Dogs I Met and Cats I Tried to Meet
Ever since I got my dog in 2015, I have been making lots of new dog friends. They are all so completely unique that I started taking their photos and drawing them. I usually record the name of the dog too. If we crossed paths in Oakland, California or Valencia, Spain, I might have drawn your dog. (I don’t always ask permission.)
Before Javi, I have always had a cat. Now I am a dog person and a cat person. My dog and I spend a lot of time trying to meet cats (and squirrels) without much luck. But we keep trying. These are some of the cats we tried to meet. And some of the cats I have loved. Artful pet commissions accepted.
Most of these multi media collage paintings are done on up-cycled hard wood from the dumpsters and donation boxes of local window makers. That's why I call them "woodies". And they are small, therefore "Little Woodies."
Birds, Oiseaux, Pajaros
Since the first days of the PAINTS (Promote Art in the Schools) Bird House Gala & Auction, I have been making bird art. I guess i have Bird Art habit.
Mis Abecedarios / My Alphabets
In 2014 while my family and I were doing the social experiment of living in Valencia, Spain, I enrolled in a post graduate design course at nearby ESAT (Escuela Superior de Arte y Tecnologia). My goal was to learn Spanish language and culture outside of the language school for extranjeros, and inside the real world. The experiment worked. The students at ESAT ranged from 18 to about 40 (I was 54) and the teachers were mostly 20 years my junior. I loved it.
One particularly fun assignment was an abcedario, an alphabet. Most people chose animal themes or other familiar ideas. I thrashed around for a concept. As I used to tell my own students when I taught writing and illustration at City College San Francisco, the more personal the more universal. Don't be afraid to go deep. So I followed my own advice. I was 54 remember? What could be deeper or more personal to my experience at that moment than… menopause.
My Alphabet of Menopause was born. Next came an alphabet dedicated to my son, An Alphabet of Adolescence, which in fact has a few overlaps with my first alphabet. When my Spanish teacher got pregnant, I responded with An Infantile Alphabet. Last came An Alphabet of Dogs I Met, just out in time for Year of the Dog! But that's not all.
On his 100th day in office just last month, I launched (with trepidation) my alphabet of our President, Donald Trump. I call it My Trumpabet. A is for Arrogant, B is for Bully, C is for Climatically Challenged. Because of Trump's attack on The National Endowment for the Arts, an independent federal agency that funds the creative capacity of our country, I am happily donating 25% of all proceeds on sales of My Trumpabet to the NEA.
Like I said, don’t be afraid to tell your own truth.