Sunday, January 23, 2011


I just saw the work of an artist friend of mine, Carrie Leeb, at Ampersand, a small gallery in San Francisco. One of the more interesting pieces in the show was, for me "Seperation" a found rock installation. It is not really apparent from this photo (taken with an iphone no less) the actual scale of the rocks. The large ones are actually bowling ball size - probably the size limited by what was physically possible for her to carry to her car. I know, for a fact, that the artist drove somewhere up in Northern California and actually found these rocks. Found them all in this very same stage of division, of splitting, freshly apart, driven into two by the forces of nature. Possibly from this years especially cold Winter or perhaps Springs unannounced frosts. I know she spent many hours walking alone amongst the river stones searching for these particular rocks. I can imagine how it began ..a walk upon the edge of a river and stumbling upon a singular rock, unlike all others broken in two. And then this poignancy becoming reconfirmed again and again as still more are found. Oddly, there are possibly thousands of these same rocks all sharing this same instance of seperation and division. These gathering of stones remind me of the pivotal, rare moments in many people's lives that feel earth shattering, momentous, meteoric in the change they catalyze. I wonder if these rocks make a sound when they break apart after possibly millions of years together; that a heart doesn't in fact let out an audible cry when it lets go of things it has always held. Separation always seems to be nuanced by aloneness, a sense of sadness perhaps. However, Carrie's display, her meticulous stone gathering upon a wintery river bank has given us a reminder that in fact change is rampant in the lives of many people and that there are countless others just hidden from our view that are possibly navigating the very same kind of change. There is a small degree of reassurance in the notion that those of us who find ourselves in the wild storm of change are, in fact, not alone.
Ampersand "Walking on Thin Ice" January 21-Feb-18 1001 Tennessee St San Francisco


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life as Art

I was going for a run early one morning and I went past this guy setting up tubs of water and strings on the sidewalk. It was really early on a Sunday and no one was even around. I came back through town a couple of hours later and here was this same guy just making these extraordinary soap bubbles. It was still early in the morning so he was without an audience. I watched for awhile from my car and it became apparent that he was completely involved with it, just making these for the sheer joy of doing it. It's rare you see someone doing something for just this one reason. It's such a simple idea. That in the end, it is really one of the only reasons to do anything worthwhile. I walked across the street and stood next to him and when he was in between bubbles I just said "thank you" and without missing a beat or even breaking his bubble making he responded "your welcome"

soap bubble

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Organizing Messy Things

Sometimes in all the information one comes across on the internet you find a little something that is helpful--the following post might be one of those, especially if you are a painter. The paint organizer shown below is a very helpful tool for the studio that I now cannot imagine being without. Basically it is a holder for all those messy paint tubes! I make them for my smaller acrylic paints and my large tubes of oil paint.
To make this yourself, take PVC piping (from the hardware store-it's very cheap) and cut off segments all the same length. For my oil paint I made the PVC tubes 5" tall--and the width the pipe comes is 2 1/4 ". You can get it almost any width to fit various paint tubes. Once you have all the segments they can be easily glued together into blocks of 16 or 20 using pvc cement. It dries in a minute and is very strong. In my studio I use 2 blocks of 20 and I keep all the cool colors on the left and the warm colors on the right. It makes it incredibly easy to find the right color, which at least for me, makes it just a little bit easier and faster to create the painting.