First off, hello there...it's been awhile.
I know I have been neglecting the weekly blog for months, but this week I am bringing it back. It's been a busy year and I just didn't have time for it. That's how it goes sometimes. I feel like I hit the ground running after my early October wedding with various projects. It feels good to be busy.
Cat Watercolor Workshop
On Wednesday, I led another cat watercolor workshop at The Dancing Cat, a cat rescue space, in San Jose. They call it "San Jose's first creative space for people and cats." I really love teaching at this spot. It's 7 blocks from my house, the owner is great and so far, the classes sell out before I can promote them. She finds the best students, some with experience, some without, but they all are really open, motivated and have a really good time. I really like to encourage freeing yourself up, allowing yourself to have fun, experiment and embrace your own natural style. These workshops have been getting me motivated to teach more workshops in the future. Sharing my knowledge with new people reinforces my love for what I do. I have wanted to expand my offerings for workshops after the Content Magazine event over the summer and these recent cat workshops, so you should be seeing more in 2017.
I'll be teaching a pre-teen/teen class at The Dancing Cat for ages 10-14 (there's still room if you know anyone!) on December 10th and possibly another adult one in January.
A friend recently posted this episode of Malcolm Gladwell's podcast. She was right, it's fascinating. The title, Hallelujah, references the iconic song by recently departed Leonard Cohen. If you don't know Leonard's music, check it out. It's seriously beautiful.
I heard a Radiolab podcast, From Tree to Shining Tree, a few months back on the community among trees. It's an unbelievably magical episode. I won't say much, but if you want to have your mind blown on the interconnectivity of trees, you must listen. I also just found out there is a TED Talk on the subject as well.
After taking a little unplanned break from art last week, I made this combination of paintings. The top room is of Leonard Cohen's living room and the bottom is Trump's living room. I was watching a Leonard Cohen documentary and the narrator said:
In thinking about how Donald Trump got a lot of support from the blue-collar or working class, it's pretty ironic that his three-story penthouse home is $100 million and filled with marble, 24 kt gold and chandeliers. My unplanned break from art last week was due to a combination of working on a grant application, reflecting on the election and what I am doing with my art. Sometimes I get so disenchanted with art in its modern context. It feels like it's all about conveying perfection on Instagram, everything looking homogenous and branded. I still have my rebellious side and I see it coming out more lately. It's so important to voice your opinion and be yourself.
Last night I saw the great Anthony Bourdain in San Jose. I have been a huge fan for a decade now so it was pretty amazing to see him in person. I love how he is both a food elitist and calls out food snobbery. I can't wait to get his new cookbook too.
I painted this sketchbook cover for a friend's birthday. It says "sueña en grande" or "dream big." I used BFK Rives paper to wrap the sketchbook cover, using a technique I learned in a book making course in art school. The painting is of Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico, a place we hiked while on a road trip together a few years ago.
I painted this little window, thinking of that super moon everyone was talking about, thinking of a light at the end of the tunnel, that kind of thing.
I think having a dog is key to working freelance or from home. They get you of the house and out of your head. You also get to go to dog parks like the one pictured above. Hart's Dog Park is a new spot in Downtown San Jose and one of our best artists, Roan Victor, painted this stunning mural at it.