I have previously posted on Conny Bleul’s public art. You will recognize what I am talking about, either from her murals at the Berkeley Marina or the folk art in front of her home on Marin, just below Colusa.
Here I will show you some of her non-public art. Mostly. There are a few updates to her public art, two new things-to-see outside her home.
This figure represents some difficulties that Bleul and her husband experienced with workers repairing their home.
Bleul is a prolific artist whose style can’t be pinned down. As we learned in my earlier post about Bleul, she is a self-taught artist. As a refresher, we also learned that she is a well-known and highly respected birth doula, giving assistance and advice to a new or expectant mother, a world-class swimmer who swam on the German National Team and the 1984 German Olympic Team (injured so did not compete), who swam in Berkeley on the Aquatic Masters team, who has a PhD in Philosophy, who has worked as teacher for going-on 30 years, and has a degree in Museum Studies at USF.
She is all about Berkeley, but she is also all about her native Berlin.
The tattoo on her foot depicts the skyline of West Berlin. And, while we are on the subject of Conny:
This is Coconut the cat.
A few of her paintings illustrate my assertion that her style cannot be pinned down:
My favorite of her work – and the quirkiest – her painted furniture. She finds dressers and chests and chairs on the street or for sale for a few dollars, fixes them up – and then paints them.
The next two dressers are inspired by the paintings of Tamara de Lempicka (1898-1980).
She was a Polish art deco painter. There is an interesting error on Bleul’s Green Bugatti dresser. I offered tol send a free copy of Quirky Berkeley the book to the first person who emails me identifying the error. I got some brilliant suggestions (see the comments below) and eventually two correct answers – Bleul’s signature is upside down on the bottom left drawer. Mental error!
Three-D – plastic flowers adorn a painted dresser!
I think we are probably getting the feeling here.
Bleul paints murals.
And she paints rocks.
Two final photos:
Many children have a fort or castle in their backyard. Not Bleul’s – they have a jail. Bad children – go to jail!
Here Bleul holds a mailbox that her daughter Hanna made. Nice job Hanna! And I’ve seen first-person what a skilled negotiator Hanna is. I saw Hanna negotiate the sale of a Bleul piece, almost tripling the price from opening bid to closing price. Go Hanna!
I find Bleul’s accomplishments exhausting and admirable. I find her art quirky and inspiring.
If you are interested in seeing/possibly/purchasing any of her work, you can contact Conny at Conny.Bleul@gmail.com.
I showed the photos to my friend.
He tapped the table. “You know, seeing this furniture, I just think about a whole new place to live. Wouldn’t work with my Danish modern but – I just think sometimes – a whole new place.”
This development, his contemplating moving on from his quarters with me, is surprising and just a little troubling. We’ll see. He loves his dear old Berkeley, the Berkeley where a woman like Bleul would come for a few months and stay for decades, bringing her art and creativity and zest for life here. That is the Berkeley he loves.
What about the post?