My friends and I had a lot of fun today. There was good food and sunshine and even a little bit of shopping. I think we all needed it. We all needed a break from our routine and a day of leisure. It was good to catch up. All of our lives have changed dramatically in the past few years and we are all much happier now. One of my friends even has a cow called Lucy who’s beautiful beyond words and whom I got to paint today. I think it would be pretty amazing to have a cow. Y’all know how I feel about these lovely creatures!
Holly and I have houseguests tonight. Two friends who have known us for a very long time, who were there actually when I got drunk at a gala nine years ago and ended up bidding on a Boston Terrier puppy.
Sully Bush, the amazing service dog who took care of President H.W. Bush through his final days, is in New York, and staying at the Plaza. I learned this from Instagram, where I saw a picture of Sully lounging in his lovely room at the iconic hotel. Of course, I couldn’t resist painting that image! And I was totally excited when Sully liked my painting on Instagram.
“You know the actual dog didn’t like your post, Elena,” John said when I saw him later this evening. John painted Sully too, by the way, as a commission to President Bush. I think that’s pretty amazing!
Photo inspiration @lapresqueparisienne
This was inspired by a photo I found on Instagram – the view from a tiny but cute hotel I once stayed in on a winter trip to Paris. My room was very small but the view of rooftops made it a wonderful place to be. I remember not wanting to leave. Thinking back on that trip always makes me think of Alina, the protagonist of my second novel, Stray Dogs and Lonely Beaches, who takes a similar trip to Paris and stays in a similar room.
Today it was cold. And I mean really cold. Like bring your plants inside so they don’t freeze cold. My least favorite kind of weather. Still, I managed to have a great day. In the morning I met with Ryan to talk about how my business did this year and how I can grow next year. Lots of great ideas and inspiration came out of the meeting! I’m very excited about my future plans!
Also, I have found someone I can hire to help me so I can start doing First Saturday Arts Market again in the new year! Things are definitely going to be different if I actually have support.
For some reason today, on the coldest day, perhaps because I was in a great mood, I stopped for a brief moment at the Arboretum. It was so beautiful! I resolve to actually go back and walk when it’s not freezing out! And I made gingerbread house paintings. I will be making more!
This little guy looked very confused and awkward without his harness. I finally figured out what was wrong with him and added it. It changes the whole painting. Details matter so much, on carousel horses and otherwise.
Today was beyond exciting: A fellow artist from First Saturday Arts Market not only lent me her tent, but set it up for me so that my photographer could take the required booth shot I need to submit in order to apply to Bayou City Art Festival – something that’s been a goal of mine for a long time. The booth shot was an obstacle I found nearly impossible to overcome, something I had an irrational block about, and I feel that, with help from my friends, it has now been removed. The photos below are not the actual booth shot. They’re just photos I took because I loved how my art looked in the booth, and a picture my photographer friend shot of me for fun. Anyway, it all made me think. Perhaps I should do First Saturday Art Market again. Perhaps I should once again buy a tent and do all that. After all, my art is better now and I have a lot more of it. I could have my own booth, no longer share, and go out there and meet new people.
Meanwhile I’ve started working on my 30 carousel horses for the holidays.
Today I made more Christmas ornaments. And by this I mean a lot more. It was so much fun, and I’m so excited about these! I can’t wait to have them on display for Small Business Saturday – which also, by the way, is the anniversary of my first year in business, as that was my very first event in my own gallery last year.
I also painted today, but I can’t show my painting, as it’s a portrait commission that’s a surprise and therefore top secret. 😉
Today I went to John’s studio to paint with him. It was all a bit reminiscent of my year in the Mentorship Program, as I got myself covered in both glitter and dog hair – the two items I used to sweep off the studio floor in the Chrysalis all the time. I had brought a craft project with me, which contained glitter. I wanted to make Christmas ornaments with Alexander Ross, the carousel horse, inside. It didn’t go well at the beginning, but John said it would get easier and I’d get better at it, and that the reason people don’t try new things is that they’re afraid they will mess up. That made me feel better and and so I persevered. The ornaments are actually turning out really cute once I figured out how to make them. Also, I got to snuggle with Nancy while I drew carousel horses.
Would you say this is a raven or a grackle? Which one speaks to you most?
Today the weather started turning cold again. I’m trying not to be bummed about it. I’m about to change the sheets on my bed and snuggle under the comforter with my puppy and a good book. I’ve been thinking about my own books lately, and how I basically forget to promote them for months at a time. I wish I were better at this. Perhaps I will still learn.