Thursday, April 3, 2014


While I was in Pasadena recently, on a morning walk, I came across this sign and a wonderful patch of wildflowers.

Wildflowering L.A.  What's that?  So I looked it up and here's what they say:

Wildflowering L.A. is a native wildflower seed sowing initiative throughout Los Angeles County by artist Fritz Haeg.

Fifty highly visible sites are sown in fall 2013 to bloom in spring 2014, culminating in a public exhibition and event in early summer. The
project is presented by LAND (Los Angeles Nomadic Division) in partnership with the Theodore Payne Foundation.

Isn't that cool!  Click here to get more information and seed resources: Wildflowering L.A.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

galleries and bookstores

I just love independent bookstores.  I can't help but spend a lot of money every time I go into them.  Why?  Because I love to read.  More than that, I love to handle books.  I love the graphics on the cover.  I love the blurbs on the back.  I love it when the staff of a bookstore takes the time to write out a description of their favorite books and post them on little cards to share with the rest of us.  I have been led to so many good books this way!

One of my favorite bookstores is in Scottsdale, Arizona, The Poisoned Pen.  I get their email blasts, but, more importantly, every time I visit Scottsdale I make a conscious choice to visit them and come away with a stack of books to fill my suitcase with.

This morning I got the bookstore's newest email blast and it struck me how similar galleries are to independent book stores.  Our industry is moving more and more to on-line sales.  In fact, many galleries have closed their doors and operate solely from websites or through Amazon and other on-line stores.

I believe, like a good independent bookstore, there is no substitute for seeing the real thing at an art gallery.  Hey, I'm not knocking on-line sales, I have come to depend on them.  The challenge for galleries that have a physical space is how do we compete in and with the digital supermarket. 

Here's what the owner of The Poisoned Pen wrote today:

Bookstores are repositories of ideas and imagination in the form of books, things of deep emotional attachment to most people. While you'd expect to be impressed in a well-curated boutique of useful or fanciful goods, you should expect to be transported and moved to own (and be owned!) in a well-curated indie bookstore. You don't get that in a warehouse or online.... 

I hope that the experience she describes applies to people who visit the Knowlton Gallery... or any good gallery. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

paintings we can't live without

During dinner recently, one of our guests was telling us about a book she was reading that talked about how successful museums had one great painting that people returned to visit again and again. 

It got everyone at the table talking about which painting/paintings they liked to revisited.


Haggin Museum, Stockton
"The Nymphaeum" by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

deYoung Museum, San Francisco
"Dinner for Threshers" by Grant Wood


Metropolitan Museum of Art
"Madame X" by John Singer Sargent

Chicago Museum of Art
"The Waterfall" by Henri Rousseau

And You?  What painting do you revisit?