Sunday, September 5, 2021

The Thorn Birds

It has been more than a year and I still am working on my Chaekgeori-inspired series.   

I usually do not paint the book titles in detail, yet many of the books in these paintings are still recognizable.  Viewers spot a few books they have on their own shelves and many of us read the same books.  In my latest painting you might notice a copy of The Thorn Birds — a ubiquitous title on the bookshelves of all moms of a certain generation.  Yes, these are my mom’s books and things.  And even though she has downsized (many of my parent’s books are on my shelves now), a true reader can’t help but fill a bookcase.  Also, like many of the paintings in this series, small pieces of my art appear on the shelves (look for the slice of cabbage).

Monday, August 2, 2021

Dahlia Time

In a world gone mad, one of the ways I cope is nice long walks to Golden Gate Park.  This time of the year the dahlias are in bloom. Beautiful and inspirational.  This weekend was spent carving rubber stamps for a series of dahlia-themed postcards.

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Collage Dreams


For many years I have collected and held on to a great amount of ephemera to use one day in various collages.  This has included maps, postage stamps and hundreds of postcards.   More recently I have been using up a lot of what I have saved for decades.  Much of the material has ended up in artist books.  My latest artist book, Collage Dreams, incudes 20 handmade, or as one now says, analog collages.   Each collage is 10.5” wide x 11” high and made entirely from the contents of postcard booklets dating from 1910 to 1950.


When I started these collages with the goal of creating an artist book, I did it without an intentional agenda.   This project was simply taking images out of their original context and arranging them to make pleasant and even amusing landscapes and cityscapes.  Yet, as this series of collages neared completion, I began to suspect that I might be recreating some of the surreal, fragmented places that I keep seeing when I dream.   I need to ask myself whether some of my dreams are about collaged places I will create instead of actual places I will one day visit.

book is now available that includes all the collages.   Some of the images are also available as prints.  

10 Years of the S.F. Correspondence Co-Op

The first time I went to a San Francisco Correspondence Co-Op meeting was the group’s first anniversary party — back in 2012.  Here we are nine years later, and the co-op is now 10 years old.  We missed having our party in 2020 and finally had out first in-person gathering this weekend, safely, outdoors in a quiet, financial district park.

Every time we meet, one of us does an artist stamp to be shared with co-op members.  Many keep their stamps in special passports.   For our 10th anniversary we did something different.   29 other co-op members sent me artwork that was then turned into a set of two commemorative sheets of artist stamps.  Here is our very cooperative effort.

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Envelopes and Postcards and More

The mail art that arrived this month included quite a few envelopes trying to upstage their contents.  Marina Salmaso sent a handmade envelope that needed to be disassembled to reveal a collage celebrating the 100thAnniversary of Joseph Beuys’ birth.   Thea Albert’s mail art needed to be assembled — and the box now is on one of my bookshelves.    The mail shown here includes: 

  1. Jon Foster – North Carolina 
  2. Carolyn Oord (aka Kerosene) – Qu├ębec/Canada
  3. Jennifer Utter – California
  4. Virgo – Russia 
  5. Deble Faulkner – California 
  6. Chocolatine et stooby – France 
  7. Serse Luigetti – Italy
  8. Meral Agar – Turkey 
  9. Margo Hill – California
  10. William Mellott – Taiwan 
  11. Gregg Biggs – Museum of Unclaimed Ephemera – California
  12. Maria Quiroga – Argentina 
  13. Marina Salmaso – Denmark
  14. Thea Albert – Washington State

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The Bird Revolution

 Cutting up old postcards and making some ATCs.

Thursday, June 3, 2021

Back to Museums

Yesterday was my first museum visit since before-the-Event.  It had been 15 months since I have been inside any museum.   About one year ago, I walked by the de Young Museum for the first time during the lockdown.   That moment made me profoundly sad.  Since then, I have walked by the museum many times and gotten used to the museum being closed.

I always prefer weekday afternoons for my museum visits — it is the best time to avoid the crowds.  Yesterday it was nice and mellow.  Masked up and vaccinated, with our reservations on our phone, my friend and I got to get in some museum time.   There is signage reminding us to social distance, passageway walls have had art removed to prevent visitors from lingering and some of the gallery benches have been removed.   The museum felt a little bare, but it was still good just to be inside and wandering around.   

The big change, after spending a year painting books, I am now really paying attention to paintings of books.  I have always enjoyed the de Young’s gallery filled with trompe l’oeil, yesterday it was becoming a real favorite.   John Frederick Peto’s books are so inspirational.   Although, I will never have the patience to master that level or realism in my own work.