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Trust Your Instincts?

I painted these champagne glasses because this is totally the type of thing Betty would love to look at: the transparencies, the light reflected on glass. I’m actually tempted to do more of these. I might even buy thicker watercolor paper so it can handle me getting looser and more liquid.

Unrelated, but not really, I’m having a conversation with a friend about trusting our instincts. And I’m starting to think that art is probably a good way to learn to do that. Especially the getting loose part, the whole allowing oneself a certain degree of freedom in painting – that’s when our instincts step in and I believe we can get as finely attuned to them as we can to observing light. I suppose it’s a way of meticulously observing our own feelings and letting them guide us.

Mine were kind of all over the place today. I was feeling overly sensitive and a bit too critical of myself, overly self-conscious. I get like that sometimes. I need really nurturing people around me in order to fully feel comfortable and appreciated and understood. I’m lucky I have a few good friends I can talk to about these things.

Still, despite my feeling overly sensitive, the evening had something very nice in store: Dinner at Eunice, a most beautiful place with lovely food that might just be my new favorite restaurant.

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Do I Like Betty Best?

Today I reached the part about Betty in my fifth draft of the Galveston ghost story. And each time I get to that part I end up asking myself if perhaps I care more about Betty than about any of the other characters. Do I like Betty best? Or perhaps it’s just easiest to slip into her skin, easier than it is with Suzanne, whose life in 1900 is harder for me to imagine, or with Katie who is so young. Or maybe it’s just the way Betty sits on her front porch at night feeling lonely yet surrounded by the beauty of her garden, maybe it’s the way she tries to get lost in the simple exercise of watching the reflections of light on soap bubbles or in the condensation of a glass. Perhaps out of my characters in the new novel, Betty is the loneliest, but also the most resourceful about her loneliness.

It was only fitting that tonight I’d end up having dinner with the friend who inspired the Betty story – who actually is neither lonely nor melancholic, but then again, she would be Edna in the story, not Betty. We went to Indianola, and it was quite lovely. I can’t decide if I liked my grilled peach and mascarpone dessert best, or the cream of corn my steak came on, or perhaps the crab dip. It’s also always fun to be in EaDo and we decided that we must return soon and explore.

I also went back to the gym today after two days of absence, and it feels so good! Tomorrow I shall go again. Right after my morning incursion into the complex and fascinating world of Betty.

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Made for Watercolor

Some objects are just made for watercolor, and I’m convinced that my new espresso/cappuccino machine is one of them. It’s a very pretty object, with lots of metallic shine, especially on the carafe I get to steam the milk in, so I can make my very own café con leche just like in bars in Barcelona. I think this is a very nice addition to the gallery.

Also, tonight I had the unveiling event for my Arabesque Series and we got to celebrate the birthday of a friend and collector Holly and I both love very much! It was so very special and so fun! I’m so very happy with everything right now.

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Seascape

In which I had to paint another seascape because I enjoy the process of making these, also because the two I made earlier this summer found very good homes with wonderful collectors who love the sea, which makes me really happy. And September is sea turtle month here at the gallery, so seascapes are in order! I’ll let you know about my sea-turtle-related events shortly. Also, I’m planning an event in Galveston in a few weeks! It’s been forever since I’ve visited the Island – except in my mind. In my mind I go there each morning, but not as myself. I go as Suzanne or Betty or Katie and being in their skins and in their heads is very different. They are all artists like me, but I am stronger, with a healthier sense of my priorities and much more self-confidence as an artist. Anyway, I might bring one of my Betty paintings to the Island just for fun!

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Hanging the Arabesques

Please bear with me for one more day as I show more pictures of hanging the Arabesques while preserving secrecy over yet another pet portrait. I’m really enjoying hanging these!

I also did a weird sort of doodle about my Galveston novel, Suzanne, Betty, and Katie all drawing at the old wooden table, but it’s more something I did for myself – sort of like the drawings I did when I was a teenager – than something I feel I should share. Writing is going well though. I do a little bit each morning and it makes me very happy.

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Different Lighting Situations

I’m sharing a picture of one of the Arabesque paintings, because now that most of them are hanging in the gallery I can fully appreciate how they look in different lighting situations. Also because the cat I painted today is top secret.

All in all, it’s been a good day. I had a really good workout, which always helps, and did, with help from my friend, some very useful soul searching about what I want to do with the whole housing situation. I realized that I don’t know yet what I want, and that for now I like having options, like not feeling stuck, like feeling free to weigh different alternatives, and quite possibly not even make a decision yet. Also, I’m having a feeling of deja vu about one of the books I’m currently listening to, but I’m still not sure whether I’ve read it before or not. Deja lu? Or maybe I’m having flashbacks to a previous life, like Betty does. And maybe I’m having these flashbacks in more ways than one. Still, even when unwelcome, the flashbacks can be useful. After all, I have a very lovely life right now, and more freedom than ever.

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A Dog Portrait and a Trip Downtown

Today I painted another dog portrait. I also took a trip downtown to attend a book club meeting at Finn Hall, which was fun. I absolutely love Downtown, though I think I’ve gotten over wanting to live there. Nowadays what I want is more space for people and parties and paintings. And for the biggest dog in the Universe who is obviously huge.

I also started hanging the Arabesque paintings in the gallery, and took some better pictures of the small ones I made yesterday. Other than that, it was a slow kind of day. August is hot and sometimes it reminds me of things I don’t want to think about. I took a nap at some point, actually drifted off to sleep, dreamt of something I can’t remember. That helped a little. And tomorrow I’m going to yin yoga to hopefully melt a little and let everything go.

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Smaller Pieces

Today I made some smaller pieces to go with the Arabesque series. I also had an especially good run on the elliptical, and I got my book fairy stickers in the mail so I can start hiding more books around Houston. I also came up with an idea I’m really excited about as a Holiday project. I will reveal more soon!

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Back to Pink

Y’all surely know by now that I really really really love pink, so it shouldn’t be surprising that I included a pink painting in the Arabesque series!

Also, today, my friend who has a membership at the Houstonian – Houston’s most exclusive health and wellness club – invited me to come sit by the pool with her. It was very interesting. The water was chilled, actually quite cold, so, on one of the hottest days of the year it was a bit surreal to get out and shiver a little while seeking the comfort of a clean dry towel. I’m used to swimming pools the temperature of hot tea, which is what you usually get by the end of a hot day during a hot Texas summer. I must say I love swimming in hot tea at sunset. But the chilled pool at the Houstonian was refreshing and peaceful and I’m definitely glad I had a chance to check it out.

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Swimming Pool

Today’s painting is different. It was originally inspired by the glimmer of water in the swimming pool, but it grew into something different. I decided to have a pop up happy hour for my collectors to show these paintings, and I’m really excited about it!

Also, look how beautiful the sky was this evening: