To the annoyance of many of my friends, one of my favorite expressions ever.
This past weekend, I went to the 50th birthday party for one of my dearest friends. I met Ron in 1993 when he first moved to San Francisco. He worked at an advertising agency with my girlfriend at the time, and he and I became friends, quickly and easily. Our love for each other has been deep and fierce ever since. The picture on the left was taken shortly after we met 19 years ago when I was 25. The one on the right was taken just this past week at his birthday party (BTW: doesn’t he look AMAZING for 50?).
I have gone through more with Ron than I have with any other single friend. Together, over the last 19 years of friendship, we have navigated complex relationships, homophobia, profound loss, and darkness. We have also experienced courage and new beginnings, and happiness greater than we could ever have imagined in our personal lives.
We have also been through periods where we did not see each other for long stretches of time. Yet somehow our history is so extensive and so filled with love that we have managed to maintain a profound connection through the vast time and space and busy-ness of our individual lives.
I think a lot about my friendships and what they mean to me. This past week I have been feeling incredibly grateful for Ron and the place he has in my life. Happy birthday, Ron! I love you.
I wanted to let you all know that I’ll be giving a short lecture at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco on May 3 about reusing found materials in my work. It will be part of a public program called Salvaged Beauty, associated with Do No Destroy, the show that I’m currently in at the museum. The evening will include 5 short lectures on the topic of re-use in art. If you can make it, please say hello afterward!
PS: Go see the show! It’s AMAZING!
I have been through times in my life where I have regularly asked the Universe for things — more work, financial stability, love, friends, etc. At those times, I felt either lonely or bored or broke or unsuccessful — maybe a combination of all four.
I’m not sure it’s because I asked repeatedly or if it was just sheer luck, but in the last few years I’ve gotten a lot of the things that I spent years asking for. I have more illustration work than I sometimes feel like I can handle (a lot of it with dream clients), I have a wonderful partner (and animals), and I have so many amazing friends. My life is full and good.
Maybe you can relate to this, but now I sit and ask the Universe for time. Because mostly I feel overwhelmed. I am often not sure how I can meet my multiple work deadlines, or how I can give my partner the time and attention she deserves, or how I can make time for friends. I fantasize about down time or crawling in a dark hole to get away from the demands of my life.
Don’t get me wrong. I am grateful. I think all the time about how incredibly lucky I am to have a stable art practice with fantastic clients, to have a wonderful partner (now fiancee) and to have so many friendships. Mostly, I feel really, really happy. But isn’t it interesting how once we get what we ask for, we realize life still isn’t perfect?
I have chosen this life that I now have, and I wouldn’t trade it. But I do feel pretty harried a lot of the time, because with abundance comes stuff like more email and higher tax payments — generally more commitments and obligations. I have to believe that it’s possible to have abundance (work, love, friends) and also feel calm. I guess that’s what I need to figure out next.
And so off I go into my day.
I have been a huge fan of American abstract minimalist painter Agnes Martin since I first saw her work at the SFMOMA a couple of years ago when she had a small show there. I penned a quote of hers earlier today in my 365 Days of Hand Lettering project, so I wanted to share a little bit of her work with you. Disclaimer: these images do not do her work justice. Her paintings are typically very large (see the photo above for reference) and so powerful in their simplicity that I am always wracked with emotion when I see them. I believe the MOMA in NY has her work in their permanent collection. I urge you to experience them in person if you are ever there.
Agnes Martin died in 2004 at the age of 92. This is a really awesome video interview with her from 1997.
I love those rainy days when it (if like magic) stops raining and the sun comes out just when you are doing something outdoors. Today I got up to go swim my laps, and it was pouring rain (hailing, actually). And just when I got onto the pool deck the clouds cleared and the sun came out. They sky remained blue for the entire hour of my swim, and it was so nice.
I love vintage-inspired sun burst imagery, and the painting above is the first in a series of sun bursts that I’ll be making over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned for more.
Also: thank you for all the love you’ve given me about the opening of my new shop yesterday! I haven’t had a chance to thank everyone individually who posted/tweeted/FB’d about it. It was heartfelt. Thank you.