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Vertical City

What do you do when you see a particularly well-coiffed poodle? 🐩 Obviously you discreetly take a picture so you can sketch it later. Other highlights of my day: Finally writing some description of the Island into the Galveston manuscript, ordering art supplies so I can make more red and gold stuff, working out, of course, then in the evening attending an event in a building with a fabulous view – as if to underscore my obsession with looking at apartments in Downtown high rises. Not sure yet what will happen to that idea, but I’m starting to be aware that there’s a whole vertical city to explore out there.

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Red and Gold

I still feel like playing with red and gold, still feel like drawing patterns while processing my thoughts. Today I allowed myself to do all that. I still remained disciplined about some things though, such as working out on the elliptical at the Y, and even pushed myself to go on an adventure and fulfill my duties as a book fairy. It was hard at first because I couldn’t possibly figure out where I wanted to leave the books. To think that someone who loves exploring the city as much as I do was having trouble coming up with two favorite places was disconcerting at best. I realized that, as much as I love my routine, I might be too much into it these days. And so I got in the car and remembered a few things I had forgotten. For example, I remembered that by far my favorite neighborhood in Houston is Downtown. It has such a special big city energy, and there are lots of people, and some very charming old buildings. I even started fantasizing about moving there – something I like to imagine every now and then. And something that perhaps I should really try.

I’ll let you guess where I left the second book.

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Very Special Puppies

Today I got to paint my friend’s dogs. They are so very special! I even met them once: they live in a very beautiful house where there’s a lot of my art. And they have very very lovely lives – as all puppies deserve.

The rest of my day consisted of getting various things done that are typical for the start of the week, also of working out, walking my own little dog, and processing a whole bunch of feelings. I ended up wanting to make a piece of abstract art, something a little different than what I normally do. You can see a segment of it here. I think I might try to play around with this technique and make a few more of these.

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Birthday Party!

This was by far the best birthday Holly the gallery dog has ever had! We truly have the sweetest, kindest, most dog-loving friends, because not only were they excited to come, which is the most important gift, but they brought presents (treats and toys! and a scented candle for the human) and even (drumroll!) and homemade birthday cake for dogs. In case you’re wondering, cakes for dogs are made with no sugar nor salt, but this one in particular contained a lot of top notch ingredients, such as organic carrots from the farmers’ market. Holly loved it, and because no dogs were invited to her birthday party (she hates dogs), I was at least able to send some dog cake home with party guests who have dogs. It was all in all quite a happy event, and I’m glad to say Holly really relished the attention. She likes it when people come into the gallery – but especially loved it when it was all about her.

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Birthday Dog

I can’t believe my little puppy is turning nine at the end of this month! Luckily she still acts like a very young dog, and now that I’ve started losing weight I’m feeling young too. I bought white shorts and a white top for John and Ryan’s White Linen party next weekend. Also, I’ve been hanging lots of art in the gallery in preparation for Holly’s birthday party.

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The Platform – Anniversary

July 27 marks the one-year anniversary of my Escapist solo show, The Platform. It also happens to be the 14-year anniversary of my Ph.D. dissertation defense (no, I’m not kidding!) and what’s really magical about it is that as I’m sitting here writing this, the dog portrait commission I painted for my dissertation advisor is in transit to the UK, currently making a stop in Chicago – the scene of many drunken conferences back when I was a very young and very confused graduate student. Things have a funny way of coming full circle. Because even though getting a PhD in a field I would eventually quit in order to pursue art full time was by all means extremely hard, I’m very glad I did it, and I feel that without a Ph.D. there would have been no Platform and no art career. The most important thing the Ph.D. program taught me was that you cannot always bullshit your way through life, you cannot open all doors and obtain all things through charm, talent, and sheer shamelessness. I must admit that as a young person I had a propensity to do that. Because I could. The first person who decidedly did not accept this type of behavior was my Ph.D. advisor. And so I learned that sometimes you have to sit down and actually do the work, then when you think you’ve pushed yourself harder than you ever thought you could, push some more. I was lucky to develop a hefty dose of self discipline and stubborn determination in grad school, so by the time my mentor John Ross Palmer entered my life, I was ready. He challenged me to paint 40 paintings for my solo show. I painted 46, because although I am formally trained as a quantitative social scientist and have the paperwork to prove it, I can’t do math to save my life. Then he challenged me to sell the paintings, and here I am a year later with only eleven of them left. I’d say I did well, and the solo show was, as I had hoped, successful in launching my art career. Also, it was fun and very well attended. Please watch this fabulous video by Buburuza Productions to see or to reminisce. If you were there, you might be in it!

Also, here’s what I’d like to do to celebrate:

First of all, if you own one of the paintings from The Platform, you own something that’s very very special to me and you have contributed to my success in a big way. I’d love to thank you with a VIP dinner for you and a guest or guest couple in my new gallery space! Please send me a picture of your Sandovici original from The Platform hanging in your home at, and let’s start making dinner plans!

If you don’t own one of The Platform paintings, but you’d like one, here are the remaining 11 pieces, with a very sweet special anniversary offer:

Mourning Doves, 24×24 inches, acrylic on canvas, retail value $550, anniversary offer $300
Luftballons, 30×40 acrylic on canvas, retail value $1,100, anniversary offer $600
Garden Wilderness 1, 18×18 acrylic on wood, retail value $300, anniversary offer $180
Love Your Inner Chaos. Collaboration with John Ross Palmer. 30×40 acrylic on canvas. Retail Value $1,100, Anniversary Offer $600
Naughty Not Nice, 24×24, acrylic on wood, retail value $550, Anniversary Offer $300
Don’t Be Blue. 30×40. Acrylic on Canvas. Retail Value $1,100. Anniversary Offer $600
Seagulls. 24×24. Acrylic on Canvas. Retail Value $550. Anniversary Offer $300
Ca L’Estevet. 18×18 Acrylic on Wood. Retail Value $300. Anniversary Offer $180
Favorite Shoes. 24×26. Acrylic on Wood. Retail Value $700. Anniversary Offer $400
Selfie with John Ross Palmer Scarf. 18×18. Acrylic on Wood. Retail Value $300. Anniversary Offer $180
Bastille Day. 24×24. Acrylic on Canvas. Retail Value $550. Anniversary Offer $300
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Book Fairies and Other Magical Creatures

A lot happened today: I finally swam in the giant lap pool at the Y (not before I did my elliptical workout though) and it was quite refreshing and lovely! I also sold a painting I’d painted for my solo show last year (I only have 4 left out of the 46, so I think I’m doing a good job…), and in the evening I went to the most magical event: A book club happy hour with women from various book clubs. There I met a book fairy! Which was pretty exciting since I’ve been wondering about book fairies for a while. I will post in more detail about my own book fairy mission soon, but for now I think I better get some rest so I can do it all again tomorrow!

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Red Background

This is part of the background of something I painted today but which I can’t show yet. Sometimes my collectors require secrecy, so, as much as I’d love to show what I painted today, I’ll have to wait on this one.

In other news: I’m losing weight! I weigh myself twice a week at the Y and I’ve already lost 3.4 pounds. I’m excited my system is working, and by that I mean both my metabolism and the system I devised in order to lose weight. I’m definitely hoping to wear something pretty fabulous for John and Ryan’s epic White Linen party, which is coming up in about two weeks.

I still was awoken by loud banging this morning, but the property promised to fix the gate that’s malfunctioning and making all the noise, so here’s hoping. It’s been causing me quite a bit of anxiety as I hate noise and need peace, especially to sleep. I’m trying hard not to overreact and sell all my stuff and move to Malaga. It would be quite a shame, especially now that things have started to go so well for my business here in Houston!

Also, my friend came by this evening and told me she finished reading Lone Wolf and really loved it. Reminds me I should be doing stuff to promote it. But at least I got to work a little bit on Betty’s story today, so I don’t feel terribly guilty about the job I’m doing as an author.

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I painted this cow in order to de-stress this morning. I was awakened way too early by loud noises and was a bit cranky. Also, I had to ship off Rosie today, and that meant filling out forms, packing, and two trips to the post office – also saying goodbye to her. But she’s finally on her way to London, and I’m very excited about the new home she’s going to.

As to me, I resolve to go to bed early and to have a better day tomorrow. I got a lot done today and yesterday, and now, with various logistical issues out of the way, also the new energy of opening myself up to things I might have been hiding from in the past (I might share more about that when the moment’s right), I will hopefully once again have a peaceful day of exercising, painting, and writing.

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After my fabulous weekend, today I really had to Monday. I don’t like having to Monday but I’m getting better at not postponing unpleasant tasks indefinitely. So I bought shipping supplies and D-rings, bought plastic sleeves to display all the dog art in at Holly’s birthday party, put two work orders in with my landlord, bla bla bla. I did all this although I was pretty sore after yoga then elliptical at the Y, and I was proud of myself for making myself drive around shopping – probably my least favorite thing to do. Tomorrow I will pack Rosie the red Boston and ship her to London. I’ll miss having her to look at in the gallery, but just on cue some wood panels arrived today, and I’ll paint some other sweet pets to go in her spot.