Tag Archives: happy new year

a tangent

it’s been four months (four too [f*cking] many) and two days since i last posted on here. i have written entries during this radio silence, but upon later inspection, those entries were mediocre at best. writing an entry from the confines of another home or a coffee shop just, well, it sucks. my creative juices tend to evaporate and i am usually left listening to those around me sip overpriced lattes whilst one-hit-wonder hipster songs play over head (it’s even hard to avoid if you wear a set of headphones which i tend to not wear because i feel antisocial enough and somewhat rude as it were trapped in my world of keyboard-ness). oh and happy new year and merry holidays, by the way! i’ve been so damn neglectful of my dear readers. apologies all around!


i have not had my own personal desktop computer (i do not own a laptop) online since July. the hiatus was fine and at times quite pleasant (it’s a stellar excuse for missing emails, online bill payments, and the like – though i would never encourage that sort of behavior!). but it has also been a giant pain in the ass a bit frustrating because i realized just how dependent i (let’s face it, we) have become on this interweb luxury that we all take for granted. i have a smart phone, too. so it’s not as if i’ve been living in a remote part of the world without any electronics or ways to “reach” the inter-land. and for the record, i do find it quite pathetic just how exuberant i became yesterday when i realized that my own said smart phone (which i have had well before july) can, with a simple slide of a button on it’s delicate interface, become a “hotspot.” i.e. forget calling your local internet providers for service, just scour your phone for the hotspot option and slide the grey “no” to the blue “yes” and poof! you can get your computers, kindles, ipads, itampons (those exist now, right?) online anywhere, anytime ! hello 2013. my name is jessi and i am a complete dumbf*ck when it comes to technology. it doesn’t matter if i can operate photoshop with my eyes closed, that’s about as far as it gets for me and my competence of computers or really anything that has an extension cord, not to mention an operating system (or OS as you nerds technologically competent folks like to say).

there was a point in my life (as i am sure many people in my generation have encountered as well when computers and cell phones became what we now know them as) wherein i truly thought i was smarter than my parents merely because they appeared to have no clue about how to operate said smart phones, computers, or other new electronic gadgets. coming from a family with a father who worked at microsoft for upwards of 20 years, you’d think some tech-y gene would have landed inside my frontal lobe or where ever things like that land. au contraire, mon frère. my father has little to no understanding of technology and how it actually works, he doesn’t even own a cell phone and i’ve witnessed him, on many occasions, get so fed up with his collection of remote controls i fear they could, without warning, become the victim of his wrath by being thrown across a room or simply yelled at rather ferociously for being so stupid, those poor verbally abused inanimate objects. my mother, however, has a smart phone, an ipad, and a laptop and it’s reached the point where i truly believe she knows more about these gadgets than i do. in fact, when i was home in seattle last june for a best friend’s baby shower, i really wanted to watch a dvd at my mom’s house and we ended up watching television instead because neither us could figure out how to make the damn tv and dvd player align with one another. it was at this point i really had to reevaluate my own understanding of anything electronic. i could blame it on the fact that i haven’t had the luxury of a dvd and tv for over two years(therefore “out of practice”?, but let’s face it. i am a self proclaimed idiot when it comes to this new age of technology where a minimum of three remote controls seem to be a requirement for any television and computers and phones are getting “smarter” and “smarter” by the day. either my understanding for this stuff has plateaued or i’ve grown some seriously dumb cells in the recesses of my brain, which at this point, probably more closely resemble scrambled eggs.


i remember my father had one of those giant grey cell phones when i was a kid that not only resembled, but also weighed as much as, a brick with a thick black antennae coming out of it (that stayed out at all times, there was nothing collapsible, convenient, ergonomic, or even functional about this big grey eyesore of a cell phone (particularly compared to today’s standards)). i’m not sure how often (if at all?) it was ever used. i remember it collecting a lot of dust. i also remember those beige-ish grey apple computers (that looked more like square plastic loaves of bread) we used in grade school to learn our typing skills on. i really only had an iota of interest in those machines because i would frequent my best friend Heather’s house most days after school to enjoy hours of playing both The Oregon Trail and Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? i can think of no other reason for those machines now. they were not computers to my generation, they were toys. they were machines that informed me of having died from cholera or that Heather was lost and that cut three days off our trip. i always thought it a bit peculiar that someone who got “lost” in that game could shave anywhere from 1 to 5 days off your travels, but the death of a family member was just a drop in the bucket. no days lost, no apparent grieving or mourning took place, no tears shed. and no proper burial/funeral never once occurred. and i’m speaking from experience. i’ve Oregon-Trail-killed plenty of friends and family members. a death was akin to an announcement like, “it’s 56 degrees and sunny.” all of sudden ‘and then there were two!’


Carved // Self Portrait // December 2012
however, i have to admit, flat out, that i think my understanding of technologically peaked at that age, hovering obsessively over The Oregon Trail waiting to see just how many people died, got lost, or sick. though my sister and best friend Heather seemed far more skilled at this game (sister, yes. Heather, debatable. (sorry Heather!))(ok, skilled at hunting, that is, because this game has little to do with skill, logic perhaps, but skill – not so much). i can’t tell you, nor would i even want to admit to, how horrible i was at hunting in that game. and an irritating fun-fact :: for any animal you shoot for food doesn’t really matter since you’re only allowed to bring 100 lbs back to the wagon at a time, even if you were to shoot ten 536 LB buffaloes, you would only get to keep 100 of those LBs.  i always thought that was incredibly lame, couldn’t the rest of my family (assuming any were still alive and not suffering from the measles) help you carry back some of your fresh meat? was it necessary to leave all of that fresh buffalo meat behind? wasteful. damn wasteful, especially considering how hungry those people on the wagon always were (it took them about two, maybe three days to consume the freshly killed meat).  and i absolutely loved the gamble you’d have to take when reaching a river crossing. do we “ford the river” or “caulk the wagon and float it across”? taking a ferry was also an option, but i don’t think we once opted for the ferry ride since it cost money. instead, we’d pick our poison, cross our fingers, and sincerely hope that one of our oxen wouldn’t perish in the process. i’ll speak for myself on this matter, but i remember feeling a great deal of responsibility over this ford versus float decision and i really took it quite seriously, as if i actually knew what any of it meant, though i did love to nod in agreement or shake my head in disdain if i felt someone (including myself) had made the wrong choice.
Screen shot 2013-01-15 at 3.11.11 PM
a good present day example to the anxiety that the “ford or float” decision causes :: being placed in the sticky position of being “the one” to choose a bottle of wine for a fancy dinner table and having a penguin-tuxedo dressed server pour just a splash into your glass, looking at you with rather bulbous eyes. positively staring at you with the expectation of your “highly trained palette” to make the call on some wine you’ve never tasted or heard of before and know nothing about (since my only “knowledge” of wine rests heavily on whether or not i thought the wine label was well designed). even when i never much cared for the taste of the splash of wine,  i never once (if memory serves) declared the wine to be “no good,” nor do i have a memory of sending food back (unless a meat dish was visibly expelling blood and/or undercooked).  i prefer my steaks to not actively “moo” while i eat them. under or over cooked veggies and/or sides will never fall into the realm of “send it back” because my standards when it comes to “fine dining” are so low, regardless of how many fancy restaurants i’ve eaten at. i am, after all, the girl who’s known for eating progresso soup at room temperature, directly out of the can, with a plastic spoon, in bed. perhaps my standards are extremely low or maybe i’m just a simpleton who considers food as fuel (though, when given the opportunity, i really do love to cook fancy meals, combining unexpected flavors and colors in my dishes. give me a full spread of food and a great kitchen, food is no longer food. it is cooking :: an art form, after all. however, in my current living situation, i’ve nowhere to properly prepare such a meal, nor do i have anyone to share it with, nor do i have anywhere to properly enjoy it as i lack any sort of dining space. my “dining room” is the side of my bed on the floor. so, now you must understand why i’ve fallen in love with my “Progresso Soup Diet” ?! plus, when you’ve no fridge, where does one store leftovers?

this ramble is so hither and thither. i’d apologize but i have so much to catch you up on. i lost my job at the art supply store i worked at for just over 2 years on November 28th of 2012. just in time for the holidays, as “luck” would have it. i will not go into detail about things because it’ll only lull you to sleep, my dear readers. i’ve made the transition from full time job to unemployed, but i have since managed to keep my head more than just afloat not only financially (by means of selling my work and also handling some commissioned illustration jobs), but also in spirit as well. i strongly believe everything happens for a reason and though i have remained a customer at that fine art supply store, i am relieved to have those days behind me. there were copious amounts of dysfunctional activities and behaviors that took place there that had made it more and more difficult to get to work in the mornings. i’d reached a point of absolute lethargy and also unhappiness which even verged on irritability (which is completely out of character for me) towards different aspects of the job and some of the people i worked with. i miss the customers. i miss the building. i miss some, but not all, of my co-workers. but since having left the place, my mood’s improved ten fold. my energy and spunk has returned. my irritability seems to have evaporated like steam from a kettle. and i can’t tell you how many friends, family, and most flatteringly, former customers of mine have wrangled around me in support (if any of you are reading this, thank you! couldn’t have picked myself up so fast or so gracefully without you! I LOVE YOU!)

nowadays? i am living life happy and free spirited and optimistic. grateful to be alive. skating upon each and every damn silver lining that seems to exist around every corner these days because when one is so dedicated to their 40+ hour a week job, one loses sight of everything else. silver linings become distant memories at best. the two days you spend off are usually a bust since you spend them catching up on both errands and sleep. i had such an incredibly wonky schedule at my last job (my arrival and departure times varied just about every day) and turned my sleeping schedule on its head. in the past few months i’d become increasingly lethargic to the point where i requested to get my blood drawn, assuming i was most certainly suffering from anemia due to how tired i’d become. i took supplements, i went out of my way to eat better and more often. when my doctor told me the only issue i had was a Vitamin D deficiency (big whoop), i was stunned. i was almost disappointed that i wasn’t anemic, because it’s easy to pump yourself full of iron and foods that contain iron. i began taking huge doses of Vit D immediately and felt no huge change in my energy levels, even after a few weeks of taking them. but then i was laid off and it was as if a spell had been lifted. my energy began to return within only a few days and i had to wonder, was all of the negative energy i had been subjected to at work causing my lethargy? honestly? yes, i think that’s exactly what happened. i’ve continued the vitamins and all that good stuff, but i am almost like a firecracker these days with my energy and motivation to work for myself. and thus far, it’s been paying off in a massive way.


welcome to Year of the Pig Studio!

so, i am signing off here. you will be kept up to date far more frequently of my adventure(s) now that i’ve gotten internet access again ! until then, don’t forget about the silver linings. once you start looking for them, you’ll be surprised just how many there are.





Filed under design, illustration & painting (both acrylics and oils), illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography, Year of the Pig Studio // San Francisco, CA

hip hip horr-appy new year (of the pig studio) !

prepare yourself for an unforeseen rant ::

i cannot stand those who choose to use a single letter over an actual word when typing text messages.

you is not u. are is not r. be is not b. and before is most certainly not b4. lol is one that i have come to tolerate only because even people who don’t use the r, u, and b letters to act as entire words still tend to use the oh so well loved lol. personally, i do not use it. i have used it, but felt filled with shame on each and every fleeting occasion that i have. but you will never see me using possibly the worst combination of letters in recent history: rotflmao. there never has been, never is, and never will be an appropriate time to type that. if it’s so f*cking funny, simply write hahahahaha. this now brings me to haha and hehe and teehehe and every other god forsaken spin off that “we” use. i use haha when i find something particularly funny because i refuse to use lol. at least haha is phonetic. i use hehe fleetingly. hehe and teehehe are reserved for making cute remarks and flirting. i never seldom do either so it hasn’t become part of my textcabulary (i just made that word up and feel particularly brilliant having done so, so please don’t burst my bubble by saying this term has already been included in the latest edition of webster’s dictionary).

and then there are the smiley faces, the emoticons. first of all, i completely despise the word emoticon because it makes me angry for reasons i cannot properly explain. that said, i will admit to using and possibly even abusing smiley faces. my only defense being that because it is incredibly hard to gauge sarcasm through just a text message, i insert :) these to inform the receiver that no harm was intended and that my snide remark was most likely not to be taken seriously. the smiley face :) is also a nice way to end a conversation. the smiley indicates that your discussion has left you happy and satisfied and, well, f*cking smiling, so there’s no need to say anymore. i suppose what i’m really trying to say is that inserting a single smiley face and nothing else is a great way to cut a text conversation short if you either aren’t in the mood to text, haven’t got the time to text, or if you just didn’t want to text in the first place.

there are many variations of the smiley face. i prefer nose-less smileys not because i am too lazy to type a – dash or the letter o or the number zero, but because i think they look f*cking stupid with noses. exhibit a: :-), :o), :0). a traditional smiley face (you know, that yellow guy we all know so well) never had a nose, so why should i add one now? when it comes to smileys, i say don’t fix what ain’t broken. he never had a nose in the first place and i see no reason for him to have one now. some people choose to use the = equals sign for the eyes instead of the : colon. as long as there is no nose involved, i guess i am not going to judge.

speaking of smiley faces. i’ll never forget the story of a girl who went to her pediatrician with her mother. she was there to receive a shot of some kind. she was fairly terrified of needles and had to be calmed before the needle appeared. the doctor, in an effort to soften the blow, thought she’d draw a smiley face on the girl’s arm prior to the shot. the girl was a bit dumbfounded by this new development at the doctor’s office and was then able to relax a little. the doctor then asked the girl, “so, what’s missing from this smiling face?” the girl replied with a look of confusion on her face, “..a …nose?” to which the doctor replied, “exactly” and proceeded to stab the girl in the arm (between the sharpie eyes and smile) with the shot to complete said smiley face on the girl’s arm.

i find this story to be both gruesome and hilarious simultaneously, which explains why i love it so so much.

i forgot to wish you a very happy new year!, christmas!, hanukkah! and so forth and so on!

the holidays flew by like a hurricane. after having my foot broken at the end of november (on an otherwise glorious monday morning), the chaos ensued. work was busy and then it became extra super duper crazy busy. everyone and their mother was shopping for presents and stocking stuffers, leaving me and my fellow employees little to no down time and a few hours of overtime.

i spent christmas eve moving into a new bedroom. i am in the same apartment, but i am now in a larger room. the upgrade was a long time coming and i am exponentially happier in my larger space. my room is no longer a place that i am embarrassed to say that i live in. i no longer reside in a 10’x10′ shoebox nor do i sleep on a crumpled unevenly spring filled single mattress on the floor. my room is far larger and now contains a lofted double mattress, allowing me ample space to spread out all of my art supplies and desks. 

i spent christmas day alone in my new room in san francisco. this is the first year that i’ve spent the holiday without my family and for that reason it was significant. but to honest? i was fine. i was ok. moving into my new space was incredibly therapeutic and i spoke to all of my important people on christmas day via telephone. a dear friend here in the city took me out to dinner somewhat last minute on christmas day, which made the whole christmas-by-myself experience pretty great. it’s not that i despise trees in houses or boxes wrapped in paper or family members mashing potatoes for dinner, but the holidays tend to represent a stressful time for me. and in an effort to be selfish and remain free of unneeded stress, i opted for a holiday season alone in san francisco.

and then the new year hit. although i did not do much to celebrate the occasion, i was surrounded by a handful of choice friends who made the night (and wee morning hours) perfect. i spent the day before and after the new year cleaning my apartment’s kitchen and back storage area. which was great because those areas badly needed cleaning, but come the tuesday morning after the start of the new year i awoke with some insane allergies. i believe my cleaning kicked up some serious mold and bacteria. i arrived at work about three hours after i was supposed to and was completely useless for the hours that i was there. come the next day i was in bed drugged up on a wicked cocktail of anti-histamines, decongestants, and the like. by wednesday the 4th of january i had a fever of 101 degrees and felt not unlike a limp wet rag – oh, how i hate the flu. by friday i was able to open my eyes, by saturday i was able to walk, by sunday i was able to think, and by monday i was able to leave my apartment feeling less like a zombie and more like an actual human being. 

all this means is that i’ve already used up five sick days and it’s only the twelfth of january. it’s a major bummer, but maybe if i get this sort of thing out of my system now, it’ll mean it won’t hit me later. 

i do not believe in new year’s resolutions, but this year i have decided that i will propose at least a small goal for myself, that is: “no assholes, injuries, or illness.”

may that be my mantra for two thousand and twelve.

good night, good riddance, and a very happy new year to each and every one of you!




Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

a Russian New Year, a tattoo, & epoxy (oh, and my favorite photographs)

(new year’s day persimmons :: brancoli, italy :: 2008)

a Russian New Year. as i mentioned in my previous post, i am not a huge fan of ‘new year’s resolutions’ (even though i, myself, have agreed to make a collage a day for the next year. and yes, i am a couple of days behind :: how surprising! [insert sarcasm here]). personally, the new year really isn’t that big of a deal. it’s just another day on the calendar (albeit a new calendar). i think my opposition to these so called resolutions stems from the fact that making a resolution for the new year creates too much pressure :: and it has been my experience that unnecessary/unforeseen/sudden pressure tends to delay/stifle/prevent success. now, don’t get me wrong :: i fully support those that take the new year as an opportunity to turn over a new leaf and quit smoking, lose some weight, and so on and so forth. as for me, i cannot set my own goals for success based on january first. i have goals in my life, just like anyone else, but reaching those goals is something i do on my own time. i have certain set dates for things i want to accomplish and perhaps they align with the start of the new year, but more often than not, they don’t. so be it. i’m ok with being unimpressive come january 1st.

(new year’s day persimmons :: brancoli, italy :: 2008)

i had the pleasure of spending the latest start to a new year with three fine people. a small gathering :: just as i like it (i’ve never been one to attend large new year’s bashes that typically end in disaster). one of these fine people is from Russia and her name is Ksenia (who is an incredibly talented girl who also featured me on her wordpress site some weeks ago – and i’m very thankful for that). this was her first new year spent without her family and she wanted to do something special for our small group. she made the typical Russian New Year dish :: a salad made from boiled beef , boiled potatoes, apple, onion, salt, pepper, hard-boiled eggs, and mayo. all of the above delicately diced, mixed together, and served at room temperature. we drank champagne and at the stroke of midnight (while standing on the roof admiring fireworks), we did something very special. something i’ve never done before. something that i would like to do every new year for the rest of my life. we scribbled onto a piece of paper a personal goal for the coming year. at midnight, we set the paper on fire and dropped the ashes into what remained of our champagne and drank it. it was so simple, so elegant, and so poignant. thank you, Ksenia, for making this new year actually mean something special. up until now, i’d written it off as an excuse for people to drink too much champagne and spend the following day nursing a horrific hangover (which, by the way, is really no way to spend the first day of a new year, is it ?).

side note :: [Ksenia just moved to New York City ! i wish her the best in that fine city and know she will kick some major a**, if she hasn’t kicked said a** already].

a tattoo :: so an old friend emailed me a few months ago. he was looking to get a tattoo designed for his back (specifically :: his right shoulder blade). he gave me a loose set of instructions and asked me to do with them what i will :: a grab the freedom-of-artistic-expression bull by the horns type of request. to most, including myself, this sounds like a dream job. however, as most commissioned artists/illustrators/designers know all too well – this ‘freedom’ is not as it first sounds. before you know it, the client is pulling in the reins and making requests that were not previously mentioned. this is the conundrum and fate that we face not just sometimes, but basically all the time (and yeah, for the record, it’s really annoying when (not if) this happens).

so, when he emailed me, my first thought, naturally, was :: ‘yeah, right. i’ll do it, but ‘freedom’ of expression ? we’ll see how long that lasts.’ i am happy to report that, in this case, i was wrong. very wrong. my friend meant what he said. he wanted me to grab the metaphorical bull by his metaphorical horns and run with it as i saw fit. he had no interest in artistically getting in my way. so, upon sending him my final design (which i figured would only be one of a dozen versions to come), his reply was filled with nothing but enthusiasm. sure, there were a few tweaks, but they were so minor :: particularly when compared to what i have become accustom to.

above is the final drawing for the tattoo. it includes (from left to right) ::  the Flatirons (Boulder, CO), the Space Needle (Seattle, WA), bennox (Russian for my friend’s last name), a cross (to symbolize his faith), the Eiffel Tower (Paris), the statue Oso y Madroño (Madrid), and a famous building on the Rue des Rennes (France). my friend wanted these images to be pieced together :: each image represents a significant place where he has lived. below is the final tattoo. the building was removed (most likely in an effort to save space) and a setting sun was added (most likely in an effort to achieve compositional balance)(excuse the red factor, this was just hours after the image was inked and his skin was still recovering) ::

in other news :: i have fallen in love. it’s, not his, name is epoxy. ok, ok. it’s not the first time i’ve heard of the stuff, but it is the first time i’ve ever used it. for the last few months i have been obsessing over putting a high gloss super plastic coating on my paintings. think of a generic piece of hardwood furniture with a high gloss finish. it is hard, shiny, and durable. i am not sure why, exactly, i have such a fondness for this sort of finish, but i do. it all comes down to personal aesthetic at the end of the day i suppose ?

so, i asked around. a lot of people recommended an array of varnishes or high gloss acrylic mediums. i tried more things than i am willing to admit and none of them satisfied me. none of them achieved the (what seemed like) impossibly high gloss hard plastic finish that i was after. now, as you probably know by now, i work at an awesome art store here in San Francisco. one of our regular customers is a sweet guy by the name of Anthony (of A. Aversano Gallery). i went to one of his openings some weeks ago and noticed that he finished his own paintings with this plastic finish i have been chasing after. when i finally saw him in our store again, i asked him what exactly it was that he used to achieve that finish and he walked me over to the sculpture/ceramic section of our store and pointed at this little blue box of epoxy..

i was elated ! more than elated ! and then i asked him for the details. and then i picked up the box and read the instructions. not only did this stuff seem complicated and labor intensive, it was also highly toxic. Anthony even claimed that he would wear a ventilation mask when he used it. i felt defeated and deflated. i have no problem with labor intensive activities (art is, after all, a labor of love), but when it comes to highly toxic fumes :: i tend to run in the other direction.

fine, maybe it provides a high so good that kids would rather huff this stuff over glue, but that’s not really my game.

with hesitation, i bought that little blue box. i had already made the piece i wanted to finish with it. when i got home, i opened the box. followed the instructions carefully, pouring this toxic stuff over my piece. covered it with a large cardboard box (to protect it from dust and to protect myself and others from its fumes). left it outside for a few hours (though it takes about 72 hours for it to completely harden). and six hours later i lifted up the cardboard box. i was expecting to find a semi-hard plastic mess – as was i expecting to release an abundance of toxic fumes. i was pleasantly surprised that the mess i had made was minor and the fumes were.. well, they were non-existent. now, this is my first time working with this stuff and it was a small 9″ x 12″ surface that i had covered. for all know, the toxicity was present, but i couldn’t detect it. within 48 hours i could touch the piece without leaving any fingerprints. at last, i had achieved my much sought after high gloss plastic finish.. however, a 9×12 piece is a small feat and i know i have to play with this stuff a lot more to really get a feel for it, but.. but.. i am in love. the finish was just what i was looking for and i guess its toxicity is something i can look past. i’m not sure how great that it for my health or the environment, but apparently i am selfish enough that that will not stop me from using it again in the future.

there is a photo to come. i gave the piece to my sister for christmas and because i am so great at planning ahead, i did not take a picture and therefore have nothing to show you. i’ve requested a picture from her and i am not so patiently awaiting it’s arrival in my inbox. tick, tock, tick, tock (insert twiddling thumbs here). [edit :: the picture as promised !] ::

as for my favorite photographs :: i have hundreds of pictures. i do not know the exact number, but it’s a lot – an obscene amount. up until two days ago, i had piles upon piles of photographs all over my room in various nooks and crannies. negatives here and negatives there. a few piles of unorganized CDRs. it had reached the point that when i was inclined to sift through a pile of pictures it felt as if i had just picked them up from being developed because i had no idea what roll of film i might discover. so i took it upon myself, about a week ago, to start sifting through my pictures. i bought some cheap plastic bins from the 99 cent store and began organizing them. after several days, i finally did it. i organized the photos, the negatives, and the CDRs (i love it when i get all OCD). i set aside a stack of my favorites and here are a few of them ::

wilbur shadow :: sacramento, ca :: 2010

holden float :: seattle, wa :: 2009

kate feet :: billings, mt :: 2009

laundry ciao :: luca, italy :: 2008

[nikon 35mm + color film][graphite on paper + digital application][google images][nikon 35 mm + color film]



Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

happy new year (of the pig studio) !

i have decided that owning a cat is just like owning a small space heater, but without the cost of an electrical bill.

the cold air has moved into the bay area and it seems it is officially ‘winter’ around here. after living in new york and seattle, a california ‘winter’ is fairly laughable. it was probably around october, in both seattle and new york, that i would unearth my comforter (that had been safely nestled in my closet during the summer months) and happily slip under it to keep myself that much warmer as the air outside grew colder. i do not have a comforter here and have been sleeping under the same blanket since october. however, in the last week or two, i have felt some chills at night when turning in for bed, but those chills soon subside as my space heater cat snuggles up next to me.

i have also come to the realization that when i lived in new york (where snow was likely) and seattle (where snow was possible), i was always looking forward to the snow and so very disappointed when it did not fall much or at all, respectively. living down here in san francisco, where snow will never be likely to fall, i have felt no disappointment at it not being here. that said, it hardly feels like winter. hell, i was still sporting t-shirts during december and will likely sport them year round. and that said, i failed to wish all of you a Very Merry Happy Holidays and New Year ! the holidays seemed to flash by more quickly than usual and i think a lot (if not most) of that had to do with the climate. so, my apologies for my belated Happy This and Happy That.

i have so much i want to say, but at the moment i feel the need to keep this brief. so, here’s the list ::

1. A Collage a Day Keeps the Doctor Away :: i do not believe in New Year’s Resolutions. when i was younger, i thought they were very important, but then i grew up and came to my senses. january 1st is just like any other day of the year. the only impact a new year seems to have upon me these days is really more of an annoyance :: you suddenly have to add a digit to the year you’ve come to know so well when writing the date upon a piece of paper. i have no doubts that i will, well into March, still be writing (and then scratching out) ‘2010’ at the end of every date i write. after 365 days, i finally got used to writing 2010 and now, suddenly, i have to write 2011. ugh. but i did make a pact with myself for this year, so maybe i did, in fact, make a god-forbidden resolution. that every day, for the next year, i will make a new collage. i do think this will be a good exercise for me, personally, but i do wonder if this is merely an attempt for me to remember to write 2011 instead of 2010. regardless, here are my first two collages of the year ::

“road to nowhere” // 01.01.2011

“a sorta fairytale” // 01.02.2011

2. when it comes to holiday presents, i much prefer making presents over buying them. economically, this is a good thing. however, being the professional procrastinator that i am, this is a bad thing. this means that i leave all of my projects until the very last minute. think twenty-four-hours-before-christmas last minute. due to my last minute-ness, i make a whole slew of gifts, wrap them, pack them, and board a plane home. it is usually around half way through the flight that i suddenly realize that i have made some really cool pieces and failed to scan any of them and therefore have no documentation of them which means i cannot share them with the public. this is remarkably bad planning and it has been happening for years. i do hope that, one day, i learn my lesson. i did, however, scan two of the pieces that i made for my coworkers. i asked each of them to name their two favorite animals. why, you ask ? because i am a huge enormous fan of combining words both verbally and visually. so, without further ado, meet ‘Catuffalo’ (cat and buffalo) and ‘Horion’ (horse and lion) ::



it’s getting late and i do realize that my so-called list consists of two items. i am feeling rather pathetic now. here is the rest of my list which i will, not before too long, go into detail ::

3. i fell in love and his name is Epoxy

4. did i just agree to be a teacher ?

5. i am about to start my own store on etsy that involves handmade boxes and cards

6. i have so many photographs you haven’t seen and need to. which reminds me, i need to organize my life.

7. a wedding website

8. my opinion(s) on watercolor

9. last, but certainly not least, a Russian New Year

i bid you all a fine day or night, depending on when you read this.

[a collage a day :: mixed media on illustration board and chip board][catuffalo & horion :: mixed media on wood panel]



Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography