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. 

1 comment:

  1. Hi my name is Vicente, sorry this maybe the wrong channel I am from Singapore travelling last week to Tokyo I stumbled on small shop in Asakusa Tokyo and I bough a small print from Sachi tsutsumi I was just wonthering if is the same person as your friend Sachi? Regards Vicente