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Cover | Father Arthur Poulin

Invito/Invitacion (acrylic on canvas). Father Arthur Poulin, monk and artist, tries to reflect in his paintings the stunning, sacred beauty that is mirrored everywhere in creation. Invito/Invitacion, for example, invites the viewer into a mysterious landscape where night and day, heaven and earth, human and divine, are united. In the contemplative process Father Poulin has developed, he begins by covering the canvas with black gesso (as many as 25 layers). He then adds minute brush strokes and tiny dots of color that grow into a whole through a sacred journeying from darkness to light, from the unknown to the known, from chaos to unity. Currently, Father Poulin is working exclusively out of Incarnation Monastery in the Berkeley hills where he lives and works. Contact him at

Monthly Gift Guide

GIFT GUIDE COVER | Timothy Cummings

Winter Bride, (2007, acrylic on panel, 24 by 18 inches). Timothy Cummings’s paintings are vivid and startling, blending gender, age, and sexuality with surrealism, strong narratives, and traditional portraiture. A self-taught painter, his delicate hand and rendering skills defy his lack of formal training. Cummings’s work has been included in exhibitions throughout the United States, including San Francisco State University; the Art Museum, Florida International University, Miami; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; LACE Gallery, Los Angeles; and Southern Exposure, San Francisco. His work has been reviewed in Art in America, Juxtapoz, Art Papers, Flash Art, Details, San Francisco Examiner, and San Francisco Magazine. He has been represented by Catharine Clark Gallery since 1994. Cummings lives and works in San Francisco. The Catharine Clark Gallery, adjacent to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, emphasizes content-driven work from contemporary artists that challenges both the traditional use of materials and formal aesthetics. For more info:

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Digital Edition

Read a digital version of The Monthly in a format that allows you to turn the pages like the print edition. Click on the moving pages, above.


December 2012 Issue:
Table of Contents

FEATURE |  Moving
Enjoy the fruits of our latest creative writing contest, a twice-a-year feature that’s a favorite of readers and writers alike. As always, we asked local scribes to riff—with originality and verve—on the merest thread of a theme. Read and weep (and chuckle, too).
By Stacy Appel, Chris Malcomb, Robert Menzimer, Maureen Ellen O’Leary, and Greta Wu.

UP FRONT |  A Bassist Bounces Back
Bassist Ron Crotty, an Oakland native who cut his chops playing with the likes of Dave Brubeck and Cal Tjader in the ’40s, is alive and well—and gigging at the Oakland Museum’s Blue Oak Café. 
By Andrew Gilbert.

The Kilduff File |  Broke-Ass Stuart
Stuart Schuffman, an expert in living low on the hog, explains how to give when you got nothin’.  By Paul Kilduff

From chotchkes to comestibles, our annual “shop local” advertising supplement. Plus: Charity Begins at Home--A seasonal short list of local causes that could use a buck or a hand. By Kate Madden Yee. View the Holiday Gift Guide in our digital edition.

Available in print and in the
digital edition above:

Editor’s Note:
a look at this month’s issue and commentary on life in the East Bay

Letters: reader responses to The Monthly’s stories|

Be East Bay: an introduction to interesting people, places and events in your community

Critics Choice: highlights of this month’s happenings in art, theater, film, dance and music

Boutique Bazaar: distinctive small shops in the East Bay

Food for Thought: local caterers and food and wine purveyors

Dining Guide: a selection of East Bay restaurants

Marketplace Home: a catalog of services for your home and garden

Marketplace Services: a catalog of personal and creative services

Kartoon Korner: editorial cartoons to entertain and agitate

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