Friday, July 31, 2009


Three out of my four grand parents spent a great deal of time in England when in their twenties. They all brought back to France a love of tweedy clothes, an inordinate love of rugby( grand fathers only) and some words that they would forever use, spicing up a french sentence like:" mets de l'eau dans la kettle pour le thé"..... which brings us to the most important aspect of their visit: tea and tea time.One anglophile grand father insisted on his 5 o'clock tea, impeccably dressed and ready to enjoy his baba au rhum with his smoked tea. My maternal grand parents were a little looser, but nevertheless in the long summer afternoons that we would all spend together in the big family vacation home, and after a restorative nap ( sleep for them, reading and sunbathing for me), we would put the kettle on and rejoice in the delicious ritual of afternoon tea.The sun was horizontal and getting more orangy, and the apricot tarts would glow.It was not a big production( cookies would do too, or a little chocolate from the box that had been a present) , but more importantly another delicious moment to share together, the table bringing us close and happy.Later, as a high school student, I would come home, and look forward to a shared tea with whichever parent( they of course got the tea time bug) happens to be home.It was a quick check in for the day, sometimes more of a confidential nature, always pleasurable.I can say that I tried all the parisian tea rooms with my mom back then as well. It was usually the sweetened conclusion to an afternoon of shopping, La Duree after a stint to "les 3 quartiers' department sore, Daloyau after jean hunting in the Latin Quarter....
When Dot was growing up, I was trying to invite her to the kitchen table for tea after school, but she preferred getting on the phone with her friends.Now that she has her own place, she invites me for tea.We have already some delicious memories.and a common love for Chai tea.

Monday, July 27, 2009

mood: grey

We were hoping for a coastal walk, with the expanse of flat water under the big sky, quiet, except for birds and wind over the short brush, where the sun , creating diamond sparkles over the the moving ocean would warm our spirit.
But the summer fog was rushing its wispy wool over the bluff and so, we spread our blanket on the grey sand and with our eyes half closed, distinguished some monochromatic figures in the distance.

Friday, July 24, 2009

no chorizo for me

Who needs chorizo when we have black brandywine tomatoes from the market to top off an egg salad boccadillo, sprinkled with piment d'espellete !

Thursday, July 23, 2009


The grass was tall and dewy in the morning when I was on my way to catch the early train with the mail. The days were hot, and the high sun was ripening the black mountain cherries that would stain everything with their bloody nectar: chin, fingers, knobby knees, bathing suits.Clouds were billowing, their over whipped creaminess resting on the crests, like heavenly desserts. But, a storm was on its way, and the farmer needed to act fast and collect the grass before the rains. He would assess the weather, and knew that he had two days to harvest the hay. The smell after the first day was sweet and licoricy, as the Monet like haystacks dotted the meadows. Then, on day two, the family was recruited to haul them on his red truck. fast, fast they worked, to make sure that the cows would have a plentiful winter.
I am harvesting my herbs for my tisanes. There is something poignant about the naked stems,even after their duty was done,they remained graceful,fragile, but sturdy.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

variations on a known theme

summer colors

Summer is orange and blue bold, summer is sensual, summer is nature ripening to juicy drippy melons,toes happy to be free, cretures growing to a perfect adult size and taking off from nests, summer is harvesting wild fennel with J to make syrup, or sitting on the bench facing the Golden Gate Bridge after dinner and watching the sun dipping toward Hawaii, hands in pockets , getting splashed by fierce evening waves, summer is flowers past their heady scent, being noticed for their wrinkled beauty.

Monday, July 6, 2009

art roar

The First friday Oakland Art murmur has become a roar.The news whispered to trendy ears has grown to a giant monthly block party that my images won't truly represent.You won't hear the beat coming from the DJ set-up on the sidewalk in front of MamaBuzz, you won't feel the heat in the packed galleries,or taste the free almonds at the table of letterpress, jewelry and magnets.But, you might get a sense of the trends:lots of small art pieces put interestingly on walls, sangria a gogo,pretty galeristas,and odd surprises like a jelled mustached man cranking an old machine,palying 78's.

Thursday, July 2, 2009



It looks like I might have a show this summer in Emeryville.So, I am working on some new paintings. I get back to my obsessions.
and my palette is so quiet.Can't seem to want these yellow, or is so fresh though.