My Grandma!

This is my Grandma. :o)

Two months after I turn 30 in 2010, my Grandma will turn 90. Yay Grandma!

Her name is Juanita and she has lived in Garden Grove, California since she was born. Crazy, huh? (Well, except for the short time she spent living at her sister's house in Long Beach, CA, where she just happened to fall in love with the neighbor boy -- My Grandpa!) :oD

I love my Grandma.

Nami Print :o)

Well, though I am certainly still sad that the original painting no longer exists, I'm pleased to offer a print version of Nami in my Etsy shop. :o)

Normally when I release prints, the original version is sold, and living happily in someone's home. This time, a print is all that remains. Thank goodness I took a lot of photos. I'm printing this one as 11x14, rather than my usual 8x10. It just seemed to deserve a bigger size. :o) All my prints come in a protective plastic sleeve with double-thick white backing board. They are mailed in sturdy, stay-flat envelopes.

Thanks to all who made it out to see Nami before the fire. I'm so glad you did. I wish I had spent more time there before it happened. :o( Even so, it was a great experience working on this piece and I'm eternally grateful to have a beautiful print in its place.

Maybe one day I'll work up the energy to make a new Nami. In the meantime, I think I'll frame this and hang it in my bedroom. It's a really good message to wake up to each day. It's hard to look at it and not be reminded to always appreciate what I have. :o)

Put a Little Love in Your Heart

This is incredible. :oO

[a little bit of love, a little bit of love now ]

Merry Christmas!!

Stillness . 20x20 inches . 2009

1. natural light (near a window)
2. artificial interior lights
3. interior and UV lighting combined
4. UV lighting (blacklight)
5. no light (glowing in darkness)

This is a heavy painting. It took me a very long time to build up that much texture. It's comprised of acrylic and lots of beach sand.

I've been thinking about the moon a lot lately, in part because at certain times of year we have a perfect view of it through our high windows. The night has seemed very quiet to me. Maybe that's a factor of it being Winter, I'm not sure. And I'm not saying this painting is of the moon, our Moon, but it's definitely one of the closest representations of Our Moon that I've done so far. I didn't mean it to be. It just sort of happened that way.

[and now for some technical, artsy blathering:]

It's funny how my idea of each painting changes as I'm working on it. At this moment, I can't remember what color this piece started out as, though I know it was different from how it ultimately ended up. Various aspects contribute to this change, be it other art I'm working on simultaneously, or something more like a change of heart. Often I realize that the color I had imagined in my mind before I began was wrong. Even so, it was that initial "wrong" idea that inevitably brought me to how it ended.

I love the way different UV colors react in different lighting conditions. The mixed lighting (in the middle image) really brings out all the warm undertones, while still appearing almost white in color. As you can see between the last two images, the red pigment shows up strongly when the blacklight is on, but fades quickly in total darkness, so that the painting changes into a totally different color scheme one last time.

Many of these aspects happen by accident as I'm painting. :o) One of the major ways I create is to allow chaos to change what I'm doing. Embracing or taming the chaos is part of the fun.

Look at this neat, shadowy picture showing all the texture that I caught when the sun was pouring through the windows one late afternoon:

Stillness is available in my Etsy shop

Give a Goat!! Merry Christmas from Pomplamoose!


What do you want for Christmas?

How bout a little Perspective?

I love Christmas. Always have. My Grandpa, when he was alive, joked every single year that it was "time to put up the Christmas tree" as soon as June rolled around. Admittedly, I have lost some of my childhood love for the holiday, only because now I feel it approaches too fast, leaves me exhausted, and doesn't seem to fit into my schedule anymore. It was quite an achievement that we brought our tree in the weekend after Thanksgiving this year.

What is Christmas anyway? Or rather, what should it be? Not shopping. Not cookies. Not time spent arguing over the necessity of saying "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays" or, gasp, writing X-mas instead of the whole word out. Do we really have this much time on our hands?

I was emailing with someone at Acres of Love today, who told me a story of something that happened last month:

"Early in November, we received in our care, a beautiful little girl. She was born prematurely on 18 October, 2009. She is TINY! Her head and body are the size of a woman’s hand. At birth she weighed 1.9 kg (4.2 lbs.) This little princess, only 4 days old and although so small and innocent, has to take AZT medication as she has been exposed to the HIV virus. She has sores on her mouth too which are being treated. Strangely she was born with an extra little finger on each hand but these are in the process of being removed."

And that's just one of many, many situations that happen on a daily basis at Acres of Love. I'm constantly grateful for the people involved whenever I hear one of these stories. They not only provide a basic, breathing, physical opportunity for life for all of these sick and orphaned children, but they aim to give a quality life to each one. A rich life, a full life, a life with hope and possibility. How much is hope worth to you? How much is it worth to them?

Perspective. It hit me like a freight train.

Just... something to think about.

hi. Welcome to the beginning of the rest of my blogging life.

Truthfully, I started this, quietly, a couple of weeks ago, and had been planning it for, oh... 3 years now.

Actually the "shayoa" thing was never supposed to be permanent. I don't really know what it means either, so if you were ever waiting for me to explain it, there is unfortunately only a lame reason behind it. That being, a joke between a friend of mine I that spawned a blog address that was supposed to give me an opportunity to "try out" blogging and a have a place to upload paintings for people to see. I was originally only going to use it for a couple of weeks, maybe a few months, and then move over to an "official" name, whence I became comfortable doing so.

And now here we are. :oP

Everything from the previous blog has been transferred over, so my whole entire blogging history still remains, but now it's attached to my actual name. Progress!

Not that I only just now became comfortable with blogging. This was mostly a result of laziness. Also, the more I blogged over there, the harder it seemed to switch. In fact, I have a stack of new moo cards that all have the shayoa blog on it. What am I going to do with those?

Give them out, that's what. I'm not going to wait on timing to be perfect anymore. So what. People will see the other, final blog post that says I'm over here now.

But anyway. Yay! My official name and everything.

If you're so inclined, go back and read the few bits I've (secretly) posted that only exist on this blog. Yes, there is a really, really long one about Iron Chef. Deal with it. It might happen again. You have been warned. :oO

One of my favorite things.

Isn't this great? It's vintage crystal and it belonged to my Grandpa. :o) You can't see it, but there's a flower carved into the bottom.

I kept it, even though I didn't really have anything to put in it (we're mostly wine drinkers) because it's a great piece either way. This year it dawned on us that we do occasionally buy other alcohol, especially around the holidays, for things like eggnog and hot toddies. :oD Now, instead of hiding the ugly bottle of brandy in the cupboard, we can use this awesome decanter.

I love when possessions have a purpose. :o)

Sunset Rhapsody . 12x16 inches . 2009

1. natural light (tree shadows included)
2. artificial light
3. artificial light + blacklight = magic
4. uv/blacklight only
5. no light! no light i say! it glows in the dark!

And it's color changing! :oO

Okay, so that's not exactly new for me, but it's still awesome, and this one changes into a rainbow of colors. Sweet. I love my glow pigments.

Actually, I really wanted this piece to highlight all my Light Reactive techniques, so that each image would look very different from the next. I think it worked out pretty well. :oD The only difficulty I had was taking pictures of it in natural light. There are so many trees around where I live and the early December sun is at such an angle that it was virtually impossible to find a spot in my house that didn't have shadows from the trees. Personally, I thought that looked kind of rad, but I didn't want anyone to think that the huge dark patches were part of the painting itself. Fortunately, I managed to get one shot where the shadows were minimal.

Sunlight is cool. It's alive. ;o)

Sunset Rhapsody is available in my Etsy shop.

Iron Chef rant.

Prepare yourselves. I really am going to blog about this.

So, to give a little context here, Colin and I rarely get into TV shows. (Minus LOST.) I hate being emotionally involved in a show that I have to watch regularly. (Except for LOST. The universe stops for LOST.) We don't watch a fraction of the various shows our friends rave about, suggest to us, buy dvds of, or have on at parties with the sound off because they've already seen it 6 times. In fact, for the months of October and November, I even forgot about The Office, which might be the only other series we even watch. We had to catch up on like 6 episodes one night when we remembered that it existed at all.

Anyway. So that brings me to the weeks we utterly wasted after accidentally catching the first episode of The Next Iron Chef on the Food Network. It didn't seem to offer much, and we were bored. Granted, we were huge fans of the REAL Iron Chef series, back when it aired in the 90s and was a Japanese cult favorite. Now that was some awesome food television. Occasionally we've flipped on Iron Chef America, usually with the hope that Chef Morimoto would be competing. The rest of the series annoyed me. To say it was "Americanized" doesn't quite cover it.

But I digress. I didn't come here to whine about what a mockery of a cooking show Iron Chef America is, although I could.

The thing that really caught our attention that one fateful night we decided to watch The Next Iron Chef was this. HIM.

(courtesy of/stolen from

Chef Jehangir Mehta. Born in Mumbai. Specializes in pastries. Owns Graffiti restaurant in New York City. Slightly weird, yet completely awesome. Colin does an impression of him that you would really find entertaining if you watched this series or gave a rat's ass that I was even talking about this.

AN INDIAN IRON CHEF?!? I've been waiting for this since like 1996. Indian cuisine was by far the most underrepresented style of cooking on all Iron Chef shows, America and Japan.

So yes. We were hooked. And guess what? HE MADE IT TO THE VERY END! YAY! Suddenly I was rewriting all my negative feelings about Iron Chef America. Maybe they were trying to rework their whole format. Maybe they too noticed the lack of Indian cuisine. Maybe this whole series was all a farce generated specifically to get Chef Mehta on the show. Think of what he would add! Think of how he would balance the cast! :oO

But, no. They weren't thinking any of those things. Mehta's competition, of course, was Chef Jose Garces, a South American influenced chef born in Chicago and working in Philly. Now, I don't actually have anything against Garces, except that he was boring, and seemed to be some sort of cross between Bobby Flay and Michael Symon. And who wants to watch another down-home-semi-spicy-American-grill-boy on a show with so many others just like him anyway? Apparently the people at the Food Network, that's who. I knew it was over the moment they announced the secret ingredient.

Ribs. What? RIBS?! That's the "fair ingredient" you came up with? Are you on crack, Alton? RIBS? Between a latin grill cook and a PASTRY CHEF FROM INDIA?! I can think of 10 things off the top of my head that would be more fair than ribs. How bout corn, Alton? Maybe chilies? Bananas? Butter even? AGH. I wanna see Chef Garces grill up a strawberry.

And to cement the whole situation, of course they decided to bring out 3 current Iron Chefs to contribute to the judgment, along with the regular judges, despite the fact that they were never present at any other time in the competition (okay, Morimoto was once) and had no possible way of gauging the overall cooking abilities of the 2 chefs over the course of the last however-many-weeks we've been doing this. Why have the same 3 judges for the ENTIRE competition if not so they would have a complete, varied experience with these 2 chefs' cooking skills? Why do Morimoto, Flay, and Symon suddenly get a say in any of this? Because they're Iron Chefs too? Then why weren't they present THE WHOLE TIME?

And of course Flay and Symon liked Garces better. Of course they noted his exceptional grilling skills. Grunt. Grill. Meat. Grunt. Even Jeffrey Steingarten (one of the judges) pointed this out when he countered with "You only like him because he cooks like you do." To their shock and dismay. Ugh. In fact, all the judges seemed to have the same issue, which was the inverse of Flay and Symon's opinion. "Yes, Garces can cook well in a technical sense, but he's boring. It was all boring." They went on to note Chef Mehta's moments of genius and creativity, factors they felt were important in awarding the title of Iron Chef. As anyone sane at the Food Network would realize. In fact, they made sure to mention that not only did Mehta create the best dish of the entire night (which Flay and Symon agreed with) but last week he also created the best dish of the entire competition. Sure, maybe he added too many flower decorations to his plating, but he would also be different from any other chef on the show. Including Morimoto.

But of course Garces won. I bet it was nearly tied between the regular judges, who seemed to prefer Mehta, and the Iron Chef judges, who showed up for the day to add points toward Chef Garces. I notice they didn't actually show the final scores. Fair, Alton? Fair is not one of the words I'd use here. (I furthermore wouldn't constantly comment about how Kevin Brauch is Canadian all the time, but that's another story.) I'm certainly less inspired to watch Iron Chef America now, whereas I may have become a new fan after a win for Chef Mehta. Oh well. However, according to the statistics I've seen on, Bobby Flay is by far the preferred Iron Chef of all, so already I know that most of America doesn't agree with me.

Score yet another for the down-home-semi-spicy-American-grill-boys.

Jehangir Mehta, you rock. And your messenger bag was KILLER.

[and to the rest of you: oh come off it, i know this was long and self-indulgent. why are you even reading this anyway? this blog doesn't exist yet.]


[This new blog begins today. Everything from the last 3 years has been transferred over.]

I don't know what it is that holds me back from blogging. It has to be something. I have the time. I have the interest. Well, I'm interested in the concept of blogging, and I'm interested in the fact that other people I know have the capacity to blog regularly. Whenever I sit down to actually blog any of the millions of random things floating around in my brain at any given time, I freeze up and forget what I wanted to say in the first place, assuming I don't suddenly feel completely and utterly bored with it, bored with myself. I think I find myself uninteresting. This of course makes me fear that others will find me just as uninteresting, and that makes me shut down blogger and check to see if Twitter has been updated in the last 10 seconds with anything that is interesting.

Welcome to my introversion.

But, this mentality totally conflicts with a couple of things.

1.) I want to be BOLDER in my life. I've been saying I want to be less bashful in my 30s than I have been in my 20s. I have exactly 43 days to figure out what that means and how to do that.

2.) I want to regroup and retool my business, my art career, and my public/online presence relating to those things. I want to do that yesterday, so I'm kind of behind in figuring out how to do that.

We are in process here. Can you feel it?? Can you feel THE PROCESS?!

Oh wait, you don't even know this new blog exists yet. Well, HA. hahahahhaa. A secret. Something that you don't know. Unless you google my name. Then you might. Okay maybe "secret" isn't the right word. I just wanted to feel special about something. And maybe "new blog" isn't the right term either, since it's the same blog, with the same stuff, except for this post you may or may not be reading now. But LOOK! MY NAME!! In the URL!! :oO