Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - My Renaissance Year

Today is the last day of 2012.

I just did a quick review of my blog from the past years, and realized that I never do an end-of-the-year recap. Not that this will be one, but I did feel the need to acknowledge the term that I've been using for 2012: "My Renaissance Year".

It sounds so much better than "My mid-life crisis".

Not that I think I've been going through a mid-life crisis (at least not in a traditional sense) but I did make a conscience effort this year to revive the art in my life, which I knew had been gone for the last several years, and was sorely missed.

I don't make New Year's Resolutions often, but when I do, I take them seriously, and try to keep them. My resolution for 2012 was to get back into painting. It took me a while to get back into it but little by little, it did happen!

It started with when I streaked my hair blue. I'd been wanting to do this for such a long time, and am so glad I finally found the gumption to do it! I really love it, and plan to keep it for a while. (this is what I originally joked as my "mid-life crisis".)

Next up in Trina's Renaissance Year was when I was invited to participate in the Trans Pacific Art Show. My dear friend, Kimi, had arranged this show, which included artists from Japan and the Bay Area. I was so honored when she asked me to join. I dusted off a few acrylic paintings that I had and included them in the show. It was a great experience, and I was so grateful to kick-off the year in an artistic venture with other artists.

During the early part of the year, I experimented with some ginko leaves and acrylic medium on small canvases. That was a good start, but I was still having a hard time sticking to my plan to "do more art".

Dick and I travelled to Italy in late April/early May, and that had a big impact on my desire to paint more. We started off in Rome where I was in awe of so much of the art - especially the sculputres, then ventured to Florence, the home of the true and actual Renaissance. We completed our trip in Venice, where I fell in love with the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

Within a week of coming home from Italy, I helped my friends at Adler & Co. Gallery with their booth at the SF ArtMRKT. Again, I was surrounded by amazing and inspiring art for several days.

It was at the Art MRKT that I saw our friends, Dean and Jose. I had known for several years that Dean was a very talented painter, but wasn't aware that he was also a painting teacher. After I completed my work at the Art MRKT, I checkout of Dean's website and found out that he offered private painting lessons.

...and then it all came together...

I started taking lessons from Dean the following week, and have been painting with him once a week since early June.

With his guidance, and exceptional teaching skills, I have completed 5 paintings so far, and am almost finished with another. This thrills me to no end.

Volland Raggedy Ann

Dick's Hat

Joy Glassybaby

Glassybaby #2


Starting in early June, I also started to attend weekly figure drawing sessions at the 23rd Street Studio. I've also enjoyed this immensely, and plan to continue with this as well. I know that having weekly drawing sessions has helped me improve my rusty drawing and art skills. I've also enjoyed being able to share this experience with my friend, Miguel!

7-minute pose

I have so enjoyed *finally* getting my feet back in the art world. I'm not sure where this will all take me, but I am certainly enjoying the journey and am learning a lot from it. It also reminds me of how much joy I get from creating art. I enjoy the process so much. I love getting lost for minutes/hours at a time. It's an exhilarating feeling, and I've missed it.

My thanks to my wonderfully supportive husband who gave me a nudge early in the year to paint again. He's been so supportive through all of this, and I can't thank him enough.

Thank you for coming along on this journey with me.

2012 was a wonderful Renaissance Year for me. I can't wait to see what happens next!!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Eat your heart out, Bob Evans!

We made sausage gravy and biscuits for the first time this morning. Soooo good!!

And yes, we did feel the need to add extra sausage (turkey) and eggs. :)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

How we've spent our last two days

Time for our semi-annual "Lord of the Rings" extended edition movie marathon! Blane came over yesterday at 10:00am. We had a big breakfast, then commenced with "The Fellowship of the Ring" before Noon. We finished the first movie, and got half way through the second. (6 hours total.)

We started the second half if the second movie today around Noon. We finished that, and just started the third, and last movie. 4 more hours to go!

What a great movie trilogy, and a great way to spend vacation. :)

Monday, December 24, 2012

A walk around our city on Christmas Eve

The weather was beautiful and clear today, after all the heavy rains yesterday. Dick and I decided to see "The Hobbit" at the Sundance Cinema in Japantown today, and thought it would be a great day for a walk. (it's probably about 2.5-3 miles away)

I took a few photos to share some of the holiday sightings along the way.

Our old block of Eureka Street - so beautiful when the Ginko tree leaves turn golden

Cute Santa chair covers at our local seafood restaurant on Castro Street

The Castro Tree

A Sock Monkey tea party window display

a beautiful day at Alta Plaza Park - a great view of the Painted Ladies with the San Francisco Skyline behind

After the movie, we walked back home. I didn't take any more photos until we were back in the Castro.

Part of the line for the sold out performance by the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus at the Castro Theater. The line was wrapped around two blocks - for two lines in both directions!

part of the line for the Castro Theater wrapping around the block

Another shot of the Castro Christmas Tree

Our neighbor's pretty window display - all lit up!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dicken's Christmas Fair

Today we went to The Dickens Christmas Fair at the Cow Palace! Apparently, this fair has been happening every holiday season since 1970, but we had never been!

It was GREAT fun! We were lucky, as today was the last day of the fair this year. We also lucked out that we thought to go early - around 11:00, so it wasn't too busy. We left around 3:00, and by then, it was pretty crowded.

We all had a great time, but Dick and Spencer were really in their element. They loved seeing everyone dressed up in Victorian garb, that they had to join in. We found top hats for each of them at the Haberdashery. Dick wants to be fully dressed in Victorian era dress next year. He's hooked!

The Grand Concourse when we first entered

dancing at Heziwig & Company

Pinocchio at the theater

"Gin is Sin" (there were plenty of bars and booze going around!

A candle maker

Dick and Spencer playing Darts. Dick hit the balloon and won a candy-cane for me!

Live mannequins in the windows of the corset shop

my proper gentleman

it's like being at Disneyland and buying Mouse-Ears for my kids

Father Christmas sighting!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas is Coming...

Big Country Breakfast made even better!!

Today's Big Country Breakfast (TM) was made even better with the addition of country ham sent from North Carolina from Kathy and Phil!! Yum! Usually, country ham is way too salty for me, but this one was just right.

Thanks, Kathy & Phil!!

Glass Class at the Bay Area Glass Institute with Diana!!