Wednesday, March 12

Unexpected Guests: Annie Galvin.

Today we're dropping in on the wonderfully Irish Wexford Girl herself, one of my favorite artists, Annie Galvin. Annie lives with her artist husband Eric Rewitzer beach side (as opposed to bay side) here in San Francisco, which means they live along the beautiful and sometimes really foggy, and then quite lush and green, Ocean Beach. It's a short trip to their art studio in Potrero Hill, Three Fish Studios, where they like to invite friends in for a drink and to hang out making art on the weekends. So civilized! Annie's got a sweet Irish accent, so while you read through her Q&A, try to listen with an Irish lilt in the back of your mind. C'mon, it'll be fun!

Describe a perfect day in San Francisco?
That would have to be a day off during the week from my day job in the financial industry (not as boring as it sounds; I work with a lot of cool creative people). I would start with coffee at Piccino near my art studio in the Dogpatch area of the city (best and prettiest lattes in the city). Then I'd paint for a few hours listening to This American Life. In the afternoon, I would hop over to the Mission, and browse The Candy Store, The Curiosity Shoppe, Beadissimo, Little Otsu, and other favorite spots, grabbing a burrito at Papalote along the way. Then, when I'm ready for a glass of wine, I go to meet my husband, Eric, at Ti Couz or Hotel Biron.

What's the best thing about your city?
San Francisco is a small, livable city, but it has world class restaurants and art scene, so it's just wonderful living here. I also love that it's so close to nature, whether that's the Marin Headlands, Muir Woods, Tilden Park, the Santa Cruz mountains, or any of the other amazing green places we have around us.

What don't you leave home without?
A pen and notebook in case I get stuck somewhere and I have nothing to doodle on.

What's your favorite shop in San Francisco?
It's a toss-up between Stumasa, The Candy Store, Park Life, and Rare Device. They are all amazing.

What's one thing about you that would surprise people?
I really love techno. I used to go to clubs in the '90s and dance all night long in a pink tutu and motorcycle boots. To this day, some good deep house gets me into such a happy groove.

Who are your favorite artists?
So many! I love Alex Katz, the Royal Art Lodge, Maxwell Loren Holyoke Hirsch, Margaret Kilgallen, Marcel Dzama, Jim Houser, Chris Johanson, Rex Ray, Amy Cutler, Fay Jones, Paul Rand, Olle Eksell - among many others. And, my talented husband Eric Rewitzer, of course.

Where do you find inspiration?
Vogue Magazine, Josef Frank textile designs, the pattern of fields seen from a plane, poems, overheard conversations, comics (particularly the Hernandez Brothers' Love and Rockets), and many awesome design and art blogs.

Who do you admire and why?
My sister Liz. She has five kids - all of them funny, sweet, and smart - and she is the most unflappable, clear-headed, kind woman you could ever meet. She lives with her family in a big happy house out in the country, 10 miles from my home town of Wexford in southern Ireland. We fought like cats and dogs growing up, but now we're the best of friends. She turns 40 later this year and we're going to meet in New York for a few days of sisterly fun. I can't wait.

What's the last great book you read?
A Trip to the Stars by Nicholas Christopher. It's just lovely - dreamy, weird, and romantic.

What's your favorite film?
Broadcast News. I've seen it so many times that I can quote most of it.

If you could photograph anyone in the world, who might that be?
Perhaps Steve Martin. I've always had a crush on him. After the photo shoot we could go out for cocktails and he would tell me all the bits he left out of Born Standing Up, i.e., the scandalous bits.

Who would you like to sit down to tea with?
The poet Billy Collins. I love his poems and I think I would learn a lot about how to be grateful and observant in life, while not taking anything too seriously.

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Sitcoms, I really love curling up on the couch and watching The Office, 30 Rock, or even lame ones like Two and a Half Men. They make me feel cosy.

What would you eat for your last supper?
Eric's pea risotto with grilled portobello mushrooms and chicken. Unbelievably delicious.

What is your most treasured belonging?
I don't know if it's the most treasured, but I absolutely love an umbrella I bought about 6 years ago. It looks like a Cirque Du Soleil tent when it's up, and I always get stares.

What's souvenir did you bring back from your last trip?
Does chocolate from Ireland count? Seriously, forget Belgium and Switzerland, Ireland has the best chocolate in the world.

What is your greatest indulgence?
Cereal. I love it so much that I can't have it in the house, because nothing sounds as good as a bowl of cereal and it is all I would eat. (I wrote about my love here.)

What is your idea of living hell?
Living in a little house on a mountainside somewhere, miles from anywhere. It would be peaceful for a day, but I need to be near a city, or at least a town with a college or two in it - smart people, bookstores, coffee shops, artists - I need them. Plus, staying in a place where the night is absolutely pitch black sounds terrifying - no to mention the mountain lions and other beasts.

What are some of your favorites websites/blogs to visit?
Besides my daily visits to sfgirlbybay, I check out (among many others): My Love For You; Katy Horan; Found Now Home; and design*sponge (of course). And I hope my friend Evany will continue her recent frequency of posting. She's a great, funny writer.

What music are you listening to these days?
I'm enjoying Band of Horses, Rogue Wave, The Frames, The Fruit Bats, and old Kruder & Dorfmeister. I often rely on Amy Ruppel and her music-obsessed husband Randy to turn me on to new stuff.

Thank so much for the lovely visit Annie! To read and see more of Annie, and her work check out her blog and her etsy shop where you can find her wonderful paintings.


karina said...

I love this unexpected guests thing.
Im trying to do the same in my blog.

leighwells said...

INCREDIBLE post! Thanks Victoria and Annie! Inspirational.

Kati said...

What a great post. I was unfamiliar with Annie's work before but now I'm smitten!

Suzanne Broughton said...

As a friend of Annie's, I can testify she is just as charming and brilliant in person, and that she probably would go crazy living on a mountainside somewhere.
I love this series too. Such a great idea!

Nathalie said...

Great interview :)
Thanks V. !

Alya said...

artists r just the most interesting people!

beth said...

How cool is this! :)