Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sherry Miller and Sausalito Artists - Labor Day Weekend Open Studios

From Sherry Miller
It's that time again. If you're in the Bay Area please stop by to see my new work and visit the studios of twenty other artists. If you're far away look through my new book Tiburon Paintings which you can preview and purchase online.

Sausalito Artists @ Work
Labor Day Weekend Open Studios
Saturday, Sunday, Monday
ICB Studio #259D
480 Gate Five Road

free parking and handicap access on Bay side of building
Tiburon Paintings:

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Saturday art notes

✦ California's Tom Killion, who has a fascinating background, is a terrific wood-cut artist. His printmaking process, which he jokingly calls "faux ukiyo-e", was spotlighted in the PBS documentary Craft in America: Process, and his studio in Pt. Reyes is the subject of In the Make. His prints are all in limited editions and signed and numbered. They are exquisite. His handprinted books are particularly fine. 
 A large selection of Killion's original wood-cuts and large Iris prints are on show at Book Passage Gallery through the end of this year. For the 50th anniversary of the death of poet Robinson Jeffers, Killion created a broadside, in a limited edition of 50 prints, featuring Jeffers's home Tor House in snow and the poem "In the Evening the Dusk". (An image of the broadside is shown on the main page for Tor House.)
(Orig from writing without paper)

He will also be showing Sausalito Art Festival during Labor Day Weekend

Killion will be showing large work, original woodcut prints and the blocks they are made from, at the Bay Area's premier outdoor art show. Booth #333; Gala Friday evening; Sat.-Sun. 10-7pm; Mon. 10-5pm. Visit for complete info.
Have you seen International Arts Movement's Tumblr site? Art submission opportunities, IAM exhibits, jobs in the arts fields, arts scholarships, and internship opportunities are just a few of the features you'll find there. 

Highly recommended at the Asian:

The Opening of Waterloo Bridge', by John Constable (1832). Photograph: V&A

Turner and Constable exhibitions revive Britain's greatest art rivalry

The Blue Rigi, Sunrise', by JMW Turner (1842). Photograph: Tate Britain

The most spectacular (19th century) artistic rivalry in British history will be revived in September when blockbuster exhibitions by two of the nation's most renowned painters pitch them into direct competition, just as they were in their lifetimes two centuries ago.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Terry St. John at Dolby Chadwick , Matisse at the Legion & Soundwave at SOMArts

 Terry St. John at Dolby Chadwick

 Matisse, La Conversation (The Conversation), 1938; oil on canvas, 18 3/8 in. x 21 3/4 in. (46.67 cm x 55.25 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Bequest of Mr. James D. Zellerbach; © Succession H. Matisse / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Only a couple more days to catch Terry St. John at Dolby Chadwick and works by Matisse from SFMOMA, now at the Legion through early September

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Let us celebrate the birthday of Rufino Tamayo


August 26, 1899. Rufino Tamayo (August 26, 1899 - June 24, 1991) was a Mexican painter of Zapotec heritage, born in Oaxaca de Juárez, Mexico. Tamayo was active in the mid-20th century in Mexico and New York, painting figurative abstraction with surrealist influences.

 Children's Games

After the Mexican Revolution, Tamayo devoted himself to creating an identity in his work. Tamayo expressed what he believed was the traditional Mexico, and refused to make overtly political works,
Moon and Sun

Tamayo was one of the first artists to utlize a new type of printed artwork called “mixografía.” Mixografía consisted of artwork printed on paper, but with depth and texture. One of his most famous mixografía was titled Dos Personajes Atacados por Perros or (“Two Characters Attacked by Dogs”).

Tres Personajes, the 1970 painting stolen over twenty years ago and featured on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow was found on a New York City street by New Yorker, Elizabeth Gibson, out for her morning coffee. Ms. Gibson noticed and rescued the painting from between garbage bags set out for morning collection, unaware that it had any significance until much later. “I know nothing of modern art but it didn’t seem right for any piece of art to be discarded like that,” she said.
The painting was purchased for 1.1 million dollars at auction.

Moon Dog

Obituary from NY Times:

Saturday, August 23, 2014

'From Two Arises Three," Korea Day and more at the Asian Art Museum

 The Tao gives birth to one
one gives birth to two
two gives birth to three
three gives birth to ten thousand things
—Laozi, Daode jing

 Sunday is KoreaDay at the Asian Art Museum and it's F R E E. Daylong extravaganza for all ages.

The 2nd floor galleries have two exhibits worth going out of the way to see. "From Two Arises Three" focuses on the work of two American contemporary artists working in uniquely Chinese styles: painter Arnold Chang and photographer Michael Cherney.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New watercolors

These are all watercolors - my first scans on my new computer. The scanning mechanism is awkward but since this is my first attempt, I am going to give it a few more tries before I decide whether to buy a separate scanner or not. All the pieces are chopped off at the ends so it's not possible to get a good idea of the flow of the paint, especially in the landscape one.

 Landscape. watercolor on Fabriano 90 lbs cold press paper. 11" x 14"

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Gustave Caillebotte

Born 19 August 1848 – 21 February 1894) Gustave Caillebotte was a French painter, member and patron of the group of artists known as Impressionists, though he painted in a much more realistic manner than many other artists in the group. Caillebotte was noted for his early interest in photography as an art form.

In his masterpiece, Paris Street; Rainy Day, Gustave Caillebotte brought an unusual monumentality and compositional control to a typical Impressionist subject, the new boulevards that were changing the Paris cityscape. The result is at once real and contrived, casual and choreographed. With its curiously detached figures, the canvas depicts the anonymity that the boulevards seemed to create. By the time it appeared in the third Impressionist exhibition, held in April 1877, the artist was 29 years old, a man of considerable wealth, and not only the youngest but also the most active member of the Impressionist group. He contributed six of his own canvases to the exhibition; played a leading part in its funding, organization, promotion, and installation; and lent a number of paintings by his colleagues that he owned.

Video of the painting being cleaned

Monday, August 18, 2014

Monday Links

We have 14 works appearing on billboards across the country! Mary Cassatt, "The Boating Party" - seen on a billboard in Oakland

Apply now for the 2014-15 fellowship! Make a difference in the Bay Area arts and culture sector

Today is Berry Gordy Day in the ! Berry will be at Oakland City Hall Plaza to accept this honor + will perform live!

Upcoming show at ARC: Please join us for the “FourSquared” Exhibition Opening Reception on Saturday, August 23rd, 7-10PM at Arc Gallery >

★ “FACE TO FACE: Using Facebook Effectively” with Michael Yochum on Wed. Sept. 3th, 7-9PM at Arc - $20 at door >

Today's shoe of the day is by Andrew Yeap. Come see it in person--the gallery is open from 10 - 3pm


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Firdawsī. Shāhnāmah : manuscript, 1718-1721.

 Snowball was going to give them 30 seconds to feed her before she started shredding things.

The Shāhnāmah (Book of Kings) is a lengthy poetic work of almost 60,000 couplets, completed a little more than 1000 years ago in the year 1010. It is considered to be the longest poem ever written by a single person. Its author, Abū al-Qāsim, is known by the pen-name Firdawsī, meaning 'from Paradise'.

Firdawsī was born in 940 at Tus, near Mashhad in Khorasan, in the north-east of Iran. He wrote his verses over a period of thirty years towards the end of the reign of the culturally significant Sāmānid Dynasty, just before the Central Asian Turkic leader Sulṭān Maḥmūd of Ghaznah overran Persian rulers. Firdawsī, therefore, eventually presented his epic to the new foreign ruler, at whom he is reported to have felt enormous resentment for not being adequately rewarded for his lifetime's work.

Firdawsī's Shāhnāmah was the apotheosis of a long tradition of epic king literature in Persian. There were several books entitled Shāhnāmah before Firdawsī, and he himself inspired a number of imitators.

The Shāhnāmah recounts the entire history of humanity, with Iran as its focus, from the time of creation up until the pivotal moment of the Muslim Arab conquest of the Persian empire in the mid-seventh century AD. The narrative of kings and heroes, love and betrayal, the inevitability of death and the eternal quest for the meaning of existence is widely acknowledged as the national epic of Iran.

Its playful romantic tales, interspersed with episodes of royal justice and injustice, struggle and sadness, have been credited with helping create and maintain Persian identity through centuries of rule by outsiders - Firdawsī's magnum opus contains relatively few words of Arabic derivation. Many stories from the Shāhnāmah that are drawn from mythology and Iran's ancient history are still recounted throughout the Persian-speaking world.

It has been said that in the Shāhnāmah, Firdawsī 'loves utterly the whole of the human race; his compassionate heart bleeds for every man who is unfortunate and afflicted, whether he be kinsman or stranger, and he draws a lesson from his experience… Firdawsī is the perfect embodiment of all that is meant by a Persian.'

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The first LOL cat, the origin of Caturday, and other Saturday Links

I was recently reading an article on a relevant topic, namely Why Does the Internet Love Cats?. The article’s LOLcat timeline made me interested in the history of LOLcats – by definition “cute cat pictures with witty captions“. Know your meme dates the earliest known LOLcat to the 1870s, when photographer Harry Pointer photographed cats posed in different situations, adding humorous text.

But you know, I think the LOLcat thing can be traced back much further in time. Already in the middle ages, people understood the delight of combining cats and bad spelling.

The medieval LOLcat is a pewter badge, picturing a cat with a mouse, standing on a scroll with the caption: VISI MUS (here is the mouse), which, true to LOLcat tradition is a misspelled version of the french ‘voici mus’. Other versions exclaim the same in medieval lolspeak as VISI MU, VISIS MIN and voisiu.ipab. I’m sure the medieval peeps were like LOL upon seeing that.

The picture above shows the medieval LOLcat as a replica by Billy and Charlie. The original badges belong to the Medieval collection of the Salisbury Museum and are described in detail in Salisbury Museum Medieval Catalogue: Part 2, Pilgrim Souvenirs and Secular Badges by Brian Spencer.

The origin of Caturday:

 Lost Cat:

Robin Williams Honored On Broadway With Show-Stopping Tribute By Cast Of 'Aladdin':

Art of China:

Renior - first Digital Catalogue:

Images from the Folger Collection now available on line:

Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin Williams Free Mini Film Festival & Free Family Day at the Mexican Museum

Celebrate and remember the comic genius of Bay Area legend Robin Williams with Funcheap at a FREE two-day mini film festival of nearly 13 hours of some of his classic rolls.

More at :

Monday, August 11, 2014

RIP Robin Williams

The tributes and reminiscences of those who knew him will pour in. Those of us who only know him through his work will mourn a talent that brightened our lives.

When I worked at the University of California San Francisco medical center in the Department of Pediatrics, I saw him often as he came to visit the children there. I never imposed myself on the man - too shy and also felt that it wasn't appropriate. He was there for others but I gained so much respect for him. He was the real deal.

I remember seeing him on the Tonight show. I had to get up at 5 AM for work but I could not stop watching and laughing. So many memories, so much laughter - the world seems smaller and darker than before.

BUT REMEMBER: The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. If you or anybody you know needs help, call. You are not alone. 

NY Times Obit: 

A whole list of performances:

The Last Days of the Stephen Wirtz Gallery

Now, 35 years of soul preservation later, Connie and Stephen/Steven are packing up and moving on. Wirtz says, “There’s two doors, one door that’s going to close this place, and then there’s a space, and then there’s going to be a door that opens to someplace else. Someplace probably in the arts, somehow, because that’s what we know and that’s what we care about. But there’s two doors, and right now it’s hard to see through two doors.”

Art Reflects Life: The Middle Class and The Last Days of the Stephen Wirtz Gallery

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Thomas Moran, Green River Cliffs. 1871

In 1871, Thomas Moran traveled to the western frontier to illustrate a magazine article describing a wondrous region in Wyoming called Yellowstone. Before he reached the land of geysers and hot springs, he stepped off the train in Green River, Wyoming, and discovered a landscape unlike any he had ever seen. Rising above the dusty railroad town were towering cliffs, reduced by nature to their geologic essence. Moran completed watercolors of Yellowstone that would later play a key role in the Congressional decision to designate the region as America's first national park, but he turned repeatedly to the western landscape he saw first—the magnificent cliffs of Green River. (image from Wikipedia)

Part of the "Art Everywhere US"

Saturday, August 9, 2014

'Art Everywhere U.S' celebrates America’s artistic heritage

This month, some 58 iconic American artworks, spanning 230 years of American art, are splashed across 50,000 outdoor spaces. From now through August 31, displays in all 50 states—billboards on city streets and rural highways, displays on bus shelters and subway platforms, dioramas in airports, videos in health clubs, trailers in movie theaters and more—will present the largest outdoor art show ever conceived, as a nationwide celebration of America’s artistic heritage.

Friday, August 8, 2014

The Saga of the Printer

My old printer has been slowly dying for some months. My new printer was delivered some time ago but I wanted to get the last bit of work out of the old one.

However, my old one really died this morning - the sound of gears clashing could have awakened the dead. So I knew it was time. I hated to see my ink go to waste so if anybody has a Canon MP 620, the unopened ink is free for the taking. I won't ship across country but otherwise, there's a lot of money going to waste.

By 5 PM I was half way there - printer unboxed - ton of plastic, ink cartridges put in, printer initialized and software downloading. Not too shabby. By now you would think I would not be nervous about a new printer - I have had many over the years, installed them without much trouble and worked them until they died.

And now at 6 PM - SUCCESS. Drivers installed and the first document printed out.


Tomorrow I will see how to scan and print out on fancy paper. Sufficient unto the day....

World Cat Day

Mes amis, EVERY day is BnF département Arsenal, RESERVE FOL-BL-1398

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Emile Nolde

 Dark Sea (Green Sky)

Emile Nolde born today August 07, 1867.  (7 August 1867 - 13 April 1956) - A fine artist but a puzzling one. He was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and is considered to be one of the great oil painting and watercolour painters of the 20th century. He is known for his vigorous brushwork and expressive choice of colors.

Golden yellows and deep reds appear frequently in his work, giving a luminous quality to otherwise somber tones. His watercolors include vivid, brooding storm-scapes and brilliant florals.

Nolde was a supporter of the Nazi party from the early 1920s, having become a member of its Danish section. He expressed negative opinions about Jewish artists, and considered Expressionism to be a distinctively Germanic style. This view was shared by some other members of the Nazi party, notably Joseph Goebbels and Fritz Hippler.

However Hitler rejected all forms of modernism as "degenerate art", and the Nazi regime officially condemned Nolde's work. Until that time he had been held in great prestige in Germany. A total of 1,052 of his works were removed from museums, more than those of any other artist.

Some were included in the Degenerate Art exhibition of 1937, despite his protests, including (later) a personal appeal to Nazi gauleiter Baldur von Schirach in Vienna. He was not allowed to paint—even in private—after 1941. Nevertheless, during this period he created hundreds of watercolors, which he hid. He called them the "Unpainted Pictures".

In 1942 Nolde wrote:

There is silver blue, sky blue and thunder blue. Every colour holds within it a soul, which makes me happy or repels me, and which acts as a stimulus. To a person who has no art in him, colours are colours, tones tones...and that is all. All their consequences for the human spirit, which range between heaven to hell, just go unnoticed.[Wikipedia]

 In this image: Members of the media take a look at some of the paintings by German artist Emil Nolde presented at the Grand Palais in Paris, Wednesday Sept. 24, 2008. Painting at left is: Leute Im Dortkrug, (At the Village Hotel).

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Happy Birthday Andy Warhol

In the future, everybody would be world famous for 15 minutes. Andy Warhol

Whether you like Andy Warhol's work or not, there is no denying the incredible influence it had on the art that came after it, and pop culture in general.  The eccentric, flamboyant painter, filmmaker, sculptor, and musician, churned out an incredible amount of work over a tragically short lifetime. Unlike many visual artists who spent their lives struggling to make ends meet, only to have their work fetch millions after their deaths, Warhol had a successful commercial art career that he left behind to focus on creating polarizing, ground-breaking, experimental art.  He churned out an astonishing number of works.  So many, in fact, that the Andy Warhol Museum in Pennsylvania is the largest museum dedicated to the artwork of a single artist in the United States.  When he passed away in the late 80s, a bitter dispute began between those business associates who had been closest to him.  At stake? An enormously valuable estate.

Monday, August 4, 2014

A catastrophe threatens the Yazidis of Northern Iraq

The Yazidis of Northern Iraq are facing genocide. A small group, their beliefs date back to ancient Mesopotamia. When I was researching the world of the copper cave (Nahal Mishmar), I thought to myself that here is a living link to that world and now, being destroyed by the forces of modern religious intolerance - convert or die.

Zara Mgoyan was born to a Yezidi Kurdish family in Gyumri, Armenia in 1983

The Yazidi minority faces a struggle for survival in Iraq after their bastion Sinjar was taken over Sunday by Islamic State jihadists, forcing tens of thousands of people to flee.

The existence of the small Kurdish-speaking community on its ancestral land is now critically endangered. Here are a few facts about the Yazidis:

- The largest community is in Iraq -- 600,000 people according to the highest Yazidi estimates, but barely 100,000 according to others -- while a few thousand are also found in Syria, Turkey, Armenia and Georgia. They are mostly impoverished farmers and herders.

- They follow a faith born in Mesopotamia more than 4,000 years ago. It is rooted in Zoroastrianism but has over time blended in elements of Islam and Christianity.

Yazidis pray to God three times a day facing the sun and worship his seven angels -- the most important of which is Melek Taus, or Peacock Angel.

More at: …

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Ancient Music

Of course, nobody knows what music sounded like 5000 years ago but I would like to think that some of it sounded like this. As far as I know, the Israeli archaeologists didn't find anything that could be used to make music. But the ancient Egyptians and Summerians used harps and while their cultures came later, certain kinds of technology like that used for harps and drums changed very slowly.

It has been speculated that this figure of a woman is carrying a drum under her arm - of course, nobody knows. That's the agony and ecstasy of archaeology, to seek, find and then, only speculate about the what, the how and the whatever.

Michael Levy has a whole page on his researches into the lyre. No stringed instruments were found at the site but that does not mean that they did not exist during this period:

A lovely artistic interpretation of what might have been:

Saturday, August 2, 2014

'Masters of Fire' at the Legion

In 1961, Israeli archaeologists discovered an extraordinary treasure in a cave near the Dead Sea known as Nahal Mishmar. There were over 400 copper objects wrapped in a straw mat and hidden in a natural crevice that would be called the “Cave of the Treasure.”  One of the greatest hoards of antiquity, these objects were so spectacular that they define an important era in Southern Levantine (modern-day Israel and surrounding lands) history now called the Chalcolithic (copper-stone) or Copper Age (5500–3500 BC).

More at :