Today my friend arrived from Austin and we went to the Menil together. One of my favorite things we saw was a dragon. It was a little bit of a strange day for me – strange dreams and sleeplessness last night – and I felt a little bit in a haze. Anyway it was a nice day after all, and tomorrow my friend and I are throwing a vintage-themed party that goes with our books, and hopefully that will be fun!
Today I sold the three paintings below – two of which I took to their new homes. I also discovered the joy of walking my dog in my glamorous silver fox coat on cold mornings. It turns out 42 F in Houston is definitely cold enough for a coat like that, and throwing it on ever so casually over my T-shirt and yoga pants made me feel like a movie star.
I drew a love scene between lions because the Frogs in Love painting below inspired me to look for images of other animals showing affection.
A lot happened today, including I did a collaboration painting with my mentor John Ross Palmer, wore my Persian Lamb to breakfast at Kenny and Ziggy’s, baked bread, cleaned the gallery, hosted a party, and ended the night talking to three fabulous women – and a small dog – about some of my most exciting future plans.
The dog seems somewhat perplexed. (Look at her face in the picture where she’s looking at the abstract collaboration piece!) But I think she had a good day too.
Today I did all kind of good things: exercised, had my teeth cleaned, went to a volunteer orientation (more on that later), and did this little sketch inspired by my hotel room with a view in Chinatown earlier this month. Also, I came across this quote I really like in my new manuscript this morning as I was editing:
Today was rainy and I felt sleepy all day. I woke up next to my sweet little dog and I didn’t really want to get out of bed. But really, actually, all in all today was the best day since I got back. I felt sleepy, but more comfortable than I’ve been in days. My sheets were clean, the dog was warm, and the rain outside somehow soothing.
Tonight I had a party to go to at John and Ryan’s, and that made me happy to be back. It was good seeing everyone again, and meeting the new Escapists! Nancy was not in attendance at the party, but John let me sneak in to say a quick hello to her and Bobby. Also, I saw Alexander Ross! Don’t think I’ve forgotten about him!
Today was a much better day. I got some work done in the morning, which included scanning yesterday’s rose watercolor to include in my online shop, as well as to create products on my Society6 page. Take a look below to see how pretty these are!And there are more than the ones pictured below! Creating them sure made me feel better.
Afterwards I went to the gym, where I resumed my workout and had fun although I forgot my headphones. And then I went to HEB where I shopped in order to make dinner for my top collectors. I made Argentinian shrimp, and I recreated a sweet potato curry I had at Nix in NYC last week. It turned out pretty good, and we had a nice time, with good conversation and lots of laughs. Now the house smells like rose candles and curry and I’m definitely in a much better mood than I was before. Though I’m still not feeling completely settled or completely comfortable yet.
I haven’t adjusted to being back yet. I still feel a little bit in a fog and everything seems surreal. Like, why is it so hot and humid? Walking around in sandals this time of year seems a bit strange after my days of wearing fur and boots in NYC.
Anyway, I got some unexpected inspiration today and started thinking that maybe I should make all kinds of pink stuff for Valentine’s Day. Like pink roses, that kind of stuff.
Also, I started obsessively organizing my space. It always hits me when I come back from a trip, just how much stuff I have, and how I most likely don’t need it all. I’ve been organizing and downsizing. All this while being plagued by all sorts of existential questions and my perpetual identity crisis, my perpetual quest for where exactly I belong.
I miss my hotel room in Chinatown.
It wasn’t until later this evening that I realized I forgot to do my blog yesterday. I had drawn something cute – a portrait of my dog. I’d just picked her up in Galveston, and I drew her, then got into bed with every intention of writing a blog post, but I was too tired and it slipped my mind.
Proof that New York City actually loves me back: It rained this morning, it was cold and foggy, and my beautiful view was completely hidden. I talked to it. I asked it to please show itself. I needed to see it one more time, needed to say goodbye. By the time I ran downstairs to the Chinese bakery – an errand which, with the sidewalks glimmering with rain, and the red lanterns adding a hopeful spot of color, seemed magical to me – the silhouettes of buildings had started peeking through the fog. The World Trade Center showed itself again, and I was grateful. It was hard to leave this beautiful view, hard to leave the constant sound of the City, hard to leave Chinatown with its red lanterns and lucky golden rats, its dumplings and cheap pastries and good tea and people selling vegetables from carts on the sidewalk. At the airport, the City decided to show me a rainbow, complete and round, a final friendly gesture. Houston greeted me with a sunset, pink and gorgeous, but I’m not feeling it yet.
Today it rained and was cold. My beautiful view was entirely covered in fog. I felt rather melancholic – between this being my last day here, and seeing my friend last night, then having to say goodbye, I had trouble dispersing my own mental and emotional fog. I ended up enjoying my usual breakfast of milk tea at the bakery downstairs, then did a bit of work in my room. I sent a few emails, set up a few nice things for the coming week so that I can start feeling excited about my Houston life again. I have meetings lined up with collectors and friends, breakfast with my mentor, and – drumroll! – a volunteer orientation and happy hour, because one of my goals this year is to start volunteering again. I found an organization that does something I’m interested in. It has to do with fashion, the environment, and fabrics! I’ll tell you more later!
For lunch I walked to Nom Wah, the oldest dim sum parlor in Chinatown. It did not disappoint. Operating since 1920, Nom Wah is an absolute winner in terms of atmosphere, a magical little corner of Chinatown, with good food and absolutely delicious tea. I’m so happy I discovered it!
Also, I’m approaching the final stretch of my campaign to sell pre-release copies of Storms of Malhado. There are only two days left to order one and become a VIP reader! Everyone who orders after February 8th will have to wait until September to read the book – and that’s a long wait!
Today I took my mom’s silver fox coat on a special adventure: lunch at Balthazar in SoHo. The restaurant is absolutely divine and totally vintage-fur-worthy. The interior is so beautiful and I was so awe-struck that I didn’t even take pictures. I was happy to take in everything from my little table, and to enjoy the wonderful food and bread. They have their own bakery and and the bread and butter tasted just like bread and butter in Paris. For my meal I had grilled chicken Paillard salad, which was wonderful, because grilled chicken can be the best thing ever if done right.
After lunch I walked to the bank and deposited half of my fur money. Then I walked to the post office here in Chinatown to mail some postcards and it ended up being such a pleasant walk. I can’t even describe how much I love Chinatown. It’s genuine and busy, full of vegetable carts, stores selling red and gold good luck rats, noodle shops, and grandmas pulling shopping trolleys. I think I’ll really miss its energy when I’m gone.
In the evening I met my friend from more than twenty years ago. We had Greek food and caught up, but also talked about the old times. We’ve had so many adventures together. She’s even in one of my paintings, and was featured in my solo show. It’s called Dining Like Queens in Barcelona. Dinner went by too fast and I was left feeling like I didn’t have enough time with her.