Trip to Berkeley, more Artists’ Studios

It occurs to me that I have not given a good idea of how many artist studios there are in this area.  Places where artist retreat to work on their ideas.  There are LOTS.  Just within 6 square blocks of my studio there are 6 buildings full of studio spaces.

About 10 years ago we saw through-the-roof upping of rents for these spaces and the growth of “lifestyle” lofts where you would no more think of dripping paint on the floor or running a table saw than you would take a long walk off a short pier.

These days the rapid growth of “urban horticulture” in the Oaksterdamn area is causing a loss of many of the remaining ART/WORK spaces. We will see what the near future brings besides guns, aggressive dogs, overflowing dumpsters, rising water bills, and skunk.  The landlord claims it is not happening….all the way to the bank.


In this post I will show two of the still many remaining studios in my area. The first is a work-only studio, maintained by Mark Lightfoot, and the second is a live/work studio maintained by moi.

Mark LIghtfoot
Mark Lightfoot

When I first saw his work I thought of Osmosis, the way a solvent such as water gains equilibrium of concentration on either side of a membrane.  The word osmosis comes from the Greek for “a push”.  Mark states that his work has everything to do with his love of the mysteries of nature.  Looking at his paintings reminded me of a phrase from a Paul Simon song, “…the strength to push like Spring”.

I loved especially the 3D painting in the middle of the studio.  The “canvas” has a translucency that allows you to observe the history of the paths that the wet paint took while pushing for equilibrium.  Very beautiful painting, both in technique and in lyrical concept.

You can see more of Mark’s work at

Here is Oola at the etching press in my studio space.  Mine is a live/work situation because I have never lost the need to get up and mess around with ideas in the middle of the night.

Oola in Jan Dove's studio
The handle goes the other way, Oola.

What is happening in this studio?  Well, first we are getting Oola’s solo show ready for next month (NEXT MONTH?!!!) at Merced College Gallery.  There is even a new Oola-as  image:

Gansta Oolaa
Gangsta Oola, all due respect to Georges de la Tour

Think on it: an all female gang victimizing a foppish young man, who, while he is suspicious, is blinded by his vanity.  I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  The vertical elements in the background are pincers from the Sgraffito workshop.

Then, we just finished binding a new book of figure/line-drawing digitally printed on transparent film. You can see it in the picture above open on the green cutting mat on the work table behind Oola.  It’s a kind of make-your-own-image book.  Here is a sample pageandahalf.

Artist Book, "Disentangled", selected page

There is more work with transparency/translucency coming up soon including a series on homeless couches. (You can guess why I was attracted by Mark Lightfoot’s translucent work.)  I will post them on my website as soon as they are ready and three more hours add themselves to each day.

By jandove


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