Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Spinning swings always got me going.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Parasol. For obvious reasons.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

An Endless Supply of Food

Japanese food. Mom feared that I wouldn't survive the United States without it. Both parents sent boxes of non-perishable food all the way through graduate school. Polished white rice. Ramen. Soba. Bottled nametake. Dried shiitake. Nori. Kombu. Rice crackers. Instant miso soup. Soup base. I survived the 1970's by going to Koto Restaurant in downtown Oakland. My roommate and I always shared the sukiyaki with an extra order of rice. In New York City, I found a small Japanese restaurant near Columbia that served a number of authentic side dishes such as kimpira gobo, takuan, negi su-miso and hijiki. I had one or two of these side dishes with rice and miso soup. Then, several authentic sushi restaurants opened, and other Japanese restaurants started up too. By the time I returned to San Francisco in 1979, Japanese restaurants and food stores were common. Thank Heavens!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Lost Skills

1. Playing the piano.
2. Ballet.
3. Translating the original Tale of Genji text.
4. Tailoring a coat.
5. Hand-binding a book.
6. French.
7. Quilling.
8. Squeezing a sea cucumber's guts out.
Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 24, 2010

If Not San Francisco, Then???

I would not like to live anywhere other than San Francisco. Much as I love traveling and adventure, living somewhere connotes rootedness. If I had not come here, I would be living in Japan, and mostly likely I would be living in Kobe, where my family is from. Or perhaps Tokyo, to get away from family. Certain cities are enticing...Paris, Venice, New York, Kyoto, Tokyo, Munich, Jakarta, Guatemala City. But to live in a place connotes fitting in with those around me, having the connections and knowledge to navigate myself within the rules, regulations, practices, and customs of a place. Just as Westerners living in Japan for generations are still regarded as "foreign," I think I would always feel the visible and invisible walls of another city.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Speed Dating Fortune Cookies

At Mike's office holiday party someone felt the need for an ice-breaker. They decided we should play the game of speed-dating. With connotations of lost inhibitions, torrid office romance and convivial hanky panky, it seemed an odd choice for a conservative investment company. Strips of speed-dating-appropriate questions were placed in fish bowls in front us. People laughed nervously, didn't touch them. I saw all those strips of unused paper and contemplated the time it took someone to come up with questions, type them up, print them out, cut them out, bring unwrinkled to the party, place in the bowl. I took a fistful of questions and decided to respond to each one in the course of the year.

Randomly selected, my first question was about earliest memory:
The bright lights of the hospital. Someone saying, "Look her eyes are already open." The feeling of being bathed.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Blue Studios

Partner Matthew Frederick's open studio at Blue Studios in the Mission.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Weekend One: Mission

It's the first weekend of SF Open studios and I visited Art Explosion and 1890 Bryant. I has great time visiting with Georgiana Fastaia, Cynthia Tom, Paul Morin, Martha Rodriguez, Melisa Phillips, Emily Citraro, Kevin Pincus, Kirsten Tradowsky, Lucky Rapp and others. Now that my open studio is on another weekend I can visit Mission artists.

De-threaded, gessoed and distressed cloth works by Rachel Meginnes at AE.

Cynthia Tom's surrealist work at 1890 Bryant

Detail of knitting on paper by Sonya Philip at 1890 Bryant

Mixed media by Vera Costa at 1890 Bryant

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Resolutions and Dissolutions

South Bay WCA exhibit at the MLK Library in San Jose

Red, White and Too Much Blue by Hedda Hope

The Face Behind the Mask by Susan Kraft

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Art Launch

Launching 2010 Open Studios at Somarts. Body painting and interactive art and lots of viewers.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Kara Walker

Kara Walker at the Wattis reception for Huckleberry Finn last night. Judy and I scrutinized the cutouts on the wall to see how they were cut and adhered. We think she works in the reductive mode. Interesting contrast between her painted pieces and her cutouts.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pen and ink

It's been a while since I've used pen & ink but the pent-up desire must have been there. Last time I was at Blick I loaded up on black ink. And my favorite new medium is gouache, which gives an amazing deep black, matte finish. This piece is for Kearny Street's fundraiser but now I am inspired to make more for open studio.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Altered book

Slashed, quilled, painted, torn. My altered book from Jody Alexander's class. Learned how to take a book apart and feel good about it.

Friday, September 3, 2010


I am getting a lot of energy from my hauntings paintings. I wanted to create ghosts but not in the usual manner of hags and bald headed melty faces. What makes something creepy? Masks, mist, slightly soiled items, bandages, messy hair.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Ghost Stories

Started a new series on ghost stories. Image still taking shape.

Location:Folsom St,San Francisco,United States

Monday, August 23, 2010

Water Baby

This recent series is in response to the photos of jizos that I took in June. It took some effort to capture the essence of these stone figures. In the end, I decided to depict the pathos of these unborn souls and the mystery of the anonymous women who knit hats and sew bibs to keep these babies warm.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Work of Art: Made to Fail

I've been watching the reality show, "Work of Art," where 14 artists are tasked to create a work of art in a day or two. A winner is declared after each challenge, a loser gets eliminated after much harsh criticism. It's become increasingly clear that "art on demand" doesn't work...or at least look presentable. There is little qualitative difference between "winner" and "loser," all the works look slapped together. It is also ridiculous that artists are made to feel they must create works outside of their media and genres - we may as well be watching amateurs scurry around with drills and brushes. Sadly, I see little creative growth among the contestants, just greater anxiety, fear and uncertainty with each episode. Artists need time to translate a concept into art. They need the privacy to experiment, play and make a few failed pieces. The world of art isn't the same as the the garment industry's. Artwork does not need to meet a production cycle based on getting goods into the stores as quickly as possible. It must be based on an artist's own rhythm and cycle.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Other than festival days, few visit the hamlet of Jizo. The guidebooks don’t mention this place, which is nothing more than a few rice paddies and humble thatched roof houses. Behind the village is a steep hill overgrown with broom grass and bellflowers. Thousands of statues of jizo, or children of stone, stand alongside the ascending path. These armless stone children are common throughout Japan, but Jizo is full of them. Some are dressed in red bibs and knitted caps, others have pebbles piled on top of their heads or shoulders. They gaze sweetly at the solitary traveler who passes by them.
On top of the hill, nearly hidden by wild grasses and ivy, is a shrine dedicated to the white fox. Someone once said that at nightfall, just when the last rays of the sun yield to the inky darkness of the country night, the villagers change out of their shabby clothes and become their old selves again - twitchy wild foxes who dance on their hind legs and roam the fields looking for mischief.
Jizo has few visitors outside festival days. That’s because travelers have to make several train transfers and pay extra for this private line, that independent line, to get there. Stationmasters, not wanting to look up routes in their thick, incomprehensible train schedules, direct travelers to towns that sound similar, like Juusoo or Jigoo. Only on festival days do direct, uncomplicated schedules appear, as if cast by a fox’s spell.
Among geishas, however, the route to this village is passed along by word of mouth, from experienced geishas to their younger sisters. There’s no need to consult with unhelpful stationmasters. If they set out early, they can reach Jizo by nightfall.
As evening shadows sweep over the village, a young geisha named Kikue arrives at her guesthouse. Tomorrow she will journey home, and resume her duties as an entertainer. But tonight she will be treated as an honored guest. A hot bath is prepared, and she’s given an indigo-dyed cotton kimono in the old arrows pattern to change into. In her room, Kikue finds a husk pillow and wadded cotton bedding laid out on the floor. Flushed from the bath, she feels the tickle of worn-out tatami on the soles of her feet. She runs her fingers over the coarse autumn leaves used to patch holes in the paper sliding doors. The smell of burning wood wafts up from the kitchen below. When the moon rises, Kikue gazes into her small, oval mirror and catches a glimpse of her own village, where her parents and younger sisters share their meager meal of millet and radishes.
Later that evening, a white fox dressed in an ivory kimono steals into the room. The creature breathes over the geisha’s face and Kikue smiles, dreaming of her baby floating peacefully in her womb. Each time the baby turns inside her, it grows older, more like a child. After a while, the fox coughs three times and Kikue awakens to find a small child beside her.
The fox leads Kikue and the child up the steep hill. She will try hard to memorize the spot the child picks, under a large red pine whose serpentine limbs offer shelter from the elements. Kikue clears away the pine needles so her child can more easily dig its tiny feet into the damp earth. She pats the child’s head and promises to visit the village in the spring. She will bring a red bib and the sweetest bean pastry she can find.
And so this child joins countless other unborn, unnamed playmates alongside the hilly path. Watched over by white foxes, the jizos stand quietly. In the spring they will listen to the bush warbler’s magnificent trill, in the summer they will be soothed by the cicada’s cadence, in the fall they will look up wistfully at the ducks migrating south and in the winter they will wear cloaks of snow to stay warm. Each waits longingly for its mother, who will renew her love when she makes her pilgrimage up the steep hill.

Friday, March 5, 2010


This beautiful logo for our upcoming Elements Eco-art conference was designed by Rozanne Hermelyn Di Silvestro. Pacific Region WCA has just put out a call for submission for a juried exhibition, Blue Planet, that examines the social, political and economic issues related to water. This show will be an important component of our Eco-art Conference. Submissions are welcome from all resident California artists and national WCA members. For more information and prospectus go to: http://ecoartactivism.wordpress.com/blue-planet-art-exhibition/.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Trader Joe Tiger

A wall on a local Trade Joe's was covered with tigers saying "Gung Hay Fat Choy."

Tiger in the Mission

Came upon this wonderful mural one evening while going to art openings.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Felt Hearts

A set of fuschia-colored felt hearts arrived in the mail from Frannie. They sprung out of her handmade CNY card. I'll miss both celebrations this year because I will be in Chicago attending the CAA and WCA conferences. Just packed my boots, earmuffs, gloves and tights and hope they'll keep me warm.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! The Year of the Tiger starts with a new studio in a different neighborhood. May it bring productivity, creativity and inspiration!