Tag Archives: painting

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

let them eat cake.

you can have your cake and eat it, too.

:: this is most often used negatively, to connote the idea of consuming a thing whilst managing to preserve it. it may also indicate having or wanting more than one can handle or deserve, or trying to have two incompatible things ::

(thanks, wikipedia.)

there was an incident recently, where in, a man with a pink cake box (half open with a plastic white fork piercing a sloppy mess of what appeared to be the remains of a third of a vanilla cake) approached and offered me said cake. the man himself was covered in frosting. and i mean covered. it was everywhere.

was he homeless? i think so, he certainly looked and acted the part. i was minding my own business on the Peter Macchiarini steps, also known as ‘the stairway to san francisco.’ i wouldn’t really call them that myself. it’s basically a really steep street with two sidewalks on either side that are, well, steps instead of flat ground because they are so steep. there’s nothing particularly stunning about them. they provide a nice-ish view of the city, but nothing you’d think the average tourist would wet his pants over (even though tourists tend to flock there with their cameras, but they always look a bit disappointed after they take their many pictures).

he was pretty f*cking serious about sharing that cake with me. i politely and then not so politely declined his offer(s) more than once before gathering my things to move along and find another place to kill the remaining forty minutes of my lunch break (which is more difficult than it sounds because have you ever noticed how hard it is to find ‘somewhere to sit’ when you are really looking for one?). upon my departure of these steps he very loudly demanded a cigarette from me. notice i used the word demanded, not asked. it was at this point that, for the first time in my life, i reprimanded a homeless person. i actually had the what-have-you to tell him to “use his manners” and “say please.” part of me was ready to bolt in the event he didn’t appreciate my ‘tude (attitude, that is) and another part of me was painfully curious to see how he’d react to such a reprimand and ‘good manners’ reminder. he looked a little bewildered by what i had said, but he was entirely submissive. i had, apparently, caught him off guard. he, quite simply, replied “may i please have a cigarette?” i was in such disbelief myself that i blindly handed him one from my pack and proceeded to bolt across broadway, knowing that there was no way he could chase me without dropping that cake box, and trust me, he was gripping that cake box like a mother might grip a lost child she’d just found, holding on for dear life.

(i have a confession :: although i did not eat that cake, it really did look delicious and i really was tempted.)

now i feel the need to explain my absence from this blog-world because i had gotten into the habit of writing every week (if not more). as we all know, that thing called life tends to get in the way, so let me summarize as best i can ::

i certainly can’t blame cake-man (not a far cry from caveman, eh?) for my blog neglect (er, blogect?). hot d*mn i’m feeling clever this afternoon (stay tuned for more wicked word combinations). my room became uncontrollably messy just as my life did. these two things always seem to coincide with each other and i do not think that it’s a coincidence. halloween happened, which was ok. my outfit was great, but the holiday itself lacked the usual gusto i have gotten so used to on the thirty first of october. the people of san francisco just don’t seem to pray to the halloween gods as much as the people of new york city seem to. it was so bad that i nearly didn’t dress up, which would have meant that for the first time in my life (twenty seven short years) i didn’t dress up. i decided that that was unacceptable, so i dressed up with a friend and had a rather tame evening walking around town in an effort to show off my costume. i dressed as Mrs. Mia Wallace, known better as ‘Uma Thurman’s character from Pulp Fiction.’ her character after she unknowingly snorts a line of heroine (oops). so i donned a white button up shirt, black slacks, and a bloody nose (and a syringe protruding from my chest). a great costume, but not my favorite halloween. sigh, these things happen.

and after the end of october? i don’t really know what happened. i was busy jogging, working, and painting. a friend came into town. my schedule at work changed for a week while my manager was out of town. and then my job title at work changed (and i received a raise)(both of which are terribly exciting!). and then i was invited to participate in not one, but three, group shows that are all set to open in the first week of december. you know, life stuff.

today i sit here at my desk this afternoon wearing a bright blue beanie (gifted to me by roommate, er rather he didn’t want it so i got it), a scarf (obtained from a thrift store in Stockholm), and paint covered sweatshirt and sweatpants with my best friend on my lap (my cat, Alaska). it’s been raining for the last day or two here in san francisco. a seattle sort of rain that makes you cold to the bone, but it feels good. it feels cozy to be inside surrounded by my favorite music and paints. i only realized this morning at 11:30am (after a thirty minute jog, coffee, and hot shower) that it was sunday not monday. which means that i didn’t have a meeting at 2:30, a haircut at 3:3o, another meeting at 5:00, and dinner at 7:00. it means that all i have to do for the rest of the day is paint. and i can’t tell you how happy that makes me.

next week i will tell you all about my plans to ignore this coming thursday the twenty fourth of november, Thanksgiving.




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

bank fraud, say what ?

it’s a strange thing when you are forced to sit on the fact that $4,500.00 (that you did not withdraw) is in the process of being withdrawn for your bank account a.k.a your life source.

in less than twelve hours i will know whether or not i have been a victim of bank fraud. it’s terrifying. but at the same time ? there is nothing i can do about it right now than wait it out. as of tomorrow morning i will know whether or not this withdrawal has been honored and where this withdrawal originated. so for now ? i get to sit on this rather unsettling fate for the evening and hope that my bank has enough common sense to throw up some red flags and prevent this transaction from actually taking place.

but to be entirely honest ? this situation is not entirely scary. i mean, it is only because i have paid both bills and rent in the last week. all of these checks are due for deposit any day now and they will bounce if, come tomorrow morning, my balance remains at zero. this will make me look like an unreliable tenant and customer and roommate. i want nothing to do with any of the above. but, what can you do ? what happens happens and aside from leaving voicemails and sending emails, there’s little i can do. so be it.

it was a strange contrast to have this happen after learning that last night my father experienced a house fire which forced him to spend a few hours in the E.R. (with his wife) and nurse some minor burns to his face.

i immediately kicked into protective parental mode. as most children experience in their lifetime, there is a time when you take on the role of parent to your parents. i can’t say that i’ve done this many times over, but every once in a while i feel it necessary to scold my mother or father for acting somewhat foolish. in this case, i gave my father a good earful. telling him to be more careful with his cigar ashes in his wine cellar. i mean, really ? hot ashes, wooden crates, and alcohol. is that not a recipe for disaster ? it really doesn’t matter at this point. all that matters is that he and his family are all safe and sound and that the fire that came to life in their basement was extinguished in a timely fashion.

i can’t say that i am too familiar with life and death situations. that’s not to say that my father was moments away from death’s door, but one cannot deny the fact that had he and his wife left the surrounding area for a few extra minutes, his house may have been engulfed in flames and he and his family may have been severely hurt.

all of that said, the fourth of july just passed. i spent the morning sleeping in a dark room. and then i headed to a motorcycle shop. a shop that rents harleys. by one o’clock i was drinking out of a red cup admiring some ribs that had been smoking since nine in the morning. by three, i enjoyed said ribs and sat quite happily in the sunshine, only to receive a memorable burn. a tan line that started on the upper ankle and extended to my feet (and don’t forget the amazing flip flop tan that accompanied it).

the fourth came and went. as did my father’s house fire and the bank fraud i am sure to be a victim of. it is a tuesday night and i am at home watching Volume 1 of Kill Bill. in ten days i have to hang my work up at a bar/gallery space. i don’t feel entirely ready, but i am getting there. i suppose though, if i have no funds and an excess of art supplies (and good entertainment like Kill Bill), i have no choice other than to make some great work.

it’s nearing one in the morning. painting will have to wait until tomorrow, but i am hopeful for the future – regardless of what my bank tells me tomorrow. i have my family. i have my paints. i have my canvas. there’s little else that i need to keep me happy.

over and out.


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

ElRod, a dead bird, & a Triple Bypass

i have some stories to tell you, but i can’t really recall them at the moment. due to the the move (of the art store that i work at), i have been slightly delirious of late. and that means i am not so great at story telling. or, for that matter, remembering the stories i’d like to tell. i’ll keep writing regardless.

at our art store, as of this morning, d*mn near everthing is 90% off. that is pretty much unheard of for most blow-out sales, much less for an art store that sells high quality supplies well below cost in the first place. i received the call this morning around 10:30am from my manager. she said, quite simply, “mark it all down to 90% off.” so, to the two customers i had in the store, i announced this brand new sale and within forty minutes, the store was packed with people. it was so packed that we closed the front gate to prevent more customers from coming in (because with one cash drawer, twelve people in line, and only two people working – there’s only so much we could handle). regardless, those who left kept letting people into the store despite our request(s) to keep the gate closed. one of the clerks who had the day off today, came in upon hearing about the new and improved discount, and he ended up staying to help work the register just so that me and the other clerk scheduled for today could catch a break. thank you, Nick !

in other news, i am part of this very cool project called El Travo Callabo. i described it once before. it’s basically eight or so wood panels traveling across the country to artists. four or five artists work on each panel and at the very end, the panels will be displayed nationwide from San Francisco to New York. so, the leader of this collaborative project is named Leanne a.k.a. El Rod. as of this evening, she’s made a post on the El Travo blog about me and the dead mouse i decided to paint on this panel.

this brings me to the dead bird. i will preface this story with the pure and simple fact that i love animals to such a degree that some may perceive this love as excessive. about a week ago, or less, Leanne (of the blog above) came into our store and informed us, with a very sad face, that there was a dead bird outside of our store. not on the sidewalk, but in the parking zone. being the animal lover that i am, i immediately leaped into action. i ran upstairs with a plastic bag and a few folds of paper towel. i know that it is impossible to save every living thing on this planet, but if i can provide an animal with a decent burial – i will do so.

i remember growing up in a house with many windows. birds have a nasty habit of flying full force into clear glass windows, under the impression they are about to fly through a house as opposed to into a window. i remember burying a handful of birds. or at least paying them a certain homage or respect to the fate by which they had succumbed. so, when i heard about this dead bird on the street above, my instinct kicked in and i ran upstairs prepared to conserve it and bury it later that day on my lunch break. 

no offense to the bird (a sparrow), but it’s still sitting in our mini fridge at work. i even placed a large hand written sign saying, “BURY THE DEAD BIRD” by the register in an effort to not forget about it. the poor thing is still in our fridge and though i don’t use the fridge too frequently, i have used it enough in the past week to open it up, retrieve what i need, and then look with complete shame at the little paper towel plastic bag wrapped sparrow perched (pun intended) on the top shelf of the fridge. each and every time i have seen it, i exclaim, “oh f*ck ! the dead bird !”

i’ll bury it as soon as possible. work has been chaotic. lunch breaks have been rather sparse (not so much sparse, but i use them to just stare at walls in coffee shops, forgetting about burying the bird in our mini fridge). that said, we are set to close up shop at our store for a few days and during those days, when i know i will have more time, i will give this bird the funeral that i am sure it deserves.

and the Triple Bypass ? i feel like i’ve said too much already. and i really ought to get back to painting because i have the day off tomorrow and therefore must take full advantage of the fact that i can go to sleep past my usual bed time. the Triple Bypass is a painting i am in the middle of. it has to do with hearts, love, and the rocky uncertain terrain that one uses to navigate the topic of hearts and love.


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Filed under illustration (both acrylic and oilt), photography

moving, muscles, and m’lady

things have been a little absurd these days. absurdly crazy, that is.

the art store where i work is relocating and it truly is beyond exciting. our current location is underground. i refer to it as ‘the dungeon.’ there are no windows, therefore no natural light or airflow. thanks to very colorful walls and excessive lighting, it’s not dark down there. however, when someone comes in after i’ve been down there for a prolonged period of time i tend to inquire about the weather ‘out there’ in the ‘upstairs world.’ it could be snowing or sunny and i would be none the wiser. which explains why i am grateful for when i see someone wander in in a t-shirt or holding a wet umbrella. it gives me an impression as to what is happening outside. that said, the lair in which work is quite cozy, but i miss daylight. i miss looking out the window for a weather report. and in our new location we are above ground. even our basement is above ground. my manager said it best when she exclaimed, “i felt a breeze in our new space !” and seriously, i moved from Seattle to San Francisco. i not only expect, but also feel that i deserve, some sunshine in my life.

so, this means we’re moving an art store. i’m not sure if you understand what kind of an endeavor that is. when a 4,500 square foot place is packed from floor to ceiling (literally) with art supplies, it’s a little difficult to imagine moving it to another location. i have been a wishin’ and a hopin’ and a prayin’ for a magic wand to miraculously lift our current stock into our new store, but it hasn’t happened yet. i’ll keep you posted. since we still have a huge amount of stock at our current location we are liquidating it. we are, essentially, giving away art supplies. no, they aren’t free per say, but they might as well be considering the deep discounts we’ve been doling out in an effort to rid ourselves of our current stock. while i’m on the subject, if you live in San Francisco and you (or anyone you know or anyone that they know) is an artist – you need to get here immediately. seriously, get to this store without any further ado because our sales are ridiculous, nay – downright obnoxious.

so, the new location required a serious paint job. not because the existing paint job was sub par, but because our stores are multicolored. some may refer to it as some sort of latex paint explosion, but i like to think of it more as a unicorn that vomited multiple rainbows onto the walls. however, it’s not just some random hodge podge paint job, there is quite a bit of structure and planning involved (and, by the way, it looks amazing). i was afforded the opportunity to take an over sized roller, dip it into a pan with not one, but three, different colors, and roll the walls and ceiling. and i got paid to do this ! we listened to Johnny Cash and laughed and celebrated the new space. the only draw back being that when you are a somewhat scrawny girl (me) holding a somewhat large and extended roller and you are painting fourteen foot ceilings, there is a price that you will pay.

that price was not only complete disorientation (seriously, looking up (for five hours) at a ceiling with a roller in hand that might weigh more than you is liable to cause a serious case of vertigo). i’m not complaining because it was a blast to be a part of this whole experience, but i’m just sayin’. i was more than just a little dizzy after that sort of labor. but the complete loss of balance is nothing compared to the muscle, or perhaps ligament?, that i tweaked in the process. i still cannot laugh, sneeze, cough, breath, or lie down without an incredibly sharp pain in my upper left rib area. who knew painting could result in a ‘work related injury’ ? i wasn’t expecting it and i, personally, find it to be rather hilarious despite the pain.

i was also there the day some two tons of steel were delivered. steel, people. i aided in the movement of said steel down into the basement area. there’s no elevator. there are stairs. we did construct a makeshift ramp from some ply wood that made the whole experience far easier to manage, but lifting and heaving steel around when you have a seriously tweaked something in your torso is not incredibly comfortable. and it’s particularly uncomfortable when you drop a pile of said steel on your foot, causing a rather impressive bruise to form thereafter. what can i say ? moving this store is, truly, a labor of love.

i realize that i have, by now, rambled on for far too long. i have one more story to tell (which is quite amusing), but it can wait. it’ll have to because i’m not in the mood to bore you any further. plus, i’m not even finished telling the stories above because the new location we are moving into holds so much amazing history, i would feel criminal keeping it from you. but i will leave you with this post for now. it’s just about nine o’clock and bed is in my near future.

[‘m’lady is called ‘Filling the Void.’ she is acrylic and mixed media on glass. she was just displayed at a drag show fundraiser (yes, this is what happens when you live in San Francisco) and i shared her last week, but the picture was sub par so i figured i’d re-share her this evening. so, please, enjoy.]



Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

what gives ?

i modified, er polished, my piece for this show in June at a gallery called Modern Eden. it’s called “What Gives ?” it is comprised of a variety of mediums on an 8 x 10 wood panel. the sides are also painted (a sort of periwinkle sky blue). i scanned this image and it looks strangely cropped on here, though it is not in person. i like it. and i would love to, some day, actually see an elephant balance on a ball.

[acrylic, pen, and enamel on wood panel]



Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

and so forth.

i’ve got quite a few things a-happening these days and they seem to be all good. which is entirely awesome.

first of all. the whole ‘home situation’ seems to have settled down. we have two new people living here and we all get along like a house on fire. perhaps the most important part of our getting along is the fact that we all have a good sense of humor.. and if you live with me, that’s key. if you do not understand or appreciate my sick, twisted, perverse, and entirely sarcastic sense of humor – well, we are bound to fail as friends and bound to struggle as roommates. so, as it stands, we can all dish it out just as much as we can take it. thanks be to god.

secondly, my job is on the up and up. if you are unfamiliar with my place of employment, here’s the run down. i work as a clerk for Artist and Craftsman Supply. we are technically a ‘chain’ store (merely because we’ve got over twelve stores nation wide), but we are far more like a family than some corporate nonsense (p.s. you should find us and ‘like’ us on facebook). we have, as of this morning, just signed a lease for a new space which is about two and a half times the size of our current underground-window-lacking location. the painting for the new space starts within the next week and i really could not be more excited about it. and you have to understand, painting the new space is not some Home Depot endeavor where we pick just the right shade of mauve pink for the walls. it’s basically a paint can free for all (with structure, naturally). our walls are multicolored works of art and i am stoked to be a part of it. show up in your finest pair of Dickies, dip your paint roller into some twenty different pans of color, and go ape sh*t on the walls. and i’m getting paid to do this. did i already tell you how much i love my job ?

as for my own endeavors. i have a painting i have just completed for this project called El Travo Callabo. wherein, five or so artists work on one wood panel. i paint on it, then ship it to the next artist. who, in turn, ships it to the next artist. and so on, until all is complete. there are eight or so panels in total that artists are working on around the country. once all is said and done, they will be exhibited in several different cities. here in San Francisco. i believe also in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, and perhaps other cities as well. i was lucky enough to begin panel number eight and i made a painting of a mouse. a dead mouse. a mouse that my roommates found under our fridge last week while they were deep cleaning the kitchen. a mouse clutching a peanut. the photograph was so endearing i had to convert it into a painting. meet :: “under our fridge.”

i’m also taking place in a show at The Cinch (see piece below – apologies for crap photo). a gay bar on polk street. or perhaps i should call it a drag bar. regardless, my ever so talented friend and co-worker, Nick, has put together this fundraiser called Cancer is a Drag. yes, he’s very clever. Diane Arbus (my favorite photographer) inspired the piece below (from a photograph she took in the sixties). i am delivering the piece to Nick tomorrow and it will be on a wall for the next month or so.

“filling the void”

in addition. i will have a painting up at Modern Eden in June (see the elephant below – again, apologies for crap photo) and will have an entire wall to myself in July at a favorite place of mine called ‘Vesuvio.’ it’s a bar. it’s a coffee shop. it’s an art house. it’s all of the above and i am very excited to have my work on the walls there. it’s located on Columbus Avenue at Broadway (on Jack Kerouac Alley). it’s an amazing little joint and once i have pictures of the work i’ve chosen to exhibit, i will share.

“what gives?”

i’m trying to think of a funny story to tell you because, to be entirely honest, i feel like that’s the main appeal of my blog these days. and although i find pretty much everything amusing most of the time, i have nothing to share at the moment. nothing noteworthy at least. i’m currently listening to the George Baker Selection’s Little Green Bag from Tarantino’s ‘Reservoir Dogs.’ it’s the song from their opening sequence and it’s amazing. i’ll share a funny story soon, but in the mean time ? i should probably catch my forty winks because i have a long week ahead of me.

[wood burning and acrylic on wood panel][acrylic and spray paint on glass][acrylic and pen on wood panel]


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trees & displacement

i always remember the trees when i feel i am in trouble. if i feel as though i am in some sort of mid-life mid-life ‘crisis’ – i look to trees for comfort. i have been doing this for almost three years. it all started in Seattle on one rainy drive home from work. i remember looking at some evergreens and feeling an overwhelming sense of calm. trees are so grounded. their roots reach deeply into the soil and hold them up, even against the strongest gusts of wind that grace the pacific northwest from time to time. from there, i learned to look at the sky and its colors and clouds and shapes. living in a city like San Francisco or New York, i am not surrounded by trees like i was back in Seattle, so i have been spending a lot of my time gazing at the sky from my roof. morning, noon, and night. before work. after work. and during the day when i am not at work. but my favorite time is sun down. when the clouds seem to retreat, slowly. and as they retreat, they catch colors from the setting sun :: pink, orange, coral, red, yellow, and purples and blues when dusk really begins to take hold. *sigh*

i made this painting in honor of all of the feelings above. you know that ‘if you could have one super hero power what would it be’ question ? well, my answer has always been, ‘to fly.’ i suppose flying in a helicopter is as close as i have ever gotten to that feeling. i imagine skydiving is the closest i could get – even though you are technically falling when that happens.. but, i’ve heard it ‘feels like flying.’ what a funny expression by the way, no ? because who actually knows what flying feels like ? if you or anyone you know has been born with the gift of flight, please contact me immediately. i need to speak to them.

why flying ? because i can’t imagine a feeling more liberating than just deciding to pick yourself up off the ground and fly to where ever you want to go. i know that i am not the only person to feel this way, but i know that many people say ‘invisibility’ when posed with the super hero question. so, yeah.

before i say anything else, let me say this :: i am not a racist. i care not about the color of your skin or the country in which you were born. i don’t care where people come from or what they look like – we are all human beings deserving of that rather vague concept that is happiness. that said, the longer i live in Chinatown, the more i feel a sense of cultural isolation. i have noticed that if i am in a deli in Chinatown – regardless of whether i am the first in line or in the middle – i am treated as though i were standing dead last. until i am the only caucasian left standing in the room, i will not be served. this happens nine times out of ten. it has reached a point where i have deliberately stopped frequenting most local delis merely because i am irritated at being treated this way. at first, i thought i was imagining things. i’d heard some stories from people that i know, but figured they were over-reacting. i was wrong. i now know that they were being dead serious and to be honest ? it breaks my heart – not just a little, but a lot.

so this feeling of displacement has slowly begun to seep into my sense of self. i know that i am not a bad person. i also know that if i am first in line i should be served first. so, standing in line at a counter where you are treated as though you have been bestowed with that ‘gift’ of invisibility, i am discouraged. i am not trying to blame the Chinese culture as a whole, though. i know that discrimination and ethnic injustice occurs every day in our country – i have just never been the ‘victim’ of it until now. and though my experience is extremely mild compared to most – i have a new found sense of appreciation for those that experience this on a daily basis. on a regular basis. on an at-least-ten-times-a-day basis. that’s not to say that i never felt sympathy for others before, but now i can say i feel empathy for them because in my own small way – i know what they are talking about and it doesn’t feel good. and yes, that is the understatement of the year.

[acrylic on watercolor paper]



Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)

eleven days, washington street, and gravy

i am not ignoring you, trust me.

i am just busier than busy than busy could be. i leave in eleven (ok, maybe ten by the time you read this) days for San Francisco. eleven days, er ten days. and for the record, NO, i would hardly consider myself packed or prepared, although mentally – i have already relocated. now it’s just a matter of aligning my mental state to my physical world – which, by the way, is no easy task when you collect obscene amounts of stuff because you had a particular fondness for it and/or you have a particular fondness for who gave it to you and the memory attached to it.

i have been attempting to clean my apartment and pack up shop one square foot at a time, whilst juggling freelance work, riding horses, and trying ever so desperately to spend quality time with my near and dear friends prior to my departure (at this point, let me remind you that i am currently without a car (which would not be such an issue if the public transportation system in Seattle was not, for the most part, completely useless). so i am feeling entirely overwhelmed, unable to haul anything anywhere :: be it the dump, a donation center, storage, etc.

by now i should have held not one, but two, Garage Sales. However, as fate would have it (since I endured a health scare, then spent nearly 10 days in a hospital for a family member’s rapidly deteriorating health, and also/subsequently attending two open casket funerals in the space of one week, and spending an entire week in Montana for the second funeral), i “lost” about a month of my life and therefore find myself in a bit of a panic. these are not complaints, just facts. i had never in my life been surrounded by so much death and sadness and i wouldn’t wish it upon my worst enemy. so, i do have trouble sleeping in the first place, but under these circumstances sleep seems only to wash over me when i’ve completely exhausted myself.

i am currently listening to Aimee Mann in an effort to calm my nerves and although Sylvia Plath once wrote that “there must be quite a few things that a hot bath won’t cure,” for those of you who, like myself, are not particularly fond of baths (don’t ask me why, i’ve not been fond of them since i was kid), i am of the opinion that there are quite a few things a hot cup of tea won’t cure. so, bottoms up – tea cup style.

as for Washington Street (and trust me, the irony does not escape me since I am moving from Seattle, Washington) – this is where i’ll be living in San Francisco – I’ve put down the deposit, I’ve met my room mates (well, I’ve met two of them – there are three in total), i adore the neighborhood, i adore the apartment, and though it was only the second apartment i’d looked at – it just felt right. perhaps because we have roof access (and therefore an amazing view of the city), or maybe because it’s like the International House of People (IHOP for short)(one being from Greece, one from Italy, and another from France). what can i say ? i just had a really good feeling about the place and its inhabitants :: so i canceled any plans i’d made to see other spaces and bit the bullet / pulled the trigger – handed over my security deposit and my first month’s rent and called it a day.

as for Gravy? i am not talking about that delicious sauce one drizzles and/or drowns mashed potatoes with :: i am referring to a bulldog named Gravy. he is painfully cute, expressive, sweet, charismatic, and amazing-in-every-way-possible. he belongs to friend of mine and while at my friend’s apartment one evening, i took a few pictures of him, began sketching, then painting, and here’s ended up with this painting (and yes, i somehow managed to make this look like a paint by number) ::

my apologies for the shine factor.  the light from the scanner caused some serious reflections in the dark areas of the painting.

i have more to share. in fact, i have much more to share, however – i must call it a day and hit the hay (unintentional rhyme). until then, i bid you a wonderful morning, afternoon, evening, or what have you – i’ll be back just as soon as can.

[misc. google image][pencil and acrylic on paper]


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carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero. (yes, i’m still alive & kicking).

the title of this post means the following (roughly translated from Latin) ::

seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future.

future tattoo. why ? why get such a message permanently inked onto my skin ? and why now ?

well, there are many reasons. some may think it is a bit cryptic or pessimistic. however, when i first read this i felt hopeful if not on the verge of optimistic. i consider myself to be a realist at heart with a dash of optimism. i strongly believe that everything happens for a reason.

i believe in seizing the day. who’s to say i won’t be struck and killed by a bus tomorrow morning ? i’m really not trying to be a debbie downer here. i promise. i do not have a death wish and i am not suicidal, but i do believe in living every day as if it were your last. as hard we try to control our future(s) on this earth, there really is no way to control them. sure, we might choose a certain career, pick a certain major at school, live in a certain city, yadda yadda, but ultimately our fate is not completely in our control.

by the way, i’m not a hippie.

this leads me to why i have been so absent from this blog (i really hate the term ‘blog’ :: apologies to fellow ‘bloggers’) er site for nearly an entire month (*sigh*). after what could have been a serious health scare, i had a major self re-evaluation of my own life. no, i was not about to die, but… the scare was certainly significant enough to make me re-think the way i have been living my life. from the amount of sleep i get (or, i suppose, lack) to what i consume on a regular basis (from alcohol to cigarettes to food, etc.). after my ‘scare’ (ok, ok, i’ll keep the mystery out of this :: on the 10th of August i suffered two grand mal seizures thanks to a medication i was taking), it took me about two weeks to recover from it. i’ve suffered several concussions (thank you, horse back riding) in my life and after those seizures – it felt like i’d had a serious concussion. my short term memory was more or less shot (and it still is to some degree), i had a terrible headache, and i just felt completely off. unless you’ve experienced this, you will not entirely understand it. it’s almost like vertigo and a concussion had a love child, that’s the best way to describe it and as a result i did not ride a horse for nearly five weeks and i cannot legally drive for six months (which, by the way, kinda puts a damper on someone who relies on their car to get everywhere :: including the beautiful city of San Francisco when i move there come the first week of October).

once i’d more or less come out of my blah from the seizures, two people in my life passed away. one suddenly from a horrific accident and the other was a close member in the family. i ended up attending two funerals in the space of one week and spending seven days in Montana (where the family was and where one of the funerals took place). so, yeah, has it been a bit of a shi**y month? yah, sure, you betcha, but it can only go up from here, right?

(an illustration made a couple of years ago that more or less sums up how i am feeling these days) ::

so i’ve been painting. and painting. and painting. i’ve been a horrible business woman. i’ve more or less neglected many emails and requests from potential clients as i dealt with my own health issues and then the loss of two people in my life. i move south in roughly three weeks. i am nowhere near ready, but i will keep my eyes ahead and continue to put one foot in front of the other because come h*ll or high water, by the first week of October, I will be a resident of San Francisco.

and another little piece i painted in the midst of all this ::

that, my friends, is all i’ve got for now. i am happy to report i am currently working on a project for a local business right now and do feel as though i am slowly finding my freelance feet again. i thank you for your patience and i’ll see you soon. lots of exciting things in the near future and quite a few paintings i will be finishing up this week that i am eager to share.

i wish you all good health, happiness, and a beautiful ending to your respective summers. i can’t believe fall is already here.

[digital design for tattoo][mixed media on paper][acrylic on paper]



Filed under design, illustration (both acrylic and oilt)