Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Happy 2012/

Just one more post for you all til the new year. I have a bit if a deadline coming up for some writing and I am right in the thick of it now so I am going to concentrate on that and come back to you refreshed and deadline free(ish) in the New Year. But I leave you with a calming image to reflect on that I shot it in Long Island a couple of weeks ago. The light is different there than California but I am equally in love with it. I look forward to getting to know this lovely east coast light in the new year. Thanks for helping to make my 2011 one of the best years of my life! Kisses you lovely people!

Monday, December 26, 2011

christmas gifts/

This year's holiday season has been a bit of a weird one for me. I usually get in the holiday spirit, but this year, I have felt like I am in a bubble. I definitely sense that the year is ending but the whole Christmas gift thing I have not participated in. You see, my family decided just to do charitable donations as gifts this year (except for my niece and nephew, who were FULL ON in the holiday spirit!!). I have to say, it was rather nice. I was grateful just to be with my family, and know a tree would be planted and a hive of bees given to someone needy. And then I started driving home. This was the sight as I got into my car. The crows were cawing to each other as I drove away and those cloud formations? It was just stunning. And as I continued on my way back to San Francisco, it just was getting prettier and prettier. There are perks to a "Spare the Air" day. Pink sunsets is one of them. Finally I couldn't take it anymore. I pulled off the freeway and drove along the reservoir for awhile. And just on that stretch of road I watched the sky turn a brilliant pink, the first star of the night, the tiny sliver that is the moon tonight (barely perceptible if you aren't looking for it), and a bunch of deer having their evening meal including a gorgeous buck. Seeing all these things in the space of an hour felt like the most stunning Christmas gift of all. How lucky am I?

Friday, December 23, 2011

happy holidays/

Hoping you and yours have a wonderful holiday season. Me? I'll be mixing cement...(noooo...not really). That is a cement mixer, isn't it? This just cracked me up as I drove down the hill from the Blunk Residency. I love the odd things people do. I wish I knew the story behind this one...I cannot even begin to imagine.
Kisses you lovely people!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

winter solstice/

Happy Winter Solstice my friends! I am not really big on New Year's Resolutions, but I do reflect on things past and future on the Winter's Solstice. It seems more fitting to me to obey the earth's rhythms.
Take a moment today to just reflect on all the beautiful things that have occurred in your life and all the wonderful things to come. It is going to be a great year. I look forward to sharing mine with you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I swear, it is one of those times...I am wandering aimlessly through my images thinking what do I want to share with all of you today. And the fact is, there is SO MUCH I want to share that I have been shooting, but for one reason or another, I cannot share it! Many are jobs, and others are my own projects that will be seen somewhere else first, but still. I feel thwarted! And then I ran across this image and it calmed me down. This is Heath Ceramics owners, Cathy Bailey and Robin Petravic's home. Simple and so them, right down to the Adam Silverman/Heath light.
The music I just stumbled across (in my own collection) is calming me down as well. Forgot I had this but it is amazing! Johan Johannsson's IBM 1401, A User's Manual. Take a listen to a bit... 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

christmas house/orinda

Monday, December 19, 2011


Just a pretty picture today. Lots of work to finish up this week, but I can almost taste that sweet little bit of free time waiting for me...cannot wait!

ps - I love Morgan Freeman.

Friday, December 16, 2011

erica wilson/RIP

Late Tuesday afternoon I received the sad new that Erica Wilson, Vladimir Kagan's amazing wife, had passed away from a stroke. Erica Wilson was a legend in her own right, known as the foremost expert of needle-work. She is credited with the mid twentieth century rebirth of needlework in the US, but to hear her tell it, as I was lucky enough to, all that was a bit of an accident. I remember her telling me that she came to the US for a teaching job and found herself "teaching the Rockefellars and all the society ladies how to cross stitch". I thought about Wilson years later when I shot the Miller House and found out that Xenia Miller did all the needlework on the cushions of her custom Saarinen Tulip chairs. I wondered if she had taken one of those classes.
When I walked into the Kagan's apartment for the first time to shoot their apartment for Handcrafted Modern, I will admit I had no idea who she was. She was just so incredibly sweet and welcoming to me that I instantly liked her. The funny thing is, when I talked to my Mom that first night, I mentioned who Kagan was married to (my Mom is an avid needlepointer) and she was so excited about my meeting Erica Wilson (Valdimir Kagan? she had no idea who he was.) Throughout the two days of my shoot at the Kagan's apartment, Erica would pop into the room I was photographing and check on me. She told me some great stories, too. There was one wood stool in the living room that was rather organic and rough. It was a departure from most everything in their apartment so I asked her about it. She told me that it was from one of her old boyfriends. "Way before Vlady..." she clarified. Apparently this old beau was Norwegian and very handy with the woodworking. He like to give her gifts...and who wouldn't? It was obvious she was quite a hottie and she had one of those accents where you almost lost what she was saying because her accent was so intriguing and enticing. It is always rather interesting to me when two legends are married to each other. The Kagans are the only pair I have ever actually met in person. I feel privileged to have been able to do so and to know Erica just the little tiny bit that I did. She made an impression on me.
Read more about Erica Wilson here.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

june schwarcz/yesterday

It has been a busy fall my friends. Lots of client work and not as much of my own projects as I would like, but yesterday that all changed. I finally got myself back to June Schwarcz's home in Sausalito. We had tea and chatted about her work and life and I shot a few new pieces (yep! She still is working everyday!). The beauty of my work more often than not is that these people end up being friends. And June is a bit beyond that for me. I love this woman. I go over there and have to remind myself to shoot because I love just sitting around having tea (and her lovely melted chocolate snow flakes!) and just talking. Her history is long, which happens when you are 92 (?). But she is also just so open and frank about every subject under the sun.
As I was shooting yesterday I looked back and saw her just sitting there watching me. The light on her was so beautiful, a bit Vermeer like. So I had to take a few shots. That beautiful little figure in front of the window on the right is a Japanese religious figure of some kind (she told me exactly what it was and of course it has flown out of my head). But it is exquisite, as is her taste.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

brooklyn/lawn piles

While shooting a portrait in Brooklyn I ran across this empty lot. All there was in it were these piles of yard clippings, but it seemed like they were not from this yard. It was kind of strange. My kind of strange actually...you see, I have a deep love of lawn piles. Have we talked about this before? This is one of my half realized projects that I always want to get back to but never have the time. In San Jose, where I grew up, the way they get rid of yard waste and clippings in some areas is people just pile it in the street. It is a careless, utilitarian act and yet some of these piles end up being beautiful little (or big) sculptures. I'm going to have to dig some up to share.
But this image struck me for the wonderful patterns on the wall. Especially that slatted panel on the wall. It is like some weird screen that they would project subliminal suggestive messages on...

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

travel day/

Be back tomorrow!
; )

Monday, December 12, 2011

sunset/long island

This is what I was rewarded with at the end of my shoot on  Long Island last Friday. Not bad at all...

Friday, December 9, 2011

Handcrafted Modern/AIGA 50 Books 50 Covers Winner!

Well don't I feel fancy! I was walking back from a meeting in NY yesterday and popped in to the AIGA National Design Center to check out what was on view. It was the exhibition for the 50 Books/50 Covers Competition and there was Handcrafted Modern! I totally forgot it was in the show! A big congratulations to Adam Brodsley and all the wonderful people over at Volume Inc. for the beautiful design on my book. What a lovely surprise! So proud that my book is sitting alongside so many beautifully designed brethren!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

nick's cove/marshall, ca

Just a quickie post as I am jumping on the redeye in a bit for a quick jaunt to nyc. 

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

jb blunk residency/studio

The great thing about being able to return to a place repeatedly to shoot, like I have been at the JB Blunk Residency, is that the place starts to seep into your bones. JB's house has become a part of me now. And because of what I do, I notice all the tiny changes - they patched the roof or changed the configuration of the closet - you get the idea.
The other day in the studio, I noticed this little fan that I never noticed before. From the looks of it it isn't new. But I am rather enamored with this shot now. No clue why except that this fan seems like a little secret creature that I just discovered. It is wise somehow.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

blunk residency/tara tucker

My favorite portrait of Tara Tucker that I shot at the JB Blunk Residency last week and one of her works in progress featuring the famous poodle of Pt. Reyes (yes, I know...who knew?!?). Isn't the intricacy and detail in her drawings amazing? Plus I have a lifelong love of owls!  In fact, I have a couple of owls that live in the trees behind my house and as I write this I can hear one of them hooing! Isn't that perfect!?! Easily one of my favorite sounds...
Tara has an upcoming show at Rena Bransten in SF opening on the 15th. Check it out if you can!

Monday, December 5, 2011

jb blunk residency/self portrait

A quick self portrait I took last week at the JB Blunk Residency. Happy Monday!

Friday, December 2, 2011

jb blunk residency/tara tucker

As mentioned, I shot artist Tara Tucker yesterday who is currently in residence at the JB Blunk Residency in Inverness. I love Tara's work for it's intricacies and whimsy. Talking to her about why she painted each animal ended up being an eduction in the wildlife of the area (and not so wild...the famous poodle of Pt. Reyes?). As I was shooting in the bedroom, where most of her pieces on canvas are at the moment, I got a bit taken with the play of these shafts of light with her work. I am familiar with this light from having shot here so many times, but they were calling out to me yesterday.
More images from the residency shoot on Monday. Have a fantastic weekend friends! Let's hope this glorious weather holds for a bit longer. It is really nirvana in SF lately!

Thursday, December 1, 2011


How lucky am I? I get to go to Inverness again today to shoot the artist at the Blunk Residency, Tara Tucker.
Another outtake from my shoot yesterday - actually a phone pic. Don't you just want to stare out this window forever?