Showing posts from 2010

You're International

Dear Reader, Thank you for reading my blog. As stated on the home page, this is my meager gift to you.  I want to hear about you and what's capturing your attention.  What would you like to read more of? Less of? You may post a comment on the blog site, or email me directly: artist(at) I look forward to hearing from you. Some people see the blog as a note on Facebook. You are invited to visit the site: FaceBook You have joined an international readership. Someone in Guernsey has read this blog. I am humbled to admit, I knew nothing of Guernsey before.  Google Analytics tells me I have been read by people in fifty-five countries, including Iran, Nepal and Kenya. This blows me away.  Only a handful of people in these countries visit my site, but connecting with you gives me great satisfaction. We  live far apart and may never meet in person, but we can share some thoughts instantly. We can be of value to each other. I like it. I

2010 In Review

When Max draws on the sidewalk, train tracks figure prominently.  I do this every year, for those who want to know what's going on with us. Please tell me the news from your world. At the end of 2010, all three of us are healthy and happy. No shocking changes happened this year, just normal ones. Misa kept our lives running, a considerable achievement. I turned 50, Max went to First Grade in both his English and Japanese schools. The rest is mostly photographs. Max had a birthday party at Daly City Party Playhouse . His friend Coco played air hockey in the arcade. We attended the wedding of Lynne Rutter and Erling Wold , a Rococo event, unlike any other wedding we'd seen. The photo of king and queen gives you a taste. A pleasant surprise, Moe Kawakami and her mom visited from Japan. We met the ABC PreSchool parents and children for a class reunion playdate. We live by the ocean, but it's not the Bahamas. About 363 days a year, the weather is cold and gray he

New York and Me—Part 3

Read Part 1 here. Rea d Part 2 here. Into a murky future:  I returned to San Francisco from my adventure on 57th Street. The next three years were tumultuous. I separated from my wife and moved to a tiny apartment on Nob Hill. Most days were a struggle to keep my head attached, but I continued to paint and court gallery attention. A new gallery opened and showed my work. I promoted the exhibition along with the gallery director. I was glad to get the work out in public, but nothing sold and the show didn't lead to others.  One afternoon I talked to an artist friend who'd had a show in New York. He said art dealers wanted close physical proximity to their artists and if I ever wanted to show in New York, I'd need to live there. This made sense to me. I began saving money and making plans to move. I was fortunate to have other big moves behind me. I knew the first thing to do was to go scope out a neighborhood where I wanted to live, perhaps even see an apartment, then li

New York and Me—Part 2

Read Part 1 here. After a year of post-school life in Philadelphia, I moved back to Dallas, Texas and got married. Things did not go well. My wife suggested we take a three-day trip to San Francisco, because she'd always heard it was interesting. I was not interested, but agreed to go along. I'd never been to California. I'd heard about it on the TV news, growing up: earthquakes, mudslides, forest fires, and hippies on drugs.  What I found surprised me. Here was a city with some of the excitement of New York, but it was relatively clean and quiet.  I could imagine getting on with life here, not merely surviving and paying the rent.  I walked the costal trail through Lincoln Park. I couldn't believe how pretty and peaceful it was. Seals played in the water. Downtown, I saw people fishing from the Ferry Building pier. I never saw anyone fishing the waters around Manhattan. On the third day, I decided we would live here.  I'm kind of weird that way. My parents mo

A Rainy Weekend with Antoni Gaudi and Max

My brother Mike has given us a subscription to National Geographic for several years. The magazine excites my son Max. This weekend he opened the current issue and saw this drawing of Antoni Gaudi's unfinished cathedral,  Basílica i Temple Expiatori de la Sagrada Família .  Max said we should begin building a model of the cathedral immediately. We spent a good part of this weekend on our model, and Max is deservedly proud of it. I first saw cathedrals in Europe when I was twenty-five. After an afternoon inside Notre Dame in Paris, I wrote: These people wanted to construct an edifice so big and high and powerful that everyone would look at it and say, "Wow, they must have mighty faith! I'd better listen to them!" The weight, the solidity, the permanence of the cathedrals was a reminder of a faith just as solid and indestructible. When I stood under that magnificent vaulted ceiling, I couldn't help but think that they succeeded.

New York and Me—Part 1

New York, you’re a fickle woman. Just when I want to leave you with no regrets, you pull off your blouse and rub your breasts in my face . —1994 Coming to New York for the first time is like meeting a famous world leader. You can't hope to separate the actual city from the legends told about it. I grew up far away, but the city forced its particles into my brain: Central Park, Radio City Music Hall, Times Square. Growing up in any part of America, we'd hear these place names many times. Half the power of visiting Manhattan is to plug in to their reality: "There's Radio City Music Hall! It's real!" New York took on new allure when I watched Woody Allen's movie, Manhattan. I left the theater jumping up and down with excitement. It was a vision of a different life. A place where people talked for entertainment, where a beautiful woman might call and say, “Would you like to walk through Central Park with me this afternoon?” No freeways, no loud music. I