The Story Behind “The Knot”, a straitjacket painting

The story behind the straitjacket paintings is important, because every fold & crease has its history.  These garments got their knocks in the institution of performing arts.  My friend Bob Taxin, magician & performer, owns three, which he let me use for my series of still lifes.  That’s him in the photo, escaping (successfully) from a straitjacket while hanging from Continue reading “The Story Behind “The Knot”, a straitjacket painting”

The Purloined Paintings – 7 tips

The impossible happened late last month.  Two paintings, puloined from the collector’s home in a burglary three years ago, resurfaced and have been returned to their owner.  Finally reunited at a police station, the officer on duty said “this never happens”.  The moment of recovery was ecstatic.  The paintings are in my care now, getting cleaned up and repaired.  Soon they’ll be home where they belong.  The story illustrates the often avoided subject of misadventure; here are 7 tips for starters: Continue reading “The Purloined Paintings – 7 tips”

Collector Profile | Joan Lazarus

A San Francisco street corner is where I first met Joan Lazarus nearly two decades ago.  She was waiting at the cross walk in tall shoes, sunglasses, auburn hair up in a twist, a dancer’s carriage.  We were outside the Cowell Theater in the Marina District, where she was producing the Summerfest/WestWave Dance Festival.  I’d heard a lot about her.  Dancer, teacher, arts administrator and as it turned out, collector of fine art and fun.  Now years later on a glorious Saturday, I’m on my way over the Golden Gate Bridge, hundreds of sailboats skipping over the bay, to talk to Joan in her Marin County home. Continue reading “Collector Profile | Joan Lazarus”

Reselling Artwork

I am considering selling a piece of artwork that I purchased.
What do I need to know?

Last month I wrote about coherent collecting, and mentioned the continual evolution of private collections.  It’s fun to talk about how artwork joins a collection, but how artwork moves out of a collection is also worth addressing.  Possibilities include everything from reselling, charity auction, gifting, to (yikes!) dumping.  Anticipating questions about reselling, and curious myself since selling art is part of my work, I’ve looked into the topic. Continue reading “Reselling Artwork”

Coherent Collecting

Big in the news here this week is the reopening of the expanded San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.  Among the attractions, the Doris and Donald Fisher collection, so vast it needs a multimillion dollar museum to house it.  Sort of puts art collecting into a sphere that most of us can’t relate to.  Art collections are started, built and shaped one object at a time.  Many people have acquired one almost unaware, or at least unlabeled as such.  Whether purchased, self created, or collected passively by gifts, it reflects its owners.
Luckily I get to see this process often.
Some things stand out for me about collectors’ choices. Continue reading “Coherent Collecting”

Poor Penmanship?

“Illegible”.  That’s how the post office labeled a whole pile of my recent mailing of postcards.   Pretty shameful for someone who makes their living drawing.  Or…  as a friend suggested, “they don’t teach cursive anymore.”  Well, it was the nudge that took me into bringing our public front a little more up to date. Continue reading “Poor Penmanship?”

Selection – composing new work

Chuck Close said it best, “… if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and something else that you reject will push you in another direction.  Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive.  You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.”

In setting out new work, I sift through an abundance of ideas, rather than await inspiration.  I was asked recently about how I edit these ideas, so I thought I’d write a little about that this month. Continue reading “Selection – composing new work”