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Mariachi Band

Today I attended a very special birthday party where I was asked to take pictures and sketch. I’ll be working on a watercolor that captures the spirit of the event over the next few days. For now I sketched the mariachi band. I also ate, talked to people, and had a really nice time.

I can’t believe this is the last day of summer. It seemed endless at some point – in the best way possible. There are few things I love more than summer.

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The Sea Isn’t Always Blue

Today I finished the fifth draft of my Galveston ghost story. I’m starting to be really thrilled with the depth it’s gaining, though it’s a slow process. Things come to me gradually, and they work their way into the book. I will try to stay patient with this one – not always an easy thing for me to do.

I also painted a seascape inspired by a picture taken by one of my friends in Galveston, a place where the sea isn’t always blue, but it’s always lovely! And I had the closing reception for my Dog Days of summer project, which was quite a good time! For the first time I had a child visit the gallery, a nine-year-old boy who made fast friends with Holly, and who, while the adults were all busy talking looked at the art carefully and identified a small painting he wanted to buy. He negotiated a discount like a pro, and paid for it with his own money! I was so impressed!

Also, I raised $300 for BARC Houston and I can’t wait to give it to them next week!

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Predator Bird

Today’s painting is another one that changes in different kinds of light. I was really attracted to the grace of the predator bird, and the way its white feathers shone in the darkness.

It rained pretty hard today, then it got cool. The dog and I enjoyed a long walk at sunset, then another longer walk after dark. It was a quiet kind of day – one that stretched endlessly in a way my days hardly do anymore because I’m so busy with things I like doing. I realize it’s probably the first time in my life that more people seek me out than I can actually spend time with. It’s a bit disconcerting but overall a good feeling.

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Sweet Rocky

So excited to work on a painting that will make a child happy! Also so very special to paint sweet Rocky, a puppy I recently met and played with – y’all, he’s so tiny! Yet he has a big personality! But he’s just this teeny tiny ball of fluff and when you touch him you realize he’s so much smaller than he looks.

Anyway, this was very satisfying. I can’t wait for the little boy this is for to see the painting! Also, I had a collector who’s been loving my watercolors for a long long time (and who owns the original Hotel Monteleone as well as Bienvenue en Louisiane, two of my most admired watercolors) come by the gallery to see my new space and my new work.

And, someone very very special who reads this blog every day just purchased Pink Arabesque. I am so absolutely thrilled!

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Today I made another tiny colorful painting, a toucan. I’ve always wanted to paint one of these, and since I can’t stop thinking of the Amazon Rainforest and praying for all its creatures I figured today was the day to do it.

I also seem to have perfected the art of making my café con leche just the way I like it, spent the morning in the company of Betty, added another 15 minutes to my cardio routine at the gym, and had a really lovely early dinner with a good friend at Postino in the Heights. For a Monday, I’d say it was a pretty good day.

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Favorite Moments

Some favorite moments from a Sunday when I was tired but happy: Getting caught in the rain outside the Menil, then being inside the museum, cold from the arctic AC and hearing the rain on the roof of the beautiful Rienzo Piano building; getting a sudden urge to paint in oil again, something about the texture, and perhaps the change of seasons; the sunset from my friend’s balcony with a phenomenal view of the Williams Tower; tacos and girl talk; snuggling with my dog.

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Mike and the Carousel

The featured puppy is my uncle’s dog, Mike! I was so honored to paint him today, on my uncle’s birthday – the same uncle whose mom has kept my oil paintings from when I was 16, and whom I saw back in April.

After painting Mike I attempted in vain to call my grandma whose birthday it also was today. I “spoke” to my lizard who couldn’t hear me and who failed to put grandma on the phone, but who was happy to have me on the line so she repeated a few things about ten times before letting me go.

Then it was time to pack up my carousel horses and drive to Galveston for my show at Prohibition Red’s. I had never been there before, so I didn’t know the upstairs used to be a brothel! I was worried about placing my carousel horses in such a setting, but they are spunkier than I gave them credit for. They loved the venue, red drapes and all, and absolutely refused to come back home with me. You can admire them and a few other of my paintings upstairs at Prohibition Red’s until the next Art Walk!

The evening held quite a bit of magic in store. The live music was fun, and I had a few encounters that made the whole trip down absolutely worth it! I met the collector who bought the very first Betty painting I’d ever made from Tangerine Boutique. It was very exciting to make that connection! I also saw a lady who said I’d given her my card five years ago, and who had checked the other day to see if I still had the website (yes, I do!) and saw that I was coming to Galveston. Talk about serendipity! And I met my friend’s little girl for the very first time. She’s already 18 months old, old enough to walk by herself, old enough to dance to the music, and old enough to want to wander off on her own and explore. I love curious children!

After a short walk with my friend, whom I hadn’t seen all summer, because it’s been such a busy summer, I drove home hoping the carousel horses would continue to have a good time. Please don’t judge them for having such loose morals!

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Little Bird

This little bird painting was inspired by @stephanirae_ on Instagram, whose nature photos I absolutely love. The day was absorbed mainly by preparing for and anticipating tomorrow’s trip to Galveston for Art Walk. Is it possible that after years of driving back and forth tirelessly now this seems like a long distance to travel? I guess I got used to the ease of being in Houston and not really going anywhere. My life is so much easier these days, the hours and hours I used to spend in the car, a distant memory. Anyway, I’m also a bit nervous, as with any voyage into the past, and there’s always a bit of uneasy anticipation before each art event, especially one that feels at once like deja vu and yet like an unexpected journey into a realm where anything can happen. Hopefully the carousel horses and I will have a good time.

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I can’t stop thinking about the Amazon Rainforest being on fire and I can’t stop being real sad and worried about it. I had to paint something that was kind of like my prayer for it – though I really hope we all can all do more than pray. I’m seriously thinking of donating to some organizations that are fighting for land conservation but I’m not sure if that’s enough.

This was on my mind the whole day, while I drove to the Heights this morning – which is lovely because of its beautiful trees – then conducted another book fairy mission, while I took a nap with my dog, puttered around the house, and overall had a fairly restful day. It shall be on my mind tomorrow too and hopefully on many other people’s minds as well. Together I hope we can find solutions to salvage this beautiful planet.