In the thick of it

I feel like a broken record. People have been asking us 'what we're up to lately' and we honestly only have one response:

Art show. Art show Art show Art show Art show Art show Art show Art show.

Art show.

Art. Making art. Art art art.

Oh, the art. That's where I've been. 12 hours a day, not coming up for air, not going outside for days at a time, not realizing how many days have passed. I'm sure if I planned better and started earlier, I wouldn't be so buried in work towards the end, but... That's how I work. I'll improve as I go, the more shows I have, the more I do, but for the time being, I really think this "atmosphere" is what invigorates me. I'm not inspired enough until the deadline is nearer. It's then that I can figure out how to do everything. It's only when I feel pressure that I start moving quickly.

It's probably not ideal, but that's what I feed off of. In further reading of Twyla Tharp's The Creative Habit, she talks about certain characteristics being in one's creative "DNA," in that we have certain habits we tend toward naturally. I can definitely see how I'm an artist, and more than that, a painter. I'm fine spending hours and days holed up in my small home working, working, working. Just me and art. I don't notice that it's getting dark until I find myself straining to see my work. I don't need to see people, or talk to anyone, I just paint and paint and paint. And I'm fine with that. Others have asked me "how I do it" and mention that they go stir-crazy at the attempt and need to leave the house after just a few hours of work. What can I say? We have different DNA. Obviously we're not all meant to live this lifestyle. The truth is, it's easy for me. I thrive in it.

Fortunately, unlike most painters, I have a lifetime of public performance & speaking experience under my belt, so when it's time to go out and present, I'm cool with that too. I like being in front of people, I like being on stage. I'm good at it.

It's really a perfect balance for me.


(And that's not even Hawaii! You win this round, California.)

I mentioned my current fitness regime in a recent post on Resolutions, but I learned something new about it over the weekend.

I began my daily routine in October, after a couple years of on-again off-again attempts at finding an exercise system that I was willing to do consistently. I've been doing yoga semi-regularly for about 4 years now, but it wasn't achieving the level of "fitness" (meaning, 6-pack) that I desired. It definitely helps with a lot of things, specifically muscle-tension and stress, and I wouldn't find any fitness regime complete without a regular yoga practice.

In October, I had an awakening about my life and how I needed to include daily fitness in it at some point, and I knew that it was only going to get harder for me. If I didn't start now and stick with it, I never would. That scared me.

So I did. I've been consistent since then. Today I started my 14th week. Whenever I have to miss a day during the week, I feel off-center and unbalanced, like something's missing. I couldn't put my finger on what it was, but I felt like I had too much energy, and couldn't focus as well.

Over the weekend, I started reading Twyla Tharp's book, The Creative Habit. She discussed her morning workout routine, but likened it to a ritual that she performs each day in order to allow herself into a mental space primed for creativity. It gives her focus.

Of course. Focus. I was no longer seeking a 6-pack (not that I mind the one starting to form) but instead the mental clarity that came with putting myself through a consistent ritual, one that expelled excess energy and gave me a sense of discipline and accomplishment. I'd convinced myself, somehow, that spending those 45 minutes working out my physical body was the number one most important thing I could do each day.

What I wasn't expecting was the mental discipline that carried over into my art. I now see my tasks more clearly. I know better how to accomplish them. I feel inspired. I'm getting tons of ideas as I work. I feel more disciplined. I'm starting to handle every single thing in my life in a more productive way. That 45 minutes each morning is actually making it so I accomplish more as the day wears on. I feel like I have more time.


Now I just need to learn a way to quiet my mind sufficiently so that I might feel sleepy when I go to bed and get a long, full night's rest and I'll be set. ;o)

Atemporal . 48x24 inches . 2011

1. natural lighting
2. artificial (interior) lighting
3. combined uv and interior lighting
4. uv lighting only
5. no light (glow in the dark)

Ingredients: acrylic, sand, phosphorescent pigments, varnish, water & light on canvas.

[ey-tem-per-uhl, ey-tem-pruhl]


      free from limitations of time.

Without time. Outside of time.

I've often made paintings that represent both old and new, existing as both ancient and futuristic in style. My interest in this is part due to a fascination with ancient technology, but also an element of imagination as to what that means. Ancient as we know it? Ancient for another time? Is it possible that "ancient technology" is entirely different than we think it to be? We really only have theories. But more than this, my "ancient/futuristic" paintings don't necessarily pertain to any timeline we've ever been a part of. I'm not sure it's representing us, per se. Maybe it's our distant future. Maybe the "ancient" I speak of is really us, as we exist right now in this moment. At some point in the future, our present is someone else's past. Maybe my imagination is simply dreaming up a timeline that doesn't exist. Maybe.

I like to think this piece was inspired by the stone-working of a temple somewhere, maybe not here, maybe not in the past. Maybe it hasn't been made yet. ;o)

This is a sister painting to Garden, but although their basis is similar, the emotional feel of Atemporal is quite the opposite of an aged, dry, weathered look. This time I went for liquid. White. Almost metallic. Definitely something that needs to be observed in person as you walk around it. Colors change, and at times it seems almost made of mother-of-pearl and abalone shell.

Isn't that neat? :)

This piece is part of my brand new collection that will be displayed at my upcoming solo show on March 26th, 2011 in Los Angeles. Visit my website for information about the show. If you'd like to reserve the painting by purchasing it before the show, contact me for details.

UPDATE: This painting is now sold. Come see it at the show before it leaves for Oregon! :)

Brand New Site

New website up!!

Go. Go look. Now. It's neat.

It will allow me to update it myself, whenever I like. :) (Rather than relying on the free-time of my graphic designer husband.) I'll be adding stuff as I go.


New painting this week too. Everything is coming together!

Today is my Grandpa's Birthday

Two days before my own birthday. He would have loved being alive for 1/11/11.

I wrote a bit about him last year. He and I were great friends. :) I always knew that I didn't need a father because I had my grandfather. Balance, maybe? Who knows. He died 3 months before I met Colin.

In the morning before Colin proposed, (which I was not remotely anticipating) I awoke from a dream in which I told my Grandpa that I would be okay now, that he didn't have to worry about me anymore, and that Colin would take care of me. It was a highly emotional dream, and I woke in near hysterics over it.

Later that day, a total shock to me, Colin asked me to marry him on the very beach my Grandpa and I spent so much time together on in Cambria, CA. He'd been planning it that way for months.

It's very hard for me to believe in coincidences.

Last year, Colin drew this, and gave it to my Grandmother:

Pretty spectacular, huh? Needless to say, every member of my family was stunned.

My Grandpa was funny. He has these little signs hung up around the garage, which became his work area. None of us are willing to take them down, even 10 years later.

This has always been one of my favorites, in part because it's in his handwriting. It reads:

There once was a fellow named Rocco,
And a pigeon who wanted his taco.
Said Rocco these words,
"We don't feed the birds
For fear it might bring a whole Flocko."


He also liked hot-gluing things together and spray painting everything gold. I have no explanation for this. But it makes me laugh. We haven't removed these from the garage either.

I miss him. I'm not remotely over his passing and I wish he could see all the amazing things that are happening in my life. I wish he could meet Colin, I wish he could see my art. I think he'd really like them both. :)

I choose to believe he knows anyway.

To be sketched

We were going through some of our old journals and sketchbooks recently and I came across these drawings my husband made about 8-10 years ago. There were lots of sketches of me actually, some of just my eyes, which is sort of alarming to stumble upon. A page of eyes!

In the middle picture, I'm reading a manuscript a friend of ours wrote.

There are others too, ones I won't share on my blog (naked!!) that you might have seen if you were friends with us pre-2005 when we felt uninhibited and showed people drawings of me in that, um, state. (naked!!)

Not that there's anything wrong with that.


I stopped believing in "New Years Resolutions" in high school. I believe in Resolutions, just not storing them up for the beginning of the year. That part doesn't make sense to me. If you want to change something, change it now. If you're putting it off for however many days, weeks, months it is until January, obviously you're not truly motivated to change. There's a difference between wanting to change, and thinking you're supposed to change.

Having said that, allow me to contradict myself. I do have a number of things I'm seeking improvement on in the near future.

Fitness. I've been working out for 45 minutes each weekday for 12 weeks now. I'm not going to pat myself on the back until I make a full year. My purpose is to fully realize that this is how it's going to be for the rest of my life. This is base, this is the new normal. Fitness every day. Better get used to it now. I've learned that this goal is more about discipline than anything else. I certainly haven't grown to enjoy working out more. I've just been better at forcing myself to do it.

Discipline. Going to sleep early. Getting enough sleep. Eating right. Drinking less. More exercise. Total body care. Staying within our budget. Saving more. Better work habits. Regular blogging. Setting a more comprehensive work schedule for myself. Sticking to the work schedule. Shedding the bullshit stuff I do during the day that doesn't move me forward toward my goals.

Chutzpah. With my art. Boldness in making art, yes, but also in selling myself as an artist. This involves cultivating my own self-confidence as well as shamelessly marketing my work to everyone I can. It means ignoring the fear I feel when faced with those things. It means launching my art career into orbit. Well, maybe I've already launched, but I haven't reached orbit yet. Not by my standards, and not by a long shot.

"Relax and Focus." That's sort of been a new mantra of mine lately. All things are improved when filtered through the "Relax and Focus" mentality. I finally managed to finish reading 7 Habits this year, and my favorite part was the concept of response-ability. The opposite of being reactionary. Pausing and considering before speaking and acting. Refusing to be controlled by my habits, old scripts, and emotions.

Meeting new people, Making new friends. I know a number of people whom I met by chance, but ended up as the most important people in my entire life. One day you're talking to some dude in your college history class, a few months later he introduces you to your soulmate, and 4 years after that he's the best man at your wedding. For instance.

Deepening relationships with current friends. Do you ever get the feeling that people who have known you for years still only see you as a cardboard cutout? I'm never sure who's fault that is, but for propriety's sake, I'll go with both of ours. This applies to some of my better friendships too. They can always be improved. I'm game if you are. Let's get to know each other better.

Reading more. I'd like to read as much fiction as I do non-fiction. Brain food means creativity as well as information. I've pretty much only read non-fiction for years now. In 2009 I read Crimson Petal and The White, which my friend had been trying to get me to read since I was 23 and it was life-changing. Beautiful words, compelling story, dynamic characters. LIFE. CHANGING. (Somewhere in the distance my husband is cursing me because I haven't yet read The Hobbit, and he has read Wuthering Heights, books we recommended to each other 10 years ago.) (I really am a terrible person.)

Letting go. Stop thinking about dumbass people and their dumbass antics. Who cares. The very thought of these people holds me back. I want room in my brain for awesome things. Every unhelpful thing I remove from my mind opens up space for something better. Or, at the very least, it turns into a zen-like Hawaiian beach scene. IN MY MIND. :) Ahhhhh peaceful clarity.

These are our official Gen Kai sake cups. :) Obviously I went with my traditional art. Light Reactive AND glows in the dark! Not that anyone but me will know this. Colin's is just awesome. In fact, the sushi chefs threatened to steal his for their own. As usual, we forgot to take pictures, so we snapped these with my phone while having Christmas Eve dinner. The management at Gen Kai gives these to certain people to decorate and bring back for regular use at the restaurant. They're displayed in the front, and now whenever we have sake there, we get to use our special sake boxes. I feel special just thinking about it. ;o) 

Happy New Year!