Entries tagged with “Sue Gonzalez”.


Point Reyes Open Studios drew a crowd to artists’ workplaces around Tomales Bay over Thanksgiving weekend despite inclement weather. More than 25 artists took part in the biannual event, which will be held again Memorial Day weekend. This fall, I did most of my touring on Sunday to avoid Saturday’s rainstorms.


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Camouflaged, Inverness Park photographer Richard Blair (right) managed to blend into one of his nature scenes while talking with a visitor.


Point Reyes Open Studios “was established in 1997 to promote the work of artists living around Tomales Bay,” its literature notes. “Realizing the wealth of talent in the communities of Point Reyes Station, Inverness Park, Inverness, Olema and Marshall, the group’s founders sought to bring local artists together to form a group with an identity distinct from artists living in the rest of Marin County. A key aspect of PROS identity is ….to act as a resource and support for group members and other artists.”


100_4643 Painter Sue Gonzalez of Point Reyes Station makes open water a thing of beauty.  She drew numerous admirers Saturday despite the rain.


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Kathleen Goodwin of Inverness Park exhibited a variety of her paintings. She and her husband Richard Blair share a studio atop Inverness Ridge.


thumb_100_4648_1024Along with displaying his photography, Richard Blair offered a couple of his books of photography for sale at good prices. He told Lynn Axelrod (left) that Costco had ordered a large number of copies of different books. They had sold well, and these were the remainders.


Watercolor artist Mark Ropers of Inverness exhibited an engaging variety of landscapes and birds.

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Laurie Curtis paints and does ceramics in her colorful studio behind the veterinary clinic in Point Reyes Station. thumb_100_4660_1024


As a result of a brief marriage to a Guatemalan in 2003, I have three stepdaughters, and because their birth father is a US citizen, they have dual US-Guatemalan citizenship.

I met their mother in 1982 while I was reporting for the old, Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner during a 2.5-year sabbatical from editing The Point Reyes Light. The Examiner had sent me to Central America to cover uprisings in Guatemala and El Salvador, and in Guatemala she was my part-time translator.

As I write, my middle stepdaughter Kristeli Zappa was supposed to be flying back to New York City after visiting for a week; however, United Airlines is now reporting online that the flight is being delayed for maintenance. Kristeli is in her senior year at New York University, and, boy, has she led an interesting life for someone in only her mid-20s.

Growing up she attended schools in: Guatemala; France; and the United States, including time at Tomales and San Marin high schools and a year of grade school in Minnesota. She worked for a spell in Barcelona and spent her first year and a half of college at a university in Taiwan. While there, she rowed on one of the school’s dragon boat teams.

Kristeli (center), Lynn and I last Wednesday enjoyed a late-evening dinner outdoors under heat lamps at Calzone’s Italian bistro in North Beach. (Photo by Lynn Axelrod)

Kristeli and her younger sister Shaili resemble each other so closely that several times during her visit I called her by her sister’s name. So it was probably fitting that we took Kristeli on several of the same outings we took Shaili on when she visited in August: watching Beach Blanket Babylon, dropping by Calzone’s for dinner while in North Beach, listening to jazz at the No Name bar in Sausalito, and having dinner with Anastacio and Sue Gonzalez in Point Reyes Station.

When Shaili was here three months ago, the Gonzalezes went with us to Café Reyes for pizza. This time Anastacio cooked us a yellowfin tuna he had caught in the Sea of Cortez and brought back on ice. It was the best fish I’ve eaten in years.

The Community Thanksgiving Dinner at the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station filled the main hall and adjoining former church Thursday afternoon. The event drew so many people they ate all the pumpkin pie. That hadn’t happened in years, if ever, one of the regular volunteers told us. (Photo by Lynn Axelrod)

The turkey dinner is always free although donations are welcome, and it’s always well prepared. There is even a vegetarian plate for non-turkey eaters. For many of us diners, however, the best part of the dinner is the opportunity it provides to catch up with old acquaintances we seldom see. That’s one way we keep our sense of community alive.

A week of rainy days interspersed with sunny ones has been helping the grass turn green in the horse pasture next to Mitchell cabin. The stockpond is far from overflowing, but the water level is rising. [Update: At the end of 4 inches of rain Tuesday night-Wednesday morning, Dec. 2 & 3, the pond was overflowing.]

Even dramatically low Nicasio Reservoir, which belongs to Marin Municipal Water District, appears to be slowly recovering from the drought. The rest of the district’s reservoirs were already in pretty good shape. If all MMWD reservoirs are counted together — Alpine, Bon Tempe, Kent, Lagunitas, Nicasio, Phoenix, and Soulajule —  “current storage is 94.42 percent of average storage for this date,” the district reported on Nov. 23.

When Lynn and I went to the No Name bar in Sausalito to hear jazz, as we often do on Friday nights, we, of course, took along Kristeli. What was unusual about the evening was that drummer Michael Aragon, whose quartet has played at the No Name virtually every Friday night for 31 years, wasn’t on hand.

Instead we heard Sausalito bluesman Eugene Huggins’ band which plays at the No Name regularly but not on Fridays. Besides wailing on a variety of harmonicas, Huggins sang an engaging selection of blues and blues-rock. Although Huggins is well regarded, none of us had heard him before, and we were all impressed.

And then it was time for Kristeli to fly home. Lynn and I drove her to the Larkspur ferry terminal, so friends of hers in San Francisco could pick her up at the Ferry Building, show her around, and ultimately drive her to the airport.

For me her visit had been quite an experience. Kristeli had lived in Mitchell cabin for only a few months during my brief marriage to her mother 11 years ago, and I hadn’t seen her since although we periodically correspond by email. Yet by the end of her visit, Lynn and I were genuinely sad to see her go. I don’t know if Lynn and I, Kristeli and her sisters, together fit the formal definition of an “extended family,” but it sure feels like one.

West Marin is finding ways to deal with the federal shutdown as conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives hold the national budget hostage to their goal of eliminating the country’s new affordable-healthcare program.

With the Point Reyes National Seashore, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Muir Woods National Monument temporarily closed, some residents and visitors are paying more attention to the coastal art scene.

At least on the first weekend of the closure, some pieces of national parkland were less closed than others. In the town of Stinson Beach, sybarites continued to use the federal beach but were barred from its parking lot. At Pierce Point, some park visitors simply ignored the “closed” sign in the parking lot. “This was all they put up in the way of a ‘barricade,'” wrote Sarah Paris of San Francisco, who took the photo. She added there were “lots of people parked there and quite a few on the trail.”

Meanwhile, other visitors upon learning they couldn’t explore the Point Reyes Lighthouse decided to explore Point Reyes Station instead. What they found were two art galleries showing a variety of first-rate exhibitions.

Point Reyes Station artist Sue Gonzalez (left) is showing her highly regarded paintings of Tomales Bay at Toby’s Feed Barn Gallery. This painting titled Evening Fog is priced at $4,800.

The exhibition at Toby’s will run throughout October, and Sue will hold an opening reception from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12. The gallery is open until 5 p.m. seven days a week.

Sue at work in the studio of her Point Reyes Station home. She attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison and graduated from the San Francisco Art Institute with a major in painting. She also studied with prominent Beat artist Wally Hedrick at Indian Valley College and with Ted Greer, who in 1981 made a video of Hedrick.

A visitor to Toby’s Gallery is intrigued by Sue’s painting titled Tomales Bay.

Ripples on the surface of the bay are almost always prominent in Sue’s paintings, but that doesn’t make her art redundant. The movement of the water and the play of light upon it are a large part of her paintings’ appeal. Sue is seen here with her painting titled Reflections 2.

A visitor from Australia admires Sue’s painting titled Teachers Beach.

Besides being a painter, Sue is a “reading-intervention” instructor at West Marin School.

The elementary school includes students with a wide range of abilities in English, especially because many of its students come from Spanish-speaking homes — although Sue herself does not despite her last name being Gonzalez.

That’s the surname of her husband Anastacio Gonzalez, who’s known in West Marin for his jars of Anastacio’s Famous BBQ Oyster Sauce.

Here Sue stirs a brush in the paint on her palette while working in her studio.

Also exhibiting his art this month at Toby’s Gallery is printmaker Tom Killion of Inverness Park. Tom works in Japanese-style woodcut and lino-style prints.

Nicasio by Tom Killion.

Vicente Canyon, Big Sur by Tom Killion. Actually it should be Dr. Tom Killion since he holds a PhD in history.

The opening reception for Tom’s exhibit will also be from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.

As it happens, just a block away, Gallery Route One also has some fascinating exhibits at the moment. One that I found particularly engaging was a display of works by members of the gallery’s Latino Photography Project.

In the GRO project, professional photographers coach Latinos as they document the immigrant experience, and 10 up-and-coming photographers are represented in the show. This photo by Juanita Romo is titled Mi Primera Comunión.

The Abundance by Rubén Rubledo shows workers with a barge of oyster bags.

Gathering the Harvest by Rubén Rubledo.

The present exhibitions at Gallery Route One also include humorous paintings by Andrew Romanoff of Inverness, grandnephew of the last tsar of Russia, and mixed-media art by Madeline Nieto Hope, who has a wide variety of interests. She holds a Master of Arts degree from UC Berkeley and is the county’s “West Marin education coordinator” for its solid-waste-reduction program.

The exhibits at Gallery Route One will remain up through Sunday, Oct. 20. The gallery is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day but Tuesday.