Three Bird Stories: Ronald Hobbs For the better part of twenty-three years I found myself running a bird store in San Francisco. It was a small storefront, the space inside narrow and deep —maybe sixteen feet wide by seventy deep, about 1200 square feet in all.        Imagine, simply, this place with cages and flight cages running along the walls, some pegboards, of course, and a few shelves for books. It is not exactly beautiful, not a “birdie boutique.” The walls are stark white. There are some paintings and second-rate bird prints tacked up here and there in frames ... Jul 15, 2007, 4485 reads


Make a Living, Make a Life: John Evans Even in this world of computers and the global economy people still make dinner for their friends, have children, walk on the beach at sunset, share stories, start businesses. (If the truth be told, the global economy is more like an empire where everyone does what they have always done but with a little less money, and more of our money goes to fewer and fewer people.)      People start businesses for basically two reasons: to make money or to make a living. Money is one of the most confusing creations that we have ever gotten tangled up in. Most people need it, some ... Oct 17, 2007, 8969 reads


Lucidity: A Conversation with Irene Pijoan: [photo by Irene's husband, Craig Nagasawa] Did I know Irene Pijoan? Artist Squeak Carnwath was asking. I didn’t. “You should interview her,” she told me. “She doesn’t have long to live.”      Pijoan was a much loved member of the art faculty at The San Francisco Art Institute for some twenty years. She and her work had become well known in the Bay Area.      There are people one listens to. I listen to Squeak. So, overcoming my uneasiness, I called Irene. She sounded strong on the phone. We arranged it. ... Nov 30, -1, 18148 reads


Peter Selz: A Life in Art: Berkeley, California The interview that appears below took place in two separate sessions. I  met Peter Selz at his house in the hills of north Berkeley. Before we sat down to talk I asked him if I could take a little time to look at the striking collection of art adorning every wall and tabletop in sight. He was happy to indulge me.      Selz, in his mid-eighties does not have the endless reserves of energy he must have had up until only a few years ago, although the amount of work he continues to do is amazing, with several projects always going at once. His ... Jul 11, 2008, 24070 reads


Interview: Rick Hawes: Civic Beauty without Permission Besides introducing me to Ted Fullwood, artist Tony May told me about Rick Hawes. In fact, we'd just left Fullwood's house when Tony said, "Let me show you something..." and I couldn't quite make out the rest of it—something about a bridge.      "A bridge?"      "There's a guy who's been tiling them."        "A guy tiling bridges?"      Tony nodded.       "You mean like freelance?"       Tony nodded ... Dec 25, 2009, 7289 reads


A Conversation with Haricharan Das: In the Company of Saints Haricharan Das, Berkeley CA 11/20/09 Meeting Haricharan Das was one of those happy improbabilities you could never have made up. My wife had been reminding me for months that the paint on our house was peeling off and that if I didn't get on the ball and deal with it, we'd regret it. So finally I got online and looked at the Berkeley Parents' Network, a great resource for recommendations. I called a painter with rave reviews and a few days later, my doorbell rang. A tall man with a shaved head and olive complexion stood there smiling. He was ready to take a look and give me ... Jul 27, 2010, 27378 reads


Interview: Wavy Gravy : Saint Misbehavin’ One day I got a note from Nipun Mehta, “I’ve got some tickets to a documentary movie about Wavy Gravy that’s going to be shown in San Francisco. Would you like to go?” I went. Although I was aware of Wavy Gravy as a cultural icon, I really knew very little about him. The film is an eye-opener. Michelle Esrick’s loving documentary, Saint Misbehavin’—ten years in the making—is a real introduction to this remarkable man. Not long afterwards, with Mehta’s urging, I had the chance to interview Wavy Gravy.   Richard ... Dec 21, 2010, 100296 reads


On Art and Mindfulness: An Excerpt... For the past several summers, Enrique Martínez Celaya has been teaching a painting workshop at Anderson Ranch in Colorado. Many of his students are unusually moved by the experience. And that’s not surprising.      While nearly everywhere style, entertainment and spectacle take center stage, the deep questions remain—acknowledged or not. For those who feel how little nourishment beguiling surfaces provide, there’s a hunger for contact with the deeper reaches of life—territory that traditionally has been the purview of art, philosophy and ... Feb 7, 2016, 18457 reads


An American Artist In Japan: Katina Huston I came to Japan by accident and opportunity and the generosity of Kikuko Sakota, a former student in an art class I taught in San Francisco four summers ago. Three years later she called. Kikuko was returning to Japan. Could I come? —If I were to have a show I could. 7/8 Tokyo I arrive in Tokyo at 8 pm Sunday night and Reiko Nakamura, another former student of mine meets me at the airport. The trip to my guest house is two hours by train and then three subways. I find myself uncomfortable with her generosity. I don’t know her very well and she is ... Nov 30, -1, 8728 reads


Toward Inaccessible Places: A Conversation with Andre Enard The three of us sat at Jane Rosen’s dining room table in her home perched atop a ridge near the beach at San Gregorio in Northern California. Through a wide expanse of glass, the sweep of the coastal hills with their native redwood, oak, bay and madrone lay before us.      We had just finished dinner. The fresh salad, with locally grown tomatoes and greens, included slices of mozzarella “not as good as in New York,” Jane said, a claim I’d have to take on faith. We all agreed the interview could wait until after our meal, but now the time had ... May 18, 2008, 21952 reads


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The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 140397 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 8030 views

Say Grace I am deeply delighted to live on a planet that is so big and varied that I can ... Read More 4912 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 60405 views


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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 363116 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 293600 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 188892 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 150246 views