Steve Karlin and Susie Bear: Over the past year Pavi Mehta, Chris Johnnidis and I have been visiting a wildlife sanctuary in Half Moon Bay to listen to and record the remarkable animal stories and personal journey of founder, Steve Karlin. Sitting on his back porch one day last spring, Steve casually alerted us to the piercing cries of a young red-tailed hawk above and motioned us, mid-sentence, to look beyond the fence at a bobcat moving stealthily in the tall grass. To be in Steve’s company is to be reminded that the vast play of nature is all around us, and visible if only we cultivate our ears to hear and ... Nov 22, 2013, 29964 reads


Looking for Something That's True: A Conversation with Dickson Schneider My relationship with Dickson Schneider goes back quite a ways. He was an important part of my own publishing efforts from the beginning and I've long been an admirer of his painting. Whenever we have gotten together our conversations tend to take a philosophical turn. At the time of this interview, it had been a while since I'd visited Dickson and, as usual, there were new paintings I hadn't seen. I'd already been noticing that the figure was appearing more often in his work. To begin, I asked him to tell me about that ... Richard Whittaker Dickson Schneider:  ... Jan 8, 2001, 29640 reads


Donna Billick and Diane Ullman at UCD: The Art & Science Fusion Program I remember hearing about Donna Billick from John Toki some years ago. John is generous in spreading the word about artists who impress him. Thinking for oneself, passionate commitment, resourcefulness and actually getting things done would rank high among the qualities he values. John’s glowing description stuck in my mind.      So when a few months ago, at an open house at Toki’s Leslie Ceramics in Berkeley, I happened to meet Billick, I was already primed. She was arranging a display of handmade ceramic honeybees. I asked her what were they all about ... Oct 14, 2013, 28250 reads


Ladislav R. Hanka: Some Thoughts Sent to Ted Orland I have read your book Art and Fear and have been moved by the deeply humane truths contained therein—enough so to reflect after thirty years as a printmaker, how it is that I survived into middle age as an artist, while nearly all of my colleagues from US art schools have not. What makes this situation all the more vexing, is that I attended art academy in Europe as well and nearly all of those colleagues still make art.  Why the difference? What can we learn from that dichotomy?   I imagine we all start as similarly talented and excited children, wanting to paint ... Aug 17, 2009, 27512 reads


Interview: Leigh Hyams: This Incredible Fact of Being Alive I’d arrived early. It was easy to miss the door at 545 Sutter Street. It opened into a narrow foyer where one suddenly felt transported back to the San Francisco of the 1950s. Deciding against the rickety elevator, I chose to climb the narrow stairs hidden in the back. On my very first visit to Meridian Gallery I’d been charmed by the place, by the feeling I was revisiting an era when the Beats were just getting going.      No one could mistake Meridian as a place dedicated to art as a saleable commodity. There was a different ... Nov 21, 2005, 27183 reads


The Sound of One Hand Clapping: An Interview with Terrance Meyer  One morning I looked up from my cup of tea in a local coffee shop and was surprised to see a man at work on a little painting sitting at a table nearby. Such a sight was a first for me in this particular neighborhood. I walked over, took a peek, and was surprised again. It was really good. I complimented him on his work and we struck up a conversation.        He was just passing through, he told me. He’d been in Seattle and had come down to the Bay Area where he was staying for a few days with a friend. It didn’t sound like his accomodations were any ... Oct 2, 1999, 26910 reads


A Conversation with Jim Brooks: The Right Stuff I'd come to Elko to take in their annual Cowboy Poetry Gathering. A first-timer, I was neither a cowboy nor a student of cowboy poetry, but I'd been enjoying the performances and the friendly atmosphere among the ranchers, cowboys and the friends of cowboy culture.       It was the second day of the festival and I'd taken a break to visit Capriola's, a place I was told not to miss. It was full of all kinds of cowboy gear. Looking around, I almost wished I owned a horse or two.      Someone walked past me carrying ... Jan 2, 2005, 26574 reads


Interview: Jane Rosen: Toward the Intelligence of Life Jane Rosen has been a long time contributing editor for works & conversations and an incomparable help in the early years of the magazine.      At the time of this interview—our first recorded conversation—Rue Harrison and I met Rosen at her rented house on a horse ranch in San Gregorio, California. [She now owns a property nearby.] In those days, her dog Mayo was never far away and we were surrounded by all kinds of examples of Rosen's love of nature—rocks, feathers, shells, seeds, pine cones. On the walls were many of her drawings, ... Apr 2, 1994, 26493 reads


Interview: Paul Van Slambrouck : Reflections on Journalism Paul Van Slambrouck is a distinguished journalist. He began working for the Christian Science Monitor in 1976. From 1989 to 1997 he was with the San Jose Mercury News. In 1997 he returned to the Monitor as San Francisco bureau chief. In 2001 he was made the editor-in-chief of the Monitor. He is currently an associate professor of Mass Communication at Principia College, a correspondent for the Monitor, a contributing editor for works & conversations and a volunteer with ServiceSpace.      Paul entered my life in 2006 thanks to his offer to help me in my struggle ... Feb 9, 2014, 26486 reads


A Conversation with Ursula von Rydingsvard: Objects of Presence I first heard of Ursula von Rydingsvard from my friend Jane Rosen. "She's a great artist," she told me. "You should interview her." But Ursula lives in New York and I had my hands full in the Bay Area. It didn't seem likely to happen. Then one day I got a call from Jane— Ursula would be in San Francisco to give a talk at the Art Institute. She would be in town only briefly, but perhaps I could arrange to meet her. It turned out that she would be staying with Ann Hatch who had brought Ursula to SF years before for a residency at the Capp Street Project. ... Feb 16, 2003, 24983 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 712768 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 130526 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 6209 views

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a ... Read More 88201 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 56861 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 712768 views

Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected jazz musician Bill ... Read More 359604 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 290646 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 179269 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 149058 views