A Saturday drive to a family gathering down old highways of Louisiana on an overcast day turned into an inspiring journey. Bridges that stretch across the winding Mississippi listening to Bessie Smith, a good man is hard to find, beekeepers along the roadway, a family of little raccoons playing on the highway, old farmhouses and ramshackle barns, deserted trucks and leaning Willowy trees, crops and tractors, marshes and overgrowth, and my favorite of all overgrowth... the kudzu vine. Cajun cookbooks at truck stops and sweet rough face countrymen holding the door for you and telling you you look pretty. Listening to audiobooks as I drive, seeing horses and crows, doves and Osprey. Trains, hay bales, piles of things burning, crepe myrtle farm, places with names like Big Cane, one room churches with graveyards, old arrow signs, bait shops, and boiled peanuts. Today gave me the gift of time and things left untouched.
It's Friday morning in Los Angeles and I sit at the Short Cake cafe in the farmers market at The Grove to write this post. "I'll stop the world and melt with you..." is playing behind the coffee bar where enthusiastic baristas brew, drip, froth and fill every caffeinated desire. "You've seen the difference and it's getting better all the time..." I feel reflective, tired, energized, accomplished, adventurous. I think about how far I've come on this art-making life journey. Tonight I have a solo show at a store I used to only dream of working with. It's not a fancy gallery or museum... and that's just how I would have it. The people at this show tonight will likely be the classic Anthropologie woman. She is stylish, smart, strong and inspired, with the ability to build a life that is all her own, by her choice of things to accent herself and her home. Some of those things will be the dinnerware I made with Anthropologie, or a new scarf, bag or bedding. Some of those things will be these paintings, all of which were made, from concept to completion, in the front display window, while people young and old looked on. I am very proud of the work I present tonight, of this experience working with such a creative company and so many talented people. Above all, I'm happy to be able to share that work with the world. Thank you to everyone who gives me the opportunity to live the life I always dreamed of. I hope my experiences can inspire you to push through hard times and self-doubt, nurture your own growth, and be loyal to living the life of your dreams. It's not always the easiest, and it doesn't give you blind encouragement and tell you everything you do is right all of the time, but it is certainly the most rewarding way to live. Today is the day... Everyday.
I write to you here on the blog from a coffeeshop on a brisk June day in Los Angeles. It's Monday morning before I head back into my pop-up studio in the display window. Today marks the start of week 2 as the Artist-in- residence at Anthropologie at The Grove. These photos represent memorable moments from the past week as my studio took shape, paintings were made, people stopped to talk, and I got inspired. My days are spent sketching, reading, writing, painting, stitching and stretching canvas all in this space while the world passing by looks on. I have spent a lot of time standing at the easel painting or drawing at my table, or even laying on the floor flipping through the many inspiring books for sale at Anthropologie. I have always been inspired in Anthropologie stores. Working in this way allows me to use that inspiration directly as I make new artwork in this space. Art that didn't exist yesterday might become the design for dishes or bedding tomorrow. In addition to the excitement of this way of working, this project truly combines my two loves: making art and talking to awesome people, in a beautiful setting. I look forward to week 2 of tiny hands holding big ice cream cones, shoppers with their dogs, creative pre-teens having that moment where they realize you can make art for a living, and beautiful stylish women curating their life experience through their expert choice in dress and home goods. Thanks to everyone coming out to have a look, say hello and be a part of this interactive experience.