Sunday, November 14, 2010

It's like a Tower

My little boy walked into the kitchen while we were making dinner tonight and said:

"The easiest way to become poor is
lose your job,
then try to be an artist.

It's like a Tower
that's falling. . .

with only a little bit
to hold it up."

The observations of an 8 yr old can be quite profound.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


'Invision' by Jesse Reno

Went Downtown today. Don't get down there much anymore. It's a big deal for us to muster up the energy to cross the river, especially when it's so dark, dreary and drizzly out! But we were headed to a Birthday party and I wanted to pop in to the Grand Opening of Crafty Wonderland's Pop-Up Shop! It sure was gray and soggy out, Portland's typical Falling-into-Winter fashion. But downtown was bustling! The streets were full of people walking and shopping. They can't all be loaded, I thought, they can't all be tourists. Who are all these pretty people out in the rain with money to burn?

After perusing the Small Wonders Art Show and partaking in a crafty cupcake, I wandered into Art Media for the first time since Art School. What a blast from the past! Same guy was still working there! He looked at me with a glance that seemed slightly beyond retail protocol. Did he remember me? I used to spend what felt like hours browsing paints, pretty papers and portfolios back in the day. I went to school 2 Park blocks up. My studio was just around the corner. These were my old stomping grounds. It's been 12 years! My mini skirt and suede platform boots retired to the Goodwill many moons ago. I'm a gray-haired, married mama now, in cheap jeans and comfortable shoes. . . on my way to play glow-in-the-dark mini-golf with a few close kid friends. Who could possibly recognize me now!

Big N and n8 were waiting for me by the door. I bought 2 magazines -and without even any argument from Big N! A luxurious splurge indeed, but I think he realized how much it meant to me. I bought the latest issue of Juxtapoz -which has pretty much shaped and defined most of what I appreciate about art for the last 15 years, and a rag called Somerset Studio. No offense, but normally I never would have even reached for the latter -even though I know a lot of my friends read it and really love it! Some of the more textural collage stuff is nice, but most of it is a little too frilly for me, and I don't really go for mass market shabby chic. I realize that mine is an unpopular opinion, especially now when art journaling and soul collage is so HOT! Though some of it is really beautiful, I just don't want to make that kind of art. Therefore I will probably never amount to much -since that is the art people seem to want. Any way, I bought the mag because I had heard that this month's issue had an interview with Jesse Reno! Who would have expected it?! Such a juxtaposition of style (ha ha). In fact, there is a grumbly letter to the editor about the magazine's recent "new direction".

I got to meet Jesse Reno and see him work last month during Open Studios. It was a heart-pumping, jaw-dropping experience that I got to share with a friend. We both walked out of his studio with goosebumps and all we could say was "Woooah" -in that speechless Keanu Reeves sort of way. Jesse represents the grace of living in the Groove. We could feel it the minute we walked from the outside world into his. This is it, I thought. THIS is what I want to be! I want to be one with art: breathe it, dream it, make it, BE it! I want art to support my life and my life to support my art. Watching him paint, listening to him describe his process and tell his painting's stories was an exciting glimpse into a world I so desperately want to be in. And for that moment I was in it (vicariously) . . . until me and my fellow mom-friend walked out the door and back into our world.

Are you living the Life you were meant to live?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Importance of Family

Zoe Harris who studied Day of the Dead in Mexico Photo Credit Robin Collins

This my Aunt Zoe celebrating Dia de los Muertos in San Rafael, CA. She has always been a HUGE inspiration to me. I have fond memories of her introducing me to the magical world of this Mexican Holiday back when I was a wide-eyed little girl, soaking in all the wonderment of the festivities in the Mission District of San Francisco. I cling to a dream of traveling to Mexico with her one day, a sort of pilgrimage to the source of the Folk Art that kindles my creative spark.

You can read a great article on this year's celebration here

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Last Ripe Tomato

The last ripe tomato
is falling from grace.
Unrequited and forlorn,
withdrawing from the race.

The season of growth is over.
The season of rot is closing in.




How affected by Nature is your internal world?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Muertos Season

Muertos Season is upon us and October is full of Day of the Dead shows happening all over town. For the past few weeks I have been buried in sequins and glitter, painting skeleton smiles with bottle cap eyes to prepare for my show -opening Last Thursday, 9-30 at Fantasma on Alberta. I have been having a lot of fun playing with new techniques and designs and am excited to bring them out of the Bone Cave into the light of the world at large! If you have never attended Last Thursday, THIS is your chance to get off the couch and step out into the street on a lovely, lively evening of ART, music, dance and spectacle. I will be at Fantasma from 6 -8pm -presenting my new assortment of Calaveras and sharing the spotlight with the Elegant Linda Rand. Hope to see you there!

If you can't make the Last Thursday festivities, I will be at Redux on Burnside for a First Friday opening of the 2nd Annual Halloween Show! Such a thrill to be included in this group show once again! This year's theme is:
skulls & cross bones.

Loving this BUSY time of year!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Viva la Vida!

I've been thinking a lot about TIME lately. How little I seem to have in a day (or left in my life) and how fast it's flying by. This is picture of me when I lived and worked in Yosemite, around 20 years ago. That sounds so surreal to say! The concept of that much time eludes me, I can't seem to grasp the enormity or the brevity of it. So much has happened since then, yet could be considered merely a blip when I look back on it in my 90s. I can only hope to live that long, but life has a way of randomly being cut short when you least expect it. There is no way to know how much time I have left, all I know is how vital every second of it feels to me right now. I have become obsessed with how I spend my time, who I spend it with and what I spend it on.

A guy I know recently celebrated his birthday and in his invite to friends to help him celebrate, he wrote that what he cherished most in life was his time, whether it was spent being a hermit or hanging with friends or making art and/or love, if he had ever kicked it with you remember that he gave you the most valuable part of himself, cuz he couldn't get that time back to use somewhere else. This made his offer of spending time with him seem incredibly special and struck me how time in itself can be a meaningful gift.

A lot of my friends are now attending their 20 and 30 year high school reunions. An obscure mark of time to me, but an inevitable rite of passage into middle age it seems. I was not invited to a reunion, since I dropped out of high school and took a completely different path. Instead of going on to college and developing a career, I chose to go into the mountains and develop the art of experience. Living in Yosemite was like waking up to the most beautiful painting everyday, and every time you blinked it would become more beautiful in new and different ways. That painting pulled me in and I became a part of it and in turn, it will always be a part of me. It was the richest gift I could give myself and time well spent (9 years!).

Every minute of everyday, I am making decisions based on my priorities. Tricky part is that those priorities have a way of shifting around on me! Earlier this year, I put art on hold to try something completely different. It was an incredibly rewarding lesson for me to attempt to organize an event of that magnitude -and pull it off. Someday I will get around to blogging about it! The most valuable thing I gained from it all was the relationships I formed and strengthened with other parent volunteers and artists through the experience. I lost my art for a while, but I gained a lot of love.

When it comes right down to it, Love really is what matters most to me. Time well spent is a form of love: loving your life.