busy

Two Art Shows, A Cleanse, Pom-Poms, Taxes & Slowing Down

It was a very busy weekend with an art show at Collector in Berkeley, a workshop in SF with Dana Haim, an art show at the Citadel Gallery, crafting for a baby shower and taxes. Whew! I have been overcommitting for the last two months and while I feel lucky to be involved with all these projects, I have been feeling really burnt out. Luckily, I'm on a cleanse so that's really helping things! Ha, not really. I am cooking or preparing every single meal since I have not been consuming dairy, grains, legumes or sugar. It makes it hard if I go out to eat anywhere since I can't eat much of anything but salad. I've been somewhat of a homebody at this time. Anyway, I'm doing it to myself.

 

FRIDAY

Great turnout at Collector

Great turnout at Collector

Talking with an art fan

Talking with an art fan

The art show opening at Collector was fantastic! A good friend, artist Elissa Nesheim came out all the way from Gilroy and there was a really nice crowd. I love working with this art shop. Skye and Christina have a great eye and they are so good to the artists. The shop has art-filled walls and an incredible selection of artist prints and handmade goods. Collector also now carries prints of my work. It was so hard to not eat the brie and drink the wine at this opening! 

 

SATURDAY

Dana Haim in the center of all this yarn

Dana Haim in the center of all this yarn

All my poms

All my poms

My friend Anabella and I headed up to San Francisco early to attend a pom-pom workshop by Brooklyn artist Dana Haim at Makeshift Society. I saw her Pomifornia workshop tour on the Jungalow blog and posted by Makeshift Society. It seemed like it would be really fun.  Dana was so great and I learned a ton from her. The other guests were super fun too. I am brainstorming a summer project with these and hoping to include glittery yarn. I love learning new things and Dana Haim has transformed pom-poms into something new and exciting. Working on these fluffy little spheres was addicting. I loved "painting" with the yarn and experimenting with the designs. It reminded me that I love working with a variety of materials from paper to textiles and that I just love color so much.  

Faye Moorhouse at Faye's Video

Faye Moorhouse at Faye's Video

After the workshop, we headed over to Faye's Video & Espresso Bar to see the work of UK artist and illustrator Faye Moorhouse. I love her quirky, wonky work. Faye's wonky movie posters were just the thing I needed to see. 

An awesome turnout at Eye Tea at the Citadel Gallery, including Bella's parents seen in the foreground here. 

An awesome turnout at Eye Tea at the Citadel Gallery, including Bella's parents seen in the foreground here. 

The show Eye Tea opened at the Citadel Gallery on Saturday night. It was awesome to be a part of Slow Art Day. We were the only venue in San Jose to take part. The theme of artists reflecting on social media and information technology seemed really fitting for the idea of slowing down. Slow Art Day asks participants in galleries worldwide to view 5 works of art for 5-10 minutes each. The average time viewers spend in front of a work of art is said to be about 17 seconds. Slow Art Day asks viewers to stop and view the art. 

String Theory, art installation by Frances Marin and Anabella Pi ñ on at Citadel Gallery. Watercolor, paper, dyed string and cans. 

String Theory, art installation by Frances Marin and Anabella Piñon at Citadel Gallery. Watercolor, paper, dyed string and cans. 

Anabella and I came up with the installation String Theory. Two kids talk on a tin can, but there is a lot of noise and eavesdropping happening around them. A fairly simple and straightforward message here. We had been spending many hours on this in the last few weeks. I will be posting about the behind-the-scenes of this project soon. 

 

SUNDAY

I spent time crafting in the morning for a friend's baby shower that's happening this weekend. We made banners and other decor for this. Afterward, I went to Bryan's jiu jitsu competition. It was so cool to see him win his first match. 

 

MONDAY/TUESDAY/WEDNESDAY

Still in my robe as I write this!

Still in my robe as I write this!

And then, taxes. For the last few years, I gather up my documents and data early in the year and get about 75% finished with my tax work. Then, life and projects get prioritized and I end up scrambling at the last minute. Since I have a variety of streams of revenue including teaching, wholesale, several online shops, events, direct sales, etc., my taxes are quite a bit more complicated these days than they were a few years ago. I am quite proud that I am so much more organized and knowledgeable about bookkeeping than when I started. It took years of hard work, but I feel really good about being able to handle this aspect of what I do. I have to be honest about not keeping up with bookkeeping in the last part of 2014. When I sat down and went through the numbers, I was really happy to have made more than I thought. I am determined to get my taxes done earlier in 2016. I'm also determined to stay more on top of bookkeeping for the rest of this year. 

Now it's time to slow down a little. I'll be going on vacation for the last week of the month. I think it's well-deserved after this crazy schedule I've had. I have a few fun projects to work toward until I leave, but it is so much less than I have had going. On the trip, I will have limited internet access and I think this will be a very, very good thing.  

 

 

 

All in a Weekend - New Website and Trying Something New: Sailing

So yeah, this past weekend was a crazy one. I've been learning the multitasking I've been doing for years is not actually very productive, so doing one thing at a time felt great. Well, maybe there was a little multitasking.

Friday - Photographed more art and redesigned my website. Again

I shot and edited more photos of my art prints. This is always way more time-consuming than I think it will be. I'm well on my way to getting it done though! This means that my wholesale line sheet will be done soon and my prints will look a lot prettier in the various online shops they will be featured in.

Okay, so I didn't design my website from scratch, but I do make various creative and layout decisions about the template that I use. This is what I did with my Friday night. I got super excited to change my site again since I wanted it to be super easy to navigate and I wanted to set it up for some things that are happening this year. I also wanted to be able to feature a few events or new things on the home page. I think it's just what I need. I'm officially letting my website be!

Saturday - I sailed!

Ever since watching the Swallows and Amazons BBC series as a kid and reading Maiden Voyage by Tania Aebi as a teenager, I've wanted to sail. Last Christmas, my boyfriend got me sailing lessons at Spinnaker Sailing in Redwood City. I always dreamed of it being relaxing and a way to escape land and all the normalcy of daily life. With lessons, you aren't relaxing so much, but watching, doing and learning.

I thought I would spend my lunch breaks from class sketching and painting the boats. I only got this one done on the first day since I spent the rest of my lunches studying. There's a lot to know when it comes to sailing terminology between the materials, tools, boat parts, lingo and sailing directions.

Someday I'd like to get one of these. Love the name, like  The Creation  song.

Someday I'd like to get one of these. Love the name, like The Creation song.

The cloudy skies cleared up for day one of sailing.

The cloudy skies cleared up for day one of sailing.

The view from below deck.

The view from below deck.

Sunday - more sailing!

Sailing was amazing. Not just in the glorified, storybook way, but it made me really think about things. You have to focus on the wind, where it's coming from and think of the logistics from class, which feel different when you're actually out there. I learned to sail, tie knots, motor and dock a boat, rescue passengers overboard and more. I was also thinking about how hard it was to grasp at first, between the coordination and classroom knowledge. It made me think of how good it feels to push myself, how much more I should push myself and how long it had been since I had tried something new. Pushing through when you aren't sure of what you're doing or doubting yourself is something that happens when you do something new. It made me realize I can't keep doing the same things forever.

Sailing reminded me of how learning or doing things well takes focus. Being on the water you have just the boat, lines, tiller, motor and wind (and a good instructor) to sail. I need to remember this kind of razor-sharp focus with art too.

View from the boat day two.

View from the boat day two.

Wrapping up the day with our awesome instructor.

Wrapping up the day with our awesome instructor.

The Planning Phase

There are times where I feel like I am not doing much. In reality, it's a little bit of lots of things that are working toward something bigger, but it becomes such a blur. That's how this approaching April is feeling. As usual, the year is going by way too fast: the projects I want to accomplish are not as far along as I would like, I wanted to have my taxes done back in February and I panic as I see the year rolling by and not getting a proper start on my children's book. I like to let things happen, but sometimes a little bit of a guided path is necessary.

View from a recent hike on Saturday in Napa's  Skyline Wilderness Park

View from a recent hike on Saturday in Napa's Skyline Wilderness Park

With the first quarter of the year being done, I think I need to acknowledge what I have accomplished so far:

  • Applied for an international art residency
  • Applied for the West Elm/Minted design challenge
  • Applied to be a contributor to a new magazine
  • Opened a shop on my website in addition to my Etsy shop
  • Ran my first giveaway
  • Nearly completed my redesigned wholesale line sheet
  • About to have my work in one new store
  • About to have my portraits in a wedding guide
  • Close to launching my travel paintings
  • Close to launching my tote bags

So this brings me to a public to do list. If I let you know what I am doing, I will be far more likely to do it. I made a public list at the beginning of the year, so here's another one.

The list!

  1. Complete drawings for my Shelter show
  2. Edit and add ALL custom portraits to my website
  3. Deep dive into the rest of my taxes
  4. Shoot stylized photos of my art prints and their packaging
  5. Order business cards and postcards
  6. Write to stores for wholesale (past and potential)
  7. Print my first few tote bag designs in April
  8. Sketch and write one new page for my children's book
  9. Finish a few Skillshare classes
  10. Add more designs to Society 6
  11. Try out Spoonflower

Some of these items are ongoing, but I definitely want to accomplish most of them in the next month!

What do you need to get done?

Feels Like It's Getting Busy - Alamere Falls Part Two

Several weeks ago, I returned to Alamere Falls with some friends. I had been hiking in some beautiful places in the North Bay to prepare for backpacking the Skyline-to-Sea trail. This trip has been postponed for a few reasons, but that's okay. We'll do it soon. 

I've been doing some thinking this last week about just how much time art takes up in my life. While I absolutely love it, it turns most weeks into 6-7 work days. I love so many other things as well and it can be difficult to make the time for other things I like to do, especially when adventuring means traveling out of the area for a day or a weekend. This time of the year I get really busy, so I think I am just in the acceptance stage that summer is over, I have a lot of work lined up and deadlines are looming.

For now, I will be sharing Alamare Falls - Part Two. I invited some friends to hike the same trail I had done a couple weeks prior. It was an even prettier not-a-cloud-in-the-sky day.

Friends above the sea

Friends above the sea

Rope swingers were having a blast. There was a small hillside of my friends and a few strangers, including some nudists on the rope swing. Gotta love California!

Rope swingers were having a blast. There was a small hillside of my friends and a few strangers, including some nudists on the rope swing. Gotta love California!

This scene was way prettier in person. It felt like we were on a remote island. 

This scene was way prettier in person. It felt like we were on a remote island. 

Lovely friends posing after we made it to the first part of the falls. 

Lovely friends posing after we made it to the first part of the falls. 

Waterfall to the sea

Waterfall to the sea

We ate figs, dark chocolate covered coconut, garden vegetable sandwiches and reward beers in this perfect place.

We ate figs, dark chocolate covered coconut, garden vegetable sandwiches and reward beers in this perfect place.

Sunburst  

Sunburst  

A classic California sunset on the walk back. 

A classic California sunset on the walk back. 

Alright, back to work!