A love letter

November 17, 2015 § 1 Comment

LOVE LETTER to a beautiful place — Paris just last week. It will again be a city of light and love.

The infinite possibilities

October 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

Stevan Shapona | Heather Back

Stevan Shapona | Heather Back

STEVAN SHAPONA works out of his studio in San Francisco’s Excelsior District, where he manages to survive without an email address or an internet connection. The result of Shapona’s somewhat isolated lifestyle is a series of gorgeous female nudes, silhouetted against dark backgrounds, that are striking in their use of single color tonalism.

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A Paul Wonner sampler

October 8, 2015 § Leave a comment

Continuing the Arts & Crafts tradition

August 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

Photograph of Audel Davis's first lamp by Melati Citrawireja

Photograph of Audel Davis’s first lamp by Melati Citrawireja


Audel Davis and his wife, Lynne, live in a home tucked down a shady street off University Avenue in Berkeley. Apart from a few pesky crows that terrorize their coi fish by day, they have created a lush and quiet sanctuary, greatly influenced by the philosophy and aesthetics of the Arts and Crafts movement — a concept that took flight and reached its peak in the 1890s as a reaction to the age of mass production. It emphasized traditional craftsmanship as a way to put integrity and skill back into the design and manufacturing process.

Davis is a Bay Area coppersmith, widely known for his Arts and Crafts style lamps that have his own added twist.

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That city feeling

June 15, 2015 § Leave a comment

“I LIKE SPEED, I like buildings, I like cars,” says painter Veerakeat Tongpaiboon. “It’s all art.”

A sweet bit of magic

April 3, 2015 § Leave a comment

Mark Ulriksen | Dogs Only

Mark Ulriksen | Dogs Only

SAN FRANCISCO ARTIST Mark Ulriksen has painted 48 covers of The New Yorker during the last two decades. He’s become its go-to guy for wry reveries focusing on dogs and baseball — and their friends and fans.

Now Ulriksen has collected nearly 100 of his favorite paintings of dogs over the years and woven them into a hand-lettered heart-warming story in his new book, Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly.

Some of the paintings have a familiar look.

“Alta Plaza Park was the setting for some of my earliest dog paintings,” Ulriksen says. “One in particular, Dogs Only, was done for the Thomas Reynolds Gallery, one of the first galleries I showed with. One reason I’m pleased with that particular painting is because I was able to capture a recognizable city location, incorporate a lot of graphic shapes and paint an image about animal interactions.”

Mark Ulriksen | Rod and Gussie's Dogs

Mark Ulriksen | Rod and Gussie’s Dogs

He adds: “I’ve always been attracted to patterns and shapes and the steps and paths leading up to Alta Plaza are really interesting. Plus being on a bluff leads to some very cinematic cropping of the attractive architecture circling the park. It’s still one of my favorite paintings and one of my favorite city parks.”

Ulriksen’s book is available locally at the pet boutique George at 2512 Sacramento Street.

“The aesthetics of George make it feel like an art gallery dedicated to all things pets,” says Ulriksen, “with an emphasis on my favorite type: dogs.”

So far the book has gotten enthusiastic reviews, both for the paintings and the text. One critic called it “an easy book to love.”

Mark Ulriksen | Good Dogs

Mark Ulriksen | Good Dogs

“I’m really pleased that a lot of emotions have been touched,” says Ulriksen, “because the book is both funny and sad.”

He singles out one review as a personal favorite:

“What a touching and whimsical book! My husband and I picked this up in a gift set at a winery and opened the book because we couldn’t resist the sweet cover. We started smiling, then chuckling, then laughing out loud and then crying. (We had lost our dear boy a while back.) Mark Ulriksen has captured the wonder that is dogs perfectly with his words and illustrations. Thanks for creating such a sweet bit of magic.”

book jacket small

Ken Auster wanted more

March 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

Ken Auster | Market Share

Ken Auster | Market Share

BIG BRUSHES, a lot of paint and the simplification of shapes allowed Ken Auster to create impressionistic images of complicated scenes. Painting nature was fun, but he wanted more. Instead of going to the coast and looking west, he looked east and saw edges, cars and telephone poles. He rejoiced in this newfound ability to paint anything and everything — cafes, train stations, airports, street scenes and, of course, never far away was the beach, his first love.

Auster found a dynamic irony between the new man-made and the ancient coastline. The next step was an inside move. He started painting the interiors of bars and restaurants. He found a hidden dialogue that existed in the paintings and the warm and good feeling they created.

Read more: The art of surfing


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