Monday, June 19, 2017

Little books and More

Last Fall I created a series of tiny books as companions to the Fading Boys exhibit and a series of boxes on flight and surveillance.

This year I am working on two new series of work: "Movements of Night" and "Pale Memories". Somewhere in the middle of design work for those two series, some sculptural designs for new books arose:

It will be interesting to make these metal, fabric and clay books.

My next shows are:

Closing  of Merchants of Reality

Come say goodbye to the denizens of this inspiring artist collective
285 9th Street at Folsom
July 2-3 11 am to 7 pm
Reception Saturday July 1, 7 pm to 11 pm

Movements of Night

SF Women Artists Gallery
July 4 to August 5
Opening Reception July 6

Pale Memories

Artspan Open Studios
SF Women Artists Gallery
October 2 to November 4
Opening Reception October 5
Open Studios Weekend October 21-22

Thursday, December 8, 2016

December 2016 Shows

December is a wonderful and busy month!

Fading Boys this Saturday night:
Conception Arts Pop-up
Laughing Monk Brewery
1439 Egbert Ave @ 3rd St
San Francisco
5-10 pm
Including the above brand new box!

email me for tickets!

Studio Gallery Tiny Show
1641 Pacific Ave @ Polk
Open Daily 11-7
Show through January 2017

Great Highway Differing Feathers Show
3649 Lawton @ 43rd
Open Thu.  & Fri. 12-6, Sat. 10-2
Show continues through December 31

Problem Library San Francisco Scenes
1288 15th Ave. @ Irving
Open Weekends 11-7

Saturday, November 19, 2016

No Innocence Under Surveillance

This work was started in response to the ever-increasing erosion of our humanity and personal independence by sophisitcated surveillance tools built by Silicon Valley for global corporations. That protest was put in perspective by the results of the 2016 presidential election. It brought us rule by another set of ultra-rich, bouyed by millions of violent hating voices and actors who threaten each of us and who, with their deafening cries, have reached in and ripped out the foundations of the American way of life using the powerful American act -- the vote. Oddly, Silicon Valley is shocked and dismayed by the rise of this regime even as they, "the elite", are building surveillance tools that destroy our humanity as surely as any hating rioters would.

This work is currently on display at Merchants of Reality

Thursday, November 3, 2016

November and December 2016

Fall into Winter.

Everyone who visited my shows this October made it the best, best experience! Thank you!

For November and December, I move away from the hectic pace of Open Studios. Getting back into the studio to start new projects, getting together with my printmaking friends at Chrysalis Studio, and all the wonderful eating we have in store for us as the holidays come over us.

I am happy to say that I will be showing work at a couple of galleries that are new to me, as well as continuing at Problem Library and Merchants of Reality.

Here are my shows for the rest of the year.  I would love to see you there!

Studio Gallery
Group Show
November 11 to Mid-January
1641 Pacific @Polk St.
San Francisco
Reception: November 13, 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Party: December 4, 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm

New Monotypes
November 15, 2016
Chrysalis Studio
Group Show
934 Brannan @8th
San Francisco
Reception: November 15, 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm

November 8 to December 2, 2016
SFWA Artists Gallery
Member Show
647 Irving @8th Ave.
San Francisco
Reception: November 10, 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Differing Feathers
December 1 to December 31, 2016
Great Highway Gallery
Group Show
3649 Lawton @43rd Ave.
San Francisco
Reception: December 3, 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm


Fading Boys
Open Saturday, November 12, 2:00 pm
Merchants of Reality
285 9th St @Folsom
San Francisco

San Francisco Scenes
Weekends through November
Problem Library
1288 15th St. @Irving
San Francisco

A couple of photos from Open Studios at Problem Library:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

October 29-30

Artspan Open Studios in the Sunset District

My San Francisco Scenes and tiny books are featured at Problem Library this weekend.
Problem Library
15th Street @ Irving

Open 11-6 Saturday and Sunday

The galleries in the Sunset District are all having events this weekend in celebration of Open Studios: The first Sunset Art Crawl. You can pick up a map to the Sunset Art Crawl and Open Studios Guides at any of the locations.
Problem Library
1288 15th Ave. @ Irving

San Francisco Women Artists Gallery
647 Irving St.

Western Relics
1400 Irving St. 

A Little Lodge
1306 12th Ave. @ Irving

1311 16th Ave @ Irving

The Great Highway Gallery
3649 Lawton St. @ 43rd

3 Fish Studios
4541 Irving St. 

Irving Street Projects
4331 Irving St.

Far Out Gallery
3004 Taraval St. @ 40th

Woman with Raven triptych and other monotypes are featured in the Salon of San Francisco Women Artists Gallery:

My Fading Boys exhibit at Merchants of Reality was so beautiful.  I am so grateful to the  many wonderful folks came out to see the show. Here are a couple of shots of the event. It will be up through mid-November, gallery hours on weekends.

Monday, October 17, 2016

October 21 to 23

Reception tonight, October 21, 7 pm
Merchants of Reality
285 9th Street @ Folsom
San Francisco
Show Continues October 22 and 23, 11 am to 6 pm

Fading Boys
On the subject of homeless and runaway boys: boys who have been coming to San Francisco probably since San Francisco began.

I will be showing a collection of work on this subject this weekend, October 21 to 23 at Merchants of Reality. There will be new boxes, tiny books, monotypes and oil drawings.

The opening reception is at 7 pm on Friday, October 21.
The show continues October 22 and 23, 11 am to 6 pm

Merchants of Reality is at
285 9th Street @ Folsom
San Francisco

Eight other wonderful artists will be showing also.

Thanks to everyone who came out to my opening at SFWA Artists Gallery in the Sunset.
The ravens got a very good reception!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Fall 2016

I have had a website since 1995. Back then it was the "Strapless Magazine," hosted by a fox-headed woman in a cocktail dress.  I used to say, "It doesn't really exist if it is not on the internet."

I feel that, maybe, I haven't been existing in all possible planes this year: the twilight of surgery in February, bouncing around cities in the Spring (Chicago, Washington, D.C.), still foggy from that twilight and with quite a limp, seem like some fantasy, someone else was there for all that.

I returned to San Francisco and fell into an obsession, madly drawing lost boys, street fashion, birds and more birds.

My website,, has been inert all year. I have written all my interesting blog posts in a spiral sketchpad where they just keep piling up without really existing here on the blog. (They seem to be nudging each other inside the cover of the sketchpad, smirking and squirming around like some naughty kids left waiting too long.)

And now it's October when I start having lots of shows. All the images and obsessed ideas are being stuffed into frames, into boxes, under glass, photographed, described, judged. And finally, sensing the next lap, I write here. I update, I post @jzjade, I make postcards, get published in Artspan Open Studios Guide.

I think I will introduce the shows in more detail in upcoming posts, here I will list them in invitation: Please come by and see what I and my fellow San Francisco artists have been doing this year!

Fading Boys
Merchants of Reality
October 21 to 23
285 9th At @ Folsom
San Francisco
Opening Party:
October 21,  7:00 - 9:00 pm

New Work
Artspan Open Studios Exhibition
October 7 to November 6
934 Brannan @ 8th
October 6,  6:30 to 9:00 pm

Neighborhood Scenes
Problem Library
October 1 to 30
1288 15th Street @ Irving
San Francisco
Opening Party
October 28,  5:30 - 9:00 pm

A Woman and Her Raven
SFWA Artists Gallery
October 1 to October 30
647 Irving @ 8th
San Francsico
Opening Party
October 28, 5:30 - 8:00 pm

New Monotypes
Chrysalis Studio
November 15
934 Brannan @ 8th
November, 15 7:00 to 9:00 pm

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hot Press: January 2016 Monotypes

Below are some new monotypes.  I printed these at Chrysalis Studio at SOMARTS on my birthday, January 24, 2016.
Woman With Crow

Street Scene



I will be taking a little break from writing here, as I will be having surgery on my ankle.  But, there are some interesting posts coming: "Holding a Story in Your Hand", "Music and Telepathy", "Landscape: What do we want from Nature?" 

Also, a play.

Thank you all for keeping in touch through Wide Eyes Studio Blog!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Monotype Discoveries

Someone told me their nightmare.

That's not how anything started, but that's how something interesting continued.

In April, 2015, I began a series of black and white monotypes, the subjects of which are people.

Like my concert drawings, this series has its rules. All prints are painted in process black ink on the same 20" x 16" monotype plate.  All use the same set of brushes.  Each monotype is derived from a very rough sketch that can be interpreted in different ways. Each is printed on 30" x 22" Rives BFK paper.

When I was at a sleepover workshop at The Headlands Center for the Arts, I did nine tiny doodles of people in an urban setting.  In November, 2015, I used these doodles as the source for several new monotypes (Hot Press).

For the January, 2016, session, I thought I might use the same set of sketches and re-interpret them. I came to Chrysalis Studio at SOMARTS prepared with the brushes, the paper, the monotype plate. And the enigmatic drawings.

Then the interesting thing happened.

Someone told me their nightmare: A woman was on a bed in a shabby rooming house and several men were standing around the bed ridiculing her.  Another man, our dreamer, was standing and watching.

Having set up to paint the first plate, I used the same source drawing as I had used in the November session (for the print "Well"). With the nightmare in mind, a different image emerged.

As you may know, I am very dedicated to the sense of story in all my work.  Each thing I make has to make sense in a narrative way. In my mind, each of these monotypes has their own story. But, now that I am looking at them, I see that there is something similar in their stories, something that comes from the source image: a sense of someone looming, or dominating, in a very dark way.

I think the story of the first print, "Well", is one of a person being exploited by a larger person, one who is expressing dominance, and even possibly ownership. The story of the second print, "Nightmare", is the story of the nightmare, a woman being ridiculed while someone more powerful looks on.

Originally, I thought of the source sketch as being of some cool guys standing around together.  But, it seems that underneath the juxtaposition of the standing and seated figure, with the passive figures in the background, has developed, in my mind, a kind of menace.

Something else interesting emerged.  Something that a more experienced printmaker would already know and make allowances for: We might well "read" a narrative image the same way we read a printed story, from left to right.
One thing that a printmaker has to get used to is that each print is the mirror of the image on the plate you made.  Someone standing on the left in the image on your plate, will be standing on the right in the final print.

In the print "Well", the reclining figure, which I think is a young man, but most people see as a woman, is looking left, toward the looming figure; the story reads from left to right. In "Nightmare", the woman is not looking at the accusers or at the looming man.  He and they are looking back across the image, from right to left, at her.  I find that this makes my eye go back and forth. Does that weaken the story? Does it create tension, or just make the image hard to interpret?

If I had thought about this, I might have built the image on the plate in the opposite direction, to tell the story of the accusers and the man acting toward her.  Of course, my process is set up to allow a great deal of spontaneous composition, so this kind of forethought doesn't happen very often.

You can see "Well" starting February 10, 2016, at San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, 647 Irving St, San Francisco, in their "Icons" themed show.

But, wait! What's a Monotype??

Friday, January 8, 2016

2015 Part 3: Making 50 Boxes in 2015

Each summer, Sanchez Art Center gives artists the opportunity to make fifty artworks, 6" x 6" in size, one each day for fifty days.

For this show, I wanted to make fifty boxes using drawings I had made of people around San Francisco and Northern California.

In March, when I got the call for artists, I started to pull together images and ideas from among the drawings. I made a 6" x 6" square in the same place on uniformly sized pieces of paper. Each box design was prepared on this paper. I hung the sheets in a grid across the wired wall in my office so I could see all the designs together.
I needed more than fifty designs, as I knew some ideas would not work out. I ended up with 55 designs. Even though I had all the source drawings, it was clear that it would take work to turn source ideas into designs that made sense, then into drawings from which I could work.

Making Fifty Boxes
This was the excitement. I thought about each image. How does it make sense? What's the story? How does the composition work to tell the story? I wrote about the box: description of the location and text for a secret message to be included with each box. The excitement was physical when the conception came together, when I could feel the meaning and the relationships.

The grid on the wall grew as I developed ideas. The kind of work the sketches needed was conceptual. They needed story, action, humor and attitude. When I hit on those attributes, it was a rush!
That's why this project was so fine. It had tension building while I was finding solutions for story, form, relationships, construction, composition, color. It had resolution when I finally got the right story, color, relationship, and ultimately the gestures of the figure, the clothing design, the respective positions of the figures, the directions of their gaze, the shapes and emotions in their gestures.

All these strong feelings fifty times in succession. Every day, every day for months.

Fifty drawings, fifty color studies, fifty locations, fifty stories, fifty emotions, fifty sets of outfits, fifty landscapes, fifty wood boxes, fifty plexiglass fronts, fifty titles, fifty secret messages, fifty signatures. And, 101 figures!

Fifty Completions

At the time I did not enjoy the moment of completing each box. There were many difficulties with closing up the boxes. I had built the inside of the boxes completely during the fifty day period. I left the addition of the front plexiglass to August. Problems with the way the figures were fixed into the boxes began to show themselves as I was attaching the fronts of the boxes. Many failed.

I actually feared each completed box and did not want to look at it.

The installation at Sanchez did not go smoothly.

But now, I admire the completeness of the project and its components.

The experience of having completed something, and something worthy, repeatedly, fifty times, was very much like building a skill through repetition. Finishing a work of art is something I learned how to do.

I have been delayed in finishing my summary 2015 posts by a broken ankle.  There are a couple more posts I will be making to round out my comments on the amazing year. I usually don't include this kind of personal comment in my blog posts, but a physical injury at this time, in the midst of writing these posts, makes me realize how emotionally dangerous it feels to write about and publish intimate details of my studio process.  In the past month or so I have received many notes from readers and friends telling me how much they enjoy reading this blog.  I appreciate being able to connect with you and share my experiences.  Thank you all for your continued support! More to come!