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In Which I Try to Relax

Let’s not get worried but I’m not quite there yet. The relaxation I was hoping to get from this beach trip is failing to materialize. The sun seems too stark, too bright and blinding. It’s at times like these that I remember how devoid the Island is of trees. It’s not just that, though. It’s happened to me before that it’s taken a day or two for that peaceful Island vibe to set in. The dog is having a much easier time, but then again, she always does.

Also, I miss Houston, I miss doing the art stuff, I miss looking for houses. I think, also, I might have found the perfect place. My fabulous realtor (who is also a friend and collector) sent me pictures. Keep your fingers crossed! This might just work out perfectly!

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Headed for the Beach

“You’ve both worked very hard,” my friend Dana in Amsterdam said. “You in making all that art, and Holly in putting up with it. You deserve a few days at the beach.”

And so we’re Galveston bound tomorrow and very very excited. Meanwhile today was magical too: My friend and I went to see Buddhist monks make a Mandala out of colorful sand, and had a snack at Pondi while we were at it. What we didn’t know was that the monks were done making the Mandala, and, intricate and sublime as this creation was, the ritual consisted in destroying it, reminding us all of the impermanence of things. It’s what we witnessed today, the wiping away of the Mandala. It looked a bit like scraping paint off a still wet painting one wants to redo. I loved the message. And so, life starts anew.

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White Walls

My task today was to take down The Platform, fill in all the holes in the gallery walls, and paint over any blemishes and imperfections so that Paula Hawkins can hang her work tomorrow for the next Escapist solo show. I have to say I found this very zen and pleasing. There’s something really sweet about us preparing the gallery walls for each other. As to The Platform, I anticipated being sad to take it down, but it turns out I was ready. I’ve all sorts of plans for these paintings! Some I’ve hung upstairs in my Escapist studio, some at Sabine Street, and some might pop up in other places. I’ll let you know!

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La Magie Continue

Instagram inspiration: @monicamoisin and her beautiful Romanian blouse.

Also, here is a picture of some of my favorite trees, as seen from the yard lit with fairy lights, lanterns, and fireflies of my friend’s sweet little cottage in Galveston on a night full of music. It’s been quite a special evening, and now I’m home with my little dog, faith in the Universe and its abundance restored, ready to take on new adventures.

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Bring Back the Magic

I painted this coastal bird next to a cow (inspired by a photograph by Alia Benavides) in my Escapist studio during an event this evening. It’s been a rough few days. Mostly, I’m just tired, but I am also contemplating many things and having a lot of anxiety. I’m trying to choose what’s best for my future as an artist and otherwise. It’s a time for decisiveness but also for self-reflection. It’s a time to take a step back and think of the things I hope to accomplish, think of what matters most.

Tonight I had a wonderful conversation with the collector who bought my Urban Pigeons from my solo show. She’s a very spiritual person and the things she said to me were magical. It’s nice to have a connection with a person like that. Perhaps that’s what’s important, creating something magical and passing it on to someone truly special. Throughout all this, whatever choices I’ll end up making, I need to remember to focus on the magic, and to bring back whatever sparks of it I might have lost along the way.

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Do I Still Wanna Be a Cat?

This time last year I was going through a lot of stuff, and in the midst of a full-blown identity crisis I wrote a blog post about wanting to be a cat. Today I decided to reassess that. I realized I still have moments of feline envy when I wish to curl up and sort of hide. Times when I wish life were simpler. Or when I wish I could be more withdrawn and just live somewhere peaceful and write and make art and not put as much pressure on myself. Still, I think there’s more clarity nowadays about who I am, and some of the things that were weighing on me last year have since been resolved. I also can draw better cats and that’s important. And, because we should all occasionally give in to our impulses to withdraw, at least temporarily, I’ve decided to rent a sweet little beach place and take my dog to the Island for a few days next week. Maybe some salt air, some long walks, and a few peaceful evenings is all we need. Maybe a full-on feline transformation is not necessary. I’ll keep you posted!

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Only Salt Shakers

The book signing for The Adventures of Miss Vulpe was today. And in honor of this event I must confess that I’ve never ever stolen a sugar bowl, the way Miss Vulpe does. Only the occasional salt shaker from a bar in Upstate New York when I was in my twenties. I don’t even know why I did that except that the salt shakers were teeny tiny and seemed misplaced in the bar and I thought it was funny. I’ve long since decided that stealing (even tiny irrelevant objects) is bad karma. Except for John’s art supplies, which I still love to steal, but that’s a different story.

So how was the book signing? It was fun! John made the room look amazing for me, set up a beautiful table, champagne, white orchids, etc, and AVM and Lily both were very supportive and sweet so it was a special moment. The people who showed up for the book were all wonderful, and it was all in all a great evening. Even Miss Vulpe managed to be on her best behavior. 😉

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We All Need Magic

Here’s another painting inspired by an awesome Instagram post (check out @sanzieneinurban)! I loved this picture of a beautiful woman wearing a Romanian blouse and drinking tea. It is the stuff of magic and we all need magic in our lives.

Also, tomorrow night is my book signing for The Adventures of Miss Vulpe! 6-8, 1218 Heights Boulevard. I’m so excited! John put my name up on the wall in the gallery for the occasion, and I hung the sugar bowl paintings I made to advertise the book signing above it. It’s been a while since I had an event for one of my books, and I’m really looking forward to it!

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Girl with Balloons

Today I painted this girl with balloons I saw on Instagram (@whereintheworldismiha). I wrote another 1,000 words on my ghost story. I had a very lovely collector come and pick up her painting from my show, and overall had a nice, relaxed kind of day. It was a good Sunday.

Tomorrow (maybe!) I’ll find out if I get to rent the house I filled out the application for. Here’s hoping! I guess if a weekend’s wait has taught me anything it’s that I do want the house and do want to move forward. And that’s a very good feeling.