At the Hallmark Store — Teary-Eyed in the Sympathy Card Section

An array of commercial birthday cards for mailing. Photo by BarbaraNewhall

My stash of birthday cards. Photo by Barbara Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall.

When the kids were still in the house and I still had a newspaper job to report to, I finally got smart: I started buying birthday and anniversary cards in bunches whenever I spotted some good ones. [Read more...]


Shopping at the Berkeley Potters Guild — Three Artists, Three Visions

By Itsuko Zenitani, two round, fine porcelain ceramic bowls with ceramic lids-\that appear to be straw. At the Berkeley Potters Guild. Photo by BF Newhall

Appearances notwithstanding, the lids on these two fine porcelain bowls by Itsuko Zenitani are ceramic — not wood. $30 and $28. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Lots of wonderful stuff to see at the Berkeley Potters Guild the other day. The work of three potters in particular, each with a distinctive vision, caused me to pull out my trusty point-and-shoot and click away. [Read more...]


Sculptor Patricia Bengtson-Jones — Connecting with the Cosmos

Patricia-Bengston-Jones with detail of her "Kento Warrior" sculpture of a human figure.  2000.  60"x16"x17,"  bamboo, alabaster, bardiglio marble, ordinao marble, $2,000. Photo by BF Newhall

Patricia-Bengtson-Jones with her “Kento Warrior” sculpture, 2000, bamboo, alabaster, bardiglio marble and ordinao marble. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The mythology of prehistory continues to beckon to sculptor Patricia Bengtson-Jones. For decades, the Berkeley, California, artist has been exploring stone, bronze, steel and glass as a way to deepen her connection with the “world/universe/cosmos.” [Read more...]


Judy Seidel: Click Here for an Eyeful of Her Life-Affirming Paintings

"Diptych," by Berkeley, CA, Painter, Judy Seidel is two jig-sawed pieces of wook painted abstractly with red, green and yellow shapes. Photo by BF Newhall

“Reconfigurations #4,” by Judy Seidel. Diptych, 27″ x 21,” each side. Mixed media on joined canvasses. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Some artists seem to be able transfer the way their minds — souls? — work onto paper or canvas. And of those artists, every once in a while, it’s a mind that you’d like to spend more time with. [Read more...]


Institute of Mosaic Art — A Berkeley Spin on an Ancient Art

A lavendar mosaic bundt cake on a table alongside a plate of cookies at the Institute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley, CA.  Photo by BF Newhall

The bundt cake is inedible — it’s a mosaic. The cookies, on the other hand, seem to be the real thing. At the Institute of Mosaic Art, Berkeley. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

The Institute of Mosaic Art left its creative mark on facades all over Oakland’s Jingletown neighborhood before moving last year to Berkeley, where its owners hope the studio and its artists will get more public exposure. [Read more...]