Community. Love. Art. 🌈 Set Free 🌻✌🏻! Here are some snapshots of our getting ready for the show and all the way to the actual opening! I felt so inspired and thankful that day for experiencing what it's like to be in a group show and the exhilirating feeling of love, compassion and community from my classmates and friends.
Most of all, thank you Niki Banff and JackKnife Studios for providing the space to show our work! Patrick Dintino, @patrickdintino our inspiring teacher at the CCA for leading us through the CCA SERIES - Extension class 🌈❤️#blessup. Creating space and supporting for us to make our work ❤️
Guys. Tonight was so fun. I showed art. I bought art 😍. I danced. I felt love and hugged my friends.
My art teacher came to see it too! @patrickdintino . My good friend Britta bless her despite having painful shoes came and danced and drew @itsbrittaduh ❤️ .
I shouted and my heart is just so full with grace and gratitude. Dolly @dollyli 🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻 bless you woman, so thankful we met that day on the MUNI and we're able to continue our creative support and adventures together• Mel @meluhnkolik and Jade @oneheartmind so grateful for our friendship and I'm so excited for our continued creative journey in diving deep, exploring and creating!
Christine, the organizer of the show asked if any of the artists wanted to participate in a press conference the before the show opening.
I decided that this is the time to say yes to life even though I was scared at first. I was equally curious and wanted to even if not participate to be there and explore.
When I arrived I felt shy at first taking the interviews but felt supported as I listened carefully to other women answer their questions with eloquence as they spoke their truth. It was also reassuring as Christine without hesitation placed me with the interviewers.
As I looked around and listened to the words of truth and stories from other women I felt liberated with intense anger. I realize the rather seriousness of participating in this show as it will mark a moment in history.
At that moment I felt awake. It surfaced my habits of numbing and not speaking throughout my career and personal experiences.
It inspired me to continue to be a warrior in practicing everyday on speaking my truth impeccably. Also to practice compassion, forgiveness and to have patience with myself and others as we all create space to speak our truths.
I thank God, the divine and the universe all of whom allow my soul to follow the mothership. God bless all of us and may we be happy, may we be at peace and may we all be free from our sufferings.
To read the publications I found online from Hoodline, KQED arts I included them as images below:
One day you finally knew
What you had to do, and began,
Though the voices around you
Their bad advice,
Though the whole house
Began to tremble
And you felt the old tug
At your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
Each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
you knew what you had to do,
Though the wind pried
With its stiff fingers
At the very foundations,
Though their melancholy
It was already late
Enough, and a wild night,
And the road full of fallen
Branches and stones.
BUt little by little,
As you left their voices behind,
The stars began to burn
Through the sheets of clouds,
And there was a new voice,
Which you slowly
Recognized as your own,
That kept you company
As you strode deeper and deeper
Into the world,
Determined to do
The only thing you could do,
Determined to save
The only life you could save.
- Mary Oliver
This weekend was the Volunteer Appreciation Event with Kids & Art. Here are some photos from the event!
I feel content to find a piece of home in San Francisco through this foundation. Being able to spend time to create and make with other people in the community means so much to me. Thank you Purvi for creating this community for us and I'm excited for all the upcoming events at USCF.
I was wondering when the paintings for The Inner Voyage would come to and end; and it looks like it was tonight.
So, just like clockworks I ate a quick dinner; grabbed the four large canvases got on both knees, unwrapped and stored everything away with glassine paper.
It felt so sudden yet so certain. This was surprising to me; because for a long time I felt lost and I still feel lost; but it's moments like these that I feel curious about what it means to be lost; as there can even be feelings of certainty within a lost state.
I began to practice on the next series of work tonight. They're large and small scale; combination of markings; similar to the markings that I did with the blue textile paints; but instead this time it's all colors and with different mediums. I got the four easels wrapped up, some nicer large scale water color paper, yards of craft paper and rolls of drawing paper. See what feels right; just like playing an instrument. I intend to just mark from my imagination rather than from images. See where this all takes me. Tonight I started on large kraft papers and I also worked on a few this weekend too and I've been feeling pleased from seeing how some of the patterns repeated themselves from when I first started creating. I am trying to make some kind of association? I'm feeling excited and nervous as I've learned that there is no real direction in all of this; I just have to make whatever comes next.
So, here to the next series, I already have a name and it's called "Oh Hey!"; more on that in a story coming soon :)!
I'm starting to enjoy the daily habits. I have a few of them. For example, I eat the same dinner pretty much everynight if I'm home; it's kale, two eggs, two pieces of bread, one piece of cheese, a cup of tea, and then right before bed I'll have another small meal. These habits are almost meditative. I also do yoga, give thanks, pray and meditate before bed. These are important to me.
I'm starting to believe that I hope that the time that I have here; I spend it loving and being here for the people that I get to spend time with.
I also hope that I spend the time to have practiced to discover what's inside. I think that's what I love most about being an artist so far. The surprises (all of them). The nights when I actually create something and surprise myself. Like tonight, I discovered painting with a small brush; how that allows me to practice painting slow and it actually made painting with the large brush later on much smoother. I wouldn't have known that if I didn't actually practice. I don't, well I'm trying to like the nights that terrify me. The nights when I feel so alone; yet so afraid to leave because I don't want to leave myself. I know that I just need to stay and see what happens. On those nights I end up staying up in my bed, knitting and watching re-runs of Ellen to try to get the energies back into equilibrium.
I've been meditating and seeing my life coach / therapist Megan Lipsett and both together; has helped me practice coming back to myself and being in the present moment. To pay attention to the thoughts that come and to thank them for being there; however it's the feelings that I'd like to cuddle next to.
Tonight, I made progress on a new painting; "Passengers"; I noticed how I'm really enjoying the pattern making. I also noticed a projected thought of creating a series of these; and with the large canvas on its' way (I ordered a humongous one); I was imagining painting one hundred passengers on that canvas. I had to thank that thought as I'd like to take it one day at a time. Though, the thought of that makes me happy because I'd like to see all the passengers together on one painting. To know that we're all in this together. This ride towards where we're all going to.
Time for meditation :) Goodnight!
The walls of my studio are a reflection of my inner being. I place on there only items that inspire me. Last year it was a poster from the Headlands, a green and lavender wrapper I found from an Aritzia gift box, a black and white photograph of four dancers by Ocean Beach, a vintage record of Willie Nelson.
It's been about a year since I re-arranged the wall. So today I took down everything and left two pieces. The rest of the space is left blank on purpose; to make room for what's to come.
What I did leave up to get me started is a painting of two zebras by an artist at Creativity Explored. I'm inspired first by the color; I love the blush and lilac together. To me, that's the color I see in my mind when peace and grace are intertwined. And then to add to that; the two zebras somehow reminds me of our humanity. How we are all different, but we are despite looking in different directions... All in this together. I like how it reminds me of that; to never feel that I separate from everyone else and wherever I am. To stay connected. Then right beside the zebras is a print from Gerhard Richter's painting of the ocean. Gerhard Richter is one of my favorite painters who paints in all different styles. I have it there to remind me that an artist is multi-faceted; to continue to practice creating; and to see what happens from it. Right below the zebras is a painting by a local artist Dragana Monsoon. Looking into her painting and into that little window... I see something different everyday even though it's the same painting. It inspires me and reminds me that everything is just a perspective.
Here are some photographs for reference; I added a photo of me as well. I feel that I have also created space in myself for new creativity.
I observed today that the rhythm of creating is not present when I'm tired and I am often tired after work on the weekdays. I also ate a heavy meal and watched Project Runway Junior (everyone needs and escape and I just love these incredible little humans making beautiful garments). I observed that it helped me feel rested though not inspired.
As I felt more energy after a hot shower and rested more... At about 10:45pm I caught my second wind. I observed that I rested for two hours before feeling the rhythm of painting. Coincidentally a beautiful piano tune came on Spotify that I observed really inspired me to paint, so I am grateful for it. The album link on Spotify is here.
I also observed my improvements in practicing empathy, as I make an effort to capture other's emotions and lead with feelings (not thoughts) when I am in conversation with others. I observed that it's made me feel proud and hopeful for the work that I'm doing on myself. I also observed that I am developing more grey areas in my thoughts and beliefs.
Love and grace,
I learned from life coaching today to be aware of alignment in all my relationships. In alignment with who I am and what I believe in, today towards the relationships that I have today. Through meditation, it is true that I've begun to see things in less black and white and more of a dark grey and light grey area. I'm thankful for that, because in the past it was very black and white. And this change feels encouraging and hopeful.
Another thing that I'm trying to practice more this year is my patience in art making. So, on a daily basis I will paint with no intentions except for the intention of learning through observing.
I'm usually feeling pretty tired after work, which is the time I have to paint. But I observed that resting for about an hour helps. Also, having work during the day creates a tension that I need for artmaking. It creates a space between me and the art practice and for some reason when I come back to the easel the work flows better. I also observed when I paint and it's between 9:30 - 10:30pm. On some days it lasts till midnight.
Tonight, I struggled to show up. Lying in my couch watching Modern Family was just so temping, but I knew that I just had to show up and see what happens. My fear of wanting it to be perfect was deterring me from showing up. I ended up struggling to paint in the beginning (struggling is good too though, because it means that I'm learning); but ended up with quite a flow by the end of it so it was a pretty good practice.
Love and grace,
This painting by Jan Van Eyck, The Arnolfini Portrait showed up in one of the massive books I get from the public library. What caught my eye is the note that the artist placed within the painting, "Als ik kan", which means "As I can"
Jan Van Eyck was a prolific realist painter of his time. What I love about his statement is that it's "as I can" not "as I can tomorrow" or "as I can do better" but it is, "as I can", period.
To me, this message made me feel compelled to continue to make. It made me feel inspired. It made me think that I need to continue to make because simply, "I can". It made all the excuses of not painting such as, "Oh, maybe I should have a sandwich instead of paint..." just disappear. Because now, I paint because "I can".
So beautifully simple. I'll leave that with you guys on this beautiful Christmas morning.
I just finished watching the first lady, Michelle Obama and Oprah's interview tonight at the United States of Women Summit.
Michelle Obama said when asked about expectations on being the first lady told the audience that she never read about how to be the best first lady; she wanted to get there first; to see how it is and to make sure that she could be the best first lady in the way that she knew how.
It got me thinking about the different things I tried on being an artist from doing the opposite; from reading biographies, watching documentaries and interviewing artists. Tonight, I'm going over them in to see how they made me feel.
Make art - making art makes me feel centered and surprised at the human spirit. Though, sometimes I am working through my most challenging aspect of being an artist and that is the solidarity of it. Being alone for a prolonged (more than 3 days) makes me feel sad, but I do get a lot of artwork done. I'm gently working through it to find a balance. I now know that I cannot exist without others; that being an artist is not in isolation, so I have a few events during the week when I connect with like-minded people to laugh, play and connect.
Teach art - the part I love most about teaching is being and helping others. I love helping others and being of service, but teaching is a skill and requires patience. Both of those I am working on but still need more training on it, perhaps that will come at a later chapter, who knows. I've noticed that teaching takes a lot of mental energy; usually after teaching I feel fulfilled but also understand that it's creative energy that is placed there too; so I have to just learn to spend my energy.
Be political! - I shared eight months at EAP got to really be involved in the political aspects of art making and talk to the artists. I'm excited to make art for this purpose however feel like I'm not at the level to make political art as my artist is still very young and still maturing. In due time!
Sell art (online and in-person at craft fairs) - Selling art to me is a way to share work with others. I thought that being a designer I grew a pretty thick backbone; but being an artist I had to just throw the backbone away (goodbye!). I learned that being such a sensitive artist... The only way to protect and liberate myself is to ignore the ego. I had to re-program myself to think that I make art because I do. Just like having pj sandwiches. Just like going for jogs. Just like yoga. Just like saying "cat". It's working so far, goodbye ego! Thanks for coming out.
Go to art residencies - I went to an experimental art residency this year in Iceland - I know, it was really great. No ego there - just telling the truth. Anyone can apply (yes, you can!). The residency experience made me feel: connected to myself through knowing that there are other artists out there like me. It made me feel whole, hopeful, happy, curious, nurtured, nourished, vulnerable and courageous. I will apply to more art residencies! Wooooo! I applied to one in Finland this year, but didn't get in (few of us who went to Saga tried to get in and applied lol - and we didn't in...) - but we're still awesome, you know why? Because WE all applied together; and we are still connected after the first residency. And that to me is so precious.
Public speaking - I spoke a few times and... it left me feeling empty. I thought it would make me feel great, but it didn't. I felt like everyone, including myself could have spent that time making together instead of talking about making.
Hosting art events - I loved hosting art events. It made me feel appreciated, fulfilled and moved. I felt joyful watching people smile as they made art. I hope to host more art events in the future, maybe even a retreat! The challenge was getting people to come, so I'll need to work on the curriculum a little bit more to nail that down.
Attending art classes - Going to art classes made me feel: encouraged, inspired, grateful, hopeful and glad. It allowed me to connect with the community and gave me space to grow as an artist. Definitely want to do more of that in 2017!
Volunteering at CE - Volunteering is just, everything. Makes me feel happy and connected to people I care about.
I spent a lot of this year on art making and I honestly, even though on some days it was super alone have no regrets. It made me aware of my time, where it was going and how it was spent. I felt so alone at some points, and then I held that spot for a while because I knew that I needed to learn how to be with me.
Still trying to figure things out; but this is the fun part of the journey isn't it ;) But I'm happy to hear that I can define what being an artist is to me. And for now... I still don't have the full picture yet but there are some seeds in the attempts above and I'm sure that life will reveal more next year.
December 12, 2016
I had the idea in the back of my mind; somehow through art making that there are these benchmarks of what the next step should look like. So, somehow I've been functioning on that; that if I sold a piece of artwork that if I got into a number of shows that it would mean that I'm doing this right. So, I've been sub-consciously painting fast and doing things really "fast" thinking that the faster I make; the quicker I'd get to the next level. And all of this, is happening sub-consciously.
It's not until yesterday that I was able to watch myself through these beliefs and question them. And in questioning them; I realize that there's nothing to "get to"; it's a journey.
So, there's no need to rush anymore. I will paint now as a practice. Just like musicians play piano. I will paint when I do but with ease and love. Because to be honest, art making I know now will be a lifelong practice, so what's the rush? In asking what "matters" to me; people matter to me. Friendships. Relationships. Love and connection.
Love and grace,
December 11, 2016
I learned today that I need a clear and balanced mindset as an artist because I spend a lot of time being alone in my head. And without a balanced clear mindset things in there (as you know) can get kind of crazy. Taming the mind is like trying to tame a horse.
So, my new strategy that I am going to try is a "do nothing" day.
I work in design during the day and paint every evening. I love the tension that both worlds provide. I experience the benefit of how both the digital and the analog world actually in a very surprising way propel the other side into a farther space (for me). But doing that every night is not working. I am tired.
So, today was the do nothing day. A day to let my mind wander and almost rejuvenate; like reset. And gosh it was hard, but I am willing to try it and I'm willing to pivot and re-integrate.
I took myself to the Inner Sunset (one of my favorite places in the city) had a delicious lunch at Crepevine and chatted with friends at Crossroads. I just let my mind go on vacation for a day. It was difficult at first, but I ended up having a great time sketching, having buttermilk pancakes, sipping coffee and watching the rain fall down.
I ended up having a surprisingly happy day splashing in the puddles with my awesome Hunter boots, bought a beautiful wool Patagonia sweater and got invited to a fashion show next Thursday. My inner artist is slightly rejuvenated!
Coming home, I did end up painting, a lot; so it wasn't completely a no-work day but I am trying. I will keep trying <3