19 hours ago
Monday, December 20, 2010
A couple of weeks ago, we took a fun little trip down to San Rafael to visit Helen at her studio. After reading my post about her recent gallery show, she extended an invitation for us to come down and choose one of her pieces to have come and live in our home for awhile!
Rather than have them stored away, she likes to loan pieces out to friends and family so they can be actively enjoyed. I can tell you right now that we have been very actively enjoying the one we chose! More about that though, after I show you some photos I snapped of her dreamy studio…
Bones, bird nests, sticks and stones, creature-like cacti in terra cotta pots, ceramics, woven baskets, books upon books, objects of inspiration at every turn… not to mention all the art supplies and magical paintings in various stages of completion.
Artist’s studio meets natural history museum meets Southwest Trading Post, a curiosity cabinet of creativity… I could have moved in.
An old trunk filled with years and years of notebooks all bursting at the seams with ideas and annotated sketches. Just leafing through a few brought up tales of travel and adventure. Helen is a really great story teller, by the way, with many a great story to tell…
As I'm checking out this gorgeous photograph hanging above the old trunk, she starts to tell me about it. Turns out it was taken in the late sixties by her old roommate, Annie Leibovitz! The cute girl with the pixie-cut on the left is Helen at age nineteen! Helen and Annie were roomates for a couple of years when they both studied at the San Francisco Art Institute.
This was back when Annie (who later became known for such iconic images as this and this) was first getting into photography. They had just come from the very first Bay Area Renaissance Festival, which was coincidentally held at China Camp State Park where we went with Helen following her gallery show. The photo was taken at the Hall of Flowers in Golden Gate Park. You can get a better look here.
Lucas and Clover channeling some of the studio space's palpable creative energy. Helen’s idea to bring out the paints was successful at keeping Clover occupied as I wandered around examining each and every available painting and deliberating over the tough decision at hand.
Lucas gave me final say on the matter and I’ll admit, I’m not the quickest of decision makers, especially when there are so many wonderful choices!
As tough as the decision was though, I’m sure those of you who remember my post about Helen’s gallery show won’t be too surprised to see who is now mischievously peeking out from behind our Christmas tree…
So awesome! We are utterly stoked to be able to enjoy such a unique piece of art in our very own living room for the next year or so… many big thanks to Helen for her generosity and hospitality. She’s currently on a much anticipated trip to Egypt… filling up more of those notebooks no doubt!