Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Black-capped Chickadee

I'm reading Sy Montgomery's book "Birdology" and I am quite riveted. If you read "The Good, Good Pig" then you know Montgomery is a great writer and now she's written about one of my favorite topics - birds. Apparently, birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs. In the chapter on the cassowary (which looks strikingly similar to a dinosaur), Montgomery writes, about the discovery of soft tissue in the femur of a Tyrannosaurus Rex by paleontologist Mary Schweitzer. The DNA was sequenced from the 68 million year old fossil and guess what living creature the DNA most closely resembled, a chicken!

I decided to post this image after reading the following: "the timid titmouse and fluffy chickadee, it turns out, are close relatives of the largest, most powerful carnivores that ever lived. Their direct ancestors were bipedal, meat eating dinosaurs, with three toes, air-filled bones, and wishbones like those from the Thanksgiving turkey."

This black-capped chickadee also happened to be a frequent feeder at Grammy Tunney's bird feeder in Long Island - from Jurassic Park to Long Island.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Today I walked by IXIA on Market Street and they have, as usual, two beautiful arrangements in the window. One of the wonders today featured persimmon branches filled with gorgeous ripe fruit. This post, is a nod to Gary Weiss, the proprietor, who makes art out of branches, leaves, and flowers, and offers us, the passers-by, a new arrangement every week or so through his dramatic window pieces.

I've only been eating persimmons for the last ten years or so and now they are such an essential part of my fall food habits. I usually begin collecting hachiyas in early November so I can turn the luscious soft fruit into persimmon pudding. But before that, if we are lucky, our fruit bowl is filled with crisp fuyus until they are no longer crunchy, but slightly soft and sugary.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Tea and Sunshine at Saint Mary's Park

December is starting with a bang with three great receptions to attend: the weekend begins with a great party at City Art Gallery on Friday December 3, then on Saturday, December 4, a fundraiser for Visual Aid entitled "Little Gems" at Underglass where the owner of the shop has donated the framing for all of the work, and finally on Sunday afternoon, the seventh anniversary party for Studio Gallery which is exhibiting their annual "Tiny" show. I have a good feeling about the weekend and about the year ending well. Also, if you happen to be up on Potrero Hill, my work is at Collage Gallery on 18th Street (just up from Plow, my new favorite place to have brunch). This is a great exclamation point to a good year!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Another Judge?

I was under the impression that Victoria Kolakowski won the Superior Court Judge seat in Alameda County, but I just learned she is up for a run-off election. I'm certainly rooting for her, I love that she is out as a trans woman and running for public office. This month is Kolakowski month for me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Judge Kolakowski

I donated this lovely to Big Deal and was pretty excited when it was among the early pieces to get bought up. Visual Aid holds this wild, fixed price, silent and live auction every year and the proceeds go to help artists with life threatening illnesses continue to work. It's a great cause and a really fun event.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Screech Owl

I drew this little guy in my sketch book but when I photocopied the drawing, all the mid-tones were lost. This is something I have to work on - how to maintain the original drawing but still recognize the limits of a photocopy. I can always go in with oil pigment after the transfer is set into the wax, and yet, I see this as a challenge tackle!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Bryant Street Birds

Trish caught this coming out of her studio the other day. Now she's begun to recognize what I'm looking for, and send me photos she thinks I'll be able to use in the mixed media pieces. Today, on our way back to the Mission from Hunters Point Shipyard Open Studios she said "stop the car, I have to get that for you!" I really love that. And then the Giants won, too!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Electric Ivy

I want to thank everyone who came out for Open Studios this weekend. Trish and I both received mountains of love and support, making this one of our most successful Open Studios to date. This piece is now in Lee Cline's home, and now I have one of her amazing water colors. We traded a bird for birds. Yeah!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Up There

I caught this guy hanging out on my neighbor's roof and managed to get one shot off before he flew away. Have you noticed there are more crows around lately? According to the Birmingham News, crows have begun migrating to urban areas, preferring the luxury of easy pickings on garbage days and the safety of fewer predators. And I was just thinking it's because I've begun to look up.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Berry Picking

Here's a little preview of what you'll see if you come out to Open Studios next weekend. I'll be showing at 1890 Bryant with Trish and all the other fabulous artists at the 1890 Bryant Street Studios. I'm excited about this show, lot's of new bird images found while wondering around the City as well as some new drawings turned into encaustic mixed media pieces!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

From my Sketch Book

Here's what the one of my drawings looks like after I uploaded and punched up the contrast a bit. Then I print and head down to my local copy center and turn them into Xerox copies. Once they are good and carbon-filled, I set them in the clear wax medium and then remove the paper with water.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

More Birds on Wires

My friend Rob reminded me that the telephone poles are coming down and being replaced underground and that's why he likes these birds on wires so much - nature and analogue mixing it up. Earlier this month I heard a child point to a television set and ask her Grandma, "what is that?" I suspect one day, we'll hear the same questions about these telephone poles.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Paisley Black Bird

I've been down to Saint Mary's Park watching these birds over the past several months and learned that these plump little sweeties are actually Brewer's Black Birds - like in the previous drawings. There are scores of them living on the south side of Bernal Heights and Friday I got within a few yards of one. There are also Cowbirds and Rusty Black Bird's over there. So really, no telling what this little guy was, other than some sort of Black Bird.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

12 x 12 Brewer's Blackbird

There are a lot of different varieties of blackbirds like the Red-winged Blackbird, the Yellow-headed Blackbird, and this one, the Brewer's Blackbird. It's likely you've seen Brewers Blackbird's flitting around the City - they're small with a hint of blueish-green around their heads - at Peet's coffee in the Potrero Center, they'll share your table with you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Westside Road Oak

This is one of the pieces at Mom's Pharmacy in the Castro. Visual Aid curates six month shows at Mom's and my work will be there until the end of the year. This is my second solo show in the Castro, the first one was in the lobby of Bank of America. One of these days, I'll have a solo show in a gallery. In the mean time, I like having my work fill the plush golden walls of Mom's.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Cherry Blossom Bird 7" x 7"

I'm working on creating larger canvases for Open Studios in October. Last week I prepped four new braced boards, one 16 x 20, two 12 x 12 and one 11 x 14. Up until now, the majority of this new work is on small 7 x 7 pieces of poplar. I'm excited to move into the new presentation - now I'll just have to see if I can hold out for Open Studios.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Neighborhood Mascot

I am frequently caught off guard without my camera when this guy (or gal) is landing on some roof top or telephone pole in Bernal Heights. On Friday, she, or one who looks very similar, landed on a the corner of a roof on Anderson Street. It would have been a perfect shot for a transfer; a brilliant blue sky and a clear, close shot with no obstructions. I try not to lament when this happens, but to take the opportunity to watch the bird, happy that this series has given me a chance to direct my sights upward.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

"as above, so below"

I made this one for the Back to the Picture show last month. I was disappointed in where I placed the tree so the roots were actually an after thought. Now I'm working on a new one, I liked it so much.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two Strange Birds

I suppose I should have named this piece, "one broken fence" - that would have actually been more true. The birds were not strange at all, really. There are quite a few of them over in Saint Mary's Park and they are usually flying between the fence, the trees, and pecking their way across the well tended grass of the ball field.

This piece was won by Mom and Dad Tunney, who arranged for some proxy bidding at the Avon Breast Cancer Auction on June 5th. What a blast we had, and raised over $3000 doing it!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

McLaren Park Crow

McLaren Park has a lot of bird species, jays, hawks, cranes, finches, chickadees, and crows, are among them. It is also a park with some very mature trees. This guy was sitting on the very top of a tree that was three or four stories tall. The rest of the tree was plump with coniferous leaves, but this tallest branch was bare - so much so, I thought it was like that just so I could get a good picture of the bird. It's time's like this that I am grateful for the zoom on my little pocket camera.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Plyboo Owl

Trish and I had a cabinet built in our bathroom out of Plyboo, the renewable plywood made from bamboo. After the job was finished I ended up with a couple of 4"x 4" pieces which have been laying around my studio waiting for some inspiration. The sides of the wood are striped and are golden honey colored. Finally, this little guy found it's way into the tiny square and is now too adorable...I found myself speaking to the piece in a cooing voice - the kind one might reserve for a pet, or small child...I just do love this little guy!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Clark's Nutcracker Wins an Award!

Either the jurors at ArtSpan who awarded this little guy a second place award in the category of "representational art" are whack, or this new work is making quite a splash. Every year artists donate to the annual ArtSpan fundraising auction which is taking place tonight. My piece will be among the 140 works up for auction.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


This must be pal week in my studio, because, like the wood that Lily found for me, this background was given to me by Louise, who uncovered a roll of this vintage wallpaper while cleaning her basement. I recently went looking to buy more and it is VERY expensive. The thing about ebay though, is once I log on and start searching for cool things to make art with, a whole day can whiz by, I can forget to eat, forget to rest my eyes, and forget to make the actual art.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Lily's Wood

I have a seven year old friend who brought me this piece of wood because she thought I might like to paint on it. I'm pretty sure her Mom, Jen, was just humoring her by allowing her to bring it to me, but it turned out to be a perfect background for this sparrow. Thanks, Lily

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I just stumbled across this piece - I made it back in December but had filed the image in a strange place. Lately, I've begun to take my camera with me and look for birds around town. Last week I was waiting at a red light when I looked up and saw a great shot. I pulled out my camera and hung out the window and clicked away. I was awakened by the honking of a horn behind me - I wanted so badly to shout, "hey, hold your horses, I'm making art over here."

Monday, February 22, 2010

Painting, Organizing, and Purging

I've been busy giving my bedroom a makeover. It's puzzling to me that it is nearly the last room in the house to be painted. When we moved here, nearly three years ago, we were very intentional about decorating every room, but our bedroom seemed to be the default place to store stuff. In our time here, we have painted every room but the little office, which is the next and final room to paint. In my goals for 2009, I wrote that I wanted my bedroom to become a sanctuary. I have spent the last month and half accomplishing that goal - new paint, new bedding, and now new things to donate to Community Thrift. I love, painting, organizing, and purging!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Flower Power Finches

I've been thinking about what my intentions are for this year and talking to people about theirs. I have learned that most people do set some sort of intentions during the new year, even if they are broadly defined like "simplicity" or "adventure." My friend Jane and I set goals for ourselves in 2009 and are planning to do it again for 2010. I use categories, like: finance, travel, spiritual, emotional, adventure, relationship, creativity, intellectual, and physical. I accomplished many of the goals I set for myself in 2009. I had never done anything like that before and really enjoyed looking over the year to see if I had stayed on course. Stay tuned to see how I do in the creativity category ; ).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Monday, January 4, 2010


It appears the Northern Flicker resembles the "Yellow-bellied Sapsucker." Can you believe there really is a "yellow-bellied sapsucker"? Well, according to my bird book there is! I thought that was just an insult hurled by Foghorn/Leghorn...or was it the Bugs Bunny?

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Happy 2010! My friend asked me today, "what are you going to call the new year, dk? Are you going to say twenty-ten or two thousand and ten?" I told her I was just going to say "ten". I am hoping that "ten" brings loads of creativity, prosperity, delight, and happiness to all of us, and that we whether the bumps with grace and a sense of humor. Cheers!