Wednesday, March 31, 2010

a little less overwhelmed...

So, it has been a week since my last post.  I have been feeling a bit better than I did last week... mind you, my life still feels overwhelming, but I have been able to gain a better perspective.  One thing that definitely helped was visiting Tiger Wings blog.  She won my last art giveaway and had such nice things to say about her prize.  it made me so happy!  I also sold a painting to a wonderful woman in Texas who loves butterflies:-)
I also taught this weekend, which always leaves me feeling energized and connected.  I teach a masters level course at Dominican University on Domestic Violence Assessment and Treatment.  It is a hard subject matter- but something that I feel passionate about.  I used to do work with survivors and their children- and for many years,  I also facilitated 52 week batterer's intervention groups mandated through the courts here in the Bay Area.  One of my favorite things about teaching is having my students make art.  I have always found art to be the best way of reaching people.  I would often make the men who struggled to overcome violence use art to get in touch with those emotions that they had stuffed away or just replaced with anger.  Anyway, even given some technical difficulties- the class went extremely well. 
I also have had a small breakthrough in my little altar!  I am hoping to finish it this week and post some pictures.  So, things are always in motion.  
I painted the painting at the beginning of this post a long time ago- when  I was very much struggling and overwhelmed.  I was trying to find a place in my career, I was having severe health issues, and I had just dissolved a marriage of ten years.  I had a dream that through bruised and torn skin emerged butterflies.  Although it was painful, I guess I knew that it would be transformative.   I guess it is always in those uncomfortable places where we grow the most.  I love so many aspects of my life right now... and they would not have ever happened had I not cried all those tears many years ago. 
I am planning another giveaway for this weekend and whenever the sun comes out, I will take some pictures of some new art!  Rain rain go away...

Monday, March 22, 2010


I feel kind of emotional today.  I am not sure why exactly.  It was a hard day at work... I am not sleeping enough...I have to teach this weekend... I want to make art  (but I am completely unmotivated.) daughter has been acting like a three year old.... my son has been waking up at two every morning.. my mom just finished chemo but we don't know yet if she is cancer free... my living space is extremely bay area tiny...  and I am overwhelmed.  Some days I deal with the overwhelm better than other days
 I sent a picture of myself with my son in his sling to my parents.  My mom's only comment was, "You look sooo tired.  Are you okay?"  Of course I am tired.  I am 42 years old, I work forty hours a week, and I have two children under the age of four.  If I looked beautiful and well rested- I think something would be seriously wrong.
So, I have spent this evening reading sad blogs and sobbing a bit.  Oh well.  I did take this fun picture of my daughter in the  bathtub.  I used photoshop to play with the colors.  I think it has a nice dreamy quality.  Okay... I better go to sleep.  Hopefully tomorrow things will feel better.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


For the last few nights I have been hard at work creating my shrine for the auction to benefit the Oaxacan Street Children.    It is definitely difficult to get in a groove when  I can only work when everyone falls asleep.  I keep reminding myself that things will get easier with time- that now is when raising children is physically overwhelming (later it will be emotionally overwhelming, and I am sure I will be nostalgic for these easier days).  Anyway... I thought I would share my progress
I have only worked on the inside of the cigar box.  In the lid, I did a painting representing night.  It is hard to photograph well because I used a lot of gold and blue interference paint- so in person it shimmers.  On the other side, I did a painting of a skeleton on bristol board, cut it out, and I have it floating in the space.  I covered the inside in decorative paper and painted a small bird.  I made a ton of paper flowers, but realize now that I don't really think they add much to the piece- so I am leaving them out for now.
Tomorrow night, I will try to figure out what I am going to do with the exterior of the box... as long as everyone goes to sleep on time.  If you want to see an amazing shrine by Christine Alvarado- click here

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Inspired Distraction

I have talked a bit before about my deficiencies in the realm of attention.  I have such difficulty staying on task and if I don't complete a project in a week - it will sit in my little studio space for years without being finished.   As a therapist, I often want to psychoanalyze this character flaw - but I think the real issue is that I become inspired so often by things that are beautiful.  So- in honor of beautiful things, I decided to have my monthly blog post where I can show you the artwork that is distracting me.   (The above painting is a self portrait I made over twenty years ago.  I just realized it is hanging over the baby's changing table... maybe I need to move it.)
This is a textile work that I am utterly in love with.  It is by a woman named Betty Busby.  You can click on her image to visit her etsy store. She has a slide show of her work here.  I look at this, and I think- maybe I should work with textiles.. I want to try!
Another textile work that I have fallen in love with.  The artist, Jen Swearington, creates these beautiful pieces on recycled bed sheets.  It is taking everything in me not to go searching through my linens for a discarded pillow case so that I can give it a go.
This little bird is by the artist Emily Sutton.  I just think it is amazing.  Her website is full of whimsical songbirds and illustrations.  I decide that I need more birds in my artwork.  I have a few hummingbird pieces and a couple of crow pieces...

Every time I read my daughter an Ana Juan book I decide that maybe I should illustrate a children's book.  If you haven't read her books- I would really recommend them.  The artwork is stunning, emotional, and magical.  You can visit her website here.
  I become so overwhelmed with creative possibilities that I end up not getting much of anything accomplished.   Anyone else become paralyzed with creative possibilities?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

March Give-away!

I had so much fun giving away some art last month, that I have decided that  I want to do it every month.  So- this month  I am giving away a set of "Global Children" ACEO prints (Art Cards, Editions, & Originals)  The set includes Afghanistan, Miao, and Unknown child.  I love making artist cards because of their size.  Something about the small nature of the cards creates intimacy.  I also like that I can complete the painting while children are napping or in one evening 

The details...
This is a set of three 2.5"x3.5" prints of original artwork. They are printed using archival pigmented inks on Museo Max archival fine art paper (250 gsm). Each piece is signed and dated on the back. Watermark will not be present on final images.

So what do you have to do to enter this drawing?  Simply leave a comment after this post.  Please be sure that your comment will connect me to your e-mail address.  I will use the random number generator to pick a winner on March 13th.  If for some reason I can not reach the person who wins by March 15th, I will select someone new.

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