Get to Know Artist Lisa Espenmiller

Letting that go; keeping this, Acrylic and ink on canvas mounted over panel

Here's a little Q&A with Lisa about her art-making here in Oakland.

Your paintings have such lovely use of color. What are they inspired by?
Typically what happens is that a color starts to nudge me, appearing at random times in my mind's eye competing for my attention. At times the inspiration for a color is clear – a yellow leaps out at me from our native garden, or from a pale, oceanic blue scarf wrapped around a woman's neck as she walks by, or orange just seems to be filling me up and wants to pour out onto the canvas or paper. Other times I have little inkling as to why a particular green calls me, or why I'm suddenly attracted to a particular soft, warm grey.

Can you tell us a little bit about your meditation practice?
I sit zazen, a form of Zen meditation, twice a day with my husband. The first thing we do each day upon waking is to sit for 30 minutes. The last thing we do before going to bed is to sit for 15 minutes. In zazen, one sits on a meditation cushion facing a blank wall with eyes open. You stare at the wall with "soft" eyes and breathe, letting thoughts arise and fall away, trying not to get caught in them; when your attention inevitably gets snagged and you realize that it has, you let the thoughts go, and return to breathing and focusing on a spot on the wall. We've been doing this every day since December, 2008.

To live till you die, Acrylic and ink on canvas mounted over panel
What's it like to be a practicing artist in Oakland, and how can we support your work?
I've lived in Oakland for 16 years. It's exciting to be a part of the emerging art scene as it grows and matures. I feel like there's an openness, a willingness to experiment, a fresh excitement about art and artists, a friendliness within the developing art communities. As far as supporting my work, showing it here at Marion & Rose is a great form of support. Part of being an artist is getting one's work in front of folks with whom it resonates. The more opportunities I have to show my work, the better chance I have of finding those people.

What else are you up to these days? 
I recently acquired 4 different translations of The Tao Te Ching, bringing my total to 7. Having 7 different versions of one book appeals mightily to the nerd in me. All of my paintings and works on paper (except the groundless ground series) get their names from The Tao through a process in which I enter into a dialogue between the piece and the book. My study of The Tao underlies the lines and washes in my artwork. I can't wait to find time in the coming weeks to sift through the 7 translations of this ancient text on how to live to see what I learn and discover and how this study will shape new work to come.

We can't wait to hang Lisa's pieces! Everything shown at the shop will available for sale, and the show will be up through June 23rd. She'll also be joining us here at the shop in person for First Fridays in June.

Artwork courtesy of Chandra Cerrito Contemporary
Nicole Grant Kriege
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Kinfolk's Spring Issue is Here

Volume 7 of Kinfolk really got our attention. Not that we don't love Kinfolk already… we do. Its pages are full of warmth and heart, feasting and fun, community and kindred spirits. Every few months when a new issue comes out, we pour over its pages, drinking in the beautiful photography and getting inspiration for any future gatherings that we might have in the works.

This issue is particularly special though because it's their Spring / Ice Cream issue! All of the joy that the season brings is packed into these pages, with tons of ideas for how to bring together friends, family, and community around food. Just loaded with playful essays, recipes, interviews, stories, and tips, you won't want to miss picking this one up when you come to visit us in the shop.

Nicole Grant Kriege
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Peg and Awl Bags... We've Got 'Em

Our first shipment of bags from Peg & Awl arrived a few weeks ago, and we couldn't be more thrilled. They are such a fine example of the goods we like to carry here at the shop – quality handiwork by artisans who are fiercely dedicated to their craft.

Peg & Awl are a husband and wife team out of Pennsylvania. They started the company in 2009 when Walter returned from a year long tour in Iraq. Their first item he created was a beautiful oak tub caddy (it went viral on Pinterest), and since then, together they have created many lovely products from reclaimed leather, vintage fabrics, and the wood of old barns that have been around since the 1800s.

We have quite an assortment of their bags, satchels, and waxed pouches at the shop, and we hope you'll come and see them! Most of them are made from a sturdy waxed canvas that's waterproof, can be wiped down, and only gets better with age. 

Nicole Grant Kriege
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Our New Uptown Neighbors... HUB Oakland!


This week we took a little field trip up to the Plaza to welcome HUB Oakland to uptown! The Hub is an inspired co-working space for changemakers, and our friends Sarah and Alfonso at Popuphood have launched them into a really nice pop-up space on the ground floor of a historical building on Broadway while they wait for their permanent offices to be finished nearby.

And we gotta say, we love our new neighbors! Not only do they know how to party (farm fresh margaritas were flowing), but they seem like great people with a real drive to do good in the world. Popuphood will be sharing office space with The Hub, so we'll be sure to visit often. In the meantime, we're going to donate to HUB Oakland's kickstarter campaign to help them open their permanent digs in October of this year.

Nicole Grant Kriege
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Emmy's Pickles – Back in Stock!


You all liked Emmy's Pickles so much, we sold out! So, we ordered a bunch more and got to meet Emmy in person when she dropped off the loot the other day. Turns out she's a San Francisco native with a passion for combing the farmer's markets for beautiful organic produce worthy of brining.

From big ol' whole dills to more nontraditional preserves like her turmeric infused cauliflower, she has been pickling away since her college days in New York. Lucky for us, she's back in the Bay Area and sharing the goodness. Her pickles even recently won her a Good Food Award.

Here's what we've got in stock. These make great hostess gifts!

Golden Beets
Jalapeño and Carrots
Turmeric Cauliflower
Whole Dills
Bread n' Butter Pickles

And by the way, if you haven't seen the Portlandia sketch "We Can Pickle That," you should really give it a watch.

Nicole Grant Kriege
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The New Old

We are so excited to welcome a new vendor to the shop, Faribault Mills.

Faribault Woolen Mill Company is an American legend. This historic mill is nestled along the Cannon River in Minnesota.  The only fully integrated domestic woolen operation still in existence - making blankets, throws and accessories, using techniques and machinery virtually unchanged over time. Each day, they weave fibers and American pride into goods with a simple beauty and durability of purpose - destined to become family heirlooms for generations to come. Founded in 1856, the 147-year-old story continues.

I love Faribault's business philosophy on their website.. And while our products are current and forward thinking, the techniques and machinery used to make them are virtually unchanged - now in the hands of a fifth generation of craftspeople who, each day, weave luxurious fibers and American pride together into something very special.

Perhaps it’s this history that gives Faribault Woolen Mill its long-view perspective about how a company should be run and how products should be made to perform. Perhaps it’s also what inspired a new generation of family owners to revive the tradition and machines that had recently lain dormant for two years - revitalizing a community and creating a new sense of purpose - reestablishing our heritage and combining it with an optimistic focus on the future.

kerri johnson
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We Are All in This Together

"We Are All in This Together"

That is a statement we feel strongly about. At M and R we are proud to work with vendors and companies who give back to their communities and/or use sustainable manufacturing practices.  We will continue our commitment to community and environment by searching for recycled alternatives in packaging, working with US union shops for manufacturing, and making a conscious effort to work with designers and artists who also hold the same standards and practices as important. 

L.A. based Sugarcube Press who make all of their cards from 100% cotton rag paper (the cotton is reclaimed from the garment industry), use non-toxic inks, and compostable clear protective sleeves made from corn. 

Oakland based Modify'D make all of their products from upcycled cashmere and fabrics purchsed from the garment industry. They rescue sample sweaters and manufacturing mis-steps that were destined for the landfill and turn them into super snuggly stuffies, arm warmers, dog beds, hats and more...PLUS they give 5% of their profits to different animal causes!

Bay Area based Juniper Ridge are all about sustainability. They physically go out and sustainably harvest wild plants along the West Coast, distillign them down to make natural room sprays, soap, incense and tea. They use eco friendly packaging that is made from recycled materials and often times compostable! Giving 10% of thier profits to defending Western Wilderness. 

MA based Two Trick Pony create eco-friendly paper goods using non-toxicwater based inks and 100% post consumer recycled papers. They also create special products for their "charity" line. Giving proceeds to animal sanctuaries, Sandy Relief and Freedom to Marry.  



kerri johnson
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Happy New Year!

As we wind down the first month of 2013 we have much to be excited about!


We celebrated our first year of business in December and want to take a minute to thank everyone for your support and love in 2012.

Look Ahead:

We are steadily populating our online shop with some great new products perfect for gift giving and maybe a little personal indulgence!  Stay tuned for gift sets for babies, housewarming and weddings.  Happy 2013!


kerri johnson
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Welcome to Marion and Rose's Online shop

Welcome to our online shop.  We will be adding new products everyday through the holiday season. We are excited to be offering special gift sets and one of the best selections of fun and festive holiday letterpress cards in town.  We are excited to be working with some of the best artisans in the Bay Area and beyond. We search far and wide to find the best in unique, high quality items to present to you. 

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