Thursday, May 5, 2016

26th Annual Spring Art Show Video

Yesterday we hung the Spring Art Show at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center. The process was captured by the Center's very own paparazzi, Michel Kotski.  I wasn't aware Michel took all these pictures while we toiled away.  Thanks again, Michel.

Here's Michel video clip:

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Molly's Turn: Spotlight on Sachi

Sachi's serene work is such a statement of who she is.
Sachi Tsutsumi 03/2016

As a child I was very lucky to have a wonderful babysitter named Sachi Tsutsumi. She is a Japanese woman who came to California from Japan to go to The San Francisco Art Institute to study Printmaking in the early 1960's. She and her husband Cline have remained family friends and I am so pleased to say I still know them and visit them every so often.

These are in the collection of the Palace of the Legion of Honor 

As a 5 to 7 year old Sachi babysat me in her wonderful home on Rhode Island st on Potereo Hill. You would walk through a tall dark gate into a magical lush green garden with a beautiful fish pond filled with Koi. The house was built as a single story that jutted out over the side of the hill. I remember the tile floors and the way it was open all the way to the back so you could enjoy the view. As you stepped into the house  from the garden you came to a metal sprial staircase, and down this staircase was Sachi's world. As a child I didn't realize that she rented this space from others. I just knew that the home fit her personality. The house felt very serene and peaceful which was how Sachi was to me.  She was very patient with me which endeared her to me mightly. It is only recently that I learned her patience with me was due to her lack of English and not her gentle manner. OR so she says.  She taught me Oragami and painting, and I always felt a quiet sense of being when I was with her.

Sachi recently gave me this beauty

This is a print that has always hung in my mother's home.
It now hangs in my daughter home,  three generations of admirers.

When I threw a surprise 70th birthday party for my mother in 1987 here at my home in Fairfax, Sachi and her husband Cline came. It was such a surprise for all of us when she already knew my good friends and neighbors Richard and Martha Shaw and their friend Fox. All had been at the San Francisco Art Institute at the same time.  How small a world!

Here is Sachi at my mother's 80th birthday party.
Cline is also an old Potereo Hill resident.  Part of a large loose group of artists living on the hill. Cline is a wonderful poet, I will include several of his poems here too.

Here is the only photo of have of Cline (on the left), he is with Robert Kingsbury
at my mother's 80th birthday party here in Fairfax.

There Goes Charles
(Potereo Hill: 1980?)
By Cline Hayward

Yellow VW Beetle
going up the 20th St. Hill.
Pioneer small car--
now a classic survivor.

Above the drivers window
nothing but a head
covered with a hat--
brim thurned down all around.
That head pointing to the sky
through the windshield at 45 degrees.

Looks like that head is
floating all by itself.
Not attached to anything.
It has got to be him.
Couldn't be anyone else.
You're right-- it's him.
There goes old Charles.

The above poem was written about another wonderful Potereo Hill artist Charles Farr.


The Tree Maker
By Cline Hayward

As if to prove Joyce Kilmer wrong
The artist labors all day long 
To make a tree.

From his search for perfect shape
He cannot, if he tried, escape--
While sketching a tree.

He knows the tree's inscrutable power
For he has gazed at it by the hour.
Now to put pen in hand.

It is his impossible task 
Its mystery to unmask
And capture it on paper.

His sketch is gracefully dignified
But he is no satisfied.
It is not perfect.

      Dare we remind him…..

The poet Kilmer was right.
Only God can make a tree.
But he cannot make for us to see
A picture of that tree.

So, that should be the artist's pride
To take His Spirit as his guide
And try his very best.
With our own sould we'll do the rest.

Here we are in our most recent visit, March of 2016. 

26th Annual Spring Art Show

Coming to a Community Center near you (if you happen to live in Marin County, California, that is...)

Here are a few of the San Geronimo Valley artists who will be participating in this year's  Spring Art Show.  We usually exhibit up to 100 artists. The show runs May 7 to 15th with a reception on Friday, May 6th. More to come....

photo by Donn DeAngelo

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Elly Simmons exhibit

This month’s exhibit in the Maurice del Mue galleries at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center is the work of Elly Simmons.

It’s titled Whirling Dervish: A collection of paintings, prints and collage works by San Francisco Bay Artist Elly Simmons:  Thirty Three works spanning Thirty Five Years of Creative Endeavor.

Elly has a long resume. Her works are in numerous public and private collections around the world, including the New York Public Library Collection of Prints and Drawings, The Library of Congress, the Schomberg Museum, New York, the Center for Study of Political Graphics, L. A. , the Skirball Museum, Los Angeles, the Packard Foundation and The San Francisco Arts Commission as well as the private collections of Taj Mahal, Pete Seeger, Lynn Woolsey, Barak Obama (!),The George Bush Family (!!) and many others.

Some of her current endeavors include The Al-Mutanabbi Starts Here International Book Art Project and the ongoing film project Last Call: The Specs' Film (a biographical documentary about her colorful father Specs of Specs Bar in North Beach).

Here's a Youtube interview link: 

All works copyright 2016  Elly Simmons

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Last Gasp 46th Anniversary art show

Last night, Molly and I (with Jaime Crespo in tow) attended the opening at the 111 Minna Gallery of the Last Gasp 46th Anniversary art exhibit.

The show featured the “original works by select artists who have long since been supported, published or admired by San Francisco’s revered local publishing house”.

Last Gasp publisher Ron Turner was there of course along with a number of artists and colleagues from the Underground days

Participating Artists Include  John Law, Mitch O’connell,  Robins, Justin Green, Mike Davis, Isabel Samaras, Jennybird Alcantara, Gary Baseman, Elizabeth Mcgrath, Ransom & Mitchell, Rob Reger, Bo Heimlich, Junko Mizuno,  Randy Dodson, Jay Howell, Winston Smith, Skinner, Sam Flores, Kevin Earl Taylor, Mark Bode and Janelle Hessig.

Here are a few pieces from the show:

This painting by Mike Davis knocked me out

                                                       Rob Reger

The extremely talented (and still under acknowledged) Hal Robbins

                                               Kevin Earl Taylor

For those unaware of Last Gasp here's a little background:

"Ron Turner founded Last Gasp in 1970. Their first publication, Slow Death Funnies #1, came out on the first Earth Day, April 15, 1970. Subsequent comics included the all-women's comic It Ain't Me Babe and Skull Comics. Turner's enthusiasm for underground comics--in particular their autobiographical aspect--has been the driving force behind many groundbreaking publications. Last Gasp published Justin Green's highly acclaimed confessional Binky Brown Meets the Holy Virgin Mary in 1972, a book that became an inspiration to many artists now working in the autobiographical style. "Art Spiegelman, who won the only Pulitzer Prize for cartooning, has said he would never have started to do the autobiographical story of his family (in the graphic novel Maus) unless Justin had done it first. And Robert Crumb said the same thing," said Turner."

Exhibition Dates for the  Last Gasp 46th Anniversary show are April 1 – April 30, 2016

111 Minna Gallery
111 Minna St.
San Francisco

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Virginia Irvin, October 9, 1917-March 24, 2009

Remembering Molly's mother, Virginia Irvin.

                                    A sketch of Molly by Virginia from 1957

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Phil Frank exhibit at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art

The Marin Museum of Contemporary Art is currently hosting the exhibit 
Travels with Phil: The Art of Cartoonist Phil Frank.

                         A life–size Bronze statue (lent by the Sausalito Art Festival)

Phil Frank was a much beloved cultural figure in the San Francisco bay area. A cartoonist and Marin county history buff ( He was a history curator for the Bolinas Museum and The Sausalito Historical Research Center is named in his honor ) his comic strip Farley appeared exclusively in the San Francisco Chronicle from 1985 until his death at the age of 64 in 2007.

A recreation of his Sausalito studio

The Farley strip originally began in 1975 as a nationally syndicated strip, Travels with Farley, until Frank made the unusual decision to switch to all local San Francisco focus. 

The exhibit has examples of other strips by Frank including the syndicated features Miles to Go and The Elderberries as well as his Fritz Crackers strips for the local MarinScope.

Fritz Crackers

Beyond the works of comic art, the MMoCA show also presents Frank’s assemblages, paintings and sketches.

 Cartoons from True West magazine

The exhibit runs until April 10th.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Notes from the Underground: Vintage photos of Jaxon and Wes Wilson

This month’s exhibit in the Maurice Del Mue galleries at the San Geronimo Valley Community Center is the Floyd Family Traveling Picture Show.  It’s a collection of photos, primarily of the San Geronimo Valley in Marin county, dating back to the late 1960’s taken by prolific photographer Harlan Floyd (1928 – 1991).

Back in the late ’60’s the Valley, became the new home to many refugees from the post-‘Summer of Love’ Haight –Ashbury scene.   Folks associated with the Digger’s, the Family Dog, the Grateful Dead, artists and activists, all made their way to the San Geronimo Valley.

The exhibit is filled with photos dating back 40+years of happy-go-lucky, long-haired folks, gypsy caravans, even a shot of Jerry Garcia playing softball…

Fortunately Harlan captured it all.

Harlan’s son Hank Floyd (who’s work is also part of the exhibit) recently gave me copies of a few historic photos—notably of artists Jaxon and Wes Wilson-- which he knew would be of interest to me.

Cartoonist Jaxon circa early 1970's

Above is Jack Jackson aka Jaxon one of the true founding fathers of Underground Comix.  He drew the proto-underground God Nose in Austin, Texas in 1964 and then worked for the Chet Helm’s Family Dog  in San Francsico before co founding Rip Off Press.

He is probably best remembered for his seminal historical comics and graphic novels such as White Comanche, Blood on the Moon, Red Raider (Comanche Moon), Los Tejanos, Secret of San Saba and El Alamo among others. He died in 2006.

                                         Beatrice  Bonini and Jaxon in the San Geronimo Valley 

Apparently, Jaxon spent enough time in the Valley to be captured by the lens of Harlan Floyd.

                                             Wes Wilson, Eva and family living in Lagunitas circa 1970.

Wes Wilson is usually acknowledged as the father -- of the 1960’s San Francisco so-called psychedelic poser.  He innovated the melting-morphing ‘psychedelic’ font back in the mid-60’s.
Wilson is still an active artist living, I believe, on a farm in Missouri.

                                                                         Wilson in his Lagunitas studio.

Much thanks to Hank Floyd for the use of the photos.

Photos courtesy and Copyright the Harlan Floyd Family