Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Very Sad Day

In memory of Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, Kansas, who was murdered this morning while attending services at his church. This should not have happened.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

More Birds

Untitled, 2009
screenprint with added pencil

Sweet Find

Brought home from the swap meet, this hand decorated box tells the love story of Mark and Reanne. On the bottom of the box, a statement reads: "Made With Love After Six Months, Nov 30, 2000 to May 30, 2001." We'll never know more.

Problem: Six Hundred Pound Etching Press. Solution: Smart Husband.

So, in the ongoing studio remodeling project, Joe reached a point of major challenge this week: the need to remove the last section of old-carpet-over-linoleum covering the foundation under the etching press. How to move the heavy press without calling on brawny friends or professional movers? He jacked up the ends, one at a time, and placed steel pipes underneath. Then, with the press on "rollers," he pushed it three feet to the side. Very, very clever, I say.

Mission accomplished. The etching press had been next to the window, with a 4'x 6' patch of carpet and linoleum under it.

Friday, May 29, 2009

NOT The Pacific Crest Trail

But it IS the walking path on Signal Hill. Cynthia Evans and I walk there most every morning for an hour - lots of steep hills, gorgeous landscaping, and fresh morning air. Guest walkers have included Gail Werner, Lynn Shaw, Dru Burnham, Anni Shelley, Jeff Shelley, and Virginia Lindley.

News from the Pacific Crest Trail

As you may recall from an earlier post, Rees Hughes, Taylor Smith, and Amy Uyeki spent the night at our house before setting out on a trek of a southern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. Here is an update from Rees, one week into their three week journey:

Just a quick report from Big Bear, California . . . Pacific Crest Mile 113 for Taylor and Rees. We came into town to clean up, re-supply, and see if the world still existed. We had four wonderful days with Amy before dropping her off in Idyllwild, California . . . a little resort town on the western slopes of the San Jacinto mountains. We experienced some of our hottest weather early in the trip and, at the same time, found ourselves walking over snow patches at 9,000 feet a day later.

We subsequently dropped more than a mile in one long day to cross under I-10 and slowly climb into the San Gorgonio Mountains. We had days were we hiked 19, 17, 12, and 17 miles in order to pass through that arid country and return to the high country. We have enjoyed meeting the many long distance hikers and getting our own taste of trail magic. We have seen an amazing number of wild flowers, beautiful views, and few snakes (a couple of rattlers) . . . we even saw two large brown bears and a lion yesterday (we rounded the trail to see these large cages behind an elaborate security fence holding these animals which, we are told, are used in movies and television shows). One trail angel had arranged to position a comfortable lounge chair to be positioned with a great view of Mt. San Gorgonio accompanied by a cooler with some apples and oranges.

Taylor has been great . . . no complaints, has put up with all my questions, always positive. He's adjusted surprisingly well to the absence of Facebook, his cell phone, and musical instruments. I'll let him speak to you privately about his hiking companion.

Tomorrow we head on west.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Such a Beautiful Event

Tari and Dean's private wedding ceremony took place yesterday, followed by a celebratory dinner for family and friends at Utopia Restaurant in Long Beach. The evening was wonderful, perfect.

These gorgeous flowers and these gorgeous greens and purples were everywhere.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Semester's End Yields Great Screenprints

I was sorry to say goodbye to my students, but they accomplished so much this semester! Here are a few highlights:

by Traci Durfee

by Roger O'Leary-Archer

by Robert Avina

by Christian Millan

More Great Screenprints from Class

by Joey Martinez

by Nicole Schenk

by Shera Van

by Traci Durfee

Hi Raven!

A good friend from the past has gotten in touch. Raven Nassar now lives in Morro Bay. We had a lot of fun as neighbors on 2nd Street years ago. It is great to hear from her!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Congratulations to friend and colleague Judy Chan

Beloved Long Beach City College printmaking instructor Judy Chan is retiring. Above, Judy smiles behind the traditional last-class potluck feast as students post their prints for the final critique.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Studio Renovation Update

Joe has pulled out the old cabinets, linoleum countertop and sink. The space now looks bigger, lighter and airier - a preview (with some imagination) of good things to come.

Definition of Great Art

"Exhilarating, startlingly new and rich enough with life and form to sustain repeated viewings." This is how Roberta Smith describes great art in a review of "Avedon Fashion:1944-2000" in today's New York Times. What a great set of goals for a working artist!

On Their Way To The Pacific Crest Trail

Rees Hughes, Taylor Smith, and Amy Uyeki spent the night at our house before an early morning departure to Idyllwild, where they will stow their car and head on to hike the southern portion of the Pacific Crest Trail over a three week time period. Rees is co-authoring a hiker's literary companion to the PCT, which will include original woodcut prints of the trail by Amy, an artist.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day, Momma!

This was our annual Christmas card picture, taken in Pittsburg, Kansas in December, 1959 when my brother was ten and I was six. Thank you, Mom, for a happy childhood, many fond memories, and much, much more! Love, YFD.

Friday, May 8, 2009

A Drawing Show in New York I'd Love to See

“Compass in Hand: Selections From the Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawings Collection” continues through July 27 at the Museum of Modern Art. Find out more about it on MOMA's website: Roberta Smith's review appeared in the New York Times on April 23rd. You can read it on-line at My favorite image from those reproduced is Franz West's small black and white drawing of tap dancers on a stage from 1973.

Kiki's Wild Adventure (cont.)

THIS is the All Points Bulletin posted everywhere by Kiki's frantic humans during the harrowing night of her absence. Did she care? Did she apologize upon return? We certainly doubt it. Most likely, she simply expected adoration, adulation, and extra chicken...

Sunday, May 3, 2009

A Great Evening With Artist Friends

A dinner party last night at our house brought good friends together to celebrate many things: Tari and Dean are getting married, Greg finished two large paintings (a diptych) for a commission, Kate has a beautiful new home and studio, Kiki returned safely from a mysterious night out and, for all, happiness abounds. From top to bottom: Tari Brand and Dean Smith; Siobhan McClure and Greg Rose; Kate Savage and Tom Miller; Annie Stromquist and Joe Kump.