Thursday, August 20, 2009
When I was in junior high school, my girlfriends and I used to play football with the neighborhood boys. It was actually just a good chance for us to cop some innocent feels on each other. And it was fun. Anyways, the boys being boys nicknamed the girls. They called my best friend Boobhead, because she wasn't too smart but she had a nice body. (No sexism here, eh? Start 'em early I say!) My other friend was called Scrounger because she always seemed to be finding and picking up coins and shiny whatnots everywhere she went. And me? Well naturally I was called Tank. And I hated it. I was taller than everyone else and outweighed them by about 20 lbs. which granted 20 lbs. isn't a heck of a lot now, but back then it might as well have been 200 lbs.
So I've been riding my bike around the neighborhood here. We're on a hill and there are hills everywhere here. So I've gotten in some good cardio workouts lately. But I've been wanting to hit a bike trail and funny thing is, I wanted to ride in the daylight! For the past several months, any exercise I've done outside has always been at night time. It's a vanity thing. I never liked the idea of people staring, and a fat girl exercising is something people stare at! My bike isn't much, just a cheapie that we purchased at Kmart about 5 years ago and pretty much sat gathering dust until recently. We did a little upgrading by adding a "cadillac" seat (in other words, more cushion & more width!), some rockin' new tires that we got from the bike shop and other little assorted goodies. So today I woke up early...and early means 8 am for me...took a quick cool down shower (hot flashes are killin' me lately!), loaded up the bike and headed for a nice bike trail that my husband and I discovered last week. I cannot tell you how heavenly this was for me! I felt a freedom of movement that has been lacking in my life for so long. I unloaded my bike at the trail, hopped on and took off down the path that rode right alongside the Rio Grande. I had monarch butterflies and dragonflies riding beside me all along. And the people I passed by are so...so nice! This is unusual and very hard for me to grasp. Everyone said hello...and good morning...nice day. I passed other bikers, people walking all types of dogs, and even some cowboys on horseback. I followed the trail for the full length of 3 miles, then turned around and headed back. Six miles total. When I was coming into the final stretch at the end of the trail, there were a group of older gentlemen all hanging out and talking. They all waved and said hello and one of them asked me if I had finished the whole six miles. When I said "yes...why yes I did!" They all started cheering and clapping. At first I wasn't sure if they were laughing at me...being obese in our society has taught me to think like this...but no, they were genuine. And I felt pretty good. And strong. And my old nickname came to mind and I realized that there is nothing wrong with being a tank. So on that note, I think I might do it again tomorrow!
Monday, August 10, 2009
I decided to take a few new pics today. My little girl is a future photographer. And astronaut. And paleontologist. And artist. And veterinarian. I think she did a good job. Except she wouldn't take the pics unless I smiled and said "cheese." Kids.
The only regret I have is that I threw out all of my "before" pics. Vanity is a killer. I wish I had kept some. But honestly they were too hard to look at for me. They are painful reminders of how far I let myself go. But like any addiction, one day at a time. One step back, two steps forward. Onward.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Vending recently at a large Day of the Dead event. Set up next to an artist selling Day of the Dead and other religious themed paintings. Very nice lady and pleasantly nice all weekend. Lady has no idea what the Day of the Dead is about. Lady paints skeletons and calls them Day of the Dead paintings. Lady sells several "Day of the Dead" paintings at $250.00 each. Lady is also selling religious painting of saintly woman. Lady has no idea who saintly woman is. Lady saw the saintly woman at a museum in Italy and copied. Lady sells saintly woman painting sells that weekend for $900.00.
Okay label me jealous. Yes I admit it. I was jealous that she managed to sell a painting for $900.00 that weekend and most of us were struggling to sell our $20.00 items. I was happy that she sold the painting. Any independent artist who sells a higher end painting is like a victory for us all. But she simply had no idea that the saintly woman she had sold was La Dolorosa. The image of the painfully weeping mother who has lost her only son and who bears the seven sorrows of man as swords pierced deeply in her heart and is a beloved image in the catholic religion. But lady manages to pull the deal off with the customer and sell her painting. *sigh*
When I started creating Day of the Dead themed art several years ago, one of the first things I did was to read everything I could on the subject. Yes it was a cultural holiday that was undoubtedly celebrated by my ancestors long ago, but I knew that I could not create serious artwork unless I knew my subject. In other words, I can't just jump on the bandwagon and start painting skeletons for profit unless I know my subject.
I suppose that the success of selling art is in the hands of the buyer. I rarely have a customer who purchases a high end piece from me and does not want to know everything about it from what originally inspired me down to the painting process and method.
I see so many artists on etsy who are misusing the term "Day of the Dead" on items that should more properly be labeled for Halloween. There are no zombies, blood or gore associated with el Dia de Los Muertos.
If I decided to become a writer one day because I thought it would bring in some money, I would never write a book on "How To Speak Fluent Russian In Just One Day."
So I will conclude with this advice to new artists. Take a few moments to utilize the net or your local library and learn a bit about the images you decide to use in your art. Yes skeletons are big sellers and they're cool and lots of fun to paint. But take the time to find out why they are used in artwork and where the idea was originated. It's never too late to learn about other cultures and civilizations. You might also find that it enhances your own life and inspires even more creativity.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
I have a huge Dia de Los Muertos show this weekend in Albuquerque (Santa Ana Pueblo). The following weekend is Santa Fe's huge Hispanic Contemporary Market. Hectic to say the least! I will post updates and pics of the new artwork I've been working on. The creativity has been flowing like a mofo and it's made me realize that I really do my best work under pressure.
I plan to catch up on all my favorite blogs and bloggerettes, but it might take a couple more weeks.
And on the weight loss journey, I've now lost a total of 46 lbs! My goal has always seemed impossibly far away, but learning to live it day by day has helped me put my weight loss expectations into perspective. And I've been riding my bike. I packed that sucker away years ago and let the dust gather on it because the dreams I've had of riding my bike with the wind blowing through my hair seemed like something I would never feel again. Wrong. I'm starting to feel like there's not much I can't do. It's really strange to have that sort of confidence. I'm not used to it.
Monday, May 18, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Thursday, April 30, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
June 19th will be the "For the heART of Animals" fundraiser event at the Farm and Ranch Museum from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. in Las Cruces, NM. I will be there selling arte and supporting a worthy cause. Proceeds will benefit the Humane Society of Southern New Mexico (HSSNM), Spay Neuter Action Program (SNAP) and Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary (SHAS). Please come and support this worthy cause!
"Pride" day takes place on Saturday June 27th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Pioneer Women's Park, Las Cruces. This event is in it's 3rd year and each year brings more visitors. This year they will have 70+ vendors with over 1,000+ attendees expected! So along with supporting a great cause, it's just a blast to be here! I look forward to this event every year!
In July I will be attending two more events!
On July 18th & 19th, 2009 at the Santa Ana Star Casino in the Santa Ana Pueblo, NM is the 2nd annual "Arte De Muertos" show. This promises to be a well attended event with over 80 artists from the southwest featuring all type of hand crafted treasures! I expect this show to be a great selling opportunity for all who participate. If you're an artist who is interested in attending, please check the website out and contact Hank Estrada for more information.
And last but certainly not least is the Hispanic Contemporary Market in Santa Fe on July 25th and 26th, 2009. I'll post more on this event as it draws near. But this is another of my favorite shows to vend. It is a festive event that brings in a colorful crowd of Northern New Mexicans and art collectors from all over the world!
And that is what is currently on my plate. So although I've only been back from San Antonio for one week now, my studio is currently filled with projects in the making and future projects.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
The shows are finally over! Well at least until June. But for the next week I am just taking it easy. April 4th and 5th was the Dia de Los Muertos show in Bernalillo (a small burb just outside Albquerque). That was the type of show I love despite very small booth spaces and difficult set-ups. We had a huge customer turnout thanks to great publicity. I met some new faces in the art world and managed to bring home some excellent swag. Geez I LOVE artists who trade! Let’s see, my daughter came home with some adorable FloresOriginals bottlecap jewelry (thank you Carolyn!), and I’m the one who came home with the muthaload of stuff! A beautiful senorita handbag from The Fancy Chola (Christina!), a ceramic Catrina doll of Frida and her monkey from Masks y Mas, a stunning pair of silver Oaxacan earrings, prints of Muerto art from the incredibly talented artist Magda, and a stash of cash thanks to a near complete sell-out weekend!
Although sell-out shows are wonderful, they also mean one thing. Time to go back to work! So we drove the 250+ miles home after the show and as soon as I got home, I locked myself up in the garage and started back to work for the
We did end up spending an extra couple of days in
So that’s where I’ve been for the past month. And it’s so GOOD to be home again! There’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye, but it will have to wait for another day. Life goes on and that pile of laundry behind me is just getting bigger. Packing suitcases is so much more fun than unpacking them! Outta here. Have a great day everyone! Oh yeah, a few pics below.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Sometimes I get bored painting the same old stuff so I like to throw something in that's a bit different. It's usually a copycat of something like this cute little Octopus Girl that is similar to a painting in the Disneyland Haunted Mansion. I've always dug on the artwork in the haunted mansion...it's fun and a bit warped. Although I was a bit disturbed to realize that she actually looks like a Brats Doll. I didn't like her so much after that.
I've been working on decoupaging a lot of my original art prints. The originals for all of these prints were sold last year, but I love to still use them in my decoupaged plaques & candles too. I just don't believe in keeping any of my own artwork. I have tons of art from artists that I admire, but not one piece of my own art hangs in my home. Weird, huh?
These are my sacred heart/amor eterno boxes and are my original design. Using a blend of polymer clay, textured paints & lots of highlighting & darkening effects, I've come up with these boxes & plaques that are totally unique. I'm hoping they'll sell as well as they always do! I need to pay the mortgage next month. jeje
And then of course there are mermaid mirrors, Catrina paintings (only this one isn't Catrina...she's Miss Sunny and her dog Daisybones). Daisy was the name of my first dog. She was a handmedown beagle and as sweet natured as her name. Despite a flatulence problem. Miss Sunny's dress is based on Sunny Baudelaire's dress from A Series of Unfortunate Events. I love the costumes in that movie and had a plan to make a whole series of paintings using variations of those costumes...but well...I just ran out of time.
This nicho de Guadalupe was a commission piece and was recently delivered to California to a very happy customer. It is always a big sigh of relief when a commission piece is finished and the customer is pleased with the outcome. It's not really my preference to do commissions but it's sometimes a necessary evil. The only time I'll really turn down is a commission is if the customer is asking me to do something really off the wall like a Tuscan landscape or a rosy cheeked cherub (yeah I've been asked to paint those!). Come on...if you can't see that bleached white bones and death grins are my thing, then I've gotta say uh...sorry no...I'm simply swamped with orders!
Fortunately I've been so busy that I haven't had much time for eating. Go figure that one! Well except late at night when my stomach is making so much noise that I swear if I look down at it I will see something alive and moving in there. I've lost a steady 2.5 lbs. a week for the past three weeks in a row. I wish I could say it's noticeable and everyone is saying "Wow Pam you look great are you losing weight?" But nope. I just have to be patient with my stubborn 48 year old hysterectomized body. In any case, I feel pretty darn good. And we're going out to eat tonight at Pei Wei in El Paso! Owned by PFChangs but so much cheaper...same food less bucks...my kinda place. I plan on eating 25 of my allotted 32 WW points tonight on one bowl of Dan Dan noodles with spicy chicken. Geez I've missed chinese food! And then I'm dropping off my husband and the little squirt at the Walk with the Dinosaurs show while me and my eldest beauty are headed to the mall for a little splurge spending at Torrid. Yeah man...life is good!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
If you have the time, please check out her etsy shop. All of her items are handmade with incredible attention to detail. The purses & bags are completely her design and you won't find anything else like them. Thank you Gen!
Here are a few new works for San Antonio. I have been so busy working for the Bernalillo show creating my lower end decoupage items, but I've felt a strong urge to paint nuestra Senora. So here are a few:
The first one is my traditional Dolorosa in black in gold. The second one I was really pleased with how unique this retablo it came out. Here I have all the components of her dress painted as separate pieces throughout the retablo. The last retablo has a bit of inspiration from spanish colonial styled retablos with lots of vines and pomegranates.
And on a personal note...I've lost 24 lbs. since starting Weight Watchers on January 18th! Sometimes it's so overwhelming thinking about how far I have to go...but I realize that I just have to put it into perspective and take it day by day. Learning how to pace myself has been hard. I have up and down days...last night was a really tough one but I managed to stay on program. I'm still on program today but I've wanted to stray off. The one thing that keeps me from doing that...is the fear that I might not get back on program if I do. I might be able to get back on program immediately, or it might take me years. I wish I could say that it was about self control, but I don't believe that self control has a thing to do with weight problems. Food is an addiction. It's not a choice despite what many people believe. Nobody wants to be fat. It's true that I choose to make bad food choices, but I feel that I am drawn to make those choices by a physical/emotional need. It's no different than being an alcoholic or a drug addict. And in some ways it's a lot more painful. Society tends to be more forgiving to the drug/alcohol addict, but fat people are scorned and looked down upon because our addiction is much more visible. Trying to stay on program is the hardest thing I've ever had to do.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Skeletons are non judgemental. Skeletons will never win beauty pageants. They are not sorted out by class according to their body size, skin color, gender or sexual orientation. Skeletons are dead and the trivial things that mattered in life, (money & beauty) just don't matter anymore. Skeletons just wanna have a good time.
I live in a world where I am too often judged because of the way I look. My weight has been a deciding factor on my quality as a human being to many people I've come across. I have had to endure horrid insults and comments thrown at me by an insensitive and intolerant society for most of my life. On the day after I came home from burying my brother, I had a stranger at the market ask me "Hey do you want a diet pizza?" as he walked away laughing at his clever little joke on the fat girl. I wish I had been numb enough to have not felt anything.
So how do I respond the next time somebody asks me why I paint skeletons as all those reasons go through my head? This is how. I look up and smile ever so sweetly and say "I paint skeletons because they're fun!"
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
More originals that I've finished up for San Antonio! I'm starting on a commission order for a Guadalupe nicho. I've decided to go with a pomegranate motif. Pomegranates represent amazing things. Fertility. Life. Rebirth. It's been said that the gown of the original Guadalupe is decorated in flowers that are very similar to pomegranates, so I think that design will go perfect on this nicho. This is not a fully original nicho, I'm using a decoupaged image of Guadalupe...but the rest of it will be hand painted. I'll post pics as it progresses. Enough for now. I have three large pieces that I've just primered and are waiting for color! Hasta luego amigos!
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
Anyways, it's been hard to get real motivated with original art, so I've worked on my regular decoupaged mirrors and plaques to bring in some extra holiday money. My etsy shop is probably more full right now that it's ever been so if you've gotta few minutes to spare, please stop by...because I sure can use some traffic thataway!
On the left is one of my favorite images La Dolorosa. She's done in black and gold which apparently has become a habit for me. I tried to do her in beautiful rich shades of reds and blues but to no avail. I just didn't like it. It seems that black and gold are the only things that work in my head.
Next to her is the flaming redhead Rita Hayworth...calavera style of course. I enjoy painting these whimsical images and for some reason the actual painting just seems to flow so smoothly. I finished Rita up in about two hours, but the Dolorosa took me a couple of days. Is my head trying to tell me something?
We did find out that the San Antonio Show I'm vending at in April runs at the same time as San Antonio's citywide Fiesta time. Which to me means...more people...more potential contacts and customers! Not to mention the fact that the more I read about San Antonio, the more I want to visit. Since the whole family is going, we'll be doing the whole touristy thing. But my husband and I are very interested in the actual history of the town and it's occupants. So if anyone has any suggestions, please head 'em this way!
Okay I'm off to the airport to go pick up my daughter who has been visiting family in California for the past two weeks. I'll be glad to have her back home. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and let's pray for a healthy happy 2009! Felicidades!