly be demanding my attention but Beauty surpasses each one. This feathered gown by Alexander McQueen is a deep and beautiful dream.  It transports the imagination.  

"Beauty is a primeval phenomenon, which itself never makes its appearance, but the reflection of which is visible in a thousand different utterances of the creative mind, and is as various as nature herself."

This picture is from my studio wall.  How glamourous is the Pelican!  
Today a half a ton of clay was delivered. I have had sirens and sphinxes on my mind.  These "in progress" shots are the first sightings of the Odalisques.

"There is certainly no absolute standard of beauty. That precisely is what makes its pursuit so interesting."

Monday, May 30, 2011

Stendahl Syndrome

                                Neriad on a Sea Panther from Pompeii.  Fresco

                             Terra Cotta Figure from the collection of the Louvre

                                             Stendahl Syndrome 
Stendahl describes feeling a highly charged emotion while confronting the collection of art displayed at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence.

"I was in a sort of ecstasy, from the idea of being in Florence, close to the great men whose tombs I had seen. Absorbed in the contemplation of sublime beauty ... I reached the point where one encounters celestial sensations ... Everything spoke so vividly to my soul.'' Stendahl 1817

Celestial sensations well describe the feeling that the visual arts can provoke.  
The lovely Terra Cotta shown above is displayed in the Louvre, Paris.  It is over 2,000 years old and made by pressing clay into a simple mold. It is pure poetry in form. 
The fresco of the Neriad on a Sea Panther is from Pompeii and housed in the Archaeological Museum in Naples. In the words of Stendahl, these fantastic artworks speak vividly to my soul. 
I am in the process of creating visual portfolios for sabbatical research.  The terra cotta votive figures, also called Tanagras are one of my subjects.  
The Looking part of the creative process fills me with joy. It sustains and inspires.
The feeling that Stendahl describes is a familiar one.   Recognizing the marks of the hand and understanding the process and technology of the artworks provides an additional dimension of delight.
Art connects us across generations and cultures, it is a powerful and direct communication. The visual arts draw humanity into the great museums and collections of the world like moths to a flame. We are provoked and attracted through our unique sensibilities to various works and themes. Perhaps the formation of that unique sensibility is the greatest gift that the arts give to humanity. The treasure is immense, unfathonable.  
The garden patiently awaits it's visitors.