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Let's Pretend to Live Legendary Lives

Sometimes, you feel a creative relationship is legendary while you are part of it.  And if it won't be legend, why not pretend it is while you live it?  It makes life all that more intriguing and dazzling.  What's feels legendary about my connection to Steve and Nancy Hauk?  Well, I'd have to search with a lantern the entire coast of California to find representatives who not only know art and California art history better than anyone but also an extensive love for literature, especially all things Steinbeck.

If you tiptoe into Hauk Fine Arts at 206 Fountain Avenue in Pacific Grove, you'll most likely find Steve working on his new play.  A few privileged ones get to read them once the characters are ready to greet an initial audience.  The subjects are largely creative people like Charlie Chapin, Granville Redmond (a deaf mute artist who taught Charlie important things about life and acting), Gary Kildall (the computer scientist who created the CP/M operating system), Euphemia Fortune (a painter who worked as assertively as a man on our Monterey Peninsula, before women were liberated from their molds).

 Steve loves and is sympathetic to women.  Maybe it's because he has two daughters.  If he had three, he'd have to start worrying about his demise as King Lear.

Belle Yang's take on the gallery, with Piper in pink.  Gouache.  16" x 22 " 1996


I was introduced to Steve in 1993 when he was working at the Monterey Herald.  He wore all black.  Yes, like Hamlet.  I said my favorite writer was Chekhov.  It was his favorite author, too, but more for the plays.

When I attended the opening of his and Nancy gallery, it was L-shaped with little wall space.  It didn't matter that the space was small, the paintings he and his art historian wife, Nancy, represented were exactly of my creative philosophy: figurative, but leaving generous space for the imagination between bold brushwork.  The gallery was like a jewel box, studded with colorful gems.  Now Hauk Fine Arts has expanded to three-levels.


Art Patrons

Steve and Nancy Hauk have been "tooling around" since seventh grade. That loyalty and consideration to one another is carried over to their "breather" artists (yes, the living ones like me, Pam Carroll, Warren Chang and Greg Kondos, Caroline Kline).  Curiously, I'd come across the word "breather" various times in Shakespeare after Steve used the word for contemporary artists:

But it confounds the breather. He should have lived,   Measure for Measure: IV, iv
When all the breathers of this world are dead;   Sonnets: LXXXI
I will chide no breather in the world but myself,   As You Like It: III, ii
A statue than a breather.   Antony and Cleopatra: III, iii 4 results returned.

I must explain, it was Steve who turned me on to Shakespeare.  A decade ago, he said with a slight irritation in his voice, "You love Chekhov, but why not the bard?"

The gauntlet had been thrown to the ground, so I began my long journey, reading every play, every sonnet and every long poem.  I would complain to Steve about why Shakespeare gave us flatly evil character of Goneril or Regan.  Steve would only say, to my greater irritation,"Shakespeare just could get away with it."

At Steve's for a book signing in 2007 with my parents.  Nancy Hauk on the right.

We've fought a few times, Steve and I.  I don't know if he or I can remember what we fought about.  Perhaps my head swelled up like Foo Frog's stretchy belly at one point in our relationshop.  There is a Chinese saying, "You must fight with a man to know the man.

I'd say the gallery is perfect except for one missing thing.  A dog.  A terrier.  Preferably a Cairn.  Steve and Nancy lost their Piper two years ago on Janaury 1st.  They have been in mourning and haven't had the heart to adopt another.  When I open the front door to the gallery, I always sense Piper's spirit running toward me then the claws of his front paws digging into my knees.  Ouch.

Piper rolling on his back in the sunshine.  You can never tell which end was the head when you took Piper's picture.  He was one special soulful, gray mop of a dog


Youtube video of Belle reading "Foo the Flying Frog of Washtub Pond."



20 Comment count
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Eric Nichols says: Aw,

Eric Nichols says: Aw, shucks, Belle: You Aw, shucks, Belle: You never fought with me, and I think you know me pretty well. :) Maybe if we DID fight, I'd be famously creative by now...or creatively famous. :) When are you bringing Foo to Fairbanks? I think he'd like it here. Cheers!

Belle Yang says: I'll be there when the mushrooms fruit on the snowbanks! I've since found out they do!! Tue, 04/14/2009 - 10:26am * Edit * Reply

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We have all kinds of

We have all kinds of mushrooms here. In fact, after you eat them, everything looks pretty much like Washtub Pond. :) (The moose tend to get a bit wacky after eating them too!)


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A great blog. If your

A great blog. If your friendship has inspired in either of you any amount of memorable creative work at all then it truly is legendary already :-) Or at least that's been my take on such things ever since reading BEING GENIUSES TOGETHER by Kay Boyle and Robert McAlmond(?) forgot that last name.

And thanks for the link to Steve Hauk's blog--there's a lot there I plan to read very soon.

Founder of Creative Thinkers International
author of The American Poet Who Went Home Again
and Encyclopedia of the Harlem Renaissance (Facts on File)

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Wow, I've gotten so used

reading comments made by "old" friends in RR, it was jarring (but pleasant) surprise to see your face.  This reminds me not to be lazy and read more of the RR writers with whom I've not become familiar.

"The American Poet Who Went Home Again"--nice.  I'm not a poet, but the going home over and over describes what I do.

Thank you for your comments.

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New writing

Belle, it's my job to read all the new writers who come to Red Room (poor me, right?), and I've been enjoying Aberjhani's contributions from the start. You couldn't do better than to check out his post that we're featuring on the homepage this week.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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I sure


Hunti, I think I just became overwhelmed as RR grew exponentially in summer of 2008.  I'm going to try to say, hi, to at least 5 writers I do not know each week.  That's a reasonable number.

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I think you've just created Red Room's new tagline, Aberjhani: "Being Geniuses Together."

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Hunti and Aberjhani,

That would be a great tagline and it's so true.  I feel smarter just being here ;)  Seriously, I have next book project after conversing with the Collia-Ryomas and Evie Shockley.  I was rather astounded that through the noisy-silence of our online conversations, something important gelled for me.

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I agree with Aberjhani

Such friendship is legendary already.

I always wondered what Steve's gallery looked like and I love your painting of it as well. :) I knew of Piper (perhaps from Steve's website?) but I had know idea he had passed on. :(

Gina's first furry friend was also a Cairn. His name was Jamie and we still mourn him now after many, many years. It's wonderful to see Piper immortalised in your painting. I'm sure he approves from wherever he is watching on the Haiks now. :)

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I read Gina's post on the latest signing yesterday

I couldn't help going back to it today and ask a few questions ;)

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Steve's gallery

I like seeing Belle's take on the gallery, too, Ryoma. You can check it out in motion, as it were, by watching Steve's fascinating video about the one-of-a-kind John Steinbeck exhibit he did last year. Steve first published some unique Steinbeck scholarship online on Red Room at around the same time. Of course, Belle's art makes an appearance both places.

Huntington Sharp, Red Room

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Ryoma, Mary Green, a wonderful woman

who died a few months ago, also had a Cairn she and her husband Ross loved named Jamie. Mary, also a friend of Belle's, was as feisty as a Cairn. I blogged about her and Gretchen Knief a few months ago.

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Hi Steve. :)

How wonderful. Sounds lke Mary and Ross' Jamie and Gina's Jamie were very much alike. Gina's little friend was a real character, very feisty indeed. We miss him very much and it must be at least 18 years since he passed. :(

I remember your post about Mary very well, she sounded like such a strong character. :)

Hope all is well with you. 

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I thought I left a comment

I thought I left a comment here earlier. I'm becoming more and more forgetful.
The pictures of Steve, the gallery, you and your family are a treat to see.
Thank you,
Cory Dooley-Dedon

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Ah, ha!

You are the mysterious c. d.  A sock monkey.  I can relate.  I'll explain later.

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Thanks Huntingdon

I'll definitely have a look! :)

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A wonderful blog--I still

A wonderful blog--I still don't understand how to get photos in mine, so I admire the content and the skill!

How lovely to see your paintings on walls. I still have the need for a Belle Yang, especially once we get to the new house.



Jessica Barksdale Inclan

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I need one too!

Our living room has a vast expanse of lonely gray wall.

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Inserting pictures into your blog

I suggest you upload your photos from your computer hard drive to a free website like Shutterfly.

Then right click on the image when it is viewable at it's largest size (no more than 600 pixels in width).

Next copy the address of the picture you've collected into the menu, which appears when you click the tree icon of your RR blog.

I'll show ya when you are here next time if you still have troulbe.

I post my pictures on my Comcast account and then borrow that address.