A hub for what's out there on the web worthy of love from great artwork to interesting people, cultural events to beautiful photography, good food, great music, good books, fabulous babies and more.


Thursday, December 1, 2011

Elizabeth Strout - Writer Extraordinaire

Just read Elizabeth Strout's 2008 novel Olive Kitteridge.  Highly recommended!  I'm always amazed and delighted when an author captures a fictional character's thoughts in such a way as to describe exactly what I might think.  Discovering another person plugged into the same wave length as I, and reflecting it back through color or word pictures, certainly makes the world a much less lonely place.

Here's a more complete review from Louisa Thomas at the The New York Times

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Chris Van Allsburg

Just heard Chris talk at Book Passage in Corte Madera.  What a treat!  I'll use 17 adjectives to describe the man who has written and illustrated 17 wonderful books + more with other collaborators:  Talented, humorous, original, smart, funny, interesting, wise, gifted, different, unique, nice, caring, hard-working, skillful, proficient, prolific, worthy.   Plus, he has a great website here:
One of my favorite books of his is his first.  I'm happy it is now autographed!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Visit Venice with Donna Leon

If you can't physically travel to Venice, try reading one of Donna Leon's fabulous books instead.  One of my favorite new mystery writers with all the flavor of the great city of Venice thrown in.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Roz Chast, Genius

One of my new favorite cartoonists - a regular Vanity Fair contributor. This one got me - so true!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Marisol Sculpture in San Francisco

I had no idea when I took this photo in San Francisco in August, 2009 who created it or what it was about.  I just liked it.  I was taking the ferry into the city from Marin to help take care of my new Taylor twin grandsons and would walk through Sydney G. Walton Square on my way to Mason and Taylor.   Now, more than two years later, I discover the object of my admiration is a sculpture of Georgia O'Keefe by the Venezuelan artist Maria Sol Escobar, otherwise known as Marisol. Well worth a visit! More information from Wikipedia on the artist is here.

Monday, October 3, 2011

90+ Year Olds Who Paint

My 92 year old mother and 91 year old father still paint.  Yesterday, after a Sunday lunch at my house, my mother painted the roses from my garden which were in a vase on the table.  A lovely memory of a nice day.  The best thing about art is that it is something wonderful you can do your whole life and share and enjoy.

Friday, September 30, 2011

The Autry Museum

Another exhibit I'd like to see:  The Autry presentsThe Mexican-American Generation of artists.  More info at ArtNews and at Autry National Center.  So happy to see my distant relative Gene (5th cousin once removed) Autrey's legacy living on in the arts!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

De Kooning in New York

I wish I was in New York so I could go see this exhibit!  More info at MOMA NY

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sausalito Art Festival 2011

My favorite artists from the festival this year:
More Traditional
1.  Andrea Tucker-Hody (gold leaf paintings on handmade paper) - San Anselmo, CA
2.  Taman VanScoy (watercolor paintings) - Long Beach, CA
3.  Patty Mulligan (Polaroids on gold) - Berkeley, CA
4.  E. Michael Wommack (pastels & prints) - Bucks County, PA

A Little Wackier
1.  Cathy Rose (porcelain, metal sculpture) - New Orleans, LA
2.  Chris Roberts-Antieau (fabric sewn paintings) - New Orleans, LA
3.  Chris Vance (painting - a bit in the style of Gary Baseman, who was NOT at the art festival) - Des Moines, Iowa
4.  Brian McGuffey (paintings) - Seattle, WA

Monday, August 15, 2011

Creative Wonder

What a treat to find some of my art selected and posted, out of the blue, on Judy Felker's Creative Wonder  blog, especially given the high quality of the other art Judy features on a regular basis.   I have no doubt the world would be a better place if more people were to answer Judy's question with some positive action: "What if we spent our time creating beautiful things, looking at all of the beautiful things created by others, and helping other to find creativity in their lives . . ."

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yoga Chill Out Music

There is Ibiza chill out music (see previous post) and, it turns out, there is also Yoga chill out music.  Given the economy, this is a good time to sit back and chill out with whatever music you like.  Jeanne, at my favorite Yoga studio in Fairfax, TheYogaLab.com, recently sent me a list of some new music played in class that I liked.  I never knew there was an entire subsection of yoga music.  Even if you're not doing yoga, it can be very relaxing.  One local San Anselmo resident, Ben Leinbach, has some samples of his yoga soundtracks here:  Ben Leinbach Music 

Here's the list Jeanne sent me:

Song Title; Artist(s); Album:

  1. Gopala; Jai Uttal & Ben Leinbach; Music for Yoga & Other Joys
  2. Om; DJ Free & Brent Lewis; Yoga Groove
  3. Lotus; DJ Free & Brent Lewis; Yoga Groove
  4. Chakra Rythm; DJ Free & Brent Lewis; Yoga Groove
  5. Dancing Buddha; DJ Free & Brent Lewis; Yoga Groove
  6. Devakinandana Gopala; Jai Uttal & Ben Leinback; Bhakti Bazaar
  7. Mantra; DJ Free & Brent Lewis; Yoga Groove
  8. Shyama Bolo; Jai Uttal & Ben Leinbach; Bhakti Bazaar
  9. Nrvana; DJ Free & Brent Lewis; Yoga Groove
  10. Bliss; DJ Free & Brent Lewis; Yoga Groove
See you soon at the yoga party! Come for the yoga, stay for the music.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Ibiza Jazz Guitarist Norberto Rodriguez

Rafa Peletey and Norberto Rodriguez performed some great music at a party I attended in Ibiza.  There is nothing like hanging in a hammock, looking at the ocean in the distance lit up by a full moon, with live music playing in the background.  Highly recommended!  Two of Norberto's mp3 cuts can be downloaded free by clicking on the "musica" tab on his website here

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ibiza Chill-Out Disco Music

Wish you could be in a disco in Ibiza instead of listening to U.S. debt ceiling debates?  Listen to DJ Phonique - he'll take you there.

Great Jazz Album

This fabulous jazz album brings back good memories.  Sitting in Ibiza at night at Renata's house with friends.  The full moon is reflecting off of the garden and the pool.  It's still warm from the bright sunny day.  Cool jazz is flouting from within the house to the outside, wrapping itself around our dinner table, while Renata serves her famous Bouillabaisse and we drink good Spanish wine.  More on Renata's pianist and artist friend Joachim Kuhn and on sax player Archie Shepp can be found at http://www.allaboutjazz.com/

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Artist Caspar David Friedrich

So much art today is ugly, I needed a beauty fix.  This painting, by the 19th century German Romantic artist Caspar David Friedrich, makes me feel happy to be alive.  I'm not sure what the objective is of much of the stuff labelled "art" one sees daily on the web.  If it is to make you more depressed than you already are/were then it does accomplish that - but who wants to feel that way?

This image is from the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, an incredible art museum I wish I could get to more often.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Artist Kim Ford Kitz

Walking home from the San Anselmo library today I passed a window display with some great art by a local artist.  Between people's beautiful gardens, the local birds, and a few nice window displays it was a beautiful walk despite the grey weather.   For more of Kim Ford Kitz's art look no further.  Her website is here

Friday, May 27, 2011

Novelist Jennifer Egan

After reading "The Invisible Circus," I needed another Jennifer Egan fix so picked up "The Keep," at the San Anselmo library. Wow!  Sadly (because it's now over) I just finished the book in a state of suspended reality after following its various twists and turns through three separate sets of eyes.  I hope Egan is working on another novel.  I can't wait to read what she comes up with next.  Highly recommended!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thomas Wood Prints

At the SF Fine Art Fair at Fort Mason today, I discovered a new Pacific Northwest artist who does really interesting etchings.  More of his work can be seen at the Lucia Douglas Gallery, located in Bellingham, Washington and at the Lisa Harris Gallery in Seattle.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Jamie Baldridge - Kooky, Weird and Interesting

For more see my new favorite website Bloodyloud! or Baldridge's own site jamiebaldridge.com.  Kind of in the artist Ray Caesar's camp.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Raimonds Staprans The One That Got Away

As part of Chester Arnold's art class S.F. Gallery tour last night we were supposed to see Raimonds Staprans artwork but the gallery was closed.  Crumb!  Now that I've checked Staprans work out on-line I might have to take another trip to S.F. to see these paintings in person.   The exhibit is at the Hackett/Mill Gallery at 201 Post St. from April 8 to July 1.

Suhas Bhujbal and Alex MacLean Worth a Look See in S.F.

The Dolby Chadwick Gallery's exhibit of artist Suhas Bhujbal's citiscape paintings from Pune to San Francisco is worth a visit.  The exhibit is on from May 5 - May 28.  Born in India, Bhujbal received his MFA in Fine Art from The Academy of Art in San Francisco.   His use of layers of thick paint and brilliant color to render some of India's dense housing can only be fully appreciated by viewing the original large oil paintings.

The Dolby Chadwick Gallery is at 210 Post Street, Suite 205 near Grant.  After you're done there just walk one block away to 49 Geary and take a trip to the 5th floor to see the Alex MacLean photography exhibit at the Robert Koch Gallery.  MacLean is a pilot, architect and photographer who puts this interesting combination together in unforgettable ways.  The MacLean exhibit is on from 5/5 - 7/2.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Star Wars Crafts Anyone?

Bonnie Burton creates another fun book.  Interview at Newsarama

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Killer Plants

I recommend a visit to the Conservatory of Flowers in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park to see the special exhibit of killer plants running through 10/30/2011.  All the flowers in the Conservatory, deadly or not, are worth the cost of admission. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Wild Sanctuary's WildBlog: Soundscape Ecology on NPR Science Friday

Wild Sanctuary's WildBlog: Soundscape Ecology on NPR Science Friday

After listening to this show on Science Friday, I bought the Rain Forest Dreams disc at Wild Sanctuary.  Love it!
Wild animals (and jazz musicians) make a lot better music than what one hears normally on the radio these days.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Looking for a Good Book to Read?

I recommend The Outlander by Gil Adamson.  With positive cover credits from such great writers as Michael Ondaatje and Ann Patchett, I couldn't help but pick the novel up from the San Anselmo library.   Having the book also compared favorably to Charles Frazier's Cold Mountain and Cormac McCarthy novels was an additional plus.  The only disappointment I experienced was finishing the book. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Andrew Wyeth Master Painter

Andrew Wyeth: Memory & Magic
I've lately begun to buy art books again, even though I don't have room for them.  Pouring over great paintings is a fabulous way to spend time and get inspired to do more painting myself.  Having just bought a new book on Andrew Wyeth I am reminded what an incredible talent he was.  The Squidoo website has a lot of great material on the artist.  I also recommend my new book "Andrew Wyeth Memory & Magic" published by Rizzoli.  There are paintings in it I've never seen before including one titled Moon Madness done in 1982 that I just love.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Another Jig Will Do

Listening to friend Janet Ashford's violin with Chet Boddy's guitar & banjo.  Fabulous music!  Highly recommended.  Can be found at http://www.calliopecreek.com/.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vivian Maier - Photographer Beyond the Grave

Some people get discovered during their lifetime, others after their death and many never at all.

I'm lucky enough now to be going through my father's 70+ years of photos and negatives putting together a book titled "Growing up Autrey."  The book combines photos from the 1930s through today with recollections of growing up from my four sisters, 92 year old mother and 91 year old dad.

When I recently mentioned my self publishing project to friend Louise Rubacky, she introduced me to another lifelong photographer, Vivian Maier, who has only been discovered recently since her death.  Well worth a look see!

Check out the following links:

Youtube documentary video
Vivian Maier (about) Blog

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Veronica Brigitte (Ladjilli) Rose - Jeweler Extraordinaire

In the 1980s, Veronica helped her mom Lucy Ladjili run the best daycare in Marin County - which daughter Amber was lucky enough to attend until she started kindergarten.  Now that the daycare babies are grown up, Veronica has found a way to continue making them, and others, happy by creating beautiful one-of-a-kind jewelry.  The Ladjili daycare operated on the basis of love and learning.  Veronica has continued on that foundation by designing each of her unique creations to bring happiness, radiant health and abundance to the wearer.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Best Tea in the World

I don't usually like to plug products but I'll make an exception for Mariage Freres tea.  Ever since I visited one of their two tea rooms in Paris years ago I have been a devotee.  They've just come out with a new blend in time for Valentine's Day that sounds nice and one can now order on-line from them directly -which means choosing from a much larger, much fresher selection.  More info is here: Mariage Freres UK site.  They have a number of Earl Grey teas (my favorite) including an Earl Grey Pu-Erh which is touted to lower cholesterol.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Roq La Rue Gallery in Seattle

I'm about to visit Seattle, WA again to see Amber/Matt and my twin grandsons so have an increased interest in that part of the world.  Accordingly, I was happy to find the artist Brian Despain, who is represented by Roq La Rue, exhibits there along with other favorite Pop Surrealism/Underground Contemporary artists such as Mark Ryden and Marion Peck.  Looks like the gallery will be a great place to visit on my next trip!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Lee Freidlander, Photographer

I recently became captivated by photographing textures.  It started by my looking for interesting patterns I could use to enhance other art in Photoshop but has morphed into its own thing.   Often, I find, the patterns one finds in cracked asphalt and reflections off of store windows can be more interesting than the bigger picture - proving the quote "God is in the details" to be true.  Because of my new passion, friend Marsha Armitage Bristow recommended I check out her former Rhode Island School of Design photography teacher Lee Freidlander.   I am impressed!  This photograph is from his 2008 exhibit at SFMOMA.  More info on him can be found at Wikipedia and a sampling of his images can be found at the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Visual Culture's website has a great alphabet video by Alessando Novelli (n9ve.it) where the letters morph into others, each in a different font type.  It's a lot different from my ant alphabet video on YouTube.  Another nice alphabet pick by the Vimeo editors is Alphabloks-Motion Typography by Colin Evoy Sebestyen (movecraft.com).  Sometimes, though, the best alphabets are the simplest - like this upper & lower case alphabet by Melissa & Doug.