Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Street Photography


”There is a creative fraction of a second when you are taking a picture. Your eye must see a composition or an expression that life itself offers you, and you must know with intuition when to click the camera. That is the moment the photographer is creative. Oop! The Moment! Once you miss it, it is gone forever.”- Henri Cartier-Bresson


Celebrating a Birthday and Giant's Shutout Win
AT&T Park, San Francisco 2011


              August 13, 2014

              Walking from Pacific Heights to the FiDi I took my camera along as usual in case any good pictures presented themselves. I visited the Ferry Building then stopped at the long pier just south of there for a little picnic. I had my Swiss Army knife, the same one used on my first European adventure, and took it from my backpack to slice a piece of cheese to go with some crusty bread. Bright sunlight reflected off the bay as seagulls swooped over boats crisscrossing in all directions. The day was Mediterranean-like with gleaming white buildings looming majestically along the Embarcadero's west side. Despite all the changes, this City will always be the Land of Oz to me. I was headed to AT&T Park to watch the Giants and Chicago White Sox. Jake Peavy (See him on YouTube playing 'Pancho and Lefty' with Tim Flannery in hotel stairwell) was on the mound and fans were hoping they'd avoid a seven game losing streak. I'd gotten a late start and stopped a guy walking towards me to check if the score was still 1-0 White Sox. He confirmed it was and asked if I was going to the game. I'm watching it from ‘the cage’ (aka PortWalk) I told him and he handed me a $102.00 ticket. Go play, he said. Stunned, I stood there for a moment staring at the ticket in disbelief then gave him a big thank you. I’d never been inside AT&T Park by myself but happily maneuvered past the kale garden and orange and black hyperactivity of it all. My seat was down in front behind the batter’s box and I'd barely sat down before the Giants scored seven runs in the seventh inning! There was a lot of jumping up and down and high-fiving with  neighbors. Finally, the guy next to me turned and said I was good luck. Later, it occurred to me that if I’d been plugged into some kind of device I would have already known the score and not had to ask the nice guy with the ticket. In short, I never would have had this amazing experience. There's a lot of magic in this world if we just take the time to slow down and notice it.                                         
            P.S. CONGRATULATIONS SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS, WORLD CHAMPIONS, FOR A GAME 7 WIN FILLED WITH AN AVALANCHE OF PARTICLES, THRILLS, AND GOOD DOSE OF TORTURE!!! 10/30/14

 
San Francisco Giant's Opening Day, McCovey Cove
AT&T Park, San Francisco 2014
 

Un Baiser Apres Boules
Loire Valley, France 1997
 
 
Bumper Cars
Northern California Fairgrounds, 1979
 

 
Young Girl in Union Square
San Francisco, CA  1979


Revelers on Market Street
Gay Pride Parade
San Francisco, CA 2011
 
Woman Waiting for Muni, Civic Center
St. Patrick's Day Parade
San Francisco, CA 2014
 
Man Under Umbrella, Civic Center
St. Patrick's Day Parade
San Francisco, CA 2014

Intersection, Civic Center
St. Patrick's Day Parade
San Francisco, CA  2014
 
 
Man Waiting for Ambulance
St. Patrick's Day Parade
 San Francisco, CA 2012
 


 
Hopewell - Aim, Birthplace of Dashiell Hammet
Lexington Park, Maryland 2005
 
I walked past this sign every day on the way to visit my father in the nursing home. I hadn't seen him for 28 years and had never been to  Southern Maryland. I was staying in a cheap motel surrounded by strip malls, liquor stores, auto dealerships, and other kinds of dealers. I had never rented a car before so I'd stuff my hair up into a baseball cap and listen to music while walking on a narrow path 45 minutes or so along a dangerous stretch of highway to the nursing home. The irony of this heating and air conditioning sign located next to a marker for Dashiell Hammett's birthplace never failed to lift my spirits.
 
 
 
Sutter Street Art
San Francisco, CA 2008



San Francisco Giant's particle energy at AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA  2012
 
I took this photo from China Basin Park as I was about to cross the Lefty O'Doul Bridge
before dawn on October 24th - Game 1 of the World Series. The rest is history.
 
 
 
World Series Celebration for the San Francisco Giants
McCovey Cove, AT&T Park
San Francisco, CA 2012
 
 
 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Oblivious

 

Morning Glory in Bay Window

Stare. It is the way to educate your eye, and more. Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop. Die knowing something.
You are not here long.- Walker Evans

 

This girl, oblivious, all wired up
hair flying out
like a raven's wing
arms tattooed in black roses
stem & thorn
bent at the elbow
was hurrying past cars
blasting horns
then just missed
getting hit
by a skateboarder
rounding the corner
like he was rolling on ice
but this oblivious girl
just kept winging it fast
praying to her phone
& didn't see
this morning glory
the shocking blue
its fragile vine twisting
through a sidewalk crack
as her boot crashed down
pounding it back
in the ground & then
she almost stepped on
just didn't see
this woman
sitting at the corner of
Van Ness & California Street
opening up a plastic bag
of cigarette butts
very slow & carefully.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Cultivating the Lifetime Habit of Art



Time changed. It disappeared. Time went away. There isn't as much time as there used to be. I don't know, its magical, and kind of mystical. What happened to time? Everybody's always looking at a watch and saying, 'I gotta go! Gotta go!' It's all those time saving devices that are using up all the time. Somewhere, a lot of time is being saved and stashed away, for other people.
 -Herb Caen, quoted by Mark Powelson, "Citizen Caen", San Francisco Focus




This photo was taken on a boat ride going down the Mississippi River during Mardis Gras. After enjoying the festivities, I parted with friends then travelled alone up the east coast to reunite with my father. Next, on to New York to rendezvous with another friend who in dim lit fern bars reminded me of Bogie. I bought him a fedora and we took a horse and carriage ride through Central Park with a bottle of champagne. After a few days, I waved goodbye to him in his fedora from aboard the SS Leonardo da Vinci docked in New York harbor. This grand ship would be the last Italian ocean liner to cross the North Atlantic. David Bowie was on board and I met Elizabeth Rightor who encouraged me to apply to the Leo Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing in Aix-en-Provence http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2012/01/still-life-of-fruit-bowl.html  Later, I visited Le Mas Theotime her home in Lourmarin, a provencal village located in the Vaucluse. The voyage on the SS Leonardo da Vinci took seven days from New York City to Genoa, Italy. It was a great way to begin my first European adventure and being served three meals a day by Italian waiters was a definite plus!


Finding My Way Back to Painting and Drawing


In 1998, I was visiting mother who had returned to Cathlamet after living an expatriate's life in the Loire Valley for ten years. One day in the mail I received my portfolio from 1976 when I attended the Leo Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing in Aix-en-Provence. That first body of work of mine had been in storage in a Boston basement for two decades. Looking through this mildewy assortment of oil paintings, charcoal sketches of nude models, and Mont Saint-Victoire watercolor landscapes  was the best gift I could have received at the time. It re-ignited my passion for painting and drawing that had been dormant for twenty years as I supported myself with a myriad of jobs while working on writing/photography projects whenever possible.

 
Life as Art
 
Following are jobs I had (not in order); writer, editor, art gallery sales and exhibitor, video production assistant, corporate website content manager and technical product developer, interviewer, sales clerk, commercial real estate loan processor, volunteer (Streetside Stories, Room to Read, Missoula Children's Theatre, BayKids MovieMakers Program, ArtSpan, Eldergivers: Art with Elders, International Rescue Committee, American Red Cross, Project Homeless Connect, SFMOMA Development, Steppingstone Adult Day Health, Arthritis Foundation, American Cancer Society Reach to Recovery), pet sitter, client services representative, volunteer coordinator, file clerk, supervisor, event ambassador, xylophone player, flea market vendor, sandwich maker, barista, babysitter, hostess, waitress, dishwasher/buser/grape leaf stuffer (In 1972, I lived in Manhattan Beach,CA for a year in between WSU and CAL Berkeley. I remember dropping a tray full of cups and saucers at this intimate, outdoor cafe in Beverly Glen Canyon. The manager, my boyfriend, had gotten me the job washing dishes, busing tables, and stuffing grape leaves to make ends meet.  Then, I caused a loud, crashing mess of an accident and as a few croissant chomping customers applauded I quickly retreated to the kitchen to stuff more grape leaves), executive assistant to ceo's, presidents, vp's, litigation/corporate attorneys, commodities brokers, directors of finance, health care, marketing, advertising, communications, and humanities. I was also a curator, executor, caregiver, property manager, biographer, medical  transcriptionist, office manager, receptionist, hospital media coordinator, event planner, photojournalist, development associate, social justice advocate, lingerie model, and librarian.

 
 
Art is the queen of all sciences communicating knowledge to all the generations of the world.
                                                                                                                     - Leonardo da Vinci




A SELECTION OF ABSTRACT PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS 
FROM THE LAST DECADE
 
 



Succession of the Elements
Mixed Media on Canvas, 2014



 
Biospheric Rumble
Watercolor and Graphite on Paper, 2014


  

Mischievous Interludes
Acrylic on Canvas, 2013
 

Complicated Relations
Graphite and Crayon on Paper, 2013
 

Spontaneous Cacti Couplings
Graphite and Crayon on Paper, 2013
 

Camouflaged Intentions
Graphite and Crayon on Paper, 2013
 

 
The Man in the Yellow Boat
Acrylic on Canvas, 2013 
 
 
 
 
Rhythm of the Universe Series: Invisible Helpers
Fluid Acrylic on Paper, 2010
 

Rhythm of the Universe Series: Jazz Session in Outer Space
Mixed Media on Paper, 2010
 

Calm Before the Storm
Mixed Media on Canvas, 2013
 

Pier off Emerald Cove
Graphite and Crayon on Paper, 2012
 

Celebration of Life
Graphite and Crayon on Paper, 2012
 

Rhythm of the Universe Series: Night Swimmer
Fluid Acrylic and Pen on Paper, 2010
 

Rhythm of the Universe Series: Broken Links
Mixed Media on Paper, 2010

Rhythm of the Universe Series:Web of Desire
Mixed Media on Paper, 2010
 

Rhythm of the Universe Series:Gravity Tango
Fluid Acrylic and Pen on Paper, 2010

 

Abstract Paintings and Drawings 2006-2010: Red Triangle Breaking Away
Mixed Media on Paper, 2010
 

Abstract Paintings and Drawings 2006-2010: Falling Kite
Watercolor and Pen on Paper, 2010
 

Abstract Paintings and Drawings 2006-2010: Celestial Harmony
Fluid Acrylic on Canvas, 2008 
 

Rhythm of the Universe Series:Hurricane
Mixed Media on Paper, 2010
 

Abstract Paintings and Drawings 2006-2010: Cacophony
Mixed Media on Canvas, 2007
 

Abstract Paintings and Drawings 2006-2010: Seven Moons over the Leonardo
Watercolor and Graphite on Paper, 2010 
 

Mystic Gardens, Ciphers, and Shapeshifters Series (www.artslant.com)
 Chain Reaction
Graphite and Crayon on Paper, 2012





I grew up in Cathlamet, Washington on the Columbia River where there were no strip malls, condos, movie theatres, art museums or galleries. It was in this rural enviroment of natural beauty and wide open spaces that I began to develop my artistic skills.
 
In 2001, while working in the corporate world as a web content manager and technical product developer, I started painting and drawing again. In 2002, I was accepted into the MFA Painting Program at the San Francisco Art Institute.http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/10/augury.html I was fortunate to have a Directed Study with Christopher Brown who emphasized the importance of developing good drawing skills.

Other artists who have inspired me are Wassily Kandinsky, Arshile Gorky, Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, Louise Bourgeois, Joan Brown, Paul Klee, Alice Neel, Cy Twombly, R.B. Kitaj and Terry Winters.

Figurative Paintings and Drawings 2011-2012

Figurative Paintings and Drawings 2009
 












Friday, August 30, 2013

Champion


 Antique Bowl of Ripe Pears
Watercolor & Graphite on Paper, 2014


The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time. -Friedrich Nietzsche


 
It's happened before...
 
you charge into a room like a Roman soldier hell-bent on a mission
 
So then why are you standing in the middle of the kitchen looking like an idiot
staring at the sink full of dirty dishes you planned to put off until tomorrow?
 
Surely, this can't be the reason that propelled you like a battering ram
up and out of that warm, comfortable place on the sofa
 
Defeated, once again, you return to Charlie Rose interviewing Paul Rudd
against a black back drop and it is then, at that precise moment,
that you remember 
 
And, you can see it right there on the top shelf of the refrigerator, that half-eaten
turkey sandwich with spicy mustard, red onion, and no pickles
 
You can even see the condensation forming on the plastic your lover's hands
so carefully wrapped around it
 
So, you get up again and this time you saunter slow back to the kitchen
with all the cocky self-assurance and ultra hip attitude of a backward baseball
cap gansta rap'in teen because, this time, you are damn sure why you're
approaching that scene as you reach like a champion for the prize like
its your very first time.
  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Lauren Alexander-Irving, Artist Biography



 


Born La Mesa, California, 1951

MFA Painting Program, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
Creative Writing Program, San Francisco State University, CA
Leo Marchutz School of Painting and Drawing, Aix-en-Provence, France
B.A. English, University of California, CA


SELECTED CHRONOLOGY

2008-2011 Recent Painting, Visual Aid Big Deal, SOMArts Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
2009 Recent Paintings, Chillin' Productions at the Mezzanine, San Francisco, CA
2009 Painting, SOMArts, Visual Aid Big Deal Benefit, San Francisco, CA
2008 Painting, Visions of Childhood Utopias/Dystopias, Drawbridge Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2008 Painting, 111 Minna Gallery, Gorilla Foundation Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2008 Recent Paintings, Fort Mason Center, Fall Open Studios, San Francisco, CA
2008 Painting, Los Coyotes Country Club, DSA Benefit Auction, Costa Mesa, CA
2007 Recent Paintings and Drawings:Dreamscapes, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA
2007 Painting, Group Show, California Modern Art Gallery, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2006 Recent Paintings: In Memory of My Father, Fall Open Studios, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, CA
http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/12/william-c-irving.html
http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/12/drawings-and-sculptures-by-william.html
2005 Painting, California Modern Art Gallery, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2004 Recent Paintings, The Canvas Gallery, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2003 Recent Paintings, The Whitney Young Cultural Center, San Francisco, CA
2003 Recent Paintings: MFA Program Group Exhibit, Diego Rivera Gallery, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
2003 Recent Paintings, The Canvas Gallery, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2002 Painting, SOMArts Gallery, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2002 Painting, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, The Canvas Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2002 Recent Paintings: Short Stories, City Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2002 Recent Paintings: The Human Spirit: Tragedies and Triumphs, City Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2002 Painting: REACTIONS, Global 9/11 Project, Exit Art/First World Gallery, New York, NY
2001 Painting, SOMArts Gallery, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, San Francisco, CA
2001 Photography: Urban Wallscapes II, City Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2001 Recent Paintings: New Work, City Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2001 Recent Painting, ArtSpan Benefit Auction, The Canvas Gallery, San Francisco, CA
2000 Photography: Urban Wallscapes I, City Art Gallery, San Francisco, CA
1997 Photography: Un Baiser Apres Boules, Photography Contest Winner, The Alliance Francaise, San Francisco, CA
1977 Recent Paintings and Drawings: Cinq Americains a Aix, Maison des Jeunes, Aix-en-Provence, France


PUBLICATIONS

2010 Article: Editor, BayKids Opens New Doors for Students in the Pediatric Dialysis Unit at UCSF, BayKids MovieMakers Program Newsletter, UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital, San Francisco, CA
2009 Short Story: Editor, Stories by the Homeless, Project Homeless Connect, San Francisco, CA
2006 Painting: Spherical Harmony featured in Fort Mason Newsletter, San Francisco, CA
2004 Commentary: Country Life in the City, The Wahkiakum County Eagle, Cathlamet, WA
2003 Commentary: Alice Irving's Spirit of Encouragement Lives On, The Wahkiakum County Eagle, Cathlamet, WA http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/12/alice-cook-irving.html
http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/12/ceramic-sculptures-by-alice-cook-irving.html
2003 Commentary: The Spirit of Home, The Wahkiakum County Eagle, Cathlamet, WA
1997 Photography: Un Baiser Apres Boules, Photography Contest Winner featured in Alliance Francaise de San Francisco Newsletter, San Francisco, CA
1997 Photography: Jazz on Fillmore featured on front cover of The New Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
1993 Short Story: The Gift, The New Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
1992 Commentary: Heroes Are Watching Us, The New Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
1990 Short Story: Danny's Apartment,  The New Fillmore, San Francisco, CA
1988 Interview: Joe Judice, a Jockey at Golden Gate Fields, Berkeley, CA
1987 Interview: Love Club, San Francisco Rock Band, FAD Magazine, San Francisco, CA
1986 Marketing Article: Range of Motion Dance/Exercise Video, Joint Efforts, Arthritis Foundation Newsletter, San Francisco, CA
1976 Journal Excerpts: The Simple, Elegant World of Elizabeth T. Rightor, Lourmarin, France http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/08/elizabeths-world.html
 A Train Ride to the Ancient Greek City of Selinunte, Sicily, Italy http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/09/a-train-ride-to-ancient-greek-city-of.html
 Hiking on the Istrian Penninsula, Croatia http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2012/05/quotes-of-day.html
Escape from Dubrovnik, Croatia http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/09/escape-from-dubrovnik.html
 Searching for the Windmills of the Lassithi Valley, Crete, Greece http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/08/windmills-of-lassithi-valley.html 
1976 Essay: The Fishermen of Naxos, Greece http://labellelettre.blogspot.com/2011/09/the-fishermen-of-naxos.html
1974 Poetry Anthology: A Gathering of Poems, Reflections and Statements by Women, University of California, Berkeley, CA
1971 Poetry Anthology, Washington State University, Pullman, WA
1969 Editor: Wahkiakum High School Yearbook, Cathlamet, WA




 



Saturday, October 6, 2012

An Independent Spirit

 Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. - Rainer Maria Rilke


 
Hitching a Ride
Barcelona, Spain  1977
 
 
She was of a wild, roving nature, inherited from father and mother, who were both Bohemians, by taste and circumstances. -William Makepeace Thackeray 
 

Sketching in Cafe on Way to Portugal
Barcelona, Spain  1977  
 
  

Barcelona, Spain 1977 
  
 

Photographing a demonstration against porn establishments in Times Square 
New York City, 1984
 

                        
To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world - impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define. The spectator is a prince who everywhere rejoices in his incognito. The lover of life makes the whole world his family, just like the lover of the fair sex who builds up his family from all the beautiful women that he has ever found, or that are or are not - to be found; or the lover of pictures who lives in a magical society of dreams painted on canvas. Thus the lover of universal life enters into the crowd as though it were an immense reservoir of electrical energy.                                                                                         - Charles Baudelaire



 
     After living in Europe for a year and a half, I returned to the Bay Area and decided to live in the City. While experiencing culture shock and getting to know San Francisco better, I lived in the Haight for a brief time. During that time, I wrote the following letter Per Via Aerea to a teacher I had while attending art school in Aix-en-Provence. It was retunred to me Non Reclamata Al Mittente, American Express Co. Venezia. In Italy, we'd joke about how they'd grind up lost letters for paper pulp. Miraculously, the one posted below survived. I sent it back to Aix and, once again, it was returned. A few years later, I only had a virtual address:

  September 27, 1977
 
Hi!
     Thanks for the postcard - Venice must be so beautiful this time of year. I'm sure you are finding many opportunities to express your creativity.
     I just finished making this incredible brown rice. I added onions, garlic, thyme and some other things to it. I still think of Provence a lot, especially when the two lovers above are screaming in ecstasy which makes their dogs start to howl, the girl below is practicing her French horn (she's quite disciplined), and ambulances are screeching around every corner. I imagine those quiet evenings when all I could hear was the Mistral. Anyway, its nice to know there are such places...
     I'm listening to this great jazz station. Enjoying the solitude. Thank God there is always painting and endless reading to retreat into. I seem to want more out of life than before and making more demands on myself.
     Its very difficult to come from an environment where those closest to me were concerned about my creativity, as well as their own, to one that seems disinterested and alien.
    There's a class I'd like to take at the De Young Museum (in Golden Gate Park) on the etching process. I would love for you to send me one of yours - I imagine you've learned a lot by now. I am still planning to take the class on San Francisco art galleries. My friend and I thought the first day of class was Saturday so we wandered around the Art Institute until a policeman gave us the correct info. We walked into one room that was set up for model sessions and I could smell paint and turpentine. It really flashed me back to Aix and I could see you talking about art. It made me quite nostalgic.
     Life continues to be a circus. J. called a couple of weeks ago. (The French horn begins) She's gone back to school and is waitressing part-time. It was wonderful talking to her but the connection was so terrible - she could hear me perfectly but her voice sounded a thousand miles away. So, I carried on a rather interesting conversation answering questions I imagined she was asking me. Oh, and I also received the most bizarre postcard from M. It was one of those three dimensional kind that provide action when tilted back and forth. This particular one can only be attributed to M.'s keen and sometimes perverse (ha!) aesthetic sense. Anyway, he is currently working on oil rigs in the North Sea and had to tear himself away from a hairdresser in London. Another amazing adventure of his trip happened on a Greek Island - only M. could manage that one!
     At present I'm looking for a job. So, that's my goal for the week. I've decided short term goals are more appropriate at the time.
     How is your Italian progressing? About all I can remember is lido, gelato, and pappagallo.
     I've been reading a lot on photography lately. There is an exhibition of Steichen's works in the City. So, I've been studying a book on his photography, as well as Edward Weston's, a beginning photo. book on technique, and one explaining the Nikon system. I am so excited to get a camera (35mm) as I've been stuck with my Instamatic for years now and have stretched its creative ability to the breaking point. I feel that it will really help my painting and vice versa.
     As far as my painting goes, I am finally getting some continuity in my work. Its such a high to create something that flows together. Last week I painted this picture of a barn with a fence running along one side and a field in the foreground. Its almost like a dream. I did it completely from imagination. Well, my problem was the barn! It just didn't flow with the rest. I kept putting white over it and trying again. Finally, I just relaxed, went after it like a child, totally uninhibited, and there it was...Voila!
     I'm doing an oil of one of the old men that was in that charcoal drawing you liked - the one on the left with the cane. The other man in the drawing is all wrong.
     Well, the moon is full - I have a feeling I'm going to get a job today. I'll have to get it together soon since I'll probably have to find another apartment.
     Sometimes, when life seems right out of an Edgar Allen Poe Anthology I remember what the friend I travelled around Europe said one time when we'd been stuck for hours trying to hitch a ride on Crete, "Well, really, when you think about it - you know we won't be here forever." Shortly after an old Greek farmer picked us up on his tractor. It was the best ride I'd ever had!
     Enjoy yourself, drifting down those canals creating one masterpiece after another. I hope a pigeon doesn't shit on your head. Yes, it happened to me on the Piazza San Marco! Take care. Please send a picture. Laurie
 
 
 BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS FROM THE 70's and 80's
 
 

I printed the following black and white photographs during the 70's and 80's when I was first learning the medium.   It was an adventure to roam city streets like a flaneur photographing people, architectural details, cityscapes, and nature. I loved it because I was able to capture images more quickly than with the oil paintings I had been doing at the Leo Marchutz School of  Painting and Drawing in Aix-en-Provence. I experimented with different grades of paper - some quite expensive - but you can only spend so much money on paper before the hunger sets in. I remember attempting to load film canisters in a small, claustrophobic, dark closet. Sometimes, I'd break out in a cold sweat trapped in there until I got it right. My only other option was to expose the film which there was no way I was ever going to do...

The best part was that time would just melt away as I watched my images come to life. I still prefer organic, more tactile creative processes as I think there is more soul and spirit inherent in older types of art-making that isn't possible with digital techniques. I look forward to shooting black and white film again and getting back in the darkroom. It's such a private, challenging experience to watch your pictures come to life - like magic.

While photographing people, the most important objective for me is to capture a specific emotion in  a fleeting instant of time which, hopefully, captures the essence of the individual. The greatest challenge is knowing that if  I don't get it right the opportunity will be gone forever. Someone once told me I'd never be a successful photographer until I learned to print. The way I see it, success depends on how much I enjoy the process...

 
 
Brushes and Paint
 Art Studio, The Haight
San Francisco, CA 1977
 
 
 
Rose Stems in a Glass Pitcher
 Art Studio, The Haight 
San Francisco, CA 1977
 
 
 
Amanda's Aunt Ruth, King's Mountain
Woodside, CA 1975
 
 
 
 Woman Waiting for Muni, Richmond District
San Francisco, CA 1980


 
Women in Conversation, Richmond District
San Francisco, CA 1979
 

 
Women Shopping on a Rainy Day, China Town
San Francisco, CA 1979
 
 
 
Old Man Playing His Accordian, Union Square
San Francisco, CA 1977 
 


 
 
Two Friends at Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, CA 1980
  
 
 
Women Talking on Park Bench in Washington Square Park, North Beach
San Francisco, CA 1979
 
Journal Excerpt - November 18, 1979
 
Took camera out today - shot The City and leaves on the ground in Washington Square Park. Saw a lady knitting and a black woman was humming a gospel tune then started babbling nonsensically. Walked through North Beach with my $1.25 sandwich then had a desire to sit in the closest park which turned out to be in Chinatown. But, before that, I noticed a band marching down the middle of Grant Avenue and thought it was festive until I realized it was a funeral procession. Someone is always dying in Chinatown.
 
 
 
Flying Woman, Parade in Civic Center Plaza
San Francisco, CA 1980
 
 
 
Polk Street Fair
San Francisco, CA 1979
 

 
Closure of 1st Street Barber Shop on Divisadero:
The Last Great Days of the Old Barber Shop Series
San Francisco, CA 1985
 
 
 
Demolition of Barber Shop, Divisadero Street:
The Last Great Days of the Old Barber Shop Series
San Francisco, CA 1985
 

 
Dimitri's Barber Shop, Columbus Avenue:
 The Last Great Days of the Old Barber Shop Series
San Francisco, CA 1985
 
 
 
Dimitri's Clarinet
 Dimitri's Barber Shop, Columbus Avenue:
The Last Great Days of the Old Barber Shop Series
San Francisco, CA 1985 
 

 
 A  Boy Waiting To Get His Haircut
 Juan Chairez, El Artista Barber Shop, Mission District:
 The Last Great Days of the Old Barber Shop Series
San Francisco, CA 1985
 
 
A Young Man in the Mission District
El Manito Barber Shop:
The Last Great Days of the Old Barber Shop Series
San Francisco, CA 1985
 
 
American Legion Marching Band in Saint Patrick's Day Parade
South Boston, MA 1981
 


Three Southies Celebrating Saint Patrick's Day
Boston, MA 1981
 

 
 Women in Conversation on Front Stoop
Boston, MA 1981
 
 
 
View from Cemetery of Dino's Sea Grill
Boston, MA 1981
(B&W photo taken with police recording film)
 

 
Automobile with Fins Wrapped in Plastic
Boston, MA 1981
 
 
 
I Love You Message in Winter
Boston, MA 1981
 
 
 
Little Girl in Polkadot Cape
Boston, MA 1981
 

 
Married Couple Visiting a Friend in Retirement Home
Bellevue, WA 1983
 

Grandmother's Hands
Bellevue, WA  1978
 
 
Young Boy Watching Demolition of Building, Financial District
San Francisco, CA 1977 
 
 


 Embarcadero Freeway with City View from South of Market
San Francisco, CA 1983
 
 
 
Embarcadero Freeway with South of Market View of Transamerica Pyramid
San Francisco, CA 1983
 
 
 
Truckload of Tires and Rims, South of Market
San Francisco, CA 1979
 

 
Ravaged Wall, South of Market
San Francisco, CA 1983


 

The Avantgarde Man
 Nob Hill Studio
San Francisco, CA 1978



 
 
Grace Cathedral on a Foggy Day
San Francisco, CA 1980
 
 
 
Man Practicing Tai Chi in Huntington Park, Nob Hill
San Francisco, CA 1979
 
 
 
Winter Tree Shadow on Nob Hill
San Francisco,  CA 1980
 
 
 
Architectural Detail of Building on Nob Hill
San Francisco, CA 1979
 

Back Stairway of a San Francisco Apartment
San Francisco, CA 1980
 
  
 
Trapeze Artist Flying Above City Neighborhood (Detail)
San Francisco, CA 1978
 
 
 
View of Three Cars From Nob Hill Rooftop
San Francisco, CA 1979
 
 
 
Rooftop View I
Nob Hill Studio
San Francisco, CA 1979
 
 
 
Rooftop View II
 Nob Hill Studio
San Francisco, CA 1979 

 
 
Self-Portrait
Nob Hill Studio
San Francisco, CA 1979
 
 
Self-Portrait in Recline
Nob Hill Studio
San Francisco, CA 1979 
 

Portrait of My Sister
Cathlamet, WA 1973
  
 
 Portrait of My Sister Under Her Wedding Veil
Cathlamet, WA 1973 

  
 
Crushed Blind in the Tenderloin
 San Francisco, CA 1980
 
 
 
Man Playing Video Game in Japan Town
San Francisco, CA 1987
 
 
 
Clown Alley
Where we used to like to go especially after a night out at the Mabuhay Gardens
San Francisco, CA 1979
 
 
 
Southern Pacific Train Approaching Our Fifth Avenue Photography Studio
San Rafael, CA 1983
 

The Bride of Frankenstein
Boston, MA 1981
 
 
Man Leaning Against Rosebush
Fifth Avenue Photography Studio
San Rafael, CA 1983
 

 
View of The City
Sausalito, CA 1979