Lessons in stained glass

January 31, 2015 § Leave a comment

Putting finishing touches on the Swedenborgian's St. Christopher window

Putting finishing touches on the Swedenborgian Church’s St. Christopher window


Like many people, I had been active in church life from childhood into early adolescence. Then, confronting what my teenaged mind saw as cowardice and hypocrisy within my church, I swore off religion.

In college I became aware of the writings of the 18th century scientist and Christian mystic Emmanuel Swedenborg and, as a scientist, was drawn to his insistence that the teachings of faith and reason must conform. But I had no interest in being part of any organized religion.

Until I walked into the San Francisco Swedenborgian Church.

I was awestruck by the building’s humble strength and simple beauty. Everything breathed a spiritual essence. I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

By 2012, the condition of the stained glass windows that had graced the Swedenborgian church at the corner of Lyon and Washington Streets for more than 100 years had deteriorated. We learned that if action were not taken, the beautiful windows — an integral part of the National Historic Landmark — could be lost forever.

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Capturing an essence

October 21, 2014 § 1 Comment

A HIGH SCHOOL art class stopped by to visit Sandy Ostrau’s exhibition. They had a few questions.

At long last roses

October 8, 2014 § Leave a comment

FOR THE FIRST TIME in his long and storied career as a painter of florals, master watercolorist Gary Bukovnik paints roses.

Plein-air in the park

June 6, 2014 § Leave a comment

THE RENOWNED PAINTER Ken Auster takes his plein-air workshop to a favorite park in San Francisco.

‘I keep returning to it’

October 12, 2013 § Leave a comment

FRANCIS LIVINGSTON (above) on three decades of painting roller coasters and Ferris wheels. Below, a walk with the artist through his Fall 2013 exhibition, “The Color of Light.”

Hometown boy makes good

June 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

WHEN HE WAS only 26 years old, in the summer of 1948, Richard Diebenkorn had his first solo museum exhibition at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, located not far from the home where he grew up in the city’s Ingleside district. He went on to an internationally successful career and became perhaps the best known and most respected of all California artists.

Now he comes home. “Richard Diebenkorn: The Berkeley Years,” at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, chronicles his work from 1953 through 1966 when he lived in Berkeley and moved from the abstraction of the Berkeley series through his great figurative period. Below, take a video walk through the exhibition with the curators.

Richard Diebenkorn’s Berkeley Years: New Perspectives

September 7, 2013

Nancy Boas
Portrait of a Friendship: Richard Diebenkorn, David Park
and Bay Area Figurative Art

Janet Bishop
Painters Looking at Paintings: Henri Matisse, Richard Diebenkorn,
Wayne Thiebaud and Robert Bechtle
Susan Ehrens
Interior Landscapes: Figuration and Abstraction in Post War Photography
Timothy Anglin Burgard
Richard Diebenkorn: Known and Unknown
Kathan Brown
Richard Diebenkorn Working: Video from Crown Point Press

Making beautiful music together

June 15, 2013 § Leave a comment

FOR MORE than three decades, watercolorist Gary Bukovnik has created a painting every year to announce the new season of the San Francisco Symphony. Here’s a video preview of his latest for 2013-14.

The 2012-13 season poster

The 2012-13 season poster

ARCHIVE: San Francisco Symphony posters

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