Saturday, August 13, 2011

Getting Back to Work (sort of)

While it's been a wonderful summer at our mountain cabin at Big Bear Lake, I have returned lately to my Apple Valley studio to work a few days each week. I'm enjoying throwing small stoneware tea bowls/ dessert bowls...... and painting with acryllics--- more abstract expressionism!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Texture Texture Texture

I recall how Daniel Rhodes, artist and sculptor, used to bring clay to the beach to roll out and pound onto the rocks to create interesting textures and shapes.  The California coast has many  inspiring places where I'd love to do the same.

Great times in Santa Cruz!

While my wife, Susan, and I were in Santa Cruz celebrating our 30th anniversary, we attended a new show at the Museum of Art and History (  The exhibit was on the Big Creek Pottery School in Davenport.  Opened by Al Johnsen and Bruce and Marsha McDougal in 1968,  it flourished as a workshop oriented residential learning community until 1983.  During 50 workshops, the school offered an enlightened style of education focused on making functional, wheel-thrown pottery from start to finish.  The museum showed many works by the workshop presenters and some wonderful photos. The Big Creek Pottery, which Susan and I visited in the 1980, was a rather magical environment: a place for a life learning experience, a place to live and learn from others, build a community and solve problems......ahhh, those were the times!

One of my art heroes, Daniel Rhodes has several sculptures there at MAH.  Rhodes taught for 25 years at the NY State College of Ceramics at Alfred University, and at UCSC (1977-1980).  He was an authority on ceramic techniques, gave workshops regularly, and wrote several books. Clay and Glazes for the Potter  is still one of my key reference books. 


My daughter, Roselle, is going to redesign a new website for me. You will still be able to access it at There will be several pages showing work available for sale.

I recently brought 22 new pots to the Mingei Museum in Balboa Park and the Trios Gallery in Solana Beach. While I was hoping to make more room to work in my studio, I still have an overflow issue: I stopped counting after 60 pieces! 

This is more than enough to get me through this year's AAUW ART SHOW October 8-9  in Apple Valley.

Monday, May 30, 2011


A trip North would not be complete without a trip to Lagunitas Brewing Co.-- to check out their great new beer garden and their enviable IPA.

Norcal Vacation

We just returned from daughter Chelsea's graduation from SFSU......Hooray for our Environmental Studies major!

We also visited ceramic artist, Robert Arneson's hometown of Benicia.  Arneson  taught at UC Davis for 30 years, and while shunning the functional side of ceramics, developed the California Funk Movement.






Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Austere Landscape

The charred trees at Hanna Flats reminded me of Isamu Noguchi sculptures.

The 14,000 acre Butler 2 Fire struck this area September 2007-- very few trees survived the inferno.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Driftwood Search

finding just the right piece of redwood driftwood for  accents on my pots can be exhaustive

the beaches of Gualala (3 hrs. north of San Francisco) are my favorite sources for driftwood-- especially in the spring after all the winter storms

Saturday, March 19, 2011

My Heart Goes Out to Japan

Unbelievable! Catastrophic images don't begin to show the immensity of the calamity. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of Japan. I wonder too about the Japanese students we hosted a decade ago--Makiko and Noriko.

I am glad to see the international pottery community is also reaching out to the big Japanese pottery community which has been affected.

Here's an interesting Blog from a potter living in Japan:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Still Intrigued By The Desert

I just listened to Michael Connelly's detective/crime novel The Overlook and now during every biking trip through the desert I see clues: discarded shoes, a stained cushion, broken glass, a silver spoon--someone's discards or evidence of a heinous crime (or my overactive imagination?).

Thinking about all this discarded waste (or evidence) has brought another appreciation for Ed Ruscha's recent artwork: "Psych Spaghetti Westerns" being shown at Gagosian Gallery in Beverly Hills. His recent paintings concentrate on the roadside the desert. Apparently he has a second home out in the Mojave Desert: a place so quiet, his mother once told him: "You can hear your hair grow out here." But he loves it. Ruscha disdains computers and mobile phones, he doesn't watch television and has never, to his knowledge, entered a Starbucks. "I cherish the idea of being alone," he says.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Following Grafitti Artist Banksy

With the fascination of the Grammy comes a remarkable story of an artist known as Banksy. Nominated for an award this year is a documentary called "Exit through the Gift Shop" -- a story about the grafitti street artist from the UK known as Banksy. The film has an interesting twist when the video scribe, Thierry Guetta, is transformed (with Banksy's help) into Mr. Brainwash, another successful street artist. To read and see more, check these sites:,0,1114234.story
and and and

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

David Hockney's art

instead of thinking about a studio or art shack at the mountain cabin, maybe I should simply get the "Brushes app" for my iPad ......

But, I don't think so.......

Enthralled with the Lake!

It may be too early to begin biking here!

I saw this ponderosa pine with
gaping hole near our cabin.

Art Exhibit in San Francisco

As I balance my life between the cabin in the mountains and home/studio in Apple Valley, I seek inspiration from many sources: and often that means seeing other artist's work. I have always admired Robert Brady's work. He taught sculpture at CSU Sacramento for many years and has very successfully worked in different mediums. During the holidays, we saw his latest show at the Braunstein/Quay Gallery in SF. I am intrigued by his use of wood in creating these long-limbed, Giacometti-like figures.
Now, don't be surprised if I put all my driftwood, metal, clay, and stone together to make my own sculptures. And it won't be cheating because as Picasso said, " Good artists copy, great artists steal."

Images from Big Bear Lake

Easter Island??? NO!! I saw this stone monolith on our hike up Gray's Peak near Big Bear Lake. I like the wry smile..

Big Bear Lake begins to thaw after an unusually
warm spell in January

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Very Happy New Year!

My artwork was interrupted in December from the storms (over 6 inches of rain in Apple Valley) and my new obsession: our getaway cabin in Fawnskin on the shores of Big Bear Lake (only an hour drive from Apple Valley).
I'm still trying to figure out how to build a small art shack/ studio here at the cabin!