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Wood Patterns

Today’s Arabesque painting is different. It’s inspired by wood patterns. It’s an idea that came to me this morning while I was writing. It came from a old working table that’s featured in my Galveston ghost story. My friend in Amsterdam (Dana from The Amsterdamian) suggested, when read an early draft, that there should be an object from the old haunted mansion that I describe, and that shows up in all three timelines of the story. I decided on the old table on which Suzanne draws in the late 1800s, Betty in 1961, and Katie in 2008. They each like to observe the patterns in the wood, finding figures and flowers.

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Purple and Gold

Today I added a big purple painting to the Arabesque series. I also had a very satisfying conversation tracking the package containing my portrait of Rosie the Boston – she is now in London, in a place called Northwest Depot, and will be delivered tomorrow! Then my friend and I had a very lovely dinner at La Table – Chateau, probably one of the most beautiful restaurants in Houston, where the food was really good. And then we went to see Casablanca at the rooftop cinema that’s right above the Whole Foods by my house. I hadn’t seen that movie in more than fifteen years, and it was interesting to watch it again now. But mostly it just felt good to sit outside under the summer sky and enjoy a movie somewhere above the city.

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Smokey the Cat

Meet Smokey the cat. He is very regal and has beautiful grey fur. It was definitely an honor to paint him today.

Though, of course, I was also still obsessed with my Arabesque series, and today in yoga class it occurred to me that it’d be fun to make a green one. I might try a different color tomorrow!

Also, I finished the fourth draft of the Galveston ghost story, worked out, ate a Vietnamese sandwich for lunch and tacos for dinner, bought a cute new dress to celebrate the fact that I’m losing weight, and got to see John and the dogs in the evening, which was very nice.

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Some things I learned today: Giving full course to my obsession for gold and transparencies, for patches of vibrant colors, and art that changes dramatically in different kinds of light, will result in paintings that are almost impossible to photograph but are so very satisfying. Also, I need to create an opportunity for collectors to come see my growing new Arabesque series in person.

The pancakes at Dish Society are really really good.

I need to stop saying I don’t do abstract art, as I clearly do, and there are people who have some lovely abstract art I made in their homes. One of these people was at the White Linen party last night, and it was so great to see her!

After partying for four days in a row I tend to be exhausted but absolutely giddy with excitement.

When you see a piece of art you really love, and you have a special connection to it, and it keeps crossing your path, you should buy it if you can. I got my very first original John Ross Palmer painting today, and I’m so excited to get to see it all the time now in my own room. Can you find it in this picture? A painting with a very special history, it was one of the paintings on display at the very first party I attended at John and Ryan’s two years ago, and it made quite an impression on me. It’s part of a series of paintings he made in Havana in 2016. There’s even a documentary about them, check it out on YouTube! I figured I deserved a big meaningful treat for being so good lately.

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More Red – And White Linen

Some of the new paint supplies I’d ordered arrived today, so I dug in. I decided to let myself play with another abstract piece – though breaking rules, even my own, is always hard for me. I decided to paint layers and layers of red pretty much without thinking – that too is hard for me, as I am thinking all the time. Then I fell into the eternal trap: What if I actually liked the first layer better than the subsequent ones? I suppose that’s ok, as I can keep adding. And who knows, perhaps one day I’ll get better at dealing with the uncertainty of painting abstract.

In the evening my friend and I had a lovely dinner at Ouisie’s Table (Restaurant Week has started – and I decided it’s my favorite holiday, right after Thanksgiving!) then went to John and Ryan’s epic White Linen party, which was a total blast. There were so many people there! It was quite interesting, and among all the commotion I still got kisses from Nancy, so that’s what matters.

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Meet Rascal

This is my friend’s dog, Rascal. Isn’t he a cutie pie? I’m really enjoying painting all these pet portraits!

I also went to the gym today – back on the elliptical, then tried out a rowing machine, but I’m not so sure what to do with it. In the evening I went to John and Ryan’s for Matt Conway’s solo show, which was quite a different experience! All in all it’s been a wonderful day, and tomorrow is White Linen Night – one of the biggest parties of the year! Last year my work was hanging in the Chrysalis, and I had completely lost my voice, so I was communicating with people by typing notes into my phone. This year I can talk, and as I’m not of of the featured artists I can party!

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Do Cats Love One Another?

Do cats love one another? Of course they do! Today I got to paint my friend’s beautiful cats! I also did some pretty good writing, a little laundry, and other useful things. I even took a nap with puppy. I skipped the gym, though, and that kind of made me sad. Turns out I love endorphins and consistency. Nothing new here! Tomorrow I’ll be back at it again!

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Vertical City

What do you do when you see a particularly well-coiffed poodle? 🐩 Obviously you discreetly take a picture so you can sketch it later. Other highlights of my day: Finally writing some description of the Island into the Galveston manuscript, ordering art supplies so I can make more red and gold stuff, working out, of course, then in the evening attending an event in a building with a fabulous view – as if to underscore my obsession with looking at apartments in Downtown high rises. Not sure yet what will happen to that idea, but I’m starting to be aware that there’s a whole vertical city to explore out there.

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Red and Gold

I still feel like playing with red and gold, still feel like drawing patterns while processing my thoughts. Today I allowed myself to do all that. I still remained disciplined about some things though, such as working out on the elliptical at the Y, and even pushed myself to go on an adventure and fulfill my duties as a book fairy. It was hard at first because I couldn’t possibly figure out where I wanted to leave the books. To think that someone who loves exploring the city as much as I do was having trouble coming up with two favorite places was disconcerting at best. I realized that, as much as I love my routine, I might be too much into it these days. And so I got in the car and remembered a few things I had forgotten. For example, I remembered that by far my favorite neighborhood in Houston is Downtown. It has such a special big city energy, and there are lots of people, and some very charming old buildings. I even started fantasizing about moving there – something I like to imagine every now and then. And something that perhaps I should really try.

I’ll let you guess where I left the second book.

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Very Special Puppies

Today I got to paint my friend’s dogs. They are so very special! I even met them once: they live in a very beautiful house where there’s a lot of my art. And they have very very lovely lives – as all puppies deserve.

The rest of my day consisted of getting various things done that are typical for the start of the week, also of working out, walking my own little dog, and processing a whole bunch of feelings. I ended up wanting to make a piece of abstract art, something a little different than what I normally do. You can see a segment of it here. I think I might try to play around with this technique and make a few more of these.