Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood

View from Barnsdall Art Park

View from Barnsdall Art Park

Municipal Gallery, Aren Skalman Wheels

Municipal Gallery, Aren Skalman Wheels

Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright

Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright

During our last visit to L.A. we discovered a delightful art location in Hollywood. Barnsdall Art Park, named after its former owner Alice Barnsdall overlooks the Hollywood hills, Griffith Observatory and part of downtown. Hollyhock House, the first Frank Lloyd Wright house built in Los Angeles in 1919, frames these views in typical geometric fashion. The sunken living room with built-in wooden furniture, fireplace and recessed ceiling with skylight, is a work of beauty. Outlooks through windows and niches provide meditations on space and light.

Next to Hollyhock House situated in a shady pine grove is the Los Angeles Municipal Gallery, featuring an excellent Juried show until September 20. The exhibition is beautifully installed in the spacious galleries, which feature a balcony with great outlooks. Work by two of our artists friends, David Fobes and Aren Skalman is included in the show, so if you visit, look out for them.

If you are in L.A. this low key park is well worth visiting, with its relaxing green spaces, city views, moderate amount of visitors, and high quality art and architecture.

Barnsdall Art Park, 4800 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027, Thur-Sun, 12-5 PM, 323-644-6269

Lost Art Treasure found in Munich

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This portrait by Matisse of a Seated Woman from 1924 is one of the over 1400 artworks found last month in an apartment in Munich Germany. The art had been lost for more than 50 years, since the end of World War II. It had been in the care of art dealer Hildebrand Gurtlitt, who claimed it burned in the Dresden fire storm. The find includes art by Picasso, Chagall, Munch, Rodin, Delacroix and Toulouse Lautrec and is estimated to be worth more than $1 Billion.

The painting by Matisse once belonged to the Jewish art collector Paul Rosenberg. It is one of 118 objects that were released on the lost art website because it is suspected to have been confiscated from a Jewish collector as a degenerate art work. I immediately combed through the website to see if the lost artwork by Paul Klee, Mond ueber der Stadt was among the images. It was not. Klee’s painting plays a central role in my art mystery Spring of Tears. It used to belong to the Jewish art collector Max Silberberg and it is still missing like thousands of other works. Imagining what could have happened to these missing masterpieces prompted me to write Spring of Tears. As so often, the reality proofed to be much more bizarre than fiction.

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This Daumier painting entitled Don Quixote and Sancho Panza from 1865 was also found in the Munich apartment. Imagine an 80 year old man living in his messy apartment with 1400 masterpieces for over 50 years without ever telling anybody and without anybody suspecting. Actually don’t imagine. Those are the facts. If you want to read what I imagined could have happened to lost art of the Nazi era, you can read about it in Spring of Tears.

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House of the Fox

Dear friends and readers,

Thank you for all the encouragement and feed-back you gave me about Spring of Tears.  It helped me publish my new desert mystery House of the Fox!

In California’s Anza Borrego Desert, a body is found in the Canyon Sin Nombre. The victim is identified as the artist Ramon Matus, whose death has far-reaching consequences for his parents, his brother, Raoul , his girlfriend, Lizzie, the Vega Stern family, the Southern California art community, and the inhabitants of the small town of Borrego Springs. A letter in the pocket of the dead man leads to Jerome Schlesinger, a self-help guru who conducts a Winter Solstice retreat in the luxurious desert resort Casa del Zorro. Can the key to solve the mystery be found in Ramon Matus’ complex and powerful art or in the U.S.-Mexico border conflict caused by human and drug traffickers?

Sept 21 @ SDMA – German Expressionism Lecture & Book Signing

Otto Dix, Sailor with Black Nude, Watercolor, 1922, © 2012 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn.  Image from the estate of Vance E. Kondon and Elisabeth Giesberger.

 

I have been invited to speak at The San Diego Museum of Art on Friday, September 21, 2012. Join me for my 10 a.m. morning lecture and tour on German Expressionist Art from 1905-1937 and view SDMA’s exhibition, The Human Beast, a recent bequest of 48 German Expressionist paintings, drawings, and prints from the estate of Vance E. Kondon and Elisabeth Giesberger. A book signing for my mystery novel Spring of Tears will follow the lecture in The Museum Store gift shop.

Below is a description of the exhibition as written on the SDMA website.

The Human Beast

German Expressionism at The San Diego Museum of Art
on view July 21, 2012 through November 11, 2012
(My lecture will take place on September 21)

Highlighting the recent bequest of 48 German Expressionist paintings, drawings, and prints from the estate of Vance E. Kondon and Elisabeth Giesberger, the Museum presents this exhibition dedicated to the modernist movement that developed in Germany and Austria in the first decades of the 20th century. German Expressionism was not the work of a single group of artists, but painters, sculptors, and printmakers in Berlin, Dresden, Munich, and Vienna were united in their exploration of common themes: primitivism, raw emotion, the solace of nature, the terror of the First World War and the subsequent social chaos of Weimar Germany.

The Human Beast will explore the many faces of Expressionism, focusing particularly on the artists’ attempt to evoke primal emotion in their depictions of unidealized nudes, the horror of war, or the overstimulation of modern life. Major new acquisitions from the Kondon-Giesberger bequest include works by Otto Dix, Egon Schiele, and Max Pechstein, and these join a strong group of Expressionist paintings and drawings that have long been at the Museum of Art, among which works by Alexej von Jawlensky, Gabriele Münter, Beckmann, and George Grosz are particularly notable. A small group of loans will round out the selection.

Spring of Tears Wins 1st Place in “Mystery” category at 2012 San Diego Book Awards!

San Diego Book Awards

2012 WINNER San Diego Book Awards

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

I am excited to share that Spring of Tears won 1st place in the “Mystery” category at the 2012 San Diego Book Awards! Some of the categories featured included “Short Story,” “Published Poetry,” “Science & Business,” “Children’s and Young Adult,” among many others. The winners were announced at the reception and award ceremony hosted by the Eighteenth Annual San Diego Book Awards on Saturday, June 9, 2012.

When Spring of Tears won, I was so surprised, I did not know what to say for my acceptance speech (even though my husband Glen teased me about preparing one). So below is what I wish I had said.

I would like to thank the following people:

My husband Glen, who has been with me all the way, I mean he has been to the Spring of Tears and he was there with me last night.

My children Max and Sebastian for inspiring me.

Friend and artist Jean Lowe for the cover design.

Mary Kay Gardner and Edda Hodnett, my writing group members for their edits, their suggestions, their cuts and for nudging me in the right direction

The Athenaeum Music & Arts Library, especially Maura Walters for help with the design. Carol Buckley for editing, and Erika Torri for her support and for allowing me to sell the book there and have a book signing.

Jennifer Pyun for the photographs and for all her help setting up my blog and social media sites.

The book clubs, who read my book and invited me into their homes.

My readers, who have made space in their days for my book, and have allowed the into their lives.

Everybody who has encouraged me, believed in the book, and bought it!


 

San Diego Museum of Art Docent’s Bookclub features Spring of Tears

The San Diego Museum of Art’s docents bookclub meeting at Evelyn Goldman’s house on May 21, 2012 included a lively discussion of Spring of Tears. Some of the questions discussed were:

What prompted the writing of this story?

Why does the main character get so obsessed with the victim?

What is so special about the Mont Sainte Odile in the Alsace? 

SDMA Docents Bookclub feat. Spring of Tears

Thank you to Evelyn and all of the book club members for featuring my mystery novel. I had a wonderful time and hope we will have a chance to share another reading soon.

2012 San Diego Book Awards Finalist

San Diego Book Awards

2012 Finalist, Mystery –            San Diego Book Awards

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT:

Spring of Tears has been nominated as a 2012 finalist in the Mystery category of the Eighteenth Annual San Diego Book & Writing Awards. Winners will be announced at the award ceremony on Saturday, June 9. I am looking forward to attending. Wish me luck!

About the San Diego Book Awards Association (SDBAA): The SDBAA is a volunteer organization dedicated to enriching the large, diverse, and vibrant literary community of the nation’s third largest county. Founded in 1994, the SDBAA honors the best published books and unpublished manuscripts by San Diego County residents each year.