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.
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."
Causes Belle Yang Supports
826 Valencia Street