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India: on to Manali and the Pavarti Valley

Manali is a starting point to the Indian Himalayas in the state of Himachal Pradesh. We had heard that the best way to get there was to take an overnight bus from Delhi. We investigatedt other options but none of them much reduced the number of hours of travel. So, we flew from Jodhpur to Delhi and situated ourselves on the overnight bus.


The seats on the bus reclined and elevated our legs but there was no bathroom aboard. I dubbed the ride “the Kishkaville Express” because the last half of the trip, on rocky, unpaved mountain roads, bumped and jumped in the early morning. After 13+ hours, we arrived in Manali.

On the bus, we met Alaka and Dev, a friendly couple from Delhi, who told us about a local festival that was happening that day, the Manu Festival.



You can tell that Manali was probably a sleepy hamlet twenty years ago. Its beauty and location an all to familiar blessing and curse as it’s become a tourist haven of the north and jumping off point for mountaineering. Most of the visitors are Indian, coming for adventures and ganga, which is smoked pretty freely in the old section, despite being illegal. There are a myriad of outdoor outfitters lining the main road and over a hundred guest houses and hotels. During high season (late May and June) the traffic can be complete gridlock.

We stayed a few days in Manali and then took a car to Tosh in the Pavarti Valley.


I was awestruck by the views from Tosh





I returned from a month long trip to India two weeks ago. It will take me a few postings to get it all down but here’s a start…

I remember that a light would appear in the eyes of my hippie friends when they spoke of their travels to India. I was 22 years old and my imagination was sparked forever. Although I visited Nepal, Burma and Thailand, I was fearful of India, my chief concerns being health and crime.


So…when Spring Studio’s office closed in April, and I was out of a job, I saw an opportunity to follow that old dream. And luckily, my childhood friend Liz, with whom I had traveled many years before, was game to join me on the adventure.

Painting 2

Humayun’s Tomb. The second emperor of the Mughal Empire, who ruled over territory in what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India and Bangladesh from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. — Wikipedia

First day we stayed in Old Delhi and visited Red Fort, Humayun’s Tomb, the  National Crafts Museum, and went shopping for Indian clothes (I bought kurtis and balloony pants). We ate lunch at a little, packed hole-in-the-wall and sat with some young teachers who were visiting from Goa.




Auto Rickshaws are everywhere in India. The way they get through traffic is by driving really fast and honking their horns for everyone to get out of the way. Actually, everyone drives this way. The streets are a cacophony.

Next we went to Jaipur in the state of Rajastan


Took a sweet old train (pukey greenish color) with plenty of legroom and surrounded by women! We also treated ourselves to a room at a converted palace, which was pretty amazing.

Took an Uber to Albert Hall Museum, which had wonderful art from all over the country.






It was really crazy HOT. When they say it’s going to be hot in California’s Central Valley, they mean 94. That’s a full twenty degrees cooler than it was in Rajastan.

The city is known for a walled section known as Pink City.  I was really into the open air markets. The scene was alive with color as women went in to do their shopping, buying saris, groceries, herbs, clothing.






And we went to the Anoki Museum of hand printing, where we saw some impressive traditional craft techniques.



Then on to Jodhpur, also in Rajastan


Meharangarh Fort hovers over the city of Jodhpur. There are converted mansions in India, which are called Havelis. We stayed at one that was a hotel, on which, the roof restaurant afforded a great view of the fort and of a girls’ school.


It was kind of enchanting. I drew the courtyard, seen below. They had displays of artifacts there as well.




This was a real maharaja. I love his get up.






Jodhpur has wonderful, colorful open air markets. I loved seeing the women sit with shop keepers to order their saris.

The markets are where it’s at.





This place is called a stepwell.  They fill the street area with water and it becomes a place to swim during the Summer.



We went to the Meharangarh Fort on the last day. It was an incredible fort and palace. We had a guide named Sanjay.

But the heat was still an issue…it was oppressive. We decided to make our way North to the cooler climate…

to Manali…


Three Generations

I’m excited to be exhibiting my work with my mother and my grandmother all together in one show! We open this Thursday at the Jewish Community Library in San Francisco.


Postcard_backside_infoLe-dor va-dor means “From Generation to Generation.” It expresses the directive to teach your children the culture, values and lessons of Judaism. In our case, the teachings included art! My grandmother was a painter and sculptor, my mother is a metalsmith, ceramist and one who draws. I’m a sketcher and painter. Together, our work will span over a hundred years of art in one family.

I never knew my grandmother, but I’m so honored and thrilled to be showing my work with hers.

The Bay Area Jewish Weekly published a nice article about our show.




Embroidery Gal

I love embroidery so I was tickled to see this woman waiting for the #4 at Fremont and Mission tonight.

BusStopEmbGal“Her whole outfit is ornament-laced with embroidery. Except for the scarf. Boots are patterned, not embroidered.

ShelterSmart workshop with FIT

BBVA and Spring Studio have been working with FIT (the Field Innovation Team) to to design a new toolkit for community shelters after a disaster strikes. Last Monday and Tuesday, we met with the FIT team, representatives from the Red Cross, the Salvation Army, the city of San Francisco emergency team and numerous designers to come up with solutions that will work better for global responders, displaced people and communities as a whole.


Research was conducted in Florida and Houston after the hurricanes, Northern California after the wildfires and in Mexico following the earthquake.

I was asked to record the workshop through my illustration. Here are the results.




Spring Studio colleagues


I’ve been drawing my colleagues at Spring Studio. Most of these are taped to the refrigerator at work.

Working on the full series.