Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 7. "Toe Cleavage" $25

New Year's Eve 2012.  Ladies, as you contemplate what to wear out tonight, remember, it never hurts to show a little cleavage.  Enjoy the festivities! (-;

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 6. "The Power of Wiggly Toes" SOLD

Never are toes more appreciated than when you need a nice blast of heat added to your bath water.  Ah, thank you, wiggly toes.  Your place in this life is secure. (-;

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 5."The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" SOLD

A few days ago, I watched an incredible documentary. It was Lucy Walker's, "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom" about the 9.0 tsunami that hit Japan on 3/11/11.  Walker was preparing to make a film about Japan's ephemeral cherry blossom season, but ended up making something completely different after the devasting natural disaster killed thousands of people.

One month after the waves hit, the appearance of the beloved blossoms, beautiful and enduring amidst a land ragged with ruin and destruction, gave the Japanese hope to survive.  Here are some of the film's touching quotes:

"It's beautiful, because the life of the flowers is short.  Even when the flowers fall, we love it.  That's the heart of a Japanese person."

"Flowers dying is not a sad thing."

"If you give up, it's all over."

"The plants are hanging in there, so we humans had better do it, too."

I remember one man saying you can see your feelings reflected in the cherry blossoms.  If you are melancholy, they will appear melancholy; if you are happy, they will appear happy.  The cherry blossoms are like the way we view life then, no? The documentary was only about 45 minutes long, but it was heart-wrenchingly filled with beauty, emotion, and inspirational Japanese culture.

As I watched the film, I remembered looking at hundreds of pictures on the internet when the tsunami had occurred, and at one frame in particular.  It was of two women searching through heaps of debris where their houses had once stood.  Finally, one found a yellow teacup that was still intact and held it up high above her head with a huge smile on her face.  You would have thought she had found a chunk of gold.  To her, this small memory of normal life, whole and unharmed, gave her this immense joy.  How precious are small things to the heart--how important are the cherry blossoms to the stricken soul.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 4. "Getting into Position" $25

Eek.  This day got away from me.  Bad night sleeping, errands galore, friends in from Chicago, dinner and concert, and me running home thinking, "I have to get that painting done before midnight."  Well peeps, I've kept the committment, unfortunately in my haste, I've got some shaky characters with a pregnant mom in kabuki make-up and some crazy letters from the wrong black marker.  What can you do?  The hilarity of this true conversation between two co-workers of mine, Shante--young mother of 3--and Ashlee--mother of one with 2nd on the way--deserves better.  I love having pregnant bellies around.  They're so much fun to rub Buddha-style.  Luckily these ladies indulged/indulge me.  Thank you, Shante and Ashlee, for letting me connect to your wee ones before they ever arrived.  Also, a shout out to my cousin Leslie and husband Scott down in Texas.  Congrats on your first child, Kennedy Grace.  Mwah!

Here's who we saw tonight--The Giving Tree--great band from Chicago!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 3. It's Time.

Ah, the new year approaches.  A time to make resolutions for self-improvement that include never overeating again; always matching your socks up so you're not consistently wearing two different colors; getting up at 6 a.m. each day instead of staying up until 1 a.m.  Um, yeah. I gave up making such irrational vows some time ago.  However, when you "know" you're ready to spin your life in a new direction, I've never thought you needed a particular "date" to do it.  I think you feel within yourself, coursing through your veins, a voice that tells you, "It's time."

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 2. A Love Story ($15) and George Harrison

I've had a leftover piece of cardboard sitting around for quite awhile.  I liked the shape of it--it was from a box flap of a Williams-Sonoma "Baked" mix.  (You know, Baked, right?  Matt Lewis' and Renato Poliafito's fantastic bakery in Brooklyn--  Anyway, I saved this little piece of cardboard. I had bought a paper puncher that made little curly-q designs, and I tried it out on the cardboard.  Interesting I thought.  I decided to paint it lime green, but still didn't know where it was heading. Finally, about 8 months later, and sick of it hanging around in its mostly naked state, I painted it on either side and strung it up.  It is now a love story.

Natasha:  "Reginald, I love you for your killer sideburns and your fabulous purple, Prince-like jacket that would look fabulous on me."

Reginald:  "Natasha, I love you for your Angelina Jolie-like jawline and for your purple eyeshadow which matches my purple, Prince-like jacket--complete with hanky.  We're made for each other."

People have made relationships out of less... (-;

On another note, I just happened to catch Martin Scorsese's HBO documentary, "George Harrison:  Living in the Material World" from 2011. It's the 3rd time I've seen it, but it captivates me as if it's completely brand new.  Sometimes I sit and draw images/faces while I watch a movie.  They are fast sketches and because the film's images are moving so quickly, often a sketch will contain several different shots of one person or different features of several people.  In one of my drawings, I have a cap of Yoko Ono, a body and chair out of my imagination, and a pattern from the quick shot of a doorway.

The documentary, (both parts I and II), is so beautiful.  The largest gift I get from it is George's search for getting something deeper than material things out of this journey on earth.  His yearning to connect with a pathway that leads to enlightenment, whatever that may mean to each of us, and which for him was being a spiritual being.  I find great comfort in his matter-of-fact stance that everything must change.  "You have to change.  That's what the physical world is about," he says. 

So, when I'm sad as I watch things slip away, people move away, I'm going to try to remember his calm belief in the fact that "All Things Must Pass."

Day 1 Merry Christmas to me."No I Didn't Eat It."

I decided to give myself a Christmas early New Year's Day resolution, if you will.  It's a promise to make a drawing or a painting a day for one year.  Uh huh.  I'm doin' it baby.  There's been lots of 365 day projects.  I first one I had heard about was in 2007 with Noah Scalin making a skull a day.  See his website here,, for more information.  He made a book about it, "Skulls," which is out-of-print, but available at amazon here:

Anyway, Day 1 for me (Christmas Day) was this little ditty--"No, I Didn't Eat It."  Seemed perfect for all those Christmas treats that somehow find their way into our mouths.

Off we go!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

In December 2004, I got my first raw food book called "Raw: The Uncook Book: New Vegetarian Food for Life"  by Juliano Brotman.  In the next few years I purchased seemingly every raw food cookbook that came out.  I followed a combination of the raw food diet, specific carbohydrate diet (SCD), and the paleo diet for several years losing a total of 20 pounds and feeling great.  People would tell me, "You look healthy."  I haven't heard that comment in 3 years.  From 2009 forward, after several extremely stressful events in my life and tired of deprivation, I diverted from that way of life. I would like to try to incorporate more of those recipes back into my life.  I guess as far as food and diets goes though, I'm a commitment-phobe.  The second I say I'm going to go all raw, I will zip over to a cheese frenzy (and not a raw cheese one!).  Perhaps John Mellencamp put it best in his song, "Between A Laugh And A Tear,"  "I know there's a balance see it when I swing past."  John wasn't applying his lyrics to a steady path between denial and overindulgence in terms of food, but there you go.  You never know where you'll find your lessons.

Anyway, let's just say in the culinary beauty of life, I will try it all.  Julia Child, if you lived a few days before your 92nd birthday eating cream and butter and sugar--all in moderation--and enjoying life without restrictions, then I think you are the model to follow.  So today just happens to be a raw food offering.  Enjoy!

Ani Phyo is one of my favorite raw food authors with "Ani's Raw Food Kitchen" being at the top.  Here's my variation of her "Very Blueberry Smoothie" from that book.

3 cups water
2 cups of a combination of frozen blueberries and bing cherries
1/2 c. walnuts
1/2 of a date and walnut bar (only contains dates/walnuts/and crisped rice)  no gluten
2 T. organic coconut oil
1 vanilla bean

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Grace Potter & The Nocturnals - Elvis Presley Blues (Audio Bootleg)

Here's a sweet, wonderful song from one of my favorite indie groups--Grace Potter and the Nocturnals singing "Elvis Presley Blues" (originally by Gillian Welch). Enjoy!

Update-2013--My first link was such an excellent version--live with some chic in the background calling out towards the end, "Come on, Girl!"  Anyway, looks like the YouTube account associated with it has been terminated so I'll put a different clip in here now.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Two paintings for a friend.

Here's a commissioned painting I did for a friend of mine, Jen Sowers (pictured above).  It's of her adorable, bubbly little girl!

This is the second painting I did for Jen, this time of her son.  It includes two of the things he loves:  Power Rangers and those little green army men.  Oh, and his bear shirt. (-;

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Getting Started

I'm sitting in the midst of utter chaos in my art studio.  I am moving and arranging all of my--crap--and I think, is the sum total of my life going to be about getting organized?  Maybe that's it.  Maybe when I finally master this seemingly mundane concept, I will reach nirvana and be able to let my soul rest in blissful peace.  Hmm.  If that idea is true, I guess I will be living a long life! 

This blog of mine is about incorporating as much daily joy into my life as possible by doing those things that truly make me happy (see "About Me section.").  I want to try recipes from all my cookbooks (and WHOA, NELLY, that's a boatload.)  I want to draw and paint each and every day.  The only way I'm going to be able to do this on a consistent basis is by--geez, here's another dirty, grown-up word--by being "disciplined" and doing these things each day for the rest of my life.  Good grief--my mantra of life must be organization and discipline?  I want to throw a big tantrum.  That's not me.  I'm free-spirited, a nightowl, someone who hates to be pinned down to a plan.  But on the other hand, I am feeling out of control in my crazy life.  Well, at least in my crazy room.  I need to be able to keep my tilt-a-whirl ways, but in the presence of peace.  Well, at least I need to be able to find my red paint and a paintbrush when I need it.  That's what I realized today, when all I could find was a plastic baggie of Q-tips on the floor that I hadn't put away from a trip 2 weeks ago.  When the need to paint hits, I'll use whatever, but it might have been better to have just been able to grab a paintbrush.  Thus, "Live, Draw, Paint" is going to have to have a couple of best friends--organization and discipline.  Sounds nauseating.  Ha!  So I'm cleaning.  The rest of my house looks pretty good, but in my cave of creativity, I'm holding onto a limb suspended over quicksand.  I'm going to have to fix that.