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Years ago, I took a picture of this old washing apparatus at a railroad museum in a town in the Eastern Sierras. I knew I was going to turn it into a painting. I didn’t know that I was going to change the name of the machine to Ophelia. The name came to me when I was working on another painting a while back – I painted a gigantic anvil and decided that the farrier is “Sarah.” And there then, it somehow seemed fitting that I name this washing machine after a girl who decided to rest her complicated soul in a body of running water. Is that morbid? But the colors are lively which I always perceived Ophelia would have been had she not made that prince of Denmark her responsibility.

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Crossfit

Before the Portland race, I did a few weeks of crossfit. Boy, did it make me realize that I need to get strong and that becoming strong requires more than just running. Portland Marathon took a lot out of me. I needed to take a decent break. Plus, right after the race was Artisanalla show. Anyway, finally back at it this week, and it feels good. Sore everywhere but good.

I’m just a beginner at this, but I like crossfit, because it really feels like you’re getting personal training. The workout routines are different yet intense every time, which makes everyone walk in mentally ready to work hard and support one another. Camaraderie happens easily here, because it’s necessary to get through the intense work out. Good stuff.

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The new Trader Joe’s in my neighborhood gave me a free reusable bag this morning. I noticed that they put all the SoCal freeway signs on the bottom of the bag. As I went through the list, I realized I put a lot of mileage on ALL of them.

The stories that theses highways hold… Too many, I can’t share them all. I remember when the 105 was being built. Many Angelenos hoped with great anticipation that it will be the freeway that will solve our traffic issues in a big way. Whether it did or not is largely debatable depending on where you live. I remember the reconstruction of the 10 freeway after the earthquake collapsed a segment of it in West LA. When it reopened, I knew exactly where they reconnected it as I drove over the little bump – a scar on the road – in my red Honda, my first car out of college. I could go on and on about each highway, but what would be the point of that?

This makes me wonder if I’ve been living here for too long, although it seems like these days, just about anything can trigger that nagging question. It’s no news that I often fantasize about moving out of state, but it has been annoyingly perpetual this particular year. Why am I still in Los Angeles?

Maybe it’s time that I really address that question, don’t you think?

 

Dancing_eggplantDo they not look like two birds playing? They are eggplants that I found while shopping at Atwater Village Farmer’s Market. I couldn’t resist buying them just so I could take a picture like this.

Atwater Village is a Los Angeles neighborhood sandwiched between Silver Lake and Glendale. It seems like there is some new establishment popping up every time I go there, which has been pretty frequent since this summer. From creative workshops, yoga studios, taco stands, wine store, trendy bars to decadent bakeries, Atwater Village definitely has taken on a personality of its own, transforming what once was a neglected area into not only a livable community, but also a charming little destination spot for a resident from another city like me. I’m actually being really technical when I say from another city, because it’s only an easy 10 minute drive from where I am, but still.

I took some pictures of the actual village, so next post about it, I’ll be sure to provide more visuals.

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I downloaded this image from someone else’s blog a while ago. Now I forget who the blogger was, so I can’t give him/her credit.

I went to John Burroughs Middle School in Hancock Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. Back then it was called John Burroughs Junior High. When and why that changed, I do not know. Does anyone? If so, please fill me in.

We were told that John Burroughs was a naturalist who wrote many essays on his findings and observations. This quote is a first by him that I ever read, and I like it a lot.

I rarely ever wish that I was young or I could turn back the time, but his statement got me wishing that I was much younger, so I’d have more time to do all these things. Looking back at my life, I know I DID these things. I feel no lack in regards to letting my curiosity guide me. Maybe I’m just more acutely aware of fleeting time now that I’m much older. I think a lot about being more deliberate rather than mindlessly filling time with meaningless activities. How lucky are we that we have the luxury of choosing. So thankful.

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I showed my shop at Artisanal LA last weekend. It’s a commerce show for food and craft makers, but most of them were food vendors. It was a decent success for my shop, and I am very happy that I got to hang up my paintings in a public market.

The experience taught me a number of things, but most importantly, sharpened my focus for what it is that my business needs to be. I worked really hard for many draining hours trying to fill the booth – a 10×10 box – with my paintings, prints and jewelry. I walked away realizing that the focus of my efforts needs to be art. Art. Do more painting. Create jewelry that is more about my artistic expression rather than trendy fashion stuff. Not that there is anything wrong with trends, but I realized that I started jewelry-making almost haphazardly, just because I wanted to and I could. Don’t get me wrong, they will continue to be wearable and fashionable. But I want everything that I make from here on out to be as authentic and artistic as possible, especially if I want to find gratification in my labor.

My local arts supplies stores offered a great discount for canvases last weekend, so I picked up a whole bunch. I can’t wait to start mixing colors on my palette.

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