Thursday, June 11, 2009

San Francisco

One of the best things about being a traveling artist is being able to experience people and places that are just a little outside of everyday life. Today we took a short trip into Sausilito and San Francisco.

First, we finally figured out the two buses that from Novato to Sausilito. It seemed like it took forever. Fortunately, there was a Starbucks across the street. appropriately caffeinated, we boarded the 71 bus and headed to Marin City to make our transfer. We arrived in downtown Sausilito about an hour after we started our journey.

Downtown is very nice and every building has some sort of gallery, tourist shop, or restaurant. Shopping mostly consists of high-end gallery's with outstanding artwork. We purchased a bronze gecko for Mackie that is overlayed with enamel - no photos of it yet.

After shopping was complete and lunch, we decided to take the Blue and Gold ferry to Fisherman's Wharf. The ferry ride was about 30 minutes, and it was an absolutely gorgeous afternoon. The sun was out in full force and a light breeze covered the water. There was virtually no chop with the exception of full view of the Golden Gate Bridge. There's a spot where one can see from the bay out into the Pacific and a pretty good blow was coming across here.

We arrived at Fisherman's Wharf and began our hunt for squished penny's. Those are the machines that you can put a penny in along with a couple of quarters, and then the machine (either manual or electrically operated) rolls a pattern onto a penny after it squishes it flat. Mackie has been collecting these for years, and San Francisco had plenty of offers for her.

We ate supper at Boudin's Bakery (http://www.boudinbakery.com/) on the wharf. This is a real San Francisco institution that has been there for as long as I can remember. Many year's ago, my grandpa Joe would take me to San Francisco for our annual jaunt on the train from Sunnyvale. A clam chowder bread bowl and a special toy were always part of the trip. Oh what good memories!

Boudin has an incredible selection of breads, and my favorites are the ones shaped like turtles, crabs, lobsters, teddy bears, and alligators. The bakers are really talented and enjoy talking to people on the street through the glass wall. They have two way microphones installed so people can speak back and forth.

After all that, we headed to the Mission and 1st transit stop and caught the 80 back to Novato. It's been a full day of treats! Tomorrow were back on duty to get ready for the next show.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Heart of Joy

Last week we were at Artfest in Spokane, Washington. It’s one of the highest quality shows that we’ve exhibited in – ever. The museum facilitates the event and do an incredible job in the organization, just, and management of this event.

We had a number of new items this year and one of my favorite was Heart of Joy. It stands approximatley 6.5 feet tall and is about 3 inches thick. I created this piece beginning from the bottom with a plow disk, the heart itself has the structure created from flat steel and round bar, and is coated with skeleton key (skeleton key is cast off sheet metal from another manufacturing process). After I create the frame, I layer several sheets of the skeleton key around the frame until I get the correct three-dimensional look that I’m pictuing in my mind. That brings up another good point. I’m still working on my drawing skills, but I’m thinking that this is going to be a life-long effort and of course that is part of the journey.