Coastside Artist Susan Friedman: Did she follow me? Or did I follow her?



To get some much needed rest and a massage, I drove alone to Napa (and got lost; I just can’t multi-task yet, ((the much ballyhooed talent, multi-tasking, attributed to women, well isn’t that phrase  becoming tired and old, don’t you think? Even if it is true?) 

 3 nights in the Napa Valley in the 90- degree heat. My gift to myself.

Don’t be jealous but I stayed at the upscale Auberge Soleil which had a gallery the last time I visited several years ago. Since, it has moved. 

Why the Auberge? Because I had been through hell (my Burt’s death) and I didn’t know it but I desperately needed a getaway. For a woman by herself the security at Auberge was excellent.

But I also like Rockaway Beach (in Pacifica).  Sensational ocean views, wonderful walking trails. It’s not 1900 when nobody lived on the Coastside; it’s 2009, when there are zillions of people (who have heard of the wonders of freedom in the USA)  and want to experience the fresh energy of the  Pacific Ocean and the waves. 

Once I found Napa, I also recalled that our own very well known artist, Susan Friedman, (one of those artists who can do everything top- of- the -line: movies, photos, paintings, etc) had some lovely pieces for sale at the same gallery where I was staying.  But I. Wolk Gallery had since moved  to St. Helena.

When I discovered that the gallery had moved, I called and asked if Susan Friedman’s pieces were still there.

 Yes, the owner said as he described several of her works. I bought an unusual piece she had painted two years ago called “Water.”  Because I could not multi-task, drive and look at directions at the same time, “Water” was delivered directly to me.

Onward. (This whole experience was very special for me, really, which is why I am sharing it with you. It’s the adventure and the experience that’s important.

Next day Susan Friedman, the artist (she used to work out of a wonderful, weathered barn south of Pescadero, and still lives somewhere on the Coastside or on the mountain.)  That’s (the barn) where I met her for the first time; she was busily working and chatting in the natural studio located somewhere near the mushroom farm on the South Coast. John Vonderlin territory.

Turned out she was in Napa  because she was opening a new show at the same gallery I had called the day before to purchase the fascinating “Water” piece.

The NEW show is based on her sensational photography book called Equus. 

Beautiful images of horses, many from around here, the Coastside. And Woodside, etc.

Meanwhile, the owner of the gallery was telling Susan that this lady called June bought “Water.” And then as he’s telling her the story, the phone rings and it’s me on the other end. I had a question.

I do not know Susan well; I met her in that barn 30 years ago, but, of course,  I know of her fame. Didn’t her movie about Pescadero show at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco? 

There are a lot of seats in the Palace of Fine Arts originally built for the Pan American International Exhibition held in San Francisco in the Marina District. I think it was 1915. A purpose for the international exhibition, with the Palace being one of the remaining original buildings, was to show the world that San Francisco had survived the 1906 Earthquake and Fire. To show off  the beautiful  NEW city of San Francisco.

Susan did remember me and we talked briefly via the gallery phone. She was with another artist but the connection was poor and I could not hear his name clearly. She believed I knew him, but if you can’t understand the name, well….my apologies.

The sequence of events were truly extraordinary for me, the “Queen of the Eclectic” as John Vonderlin has anointed me. Remember, I am also the female version of Hunter Thompson…..And sometimes, according to Terry Baldwin of the incomparable Mill Rose B&B in Half Moon Bay, I am straightforward. That is certainly Burt’s influence. 

The final question remains: Did Susan Friedman follow me to Napa? Or did I follow her? 

Congratulations, Susan,  on your new show, called Equus. I wish I could have stayed one more day to attend the opening.

The information re: Susan’s new show is below. It’s worth a day trip; you can visit the wineries and the gallery during the week when driving is more pleasant. But go anytime. Go today. Be adventurous. And send me a photo of Susan!



Photographic Images by SUSAN FRIEDMAN  
April 24, 2009 – July 24, 2009   (click here)
Opening Reception
Saturday, May 9, 2009
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Curated by
I . W O L K G A L L E R Y
T E L 7 0 7 – 9 6 3 – 8 8 0 0 • I W O L K G A L L E R Y . C O M