It’s definitely been a busy weekend and I was mighty tired today. I treated myself to a delivery breakfast from Pondicherry – a dosa with veggies and ginger inside, coconut almond pancakes with fruit and yogurt, and an avocado quinoa bowl, all of which was delicious. I ate it at various points during the day. For breakfast I ate last night’s burger.
I had three gallery visits today, all three delightful, and I packed two armadillos to send to a collector and her mom. I got to delve into my Galveston ghost story manuscript too, and I had a little panic attack, thinking my editor had not weeded out typos and such. It turns out she has. There simply weren’t any in the first chapter, which I’d rewritten so many times that it was pretty clean. I started wondering why I don’t trust myself to write without errors. I mean, it shouldn’t make panic to see she hasn’t pointed out any mistakes. I should be confident enough to know it might be because I didn’t make any, not because she wasn’t looking.
Then in the evening I painted my toenails red because I figured I needed some kind of a treat. And tomorrow I totally plan to go to yoga – which is better with freshly painted toenails. Just sayin’.
Today was the Children’s Assessment Center’s Art for Hope Party that my fabulous friend Paula Hawkins got me to participate in, and once again I painted live. I had a bit of an adventure, though, so painting live tonight required being resourceful. I basically had too much fun last night, then today after I worked out, my friend from long ago – from the beginning of my days at Lamar – came by to see me. He had an espresso and I showed him my 2019 Collectors Video and it was really nice that someone who’s known me for such a long time was really impressed and said he understood what I was doing and that he knows I will do well. Then we walked through the neighborhood, I showed him the newly renovated Café Annie, gave him some suggestions for dinner and entertainment, and bid him goodbye, since I myself badly needed a nap and then to get ready for the CAC party. I had left my paints at the CAC so I figured all I had to do was put on a pretty dress. But when I got there I realized I forgot to bring a panel to paint on. My paints were there, but no panel! Luckily I remembered there were some abstract paintings in my car. I asked the valet to please bring it back around, fished a painting out of the trunk, and painted over it. And I’m glad I did because I love the way it turned out, and one of my favorite collectors bought it! Also, my avocado painting which was in the show, and the carousel horse I painted on Thursday found good homes with really lovely people. And I ate yummy burgers from Benji’s, even ended up taking one home in my purse because my friend gave it to me as I was leaving. Somehow that’s a metaphor for my day. I mean, you know it’s been a good day when you get home tired but happy, and there’s a burger in your purse, wrapped in wax paper, still a little warm, and you stick it in the fridge where it can wait until lunch. Or maybe even breakfast.
Tonight I hosted a party in honor of the wonderful collectors who purchased art this year. In preparation I decided to make a video highlighting some of this year’s favorite paintings, trips, and parties. I ended up sucked into some kind of technological time warp where I spent hours selecting images. And as I was doing this I was so incredibly filled with joy. To see so many of the paintings together was really special, a reminder that what I’m doing is definitely worthwhile, that I’m on the path I’m meant to be on, and that I have people in life who inspire and support me.
I gave a little speech at tonight’s party and I told everyone I’m feeling blessed – a word I don’t use much because it’s meaningful when used sparsely and because I’m not a fan of it being turned into a hashtag. So, I don’t say such things lightly, nor am I very public about spirituality. But I was feeling really blessed, and later, much later, after the party, which was lots of fun, I opened up the gift a very special collector brought, and inside I found an icon of Mary surrounded by doves – doves just like the ones in the painting this collector bought at my solo show last year. There’s more to it too, more reasons why the icon speaks to me and is perfect. And it’s amazing that I have that kind of connection to another deeply spiritual person, and that we have this connection because of my work.
Anyway, I’m very happy. And please watch the video.
Today was a really good day! The weather was warm and perfect, I finally slept well, and I posted my new book cover created by Buburuza Productions here. You probably remember the original art, which is available at the gallery, but the cover itself is really something! Take a look!
Also today I painted live at the Children’s Assessment Center’s Art of Hope party. I made a carousel horse – what else? My friend Paula Hawkins also painted live, and so did another really cool artist. There was paella from El Meson in Rice Village, and it was really good. But my favorite thing about the party was that the Pollards came, and they watched me paint, which made me very happy.
Are you ready? The moment has finally arrived! Tomorrow I will reveal the cover of Storms of Malhado, my upcoming novel! As usual, I made the art myself, but for the first time ever I had professional help designing the actual cover! Can’t wait to show it to y’all tomorrow!
One of my most inspiring collectors is on a trip to Colorado and posted some amazing videos of sleigh dogs. I definitely had to draw these!
Meanwhile here in Houston I managed to read too late into the night and not get enough sleep, which impacted the photo shoot I had this morning. I’m trying to get new author pictures and some other good images as well, and well, there’s nothing like the pressure of knowing I have to look good in the morning, therefore have to sleep well, to make me toss and turn and then wake up with a headache and red puffy eyes. So, a lot of my insecurities flared up during the photo shoot, and I didn’t really manage to feel good about myself or pose with any confidence until I changed into my favorite John Ross Palmer scarf and the YSL pants my friend gave me, and started thinking of one of the most elegant creatures I know, who definitely has the right attitude: Nancy, the English Pointer. I decided I wanted to be beautiful and playful like Nancy, very energetic and exuberant, but actually reserved. Nancy will greet you full of excitement but she will not kiss you. She’s a beautiful tease. Thinking of her helped a lot and in the end I managed to get some good shots. Though of course, me being me, I probably will end up liking the ones the photographer shot with my phone just for fun (see below) better than the actual professional ones done with the fancy camera.
Also, my paintings are now hanging at EQ Heights, my favorite Houston coffee shop, where John and I like to have breakfast every now and then. I’m so happy to have them in there!
This is a sandhill crane. It’s the season for sandhill cranes in Galveston, and although winter doesn’t excite me, and I don’t care for the Holidays – to put it mildly – I do enjoy the occasional glimpse I get of these beautiful birds. I see them sometimes when I drive out to Campeche Cove where my dog’s vet is, but only rarely, and only this time of year. There’s a magic to seasons, even for someone like me who would rather be hot year round. There’s something lovely and just right about enjoying fruit and vegetables at the right time – nowadays there’s a plethora of citrus to be had here in Texas – as well as seeing things bloom or shed their leaves respectively. But what about books? Do you like to read books seasonally? I hadn’t given this much thought and hadn’t realized I do this until I talked it over with two friends today. One of them suggested I hold off on releasing my hurricane novel until hurricane season. The thought struck me as creepy yet compelling. I asked my historical expert what she thought of it, and she said she liked the idea because she reads books seasonally. And that’s when I realized I actually do too. And also that quite possibly I might have gained some months of planning the release and hopefully this time around doing everything I need for a proper book launch!
Today my Galveston ghost story, which I really should start referring to by its name – Storms of Malhado – came back from the editor. I haven’t really had time to fully delve into the comments, but I scanned the letter the editor sent, and they are exactly the type of insights I need, suggestions on how to build tension, how much of the different story lines to reveal where, etc. I’m looking forward to getting back to Katie, Suzanne, and Betty – though of course I’m also a bit scared because the work left to do is meticulous and important. I’m so happy though! The editor has pointed out some very useful things. For example, although I wrote it and did so purposefully, I hadn’t realized where a turning point is for Katie that completely changes her fate, and had not given enough attention to underscoring the significance of that moment. Also, I have not named the horses. How do y’all feel about Fiona and Jack?