Monthly Archives: October 2004

Happy Halloween!

Batman, Canon Digital Rebel

i love this kid

Liam, Canon Digital Rebel

Photo Friday: Still Life

Amme, my yoga teacher, Canon 300D

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Still Life.”

pink & green

star lily, Canon 300D

This is the first photo with my beautiful new lens. I am learning that a fixed lens has much better optics! I invested in a portrait lens (85mm) since my great love is portraiture. It creates that wonderful shallow depth of field where the subject is in focus and the background blurs. I look forward to sharing more of my adventures with this guy.

persimmons and Hot Wheels

persimmons, Canon 300D

I’ve been hankering for simplicity these days, wanting to clean things out, purge the things I don’t use, pare everything down to minimize the chaos in my brain. {I think some people vacuum and it has the same effect, but we have hardwood floors and it’s just not that satisfying. I sell my used books and clothes instead.}

I have this idea that if I just clear everything out, it will be like it will be like swiffing my brain. And there is so much to swiff in my brain!

There is the chaos of bills to pay, and did Blue Cross overcharge us for those tests? and there are birthdays and lunches and coffee dates and “let’s get together soon!” and “why didn’t you write back?” There is the chaos of email and voicemail and snailmail and all the people I want to correspond with and how sometimes, with a heavy heart, I have to press delete and let it all go. Delete delete delete.

There are yoga classes, and recipes and letters to write. There are wars and elections and people dying and junkies on the corner and the neighbor’s house that got broken into and better locks for the doors. There are babies to make and relationships to better and romantic vacations to have.

It amazes me that we create all of this amazing stuff: friendships, parties, art openings, vacations, work, and then we can feel so oppressed by them. Sometimes I feel like a prisoner of my own making, trapped by own self-made chaos. I get overwhelmed by all of things I’ve built, even if I love all those things.

It reminds me of a story I read in a book by Rachel Naomi Remen called My Grandfather’s Blessings. This little boy that Rachel knew really loved his Hot Wheels car and played with it all the time. Well, all the adults got really excited when a fast food joint was giving away Hot Wheels cars with their Happy Meals. They got this idea that if everyone they knew collected a Hot Wheels car, they could present him with a GI-NORMOUS pile of cars and he would be so happy and thrilled to bits.

But the little boy wasn’t happy at all and he sort of paused, looked really sad and overwhelmed and said, “Rachel, there are too many cars to love.”

And that’s how I feel sometimes, like there are too many things to love and I can’t give the proper care to any of them.

Anyone out there feel me?

new colors!

Sasha in orange, Canon 300D

New colors are in! We have orange and chocolate brown in the long sleeve tees as well as a men’s tee {in charcoal} and baby lap tees for baby superheroes.

More words and photos of persimmons to come…

Photo Friday: Statement

Viola before the wedding, Canon 300D

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Statement.” I thought Viola’s wedding dress was a beautiful statement of her originality, beauty and lush sea creature-ness. She designed the dress herself with the help of a seamstress.

And if you live in the Bay Area I would love to see you this Sunday for some early holiday shopping at the Cole Valley Street Fair!

You can be the first to see all the new shirts and briefs {I have added baby lap tees, men’s tees, and new colors in the long sleeve women’s tees to the t-shirt and boy brief line}

Also, I will be showing with my friend Kyra Brown of the fabulous Booty Boutique (handmade one of a kind belt buckles) and right next to Heather Champ and Derek Powazek and their fine art photo prints!


Cole Valley Street Festival
Where: Cole St. @ Carl
When: Sunday, October 24th 9am-7pm
What: 50 independent artists and designers selling their wares
for your shopping pleasure

Hope to see you!

Giant Robot

flower with webs, Canon 300D

The best costume ever: Giant Robot {via Mark}

Photo Friday: Unexpected

above the islands, Canon 300D

Photo Friday’s theme this week is “Unexpected.” This shot is unexpected beauty.. 

Some sites I have been perusing lately:

I read an article about the amazing MaryJane Butters in the New Yorker this week and she truly inspired me. Start with a virtual tour of the farm.

An awesome company making biodegradable plastic cutlery from wheat. {via Mark}

Squashco’s image journal. Look for Preacher Larry, the most incredible shot from our wedding weekend in Virgin Gorda. It is also Sasha’s birthday today. Happy birthday Squash!


Robin, Blanca, and Humpy Canon 300D

I was at Sabrina Ward Harrison’s wonderful reading the other night, a celebration of her new book, Messy Thrilling Life. The setting was intimate, everyone sitting around a campfire in Alameda at the home of my friend and writing teacher Laurie Wagner (who wrote a beautiful forward to the book).

Something Sabrina said that night stuck with me. She said that when it comes to art, she can trust the messes, the mistakes, the wine spilling over the page. That’s how she knows things are getting interesting. She trusts that it will all come together in the end, that the process looks messy but like a camera lens focusing, it all eventually comes into view. (Her incredible artwork is a testament to this faith.)

But we don’t have the same kind of faith within our lives. The messes, the worries, the death. They make us afraid and confused and we want to quit or rewind or start fresh. (How many times have we left a relationship, or been tempted to when things started to get messy?)

We have no faith in the in-between. We have no sense that right around the corner is some extraordinary beauty just waiting to be revealed. Sometimes we don?t move through our mess for long enough to see how it all fits together.

I know that when I paint, I am fairly controlled at the beginning. Each line is precise, mapping things out, creating a structure for the piece. But there is always a moment when there is tons of paint on the canvas, the colors are mixing this way and that, lines are blurred and tangled and it just doesn’t look like it’s working. This is the point where my brow furrows, I tell myself I SUCK and consider quitting and doing the laundry instead. 

But, if I stick with it, if I am willing to keep at it, something really amazing happens. It is at this very point of things falling apart when I feel like I have nothing to lose, and the preciousness and control flies out the door. In other words, I don’t give a fuck anymore.

And that’s when I go for it, and my strokes become more wild and free. I work quickly and from pure instinct, squeezing tubes of yellow ochre and cadmium red and cerulean blue without thinking, moving along with a fierce rhythm.

And then I am really painting and everything else seems like a quaint little warmup for the wild beauty of this phase.

So how do we do this? Have this kind of faith? Trust what is happening now when it’s rotten and painful and not at all what we planned?

How do we trust what we didn’t plan?

Somebody said, “Life is what happens when we are making other plans.”

I guess we miss out a lot in life. That’s the cost. We miss out on the gorgeous, textured beauty of a life filled with coffee stains and tears. We miss the possibility of gorgeous, deep, rich color on the other side.