Posts tagged: artists

San Francisco Art Fairs

By , June 6, 2011

Until 2010, Art Fairs had been missing from the San Francisco scene for 10 years.  The weekend of May 20-23 brought an abundance of art fairs to San Francisco.  Before that, there had been a big fair for a number of years at Fort Mason.  I missed it in those years, as it was an opportunity to take clients to see hundreds of galleries all in one weekend.

The ArtMrkt, the Fine Arts Fair, and Art Pad all held wonderful shows..

As many of you  know, one of my secret  passions  in my design work is to include contemporary art in all of my projects, whether the project is classical or more contemporary.   It gives the home a feeling of creative energy that can  inspire the family and friends to open up more to the pleasure that is available from exploring  an artist’s creations.  It gives me such joy to place wonderful, energetic pieces within an appreciative environment.

.Below  are some of the pieces I especially liked at the fairs this year.  Click on the links to learn more about the artists.

This is a charming piece consisting of painting, cut paper and wood by Mark Fox, shown by  Love the whimsy!



This  lovely smaller sculpture from Cain Schulte Gallery is by Jessica Drenk.  Although it looks like wood, it is actually carved out of books that were soaked in hot wax. Yes, really!



An impressive piece was this one by Brazilian artist Maria Bonomi from Transarte Brazil.  This is a woodblock print on heavy Nepalese paper.  This print took the very high honor of First Place in the Venice Biennale 2009 for print work.  At 106” wide it is grand and strong.



This monolithic piece stood approximately 110” high and was 24” x 24”.  Enlarge it to see the detail.  It is from a very established Korean artist named Jae Hyo Lee.  His medium is  scorched wood in 2 styles.  This style, which is covered with steel nails inserted in to it.

The other style is this:

This large chair is  45” in diameter, perfectly shaped to sit in comfortably. You can visit his very large website to see his amazing, very  large scale pieces.   His work is available at two American galleries with links on his website.   For me, his work was the most memorable  of the entire weekend.



This piece is from 1962 by Shirley Goldfarb.  The brush work and colors are charming.  It is from a gallery that I hadn’t heard of before, Gallery Sam in Berkeley.  The owner is Evan Morganstein and he had several nice pieces.  While the gallery is open by appointment only, most of his collection is viewable on



This is another piece from the same gallery.  I liked it because it reminded me of Klee.  It is by  Robert Jay Wolff titled, “Galaxy” , 1953.   He was a well-known abstract artist from the 1930’s -1970’s.



I got to see several paintings by Wolf Khan, an artist I have admired for many years.  Seeing five of his landscapes,  in shades of purples, blues,  pinks and yellows  at once was a thrill.  Wonderful colors and a great liveliness pervade his work.  The gallery that showed his work, Jerald Melberg Gallery had other classics, like Motherwell, de Kooning, etc.  It is always good to see the masters and to remember again why they are so important.



This painting moved me with its exceptional qualities of simplicity, accomplished techniques and quiet aliveness.  The artist is Pat Steir and the gallery is Leanne Hull Fine Art.   This piece was large at 84” x 60”.  Observing it at length, I could almost hear the sound of the waterfall and feel the mist on my face.  It was really lovely.


All in all:  The fairs were Enchanting!

Gingerbread houses by designers and artists (but not bakers!)

By , December 17, 2009

For a holiday party this year, my dear friend decided to have a gingerbread house making party.  She provided the gingerbread and we each provided our own decorative elements, as long as they were edible. This sounded like a lot of fun could be had, so we accepted.  Little did we know what awaited us.

The group was five or six couples of varying professions, talent and training.  Several had done this before at parties.  I however, had never made a gingerbread house before, which I haven’t quite forgiven my mother for yet.  Maybe I should just go ahead and forgive her for this breadcrumb sin as my New Years Resolution. 

Couple #1:  was a graphic designer and a painter.  Wait a minute.   Already they are ahead of the the group.  They played together with only a minimum of conflict, a fair amount of tension, and a precise plan and design direction:  Black and white, with pez tiles on the side and red accents.  This is what they came up with:
Copy of Hawaii and Austin 037 copy

Pretty cute,isn’t it?  And see how tidy they were in their execution!  Good job, kids! 

 Couple #2.  Now, this next one was totally unfair!  He was not only a highly accomplished architect who held a high position in the national AIA, but she had taking, yes, Gingerbread House Making Classes at the country club!  Talk about a head start.  They also had a plan sketched out, had bought all the correct materials, a tool box, and hard hats!  Wait a minute!   I had in mind a spontaneous free for all that was destined for silliness.  But no, not with this group.  They were competitive to the end!  Anyway, couple #2 made this delightful home:

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Notice the red licorice pergola to the left?  How about the tootsie roll log ascending staircase?   The architect got an “A” for structure!

Our team’s efforts were not turning out ANYTHING like some of the things I have since seen on the Internet.  Look at this one from the blog “Houseboat Eats”: 


Ok, he wasn’t making this at a party, in front of others, with a 2-3 hour window.  What do you think?  Days/weeks/months of working on it? Come on!

And check out the details on this from the same post:


Rock Candy?  Or just rocks?  Does this look like it meets the “edible” criteria?

And then there was this one:


I mean, really!  I do love the pretzel ironwork on the mansard roof, but who knew there were professional gingerbread house makers out there?

Back at the party,  Couple #3 also had come equipped with a full design of a California Mission Style Gingerbread House, with LOTS of rust jelly bean roof tiles, and tinted plaster-like frosting, but they wouldn’t let me take a picture.  Perhaps it was because he was an accountant and she was an attorney, and they were concerned about the accuracy and legality of their listing-slightly-to-the-left house being published. 

By now my team member/husband and I are getting very insecure.  We had so much fun buying silly edible shapes at the party shop and other nearly edible things at the candy shop, that the party was already a success for us.  But talk about intimidation.  If I was a proper competitor and had googled “pictures of gingerbread houses” before we went, I would have known better what to expect.

Ok, I have been putting off showing you the one we, couple #4 , did but now it is time.  Please be kind and remember my mother never taught me this. 

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Can you say “Exuberant!” ???

Notice the blue M & M pool with the red fish and the boulder design around the pool.  Also, landscaping!  I get credit for foundation shrubs and ice cream cone trees, don’t I?  

Fortunately, I found this house later or I never would have even gone to this party.  I would have taken sick and needed to rest!  Some people do seen to have a lot of talent/time/patience/for this kind of thing and have obviously been planning and studying all year for the big reveal:



So, if you haven’t made your gingerbread house yet, there is still time. 

Throw caution to the wind, grab your courage and have a wonderful, light-filled and joyous Holiday Season!

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