Upward Mobility: Timothy grew up on the wrong side of the railroad tracks; he lived on the West side, which was the wrong side of town because it was where the prevailing winds dumped the black sooty smoke of passing locomotives. The way the wind blew also determined certain prevailing socio-economic attitudes: there were the clean, country-clubbing, martini-sipping High Caucasians on the East side, and the dirty lot of beer-guzzling fist-fighting mongrels breaking chairs over heads at the Blue Goose Tavern on the West side.   On the West side, the railroads directly affected daily life. On Monday, ... Jul 7, 2012, 2674 reads


Interview with SaÏd Nuseibeh: The Bond of Mystical Beauty One afternoon I got a call from DeWitt Cheng - there was some interesting work at the Scott Nichols Gallery—photography by Saïd Nuseibeh. A few days later I went over to see for myself. DeWitt was right. Nichols was there and I asked him how to contact the photographer. He picked up a phone, dialed a number and handed me the receiver. Nuseibeh was on the other end. A week later I found myself standing outside Nuseibeh’s front door high in the inner Sunset District of San Francisco. It was foggy and there was a chill in the air. We'd already met a couple of days ... Aug 1, 2005, 37818 reads


East and West: The Work of Jane Rosen Two years ago, Jane Rosen resigned her teaching position as a member of the art faculty at the Univer-sity of California at Berkeley. Her decision surprised me. She was a popular teacher and her drawing classes were always packed full. For a couple of years, Jane had mused about the possibility of giving drawing workshops, but it hadn’t seemed very concrete, and surely that was only a piece of the puzzle. I wondered what she would do.      Rosen grew up in New York City where, early on, she established important connections in the artworld. As her career began ... Dec 1, 2007, 4239 reads


Kilo Charles Six VHU: I received my first Amateur Radio licenses in January of 1991 at the age of 49. As a kid in the mid-west I had a radio shack in the wash house, an outbuilding where the women folk did laundry; it was filled with old Atwater-Kents, Philcos, Crosleys and whatever else I found in the junk yards. I'd go there at night and sneak cigarettes. I could bring in WSN in Nashville, Tennessee, XERF Del Rio, Texas and other far off stations. I could bring in some DX (foreign stations) on 41 meters and some hams on 40. The aerial was a run of wire I thumbtacked to the peak of the house roof ... May 18, 2008, 5534 reads


Janine Brown: An Excerpt From An Artist's Journal: I These paintings are a road.  No, it is a road these paintings are on: the buying of the paper, the place to work, the drawing, the hanging up and the putting down, into the portfolio and out of the portfolio, a little more work, another trip to the art store; thinking: the painting or the road? The thing and the process: the gallery, the showing, the slides, the mats, the portfolio, the viewers, the comments.  Where, what is this road? The shapes, the forms, the colors, composition.  It is not a picture of the road. It is the road. Like life. It is not the breakfast, the ... Feb 10, 2009, 4491 reads


Give Back What Was So Clearly Given To Me: Conversation with Matthew Kowalski On June 26, an artist will hang 16 abstract paintings in a bustling downtown restaurant in Oakland, Calif., preparing for a one-man show. To passers-by, the scene probably will look routine. But the artist is Matthew Kowalski, and his story is anything but ordinary. Kowalski was a homeless drug addict and alcoholic who lived on the streets of San Francisco for 27 years, battling addiction and mental illness. At age 42, he decided to get sober and began the long journey toward recovery. Today, Kowalski, 54, is a certified addiction counselor and professional artist. He is healthy, sane, ... Jul 13, 2010, 6457 reads


Bhutan's Gross National Happines: A Conversation with Anne Muller I first met Anne Muller at one of’s planning meetings. It was a surprise since I hadn’t expected anyone outside our usual group. Anne Veh introduced Muller, telling us her friend had recently returned from a photographic project, something about “gross national happiness.” About what? My attention suddenly piqued. In fact, I felt a little disoriented. It happened that our meeting was being held at Leah Perlman’s Happiness Institute, a name I still wasn’t quite used to.      “Gross national happiness—did I ... Aug 15, 2012, 3725 reads


A Conversation with Jane Wodening: Doors of Perception Anne Veh told me about Jane Wodening. She told me Jane wrote about animals, about the intimate life of nature around her. That her writing was like no one else she knew of. Then she thought. "Well, maybe Barry Lopez." Anne spoke about Wodening with both fervor and reverence. She was planning to include Jane's books in a big exhibit at the diRosa in Napa, California. Maybe Jane would come out from Colorado. It turned out she did and I got to meet here at photographer Linda Conner’s home in San Anselmo. I remember being struck immediately by ... Aug 1, 2012, 10176 reads


Combat Papermakers Drew Cameron and Drew Matott: An Interview in Two Voices Papermaking is an art of transformation. Papermakers recycle local plants, old clothes, and rags—break them down and reconstitute the fiber as paper. In a radical new version of “swords into ploughshares,” papermakers Drew Cameron, an Iraq veteran, and Drew Matott, an activist artist, have taught 100s of war veterans to slice up their combat uniforms and to transform them into paper. Cameron and Matott call their process “liberating rag” and the fiber that results “combat paper.”      Invented in 105 AD in the court of the Chinese ... Jun 7, 2011, 20410 reads


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, 30377 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 717168 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 139147 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 7149 views

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a ... Read More 88786 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 57936 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 717168 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 360718 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 291911 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 188221 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 149571 views