Archive for the ‘gallery’ Category

art with no pretty pictures…

Friday, May 17th, 2013




Today I took a trek into the city with my sculptor friend Jonna Ramey to ArtMrkt San Francisco at Fort Mason. Her primary motivation was to see what galleries are presenting and I was along for the ride! It was incredibly stimulating and enlightening. I chose to not photograph anything and frankly thought those who did (mostly with smartphones) were missing out seeing and studying the art with their eyes in real time.  Another bonus was just to look at art without identifying publicly as an artist. Perhaps what surprised me the most was how much narrative and (gasp!) sensibility shocking work was present.  I have long wanted to create more narrative work but have worried about the market for it.  No worries…

My favorite works were as follows:

Brenda Mallory –sculpts with waxed cloth, nuts, bolts, welded steel . Stunning work and we agreed you’d have to buy all three pieces!

Chris Roberts Antieaufabric applique with hand-painted frames. These were wonderful primitive/folk art style ‘quilts’ with unbelievable language stitching.  The gallery owned by the artist’s son is in New Orleans.

Scott Hove –acrylic and mixed media on wood. His work of cakes and guns reflects the relationship between the beautiful and the brutal….such as Chocolate Mint Massacre. It was both shocking and intriguing.

Rogelio Manzo– oil, image transfer, silk, resin substrate. These pieces had a haunting feeling which just drew me in further.

Ian Berry denim collage…incredible!

Creativity Exploredoutsider art. I was mesmerized by the handwritten TV schedule by Daniel Green

Carolyn Meyer oil painter– She doesn’t use brush, only trowel. Normally I am not a big fan of big glops of oil paint but this work was truly stunning! Of course familiar SF street scenes made it all the more gorgeous!

We stopped at BooKoo in Mill Valley for Vietnamese street food on the way home…which was fabulous!

A change of scenery, a great day and I’m inspired!









we interrupt this drive…

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

tahoe-july 09 041 Yesterday I had a full day in the East Bay. I worked 5 of my co-op hours at ACCI Gallery in Berkeley where I show my work. It was a most rare and unusual chance for me to just unwind, smell the roses, talk to customers & staff and just be. Afterwards I met a good friend for yummy Mexican fare and then we went to an opening reception at another gallery where I also have work. After dropping my friend at her North Berkeley abode I headed home.

It was dusk…and again I was awestruck at the beauty of the bay. Each time I traverse west on the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge across the northern end of San Francisco Bay I am mesmerized by the beauty. It is never a take-for-granted view which is gorgeous at any time of day but at dusk becomes magical. Even at freeway speeds one can see the San Francisco skyline, the Bay Bridge, the towers of the Golden Gate Bridge sticking out between the hills, commercial and private ships/boats sailing, glorious Mt. Tam and a wide panorama of extreme gorgeousness!

My innate reaction of course is always to capture it with a camera lens but that is not possible or safe at 55-60 mph so I am forced to just take it in visually.  As if a small child self-soothing to sleep …I think camera, frustration, sigh and then simply enjoy it. And when I allow myself to just fully take it in visually my soul reacts viscerally… a spiritual experience… on the freeway no less.

I’ve traveled most of the US, missing just four states and to Asia, Europe, Scandinavia, Canada and Mexico. I’ve seen incredible geography, nature and glorious sunsets but nowhere is it more beautiful than here.  Surely it is the reason so many people have migrated here, it’s not just the lack of snow, the delish ethnic food or the high standard of living that draws them! No, it is the exquisite landscape.   Every time I cross that bridge without forcing a camera lens between me and the road I feel so incredibly blessed to live here.

One of my peeves in life is people who photograph everything. They go on a trip and photograph the entire thing without really seeing it while they are present. And the worst offenders videotape the entire trip then watch the video when they are back home on the couch with a bowl of popcorn. Huh? What about living in the moment?!

Of course everyone knows the things that bug us most are often the things we do ourselves. Yes I admit it…I have been the offender taking endless photos ‘to use in my work.’ So once again my trips across the bay remind me about fully experiencing life in the moment.  And I seem to need that reminder as often as possible.

Meanwhile this sunset is from a July evening at Lake Tahoe when I stood on a pier with my camera. And yes I did take far too many photos of it!


the faster i go the behinder i get…

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

I hate the lapses between blog posts but in reality  who wants to read about my grief process.  I continue to put one foot in front of the other and once every so often put same foot down too soon or too late and stumble.  Then it takes me about a week to regain my confidence of moving in the world. With an ongoing focus of getting stronger in my mobility following two

privitt-babytotal knee replacements in the past year and a half, the loss of my aged father and my husband’s health issues my muse has hit the road.  I have been able though to do creative bits and pieces here and there but the big work just stares back from the wall. The smaller tasks do not necessarily fill my creative well but get things done.

Most recently I made a baby quilt for my cousin and his wife who are expecting a bambino next month.  I always take these on with great fervor and then quickly remember how much I hate sewing a straight line! For me it is practically impossible even with the positioning foot on the machine. About halfway through I give up control on whether the recipient will like it or not. It is my process after all not theirs. When my daughter was born we received 3 hand-made baby quilts and we still treasure each one three decades later! One by grandmother, another by great-grandmother and the third made by a friend. All treasure.

I also bought a new computer which I sorely needed and have been challenging myself nearly daily to figure out where my images are. Some are on an external drive, some on the new operating system. Some I can’t read the title line so I have to open them up to see. After spending countless hours trying to ferret out an image for someone I decided it was easier to take the work downstairs and just reshoot it. Over 3200 images I have at this point…a nightmare!

The new computer also brought me a real-time full-view of my website and I hated the dark edges of the header artwork, so some tweaks were made to that. Meanwhile I cleaned up some of the images (those I could find!) and so now it is looking spiffy once again.

In between I am painting four new pairs of ‘chucks,’  delivering work to a gallery exhibit in Oakland, preparing work and signage for my solo exhibit the month of April in Sausalito, and taking a mixed media class from a mentor.  I am close to thinking about the start of 3 pieces for Earth Stories which are due this fall.  I pretty much have it designed in my head. I just need to physically do the work.

And hubby and I have been watching episodes of Doc Martin as a little British humor cures all!

Funny, in proofing this before publishing I realize that even in my lowest moments I am a freaking machine! Still..I am so ready to move on to my next chapter and whatever the muse brings…


saqa auction…

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

The annual SAQA auction is off and running and I have been patiently waiting for the reverse auction price to drop so I could purchase two of my most favorite pieces. For the past six years I have been acquiring first one piece, then two, and one year three pieces of two genres of 12″ art quilts.

Our guest room boasts a collection of blue tones that all have a circle within the design. There are now five pieces in that collection. Today I added another which ironically has no large circle but the hues of blue are so vibrant and enchanting I doubt it will be noticeable. I have long admired the work of Benedicte Caneill and last year had the opportunity to see a large work of hers up close and personal at the San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles. So when I saw this one I knew it had to be mine!

Our guest bath is home to the second collection which now has three pieces. The walls are pumpkin and the works are predominantly earth tones with one large piece I designed of vintage silk kimono remnants in purple and orange.  As a huge fan of Deidre Adams, her work and philosophy I could not be happier to add her work to my collection.

As the walls in our home continue to bear art I keep wondering how I can possibly add more? And yet every year I manage to find room for more beautiful art …and for such a great cause.

And what goes around…I just noticed that my piece Currents #18 just sold also. Yippee!

hitting the road…

Monday, August 27th, 2012

This weekend two pieces from my Upheaval series are headed off on an exciting trip around the globe to Corsica, an island off the coast of France for an international invitational exhibit.

The exhibit theme “Connexions: California-Corsica is curated and installed by Lisah Horner, executive director of ACCI Gallery in Berkeley, CA, of which I am an artist member.  The Corsica exhibit runs Sept 6-25 at the Casa Agostino Giafferri in Poggio-di-Venaco, Corsica and features the paper and fiber work of 34 Bay Area artists.


In this case it is very true that my art is getting out more than I do. What I would give to go anywhere right now! I continue to heal and rehab from my 2nd knee replacement in 10 months time. My eye is on the prize however, the end goal of being able to move freely in the world once again, to resume art-making and potentially accompany my work to some other exotic locale.

studio time…

Saturday, May 26th, 2012

What a surprise! Just as I was majorly stressed out I walked into the studio and bliss happened.    I designed and finished another abstract landscape piece which I have yet to photograph.   And I started a couple of new projects for small sales at ACCI Gallery.

Just before Texas I whipped out a jazzy quilted iPad bag to protect my device from other things in the carry-on. In the end I didn’t take said device as I decided this was a vacation and seriously needed a technology break. I do however store it though in this nifty bag so I am making a bunch for the gallery and they are so great! They are like mini works of art.

I am using ‘dead quilts’ as my husband calls them… experimental works, challenge quilts, the depth perception challenged landscape etc. I am adding fun buttons from my ongoing collection.

This one was inspired by the Avalanche Gorge, a splendid  forest waterfall within Glacier National Park, MT. The photos were incredible, the piece not. The bag rocks it!



This piece was a Whisper Challenge of the Aurora Borealis. It was a great little piece but one of those what shall I do with it now pieces. The button from my collection is Czech glass which I bought about 25  yrs ago for $25. It is time to relocate it!

And the back is KILLER!

I anticipate having these in the gallery in early June. Until then I am having so much fun…

what to do with all of it?

Friday, February 24th, 2012


When I fetched today’s mail there was a parcel of  20 beautiful postcards for an art quilt exhibit  opening next month. I was one of three jurors for this exhibit and so that is why I received a bundle of the postcards.

Most every exhibit I have my work in sends me similar postcards. I always add a couple to my hard-copy file of bio materials.  I send some to patrons or collectors who live in the area and are likely to attend said exhibit. Other than that…what to do with all of it?

An exhibit where my work was featured last fall printed postcards for each of the artists. At the end of the exhibit they sent me a 3″ stack of postcards with my work on the face and text covering the back. What on Earth should I do with all of these?

For years I collected art postcards of other artists with the intention of wallpapering the bathroom with them. It was a fabulous idea and the pile was huge when I approached the in-house wallpaper hanger about this  idea. He absolutely would not hear of it. He acted as though I wanted to hang bacon dripping paper towels on the bathroom wall. Come on…have a sense of creativity already! So the idea to now wallpaper the bathroom with all my leftover exhibit postcards will not be warmly accepted either. Time for a plan B.

really love the work…

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012




Today we made a leisurely drive up north to remove my work from a co-op gallery I joined six months ago.  This gallery has potential for growth but I chose to not stick around to see it as the monthly fees far exceeded my proceeds.

As a rule I keep a  inventory spreadsheet of my work showing in any gallery. I have been a member of  another gallery since 2009 and this spreadsheet helps me keep track of what has shown there, what has sold there and what has come home from there. It is essential to my life as an artist member.

So armed with my trusty spreadsheet I signed off my inventory at the northern gallery noticing  I was a couple items short. Then I noticed at the bottom of their inventory sheet were those two items listed as THEFT.

Theft? I queried.  When I hung my work there initially I was concerned about shoplifting as there are so many hidden rooms and passages that sales staff could hardly monitor. Then I never gave it another thought.

It is sad really.  Just think someone liked my work so much they stole it.

more upheaval…

Friday, August 26th, 2011

I just finished and photographed Upheaval # 9;   what I hoped would be the 3rd of four  new works designed in August. With just 5 days remaining in the month I am re-assessing that challenge!  I am now taking a break to do some ‘housekeeping’ chores of my artistic life.  And yet as soon as this one came down I put up fabrics on the wall for the next Keeping Up Appearances piece so it may still happen.

The problem I have currently is actually a  good one to have. I have multiple pieces out on exhibit at different venues. I need some new work to have available for other opportunities.

While I am recovering from upcoming knee surgery who knows how long I will be unable to sew or stand at my design wall? Although the other day I decided to sit at my machine as much as possible as that is the same pedal reflex that I will need to develop to drive again. I don’t want to be house-bound any longer than necessary!  If there is a will, there is a way.

I have spoken endlessly about this upcoming surgery; some people assume I had it already I have been yakking it up for so long. Because of the extensive leg surgeries I had in the ’60’s I have been more than anxious about all this. And yet deep down believing I will do fine. I am strong, fit, a survivor and I heal quickly.  Two days ago I decided to stop feeding the fear and think only good thoughts. Would you believe I am now counting the days?!

I have 19 days to get a lot done. I’ll relax when I am medicated!

sage wisdom…

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

It seems to be human nature in this society obsessed with celebrity and plastic surgery to fret about aging body parts.  While I generally feel fabulous and live consciously in my broken body, every once in a while life throws me a curve where I begin to obscess about an aging part.  For some time it has been about the sagging chin. 

The shock of it came last year when after five decades of wearing glasses I had cataract surgery. I was instantly relieved of my specs and with great clarity could easily see the lines in my face and the gaggle that set in when my chin left.  I was really upset until I realized I had two choices: plastic surgery or to get over it! I chose the latter.  And yet the fret remained…


detail, lucy’s bag

©carol larson 2011
The other day I had the rare occasion to dust the living room where numerous family photos reside.  Being the first grandchild I was featured in four generation photographs with both my maternal and paternal elders.  As I dusted I picked up these treasures and reflected on the math. My great grandmother who looked like Mary See, the founder of the chocolate factory was just two years older then than I am now and my great-grandfather a very wizen 75. They both were old folks.
Suddenly I realized that I had stumbled across the fountain of youth right here in my living room. I have long held the belief that if one wants to feel/look young hang out with old folks!!! They think you are a kid and you feel like one too.  Never mind plastic surgery, never mind buckets of moisturizer and youth serum.  Because I have a sense of humor,  a young spirit, good genes, and have unloaded so much emotional baggage, I am blessed to look a generation younger than my elders at the same age. And in a world beleaguered with major problems this is a very important fact!
Today I ran over to the East Bay to update inventory at the gallery, have lunch with my adult daughter and visit my aged father in assisted living. As I  meandered the streets of Berkeley running errands, I was fully engaged in conversation with my daughter, watching out for the ever-present and oft-annoying bicyclists, the pedestrians who suddenly appear everywhere, the traffic lights, parking spaces and dodging wacko drivers. Apparently I repeated myself asking a question she had already answered to which she reminded me… Mom you already asked me that!  I started to feel wizen until I realized that I was doing a lot of multi-tasking for a reclusive artist my age.

This image is a detail of a new purse which features fabric from a handwoven & faggoted linen table runner made by my great aunt Lucy. She would spin in her grave to know I dyed it chartreuse and painted it purple! Get over it…