Brown Eyes / Mountain Bikes


Good old Brown Eyes, my wife Annie, met up with us in San Francisco last week.  She’s a teacher, and needed the break as much as I.  This is at our hotel, The Fountain Grove, in Sonoma County.  Interesting sculpture.  I understand they know something about wine around there too.



Bike shot is after we came down through the mountains on a break-neck, ten-mile run.  Narrow paths over logs and streams with the odd jump thrown in.  My brother’s in the foreground.  He’s a much better mountain-biker than I, damn his eyes.  You should see that dude catch air.

Back to Kansas City soon.  Work awaits.  Have to finish a new book, launch a couple of careers, and complete some projects.  Well, I’m ready.

The Art Scene in Marin, San Francisco and Carmel



(One of my sons in Sausolito, where we checked out the galleries.  Well, I checked out the galleries; he checked out the girls.) 

You would think, with all the dough that’s in the Bay Area, that a greatly sophisticated gallery scene would dominate.  Don’t get me wrong–there are scores of sophisticated artists here, and equally unusual galleries tucked away here and there, but they’re far from dominant.  In Sausalito, Geary Street in San Francisco, and along the main drag in Carmel, kitsch rules the day.

In all these places, a commercial approach to figure is placed next to shallow landscape which is placed next to haphazard splashes of paint that are supposed to pass for contemporary.  Ditto much of the sculpture.

A great deal of this work isn’t even by regional artists, but international “names” who couldn’t paint their way out of a paper bag.  I won’t refer to those names, because then I’d be crossing the line from dealer to critic.  But man, folks in the monied circles here need to get more involved with their own artists.  In fact, I’d say Kansas City does a better job of supporting its artists than SF.  If it weren’t for places like SomArts, or the Pacific Art League, artists here would have it even tougher than they do.

Otherwise, this remains one of my favorite cities in all the world.  Spent the afternoon on Mount Tamalpais the other day, after brunch with an old friend in Stinson Beach.  Damn.  Can’t quite do that in Missouri.

Pacific Art League



Taught the workshop yesterday at Pacific Art League in Palo Alto.  Great time.  I’d asked for 20 artists, and that’s how many we had.  As usual we started out in a classroom, by mid-day I tired of that, and moved everyone outdoors.  In this case, that was a shaded patio on the top floor.  So we dug on the California sun as I taught, as everyone asked questions, and as I also learned from the artists.  I mean I can’t think of a single seminar I’ve conducted, where I didn’t learn something new from the crowd before me.  That’s when teaching is at its best–when the learning is mutual.

God I do dig CA.  But I’m a Midwesterner at heart.  Time to go home soon.