I drew this Chinese dragon in homage to my dog because she so fierce (and she kinda looks like one with those round popping eyes and her underbite!). But I also drew it because I wanted to feel fierce myself and in the morning I was feeling somewhat faded. It was probably nerves. Today was my initiation ceremony at John Palmer’s studio where I stood with the other Escapists, two wonderful ladies I’m already very fond of (AVM Hawkins and Paula Hawkins), and took the Escapist pledge. (There is a fourth of us too, Nabarupa Bhattacharjee, but she is currently in India and will join us in May). Kim Ogg, Harris County District Attorney gave a very moving keynote address in which she said some of the things I deeply believe in: that we can all get along even when we disagree and that art will help heal some of the current divisiveness in our country and the world. Representative Al Green attended the initiation as well and I was honored to meet him and receive a celebratory fist bump! We all got photographed more than I’ve ever been in my life (including the time I was a bridesmaid at a wedding in Kentucky, and they take that shit seriously!).
Of course, the question was, who would show up for me? I do have a tendency to eschew ceremonies of any kind, and if I ever do attend I usually don’t have family and such joining because #expatlife #rollingstone #girlwhomovesalot. I’m thrilled to report my cat curator friend who doesn’t like to go out because she’s part feline showed up wearing a beautiful shirt with the most exquisite print of cats. Of course, I recommended her services to the District Attorney. I’m so proud of her cat sitting business and also I just love talking to people about cats. You should try it sometime!
The other person who showed up for me was Mitch Cohen, owner and organizer of the First Saturday Arts Market, and a bona fide Houston art world celebrity. He suggested I take a picture of the floor in my studio so I can have before and after shots when the year is up. And so I did because I recognize good advice when I hear it.
I suppose my dog would have loved to come support me too but she too fierce to go out in public. That’s why I drew her as a Chinese dragon. I think she digs that.