On Not Feeling Alone

08/30/13

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{Latest sketchbook entry}

Yesterday I had an AWFUL day. It seemed that everything was going wrong — several small things, and one really big thing. Circumstances had left me feeling sad and confused. It was a day when I felt like crawling in a dark hole and not coming out until everything had miraculously resolved itself. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you see it), I couldn’t crawl into a hole. I had paintings to make, illustration work to finish and a book to write. I generally don’t have time to fret. Over the course of the day, several friends (plus my sister) came to my rescue, offering their support for my situation. Others confided in me that they were having crappy days too. On Facebook I learned that more than three of my friends had spent the day in tears. One of my friends declared, “Mercury is in Uranus!” We consoled each other, gave each other virtual hugs, and took strength in the fact that we were all suffering.

By the end of the day, almost nothing about my situation had changed. The things that had upset me at 9 am were still true. But what had changed was how I felt about it. I no longer felt desperate or crazy. I felt supported. I had a sense of humor. I remembered that we all have bad days — and it’s the bad days that soften us and help us to be there for each other.

Thank you to everyone who helped me get through my day yesterday. You are all my sunshine.

Happy weekend.

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New Print :: Les Cuillères

08/29/13

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You may remember my sketchbook series from my time in France, and I’m happy to report that I’ve turned my drawing of spoons into a special white-on-black print (available now in my shop)! It’s available in both 8.5×11 inches and 11×14 inches. Also, I do custom colors on some of my prints (and this is one of them), so If you’d like it printed in a special color for your kitchen, convo or email me! Perfect for your kitchen! Get it here.

 

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Samantha Hahn: Well-Read Women

08/28/13

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{The stunning front/back cover of Well-Read Women, new from Samantha Hahn}

You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I posted about the stunning work of my friend Samantha Hahn, and I am so happy today to write about her work again — this time a new book she’s published with Chronicle called Well-Read Women. The book is a collection of FIFTY portraits from literature’s most legendary female characters (along with stunning hand lettered quotes), including the likes of Daisy Buchanan, Clarissa Dalloway. Anna Karenina, and Nancy Drew. I adore this book and think you will too. To quote my very own blurb on the back of the book: “Richly illustrated and exquisitely hand-lettered, Well-Read Women is the perfect convergence of literature and art–and a wonderful gift for any passionate reader. I have devoured it already several times over.” (It’s true.)

I’ll leave you here with some of my favorite spreads in the book. You can get the book here or at your local bookstore.

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Happy Wednesday!

CATEGORIES: For Sale | Inspiration
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My Love Affair With Oakland

08/27/13

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Six months ago, I moved to Oakland from San Francisco, where I’d lived for 23 years. The move was agonizing for me; I felt like I was losing a limb. I wrote about it here.

Despite my hesitation, almost immediately, I noticed there was something special about this place called Oakland. Amazingly, even though I’d lived in San Francisco for so long, I’d only been to Oakland two dozen times, and only to a few parts of the city for very brief periods of time. I didn’t know my way around at all, and so moving here became like an adventure, as if I’d moved to Chicago or Pittsburgh or Austin–a plethora of new sights and experiences. I love a new adventure, and I’m still experiencing a sense of wonder and excitement six months later. It seems that every week I discover new shops, galleries, restaurants, cafes, parks, swimming pools, even a magnificent lake. Let’s just say, I’ve fallen in love. In fact, I’ve said to Clay more than once: What took us so long?

One of the things I love about Oakland is that it’s an urban place with tall buildings, incredible diversity and fantastic culture, but, compared to San Francisco, there is just a lot more space around everything, both literally and figuratively. People are more spread out (Oakland is about 78 square miles to San Francisco’s 47 square miles), so there is more space around everything — people, buildings, homes, cars — which provides for a much more open, less cramped, less intense vibe. I love to take long walks and hike, and Oakland also has so many gorgeous outdoor areas. I especially love the redwood forest of Roberts Park, walking around beautiful lake Merritt, and much smaller Temescal Park, which even has a small lake. Almost daily I walk my dog at Mountain View Cemetery, which is close to where I live and was designed by famed Frederick Law Olmstead. We hike to the top to see views of downtown Oakland and downtown San Francisco, and in the evening, the sunset.

The weather here always felt like some sort of myth to me when I lived in San Francisco. It’s not really that much warmed over there, I told myself. But it is — on average it’s 10 degrees warmer and with less wind. The part of Oakland where I live is sometimes even 15 degrees warmer. I like warm weather, so the average summer 70-80 degree temperatures suit me (to be fair, I realize that many people enjoy the cold of San Francisco, but I never did).

We have wild turkeys that roam our street, the same street that I can look down and see tops of the buildings downtown, and the fog rolling in over San Francisco. We are growing vegetables in our backyard. We even have room for an outdoor chaise lounger on our deck for soaking in the sunshine. Last night, we sat outside and listened to crickets. The part-country, part-city feel of Oakland is what I love most. So many little neighborhoods here are like small towns. People are incredibly friendly. Life is good in Oakland.

I’ll leave you with some photos I’ve taken here since I moved here in February.

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Lake Merritt early on a Sunday morning.

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Wilfredo watching the sunset at the top of Mountain View Cemetery.

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Duende Restaurant, before opening hours.

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The gorgeous outdoor pool at Mills College, where I swim laps.

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Umami Mart, one of favorite shops downtown.

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Wilfredo enjoying the warm sunshine on our back deck.

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Small town charm off Piedmont Avenue.

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Temescal Alley, a true gem.

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A mural in my Oakland studio building.

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View from the top of Mountain View Cemetery.

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Margaret enjoying our yard.

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Wilfredo in Roberts Park.

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A view of downtown.

Happy Tuesday.

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Desktop Wallpaper!

08/23/13

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This past spring I designed free “summer” desktop wallpaper for Yoplait Yogurt! You can download it here.

Happy weekend.

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