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