Throwback to Barcelona

Today’s painting is inspired by @rarebasic, an account I love to follow on Instagram because they show pictures of mannequins, and y’all know I have a long-standing mannequin obsession. It all goes back to Barcelona in 2008, when I was living close to the Chanel store on Paseo de Gracia and came to think of the mannequins as my friends. It’s funny, when this year started and I found out it was the Year of the Rat, someone told me that it would be similar year to 2008, and in some ways it is. That year in Barcelona was an interesting one of discovery, where I got to explore the city I loved at length, and weave its winded gothic streets and its busy markets into my own personal rituals. I learned a lot that year. I learned what the oldest street in the city is, that you should use bay leaves when cooking sea snails, that I like horchata with no sugar, and that not all ensaïmadas are made equal. I also learned about Spanish rock stars, late night bars in buildings from the 1300s, canned mussels with homemade vermouth, and a very crunchy bread with pointy ends that is delicious with goat cheese and good olive oil. But it was also a lonely year, a year where I explored mostly by myself and found different ways to fill my time. It’s odd yet appropriate to draw a parallel to this year, though this is a different kind of isolation – and I don’t actually feel lonely at all – and the discoveries I’m making are of a different nature too.

I made another cover for Miss Vulpe in Canva. This one is less dark and I like it better, but I resolve to make more. Also, I finished the first draft of my Galveston prostitute manuscript. It’s scrappy, but it’s there, and I think editing it will be fun.

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