- I lost my best friend-sister-cousin to cancer
- I was able to really step up for her when she was sick. (I am extremely grateful for the generosity and caring from my employers during that time.)
- The grieving process is lot like the Grand Canyon. You can't really appreciate the imensity, scope, and vastness of it until your standing in front of it.
- I lost a bunch of weight. No, this was not stress-related. This was a very conscious, present process.
- I am redefining who I am and my place in the world and chagrined to face my own judgements about fat and thin.
- I am continuing to find my own voice in my artwork and discovered that I just may actually have some talent.
- Nature - and life in general - can be messy, smelly, gorey, ugly, brutal, and in your face. And - it's not personal!
- For the most part I actually like my job.
- Although I started out this year a bit afraid of him, I think I understand Coyote a little better than before.
- Tatiana rocks!
- Life really is what happens when your busy making other plans.
- Everything is always changing.
- Skeletons aren't as scary as they used to be - especially when teaching you to surf.
- It's really OK to f-ck up. Really. It's OK.
- It is quite possible that rules really were made to be broken. Especially the ones in your head.
- These last two are intrinsically connected.
- Nothing is ever all good or all bad. Nothings is ever written in stone. There are no absolutes.
- Sometimes it's really best to say nothing at all.
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
As they say, everything is always changing, and we are announcing a change to the way we’ll be sharing our annual holiday card. In an effort to conserve both personal and global resources, this is the last year we'll be sending out paper, hard-copy Sloane-Ochoa original holiday cards.
But we’re not going away! We still want to share our original creations and best wishes with folks so, starting in 2009, we will be sending our holiday card via email and also posting it for viewing online.
That gives you a whole year to make sure we have your email address! You can send it to us at:
Reducing our footprint, one step at a time!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Sunday, September 28, 2008
- Because I'm not into stealing other people's imagery and violating copyright laws, and I'm inherently cheap, I decided I needed to create the components of this piece myself. I discovered that maybe I really can paint.
- Although I had previously only worked on pieces no larger than 9X12 I was being called, loudly, to go bigger with this piece. Purchasing the canvas and taking it out to my car was a true act of faith.
- This is the piece where I first heard my own artistic voice and was able to stay true to it while serving the muse and the magic of Raven.
Oh, and another act of courage -- sharing this very personal piece with the world.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Here's the other part.
On May 19, just as I was almost finished with this piece, my cousin was diagnosed with very advanced lung cancer. Somehow I managed to grab some time in my art studio between doctor's appointments, the emergency room, ICU, and vigilant advocacy at the hospital. I finished this piece shortly before she died on June 6.
We were very close, saying we were cousins and sisters (although I began to fear people would take us literally and really wonder about our family.) I was "her person" holding her hand throughout her illness. You can see her memorial video on YouTube.
Pain and grief are still very fresh right now so I can't completely articulate this, but I know her passing and this piece are connected. Snake teaches me to transmute, shed my skin, and embrace the power of fire. It's no mistake, ironic as it may seem right now, that the woman is smiling on the burnt pages of the rule book.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
This piece is all about fun and reminder to me to lighten up once in a while. Not everything has to be deep, personal, and meaningful. Art is about expression, and there really is a lighter, goofy side to me. This is a mixture of digital artwork, using a photo I took of his dog Ruthie, textured papers, more words as visual elements, and lots of acrylic paint and medium.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Friday, April 11, 2008
Poetry, on the other hand, was my strong point and there is one particular poem I wrote that, after all these years, I can still remember -- probably because it's very short. A poetry teacher took us all to the old San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (I'm not sure if that's even what it was called back then, but it was in an old building on Van Ness Street. If anyone knows the museum I'm talking about, please let me know) to see an exhibit by Lee Krasner -- an amazing abstract artist who suffered the distinction of being married to Jackson Pollock. In case you're wondering why Krasner's name is hotlinked here and Pollock's is not it's because Krasner spent her artistic career in Pollock's shadow and this is just my small way of paying tribute. If you want to know more about Jackson Pollock, use Google like everyone else...
Friday, March 21, 2008
Yes, I haven't posted for a while. Given the choice between blogging about art, or getting out in the studio and doing it, I've opted for the latter. There should be some new stuff to show in a few weeks. In the meantime, enjoy watching C & C (as the falcon fanatics refer to them) and ponder the incubation process, both physical and metaphorical.
Kisses to all.
Sunday, February 24, 2008
I'm a big techie. I like the digital age. Pretty weird for a new age, granola, hippie girl... I know. But there is one thing I'm discovering as I'm posting images of my artwork here. Size really does matter. Size is an integral component in a piece -- be it small, like an assemblage piece made from a cigarillo tin or large, like the 30" x 40" canvases I work on sometimes that are almost as big as I am. The size of a piece of art work is as important as the subject matter, color, or medium. It's easy to forget this in www-land. Seeing a digital image of a piece can be misleading. The small assemblage piece can lose some of it's intimacy. The large canvas can lose some of it's impact. We sometimes forget to place the online images we see into the context of the "real world".
I love my blog. I love being able to share my art. But most of all, I love the art -- the "real" art -- and the process of creating it. So I'll try not to forget the real world, and that everything is relative.
Sunday, February 17, 2008
So I've been pondering the idea of breaking the rules, burning the rule book, and drawing outside the lines.
Think you used enough dynamite there, Butch?
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
According to Gonzales, research suggests when a person gets lost, he or she goes through five general stages, similar to the stages of grief and dying. First is the denial "that you're disoriented and press on with growing urgency, attempting to make your mental map fit what you see." Second is the realization "that you're genuinely lost, the urgency blossoms into a full-scale survival emergency." In the third stage you struggle to "form a strategy for finding some place that matches the mental map. (It is a misguided strategy, for there is no such place now: You are lost.)" Stage four is where you "deteriorate both rationally and emotionally, as the strategy fails to resolve the conflict." And stage five, is where "you must become resigned to your plight. Like it or not, you must make a new mental map of where you are... To survive, you must find yourself. Then it won't matter where you are."
Here's what I get to learn during my walk in my artistic wilderness. To be true to myself, find myself, and trust myself. It might be tough sometimes, but geeze, the view is incredible!
Friday, January 25, 2008
I am blessed with ideas. I carry around a small notebook, and when I get a vision of a new art piece I write it down, complete with thumbnails, copious notes, and lots of options and ideas. This can be tricky sometimes since I'm usually driving. I'll be careful, I promise. My ideas usually start with a personal issue -- something I'm sorting out in my own life, etc. -- and then the visual concept starts to bubble to the top.
I have a day job. I have a family. I have several four-legged critters. In other words, my time is not always my own. I'm also an expert at finding reasons for not going out to the studio. It's butt-freezing cold and rainy. There is no electricity out there. It's dark.
Also. There are roadblocks. There are technical/mechanical issues with one piece. Things are not going as planned. (Note to self. It's time to mentally remap. If you don't know what that means, read Deep Survival. I'm half way through and starting to get it. The artistic process is not unlike wilderness survival. Perhaps that will be another entry.)
There's more. There's the fact that I am taking on an uncomfortable subject right now. It's a strong powerful vision and I'm excited. It also involves snakes - OK, just one snake - but that's enough. I am not snake-phobic, but I am afraid of venomous snakes. Rattlesnakes in particular. Really afraid. And I know how powerful snakes are. They show up in my dreams whenever I'm going through a particularly difficult transition in my life. So right now I am in the squirming stage of the artistic process. I think that comes somewhere after denial and bargaining, but definitely before acceptance.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
What is it about girls and horses?
Creating this piece was one of those spontaneous words-as-elements things. In this case the words came first and the images formed around them. I love to use old topographic maps in my work (a backpacker's best friend) and the blue and gold seed beads carry the motion I was trying to convey. The words are tricky to see online -- but if you click on the image hopefully the larger image shows the words better.
I think of this piece as an affirmation and encouragment for me to go ahead and live. Get dirty, take risks, break the rules, work through the fear, be uncomfortable, trust your vision.
And people wonder why girls love horses.
Never take a job on commission. Especially when it's for family. Especially when it's for your teenage daughter.
OR - Go ahead and take the job. Then throw out everything they say they want and do what you want.
I have a word box. I cut out words and phrases from magazines, comic books, and catalogs and keep them in my word box. It's best if I keep this a totally right-brained activity (tricky since I think language is left-brained in origin) and not have any expectations for what I cut out. I just snip what jumps out at me. Then, when I'm constructing a piece I go through and see who wants to come out and play. While many of my smaller pieces incorporate these words, I haven't used them in my larger pieces -- yet.
My daughter, Mara, saw the words "No Accident" one day and asked that I create a piece for her with these words. After picking her brain for some inspiration I realized I couldn't work with her vision -- I had to work with my own vision for her. Wolves are important to Mara (I sometimes call her Wolf Pup) and the rest of the words chose themselves. I really wanted more of a street or graffiti art look for this piece -- something less polished and little messy. I'm not sure if I achieved that but I'm pleased with the end result. I worked with acrylic emulsions, medium, and many, many layers of different paints and papers. The digital image really doesn't do this piece justice (it's too big for my scanner -- this is a digital picture. As soon as I can get it scanned I'll repost). There's a lot of texture going on and I can't look at it without touching it and experiencing the textures. This piece, called "Mara's Wolf", is 9X12 on canvas board.
Some folks have been
puzzled by this piece. Mara and I both really like it -- so both client and artist are happy.
Things I learned:
- Feel the force, Luke. Trust yourself, you know best.
- Composition, composition, composition. It doesn't really work here, I know.
- Life is messy sometimes.
- Wolves really are teachers.
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
I've learned so much from watching her live her life and she seems to be my personal cheerleader no matter what I do! In fact, she's partly responsible for the name of this blog. When she announced she was moving out of Northern California -- again -- I couldn't let her leave the state without a small piece of art from me and my wishes for joy on her journey and the many gifts life brings.
So the closet door has been opened just a wee bit here, but I'm looking forward to seeing sunlight soon.