Flea Market Finds for the Table

Tags

, , , ,

One of my favorite things to do is explore the Alameda flea market with a friend. We love to see what’s for sale as much as we like to watch the people and spend time together strolling and visiting.

A creative outlet of mine, as you know if you’ve kept up with these posts, is setting the table!  I often look for antique dishes when I’m out and about and there are so many surprises to be had for the table at the flea market!

Wedgwood

I had seen a beautiful black Wedgwood bowl at my friend’s and fell in love with it, longing for one myself.   Well, guess what I should spy at the flea market one day? …. A beautiful Wedgwood bowl with saucer!  It had to go home with me but it was more than I wanted to spend so I hemmed and hawed and left without it. It stayed in my mind for months.  It would float by as I was trying to fall asleep at night. Then …. a few months later I was back at the flea market and what should be right where I had seen it months before but my Wedgwood bowl and plate!  What a happy miracle!

                                                                   ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Part of my family was from Sicily.  It has always seemed like a romantic place and I was lucky enough to find out in person years ago with my friend, Alice Eichold.  We traveled there to attend her friend’s wedding in a tiny, renaissance chapel. Very romantic.  Then the elegant wedding supper in an old hotel.  Not a sole spoke English but we had fun.  The rest of the trip we went off exploring the ruins with our watercolors.

The Sicilians used to carve and paint the carts they used for special occasions. We grew-up with a piece of a Sicilian hand painted wagon that our great-aunt had brought back from Italy and it carried that romance of another place and time.  One day I was lucky to find this little representation of a carved and painted Sicilian wagon at the flea market!  I like to have it carting little vases of flowers.  Here it’s carrying azaleas.

Sicilian Cart

Sicilan cart

Pierce of authentic Sicilian wagon

Piece of antique Sicilian wagon

Here is the carving from the wagon that our great-aunt, Deedee, brought home from Europe many decades ago.   It must have been carved a very long time ago.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tea parties are something I love to have or attend.  ‘never can have enough of “pretty” and “yummy” along with good company!   Here are some tiered servers I found that are perfect for those lovely little tea cookies or tea sandwiches.  I found them all at the flea market and added the plates and flowers.  Next … the food and guests!

tiered servers

Here is a bright orange and black, glass compote dish from the flea market.  It’s a striking piece for a very dramatic setting.  I love it with the black radishes in it.

Orange compote minus carrots

Here it is with carrots added.  This makes me laugh as it looks rather silly!

Black radishes w/carrotsA Victorian find – a lavender glass footed compote from the 1880’s.  It looks very elegant overflowing with grapes on this very intricate and colorful, hand embroidered,  antique cloth that was also a flea market find.   The silver candle sticks with the lavender glass bobeches were my aunt Charlotte’s.

grapes in footed compoteHere is a different look for my beautiful Wedgwood.  Dried pomegranates on the copper counter with quatrefoils carved by Julian Hodges.

Wedgwood & quatrefoil

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Back to the black radishes …. after purchasing them for these pictures I needed to be creative with what to do with them as I’d never cooked them before.  Well, I found these recipes on this blog by Cathy Erway.  Lots and lots of yummy ways to serve them!  Surprise your friends and family!  She speaks of mashing them  – I think mashing them along with potatoes or turnips would be wonderful.  Or roasting them with other vegetables, but they are certainly good on their own.  If you click on her name you’ll find the recipes.

If you have recipe ideas or have found things you love at the flea markets, please leave a comment and let me know!

If you’re interested in going to the flea market in Alameda it’s open the first Sunday of every month, which means this Sunday!  These days it’s called the Alameda Point Antiques Faire and if you click on the name it will take you to their website.

Thank you all, dear friends, and enjoy this month of May!

 

Mark Stock, Painter of Intrigue, Man of Surprises

Tags

, , , , ,

Mark Stock, 1989

Mark Stock, 1989

Many of you may not know this name but you are probably familiar with his very famous painting, The Butler’s in Love, that has been hanging above the piano in BIX Restaurant in Jackson Square in San Francisco, since 1989.  It was one in a series of butler paintings that he did.

The Butler's in Love

The reason I’m writing this post today is because the world has lost this imaginative and kind man recently.  He died March 26 at Alta Bates Hospital of heart disease at age 62.  That night he had been at the Roxie Theatre in Oakland for a fundraiser where he had donated the use of a painting for a poster for the upcoming Film Noir festival.  In the San Francisco Chronicle’s obituary on him Elliot Lavine of the Roxie was quoted as saying, “He was signing posters, doing magic tricks and just being the great guy that he is.”  Very sudden and very sad.

He was born in Frankfurt, the son of a U.S. Army officer.  He was raised in St. Petersburg, Florida, later studying art at the junior college where he was introduced to the work of M.C. Escher and lithography.  He then traveled the South as a drummer with a rock band.  After two years of this adventure he went to University of South Florida where he received his bachelor’s degree in art, where he did more lithography and other printing techniques, along with discovering the films of Charlie Chaplin.  Relating to the lovelorn tramp this became an inspiration to his later butler series.

After he graduated he moved to Los Angeles to work as a lithographer at the extremely prestigious print shop, Gemini G.E.L. working with Robert Rauschenberg, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein and David Hockney.   Stock already had his own style so was not influenced by these artists though felt a special affinity to Hockney because they both drew portraits and had a love of Chaplin.

Stock & Lichtenstein

Mark Stock (left) & Roy Lichtenstein, Gemini G.E.L. studio, Los Angeles, 1977

Mark Stock painted in oils, occasionally mixing them with acrylic such as in the painting below.  His style is realistic.  He often painted tromp l’oeil paintings that truly fool the eye!  Everything below is painted, the photograph, the push-pins, even the board that the collage appears to be on.

The Artist of the Twentieth Century

“The Artist of the Twentieth Century” painted by Mark Stock, 1996

In the 1980’s, after seeing Rudolph Nureyev in Swan Lake with the American Ballet he was so taken that he began studying ballet and modern dance.  He then began designing sets and costumes for several Las Angeles-based choreographers and the Los Angeles Chamber Ballet.

Working on the set for Ballet Pacifica, 1992

Working on set for the Ballet Pacifica, 1992

Most of his paintings were done in series. He was inspired by film noir and his paintings reflect this such as his many series about hope, unrequited love, death, murder.  One can see a story in the paintings.  The characters are contemplative.  One wonders what his characters are actually thinking.  At times we believe we know though we wonder.

"Synchronize" 1997

“Synchronize” 1997

Detail of Untitled ("A Double Life #2), 1997 Mark Stock

Detail of Untitled (“A Double Life #2), 1997, Mark Stock

Bump, 1999 (Detail) Oil on canvas, Mark Stock

Bump,1999 (Detail), Oil on canvas, Mark Stock

The Viewer #3, 1990, oil on canvas, Mark Stock

The Viewer #3, 1990, oil on canvas, Mark Stock

While painting the butler series he would dress the part and take the pose and have a photograph shot so he would have a model to work from.  I don’t know if he did that for later paintings.

In 1991 Mark moved his studio to Oakland to be near the Modernism Gallery in San Francisco that carried his work, and Magnolia Editions where he produced prints.  While living in the Bay Area he developed a routine of painting, golfing (with a two-stroke handicap) then driving to San Francisco spending the evenings drumming for a jazz trio or entertaining friends at BIX with his magic tricks in his stylish dress.

He had a fascination with theatre, magic and mystery.  This would lead him to Teatro Zinzanni where he did many paintings back stage.

Evgeni Voronin, 200

Evgeni Voronin, 2000

His paintings have been used in films, magazines and books.  “The Butler in Love” painting was an inspiration to an amusing short film by David Arquette, The Butler’s in Love.

Much of the information in this blog, along with some of the pictures, I found in the wonderful book “Mark Stock: Paintings” written by Barnaby Conrad III, Metropolitan Books, 2000.  If you are stimulated to learn more about Mark Stock and see much more of his work I highly recommend this book. Conrad had flown to San Francisco, by sad coincidence, the night Mark died, to begin interviews for a new book on his life and more recent paintings.

Additional information for this post was found in the San Francisco Chronicle obituary and the SF Gate obituary and the website The World of Mark Stock.

His studio was next door to my friend and sculpture, Mary Oros, so I was lucky enough to have made his acquaintance and learn first hand what a kind, thoughtful, talented and fun human being he was.  He was a painter who remained true to himself and was completely original in his work and his life. You can see why I fell in love with his work and was fascinated by the man.

The Modernism Gallery on Market Street in San Francisco, will dedicate their entire gallery as a public memorial to the career and life of Mark Stock beginning May 1st.

Candle (Homage to Georges de la Tour) 1999, Mark Stock

Candle (Homage to Georges de la Tour) 1999, Oil on canvas, Mark Stock

 

The Zen of Zorn: Why You Need to Know This Man

Tags

, , , ,

Anders & Emma Zorn 1885

Anders & Emma Zorn 1885

This is a day to honor the Swedish artist Anders Zorn as he was born today, February 18th, in 1860.  Like those of you who saw the Anders Zorn exhibit, at the Palace of Legion of Honor in San Francisco this winter, I was blown away by the amazing skill he had with watercolors, his compositions and style and, again like you, wondered how have we not been aware of this genius with the brush?? Some say it’s because he painted scenes of women bathing – women who were too comfortable in their nakedness to be proper for the American taste.

Reflections, 1889, oil on canvas

Reflections, 1889, oil on canvas

That contradicts the popularity he achieved with the wealthy in New York painting portrait after portrait of prominent industrialists, financiers and their families, along with three presidents.  He was quite the painter to sit for at that time.

Martha Dana (Later Mrs. William Mercer), 1899, oil on canvas

Martha Dana (Later Mrs. William Mercer), 1899, oil on canvas

Elizabeth Sherman Cameron, 1900, oil on canvas

Elizabeth Sherman Cameron, 1900, oil on canvas

Grover Cleveland, 1899, oil on canvas

Grover Cleveland, 1899, oil on canvas

Below is a painting of Clarence Johnson Barker, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, painted in watercolor in 1885.  Barker is absorbed in contemplation of the picture of his girlfriend as his dog looks on.  It’s said this could be titled “Rivals”!

Clarence Barker, 1885, watercolor

Clarence Barker, 1885, watercolor

I believe his lack of recognition these days is due to two things, one being that painting styles change and after he died in 1920 art had taken a different direction and his painting would have seemed quite out-of-date.  Secondly, he was Swedish and was in the United States for a short time, and then only hobnobbing with the elite, afterwards retiring back to a farm in rural Sweden where he continued to paint country scenes that we, the general public here, may not have been aware of or interested in even though he continued to travel in Europe and win competitions.  Now enough time has passed that we are eager to learn about this incredible artist. Anders Zorn was born in the countryside and began painting at a young age.  By 15 he was accepted in the Swedish Academy of Fine Arts where his watercolors came to the attention of the King.

In Mounring, 1880, watercolor

In Mourning, 1880, watercolor

Zorn painted the portrait above when he was just twenty years old.  These days he is mostly renowned for his astonishing abilities with watercolors. Below is a watercolor he did of his mother and sister.  They are wearing the dress that was common in his region of Sweden.

Mona and Karin, 1885, watercolor

Mona and Karin, 1885, watercolor

He left the academy and his art flourished as he traveled.  He then lived abroad in London and Paris.  In these cities Zorn was decorated with honors and met prominent clients.

Man and Boy in Algiers, 1887, watercolor

Man and Boy in Algiers, 1887, watercolor

He was very prolific and versatile.  He worked equally well with watercolor, oils and etching.  The painting below is watercolor with India ink and is of the daughter of a painter-professor, at the art academy in Spain, and her cousin. He won his first international recognition with this painting at the Paris Salon of 1882.  I like the informality of the pose and sense of fun, which contrasts our image of formal Victorians, and the casualness in the way he used his brush while still creating realism.

The Cousins, 1882, watercolor & ink

The Cousins, 1882, watercolor & ink

Producing nearly 300 etching, he drew many of them directly from life.

Zorn & His Wife, 1890, etching

Zorn & His Wife, 1890, etching

Fisherman at St. Ives, 1891, etching

Fisherman at St. Ives, 1891, etching

Anders Zorn met his fiancé when he was 21 but they had to wait 4 years, rarely seeing each other, before he became financially stable enough to marry.  When he and Emma Lamm finally married she became active in his business as his manager and critic.  They had a glamorous and loving life together.  Even after they retired to the country they maintained a cosmopolitan lifestyle traveling and exhibiting.  Emma died in 1942 and their estate was donated to the Swedish state. All of the information and pictures in this post are from the book “Anders Zorn, Sweden’s Master Painter”, for the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Rizzoli, 2013, and the Fine Arts magazine put out by the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, 2013, along with information I picked up while on tour of the exhibit. Thank you all for your attention to this article on a man I much admire.  It would be a treat to hear from you about him or his work so please don’t hesitate to leave a comment.

Defining Happiness – Quotes from Johnny Gruelle

Tags

, , , , ,

RA&A on mushrooms Thank you all for subscribing to my blog.  It makes me very happy to know that you find my thoughts and experiences a pleasure to read.  Truly.  Today you may be in for a surprise – unless you know me well enough!

Happiness is something that intrigues me and I will be writing about it many times as it affects all of us.  It feels so good that when we aren’t feeling it we are searching for it.  There are endless workshops, books, webinars and lectures on the topic.  There are different avenues to take to try to find it – the spiritual path, the psychological path, the New Age path, the psychic path, the philosophical path, among others.  They all say the same thing in different ways and I was surprised to find that Johnny Gruelle of Raggedy Ann fame was explaining it to us at a very early age – it seems he knew the answers!

Here are some quotes from his book The Golden Meadow:

"The cheerful person always knows he'll always reap just what he sows."

“The cheerful person always knows he’ll always reap just what he sows.”

"No one's heart will ever harden planting seeds in Friendship's Garden."

“No one’s heart will ever harden planting seeds in Friendship’s Garden.”

"God gives a person who is kind a cosmic jewel for his mind."

“God gives a person who is kind a cosmic jewel for his mind.”

"The richest one is he who spends his life in kindness making friends."

“The richest one is he who spends his life in kindness making friends.”

RA&A pointing
All this happy friendship!

RA&Blackbird
I like that in these drawings he’s telling the children that they can enjoy all creatures no matter how different they are from themselves.  That all the beings on earth have things to offer.

Here are the fairies to help us with our daily miracles.

RA FloatingFairyRA Seated Fairy7999 copy

Can you tell I’m an unfulfilled children’s book illustrator?  And Johnny Gruelle is one of my role models.

Here is another charming and wise quote – “Smile, and you’ll find the world you pass is always a great big looking glass.”

The dedication in The Golden Meadow reads ” … with a magical wish that her pathway through the golden meadow of life may be bordered with the cosmic flowers of love and friendship.”  It sounds like such New Age language for the 1920’s – cosmic flowers and jewels!

RA&A in bed

Here’s a darling drawing we wouldn’t see in today’s children’s books.

Mr. Gruelle is letting children know that they have some control over their happiness.  That they will experience happiness when they are friendly, kind, caring and cheerful.  These are all choices that we made in our day and they can make a big impact on how we experience life.

I hope you enjoyed this introduction to Defining Happiness.  Please feel free to share any posts with your friends either by email or on Facebook – or however else one does this these days!  I have a feeling this one may only be shared with your children or grandchildren – but I hope not!

RA&A arm-in-armBye- bye!  Thanks for visiting!

 

file:///Users/lisa/Desktop/hanging%20fairy%20copy.jpg /p

Mr. Fujii

Tags

,

Moss Fujii

M. Moss Fujii

What a memorable man my sixth grade teacher was.

Born in Tacoma in 1929 he lived an extremely full life and I’m lucky to have shared a year of it with him.  I’m writing about him now because he passed away this month.

After six years (kindergarten included), of having a school of only female teachers, arrived Mr. Fujii.  Now I realize he was only 35 years old when he took us under his wing to teach us about a world we had not been aware of.

From his funeral notice I learned that after Pearl Harbor he and his family were incarcerated by our country in concentration camps.  Four different ones.  In the concentration camps there was nothing to do so he and his friends danced. Apparently he became quite good dancing to the Andrews Sisters music!  After the war his family lived in a railway car until they could get settled properly again.  He never spoke of any of this and he never expressed bitterness in his talks about life, but always gratitude.

He did mention his experiences in the South and not being quite sure which drinking fountain or restroom to use as he was neither White nor Negro, as the signs read.  He taught us to honor human beings, no matter their color or circumstances.  We sang “We Shall Overcome” for our graduation and often sang songs of this nature and time period in class.

He had a love of animals, especially birds, and taught us to recognize bird calls. We would be quizzed on the bird songs of many birds that were recorded on a tape recorder.  I loved that he found this important and, even though I had grown up a bird lover, he made me much more aware.

If we found a dead bird in the school yard or a student’s small hamster died, we could bring it to Mr. Fujii and he’d stuff it for us.  Most unusual!  I always imagined his doing this in the classroom while we were at lunch but I know now that must have been impossible.

Up until Mr. Fujii, our teachers in grammar school had all been excellent and well loved but were trained in another day, with another style.  Mr. Fuji came on the scene with a modern way of teaching and treated us like young adults.

He wanted us to be aware of everything in life so we could make informed decisions and not just accept things.  We were in his class during the election of Lyndon B. Johnson when he ran against Goldwater.  Mr. Fujii had us do debates. We picked a name or issue out of a box and were to study that side thoroughly and then debate it the next week.  I’ve never been much of a debater so this was challenging for me but I loved being opened up to this world of politics and issues and have had an interest ever since.

Before coming to John Muir Elementary School Mr. Fujii had served in the U.S. Air Force during the Korean War as a First Lt. Radar Observer-Navigator and survived two plane crashes!

He received a Bachelor’s Degree and three Master’s Degrees.  These were in education, child psychology and physical education.   He was a teacher, school principal and child psychologist.

As he was our teacher we knew very little about his private life or past but I was delighted to meet a family recently who had known Mr. Fujii nearly all their lives and I was lucky to learn more about him through them.  The kids (my age) said they learned  how to camp, fly fish, sail, play tennis and snow ski from him on the many vacations the two families shared together.    Mr. Fujii was married for fifty years and had two daughters.

He was always wanting to expose us to wonderful things and the story behind how things were done so at Christmas time, as an art project, he took us back to the Renaissance by having us mix-up egg tempura paints and paint the hallway windows to look like stained glass windows.  It was lots of fun and most unusual to be out of the classroom and doing such a project in those days.  We all thought the windows looked marvelous!   When we returned from our two week Christmas vacation  we entered the school and found it smelling of rotten eggs and there was the janitor, Mr. Melson, unhappily washing all the windows of the very hard to remove egg tempura!

His memorial was in a Buddhist church in Union City.  Every seat was taken and there were people standing.  The church was colorful and smelled of incense. The service began with tolling of bells, then chanting, then an incense offering when everyone lined up to offer a bit of incense at the alter.  There was such a crowd this part of the ceremony took half an hour.

Then there was the eulogy by a long time friend and words from one daughter. This was touching and informative.   I learned how he continued to reinvent himself.  In the ’60’s there was a big pot bust, with many police cars, just a few doors down from their home.  He decided Berkeley was not the place to raise their daughters so the family moved to Aspen, Colorado.  He had the family learn Transandental Meditation and EST and the children went to school with Hunter Thompson’s children!

The next move was to Mill Valley.  Then again to the East Bay.

He was always encouraging and wanted to make life better for those around him.  He saw the positive side of life, took risks and made the best of things.  In fact, one story about him was that when he was young he tied his shoes to barrel staves to ski!  Always ingenious!

He learned to play the ukelele and fell in love with all that was Hawaiian (he had requested that everyone dress in Hawaiian attire for the memorial!) and will be buried alongside his wife in Honolulu.

What I learned about him that stood out for me at the memorial was that the most important thing to Mr. Fujii was his love of people and his friends.  He kept friends from every phase of his life.  He was inspired by people and hoped to inspire them in return with endless support and love.  This is what I remember about him.  His constant smile and warm encouragement of these young children who would be passing through his life.  He made a huge impression on most of us in his sixth grade class at John Muir Elementary School, class of 1965.

Ken Gerver, a student of Mr. Fujii’s at John Muir School, kindly alerted me of this video he made of his time in the interment camps.  I know you will find it as moving as I did. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m11EYpixVyQ.

It would delight me and others, dear Reader, if you leave comments or stories about Mr. Fujii.

If you would like to share this with someone, please do.  You will find the Share buttons at the top right of the page.

If you would like to receive future posts please feel free to subscribe to my blog, if you have not already.

January in Berkeley

Tags

, , , ,

The San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay

Here we are in one of the most spectacular places in the world – How could we be so lucky?!! This is the sunset the other night from my friends’ Dawn & Mark’s home in the Berkeley Hills.

An unusually warm evening. Typically January has three alternating days of cozy, refreshing rain then three days of glorious warm, sunny days that are perfect for hiking in the hills where we hike through the green grass with blue sky and fragrant, blossoming, brilliant yellow acacias trees. I love walking up a hill with my vision being all three of those vibrant colors.

This year has been very strange. Only two days of rain in my recollection. Very eerie. No green grass in the hills. Just grey/brown. My brother, Anthony, was commenting that when he was raking in his garden, dust was swirling. This is not January in our history. Winter and early Spring is the only time we get rain in California so rain now is crucial and this is very disconcerting. The garden doesn’t look like Fall, Winter or Spring. The plants are terribly confused. I’ve begun pruning the roses and it’s an unusual challenge as the leaves are healthy green and the plants aren’t sure what to do. Typically the leaves have turned partially brown or fallen off and it’s very easy to tell where to make a cut.

Peek-a-boo roses before pruning

Peek-a-boo roses before pruning

What is typical in my Berkeley garden in January is the Japanese plum blossoming.  There are a few varieties that grow as volunteers in shades of pink or white and are such a treat to see when the winter can be so bleak.  They cheer us up and I always hope the blossoms will survive the rain storms but more often than not the ground is covered with “snow” before too long.

Japanese plum blossoms

Japanese plum blossoms

In the days we walked to Willard Junior High School the smaller, very fragrant, Japanese plums that lined the streets in the parking strips were in bloom around Valentine’s Day. They were just the right height to get a good whiff!

The azaleas love blossoming in January.  This year they are not as prolific as usual without the rains but they are still showing their glory.  The mucronatum blossom a second time in June.

Mucronatum azalea

Mucronatum azalea

White azalea

White azalea

Here is the first bud on one of the Cornubia Rhododendrons.  They are always in full bloom for St. Valentine’s Day, which seems so appropriate.

Cornubia Rhododendron

Cornubia Rhododendron

Primroses are also showing their bright, cheery faces!

Primroses

Primroses

The humming birds were watching me photograph the azaleas as they were having their breakfast!

Hummingbird at breakfast

Hummingbird at breakfast

The hummingbirds grab the fluff from the old Japanese anemones to use in building their nests.  They are so busy right now but I’m not fast enough to capture them with my camera as they are doing this.

Japanese anemones in the nest building stage

Japanese Anemones in the nest building stage

The nests they build are so small and soft and only 1 1/4 ” across.  Very padded with lovely anemone fluff.  I was lucky to have this one from the garden from last year.

Hummingbird nest

Hummingbird nest

I hope you enjoyed the tour of my January garden and that it warmed up my Midwest and East Coast crowd!

Expression through style with Pattie Gerrie

Tags

, , , , , , ,

So many ways to express who we are…

My friend, Pattie Gerrie, has a way of creating an entire picture with how she puts together her attire.  Every detail of her outfits will relate to the story she’s telling that day in who she feels like being.

Pattie Gerrie at the Gatsby Picnic

Pattie Gerrie at the Gatsby Picnic

In the picture above Pattie is picnicking at the Gatsby Summer Afternoon.  Most other women were wearing organdy or chiffon, flowered dresses but Pattie had on Eastern European clothes from the 1920’s.

Pattie enjoys collecting things she loves.  On this day she’s wearing her collection of cameos.

Pattie with her collection of cameos.

Pattie with her collection of cameos.

Here is Pattie wearing most of her cameos on her headpiece.

Pattie with a headdress of cameos

Pattie with a headdress of cameos

Pattie in her entire ensemble

Pattie in her entire ensemble

Ethnic is a favorite of Pattie’s.  She loves things that have the soul of the creator in them.  She loves vintage but will also go with quite contemporary worn in a way that can’t be recognized.

Out walking with Pattie

Out walking with Pattie

Pattie at my Birthday party with a swan hat and a poodle purse.

Pattie in swan hat, clutching poodle purse

Pattie in swan hat, clutching poodle purse

Pattie and her husband, John McFadden.  Pattie is wearing a skirt of peacock feathers.

Pattie pretty as a peacock

Pattie pretty as a peacock

Here I am with Pattie at the Carnaval Festival in San Francisco.  Pattie has been instrumental in bringing the Mexican dog, Xoloitzcuintli, to march in the parade.

Waiting for the parade to begin on a foggy May morning

Waiting for the parade to begin on a foggy May morning

Below is Pattie exploring the ruins of Southern Mexico

Pattie @ruins copy

Pattie gets inspiration from the women of Mexico.

Singer, Martha Toledo, with Pattie in Oaxaca

Singer. Martha Toledo, with Pattie in Oaxaca

Here is Pattie enchanting a guest at a dinner party.

Pattie at a supper party

Patty at a supper party

Pattie in her Christmas tree hat …

Pattie on Christmas Day

Pattie on Christmas Day

Bye, bye!  Thanks for visiting!

Pattie Gerrie

Pattie Gerrie

 

 

 

 

 

Printing at Kala Art Institute

Tags

, , , , , ,

 

Drypoint print with watercolor tint by Lisa Bruce

Drypoint print with watercolor tint by Lisa Bruce

Recently I was fortunate to take a workshop at the Kala Institute in Berkeley to study dry point printing with Tevor Tubelle.  He’s a fun and patient instructor who spends most of his teaching time at Stanford so we were lucky to have him here to show us how to prepare the copper plate, etch our designs into it and then print on the fabulous hand presses available.

Printing at Kala Institute with Trevor Tubelle

Printing at Kala Institute with Trevor Tubelle

Kala Art Institute is an international workshop and forum for ideas with exceptional printing facilities for professional artists. It has a residency program, gallery, library and workshops.
Heinz Building, Berkeley - photo by Daniella Thompson

Heinz Building, Berkeley – photo by Daniella Thompson

The Kala Art Institute is in the old Heinz (57 Varieties) Building in West Berkeley and is a perfect example of reuse of an older building.  It was designed by architect Albert Kahn and built in 1927.  The extremely large, elegant Mediterranean style industrial manufacturing building now houses Kala Institute along with many retail businesses and offices.

Entrance in the Heinz Building - photo by Daniella Thompson

Entrance in the Heinz Building – photo by Daniella Thompson

More information on this building can be found on the Berkeley Architectural Heritage Association website   http://berkeleyheritage.com/berkeley_landmarks/heinz.html

Heinz Building facade - photo by Daniella Thompson

Heinz Building facade – photo by Daniella Thompson

 

 

The David Hockney Exhibit

Tags

, ,

Recently my friend, Karl Kardel, whisked me off to see the David Hockney exhibit at the de Young Museum.

by David Hockney

by David Hockney

The exhibit is on through January 20th.

David Hockney: A Bigger Exhibition | de Young

deyoung.famsf.org/press-room/david-hockney-bigger-exhibition
These, over 300 pieces, were assembled specifically for this exhibit at the de Young Museum.  One thing that makes it so remarkable is that this is the, nearly, complete work of an artist in about a three year span.  It’s a wonderful progression of what he was doing in this very prolific period.
by David Hockney of his property in East Yorkshire

by David Hockney of his property in East Yorkshire

There are rooms where you can sit and be surrounded by his extremely colorful year round studies of his property in East Yorkshire.  I loved this part of the exhibit especially.  It was mesmerizing being engulfed in his colors of his world.  His use of the  iPad and technology has been very instrumental.  He’s a man not afraid of trying new things.
His paintings of Yosemite were a joy to experience also  …
by David Hockney

by David Hockney

…. along with the portraits.
The inkjet enlargements of his charcoal drawings of The Arrival of Spring 2013, done outside on his property, were stark, as that time of year can be, along with having an elegance in line.
There was much to see here – A show not to miss!

A Christmas Eve Table

Tags

, , , , , , , ,

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve

There are so many ways to bring magic and beauty into our lives and give a special experience to our friends.  One way I like to do this is with table settings.  I had an especially fun time developing my Christmas Eve table.

The theme is a sparkly, antique silver effect with a hint of white.   The moon reflecting on snow and icicles.  A mood of the late 1700’s up to today.  All lit by over a dozen candles to reflect off the many glittering surfaces.

For this setting I used a soft grey, raw silk fabric with a white, cotton organdy over that.  All of this was atop a burgundy, raw silk, floor length, gathered cloth that I had also made.  Every fabric I used I bought at Laura & Kiran in Berkeley were they are helpful and have a wonderful selection of Indian textiles.  Then silver beaded placemats that I happily found on sale a few months ago.  They are what stimulated this table design.

The water glasses are a collection of antique leaded glass and contemporary hand blown glass, though I had forgotten to put them all on the table as I use some as glasses for watercoloring in my painting studio!

Table setting detail

Table setting detail

The place cards are designed by the artist, Lauren McIntosh, that I added silver glitter to and they are sitting in place card holders from the shop, Tail of the Yak, in Berkeley.  I can’t remember where I found that fabulously enormous ornament used as the center piece.  Was it Tail of the Yak, also?  The reindeer are from Urban Nest, a shop that used to be on 24th Street in Noe Valley and has moved down the Peninsula.  The silverware is what I have inherited and purchased over the years.

This is the first time I have not had flowers on the table but because this is a Winter Wonderland theme there are no flowers to be found on this snowy, night table.

placecard copy
The Christmas crackers (some call them poppers) were made by Margaret Saydah and myself.  They are filled with chocolates, a paper hat and a couple of other surprises!

Cracker copy
I wish I could have had you all here!
Happy New Year!