|My freeform pattern painting from last week. I never know what direction these pieces will take...|
I've been back in the Bay Area for about a week now and am enjoying the particular pleasures of my life here, namely:
- Painting group. Every Tuesday I go to the house of my 87-year-old neighbor to paint for several hours. He is a retired architect, originally from Colombia, who could easily pass for 15 years younger (he has no wrinkles, is totally mobile and independent, and has a great sense of humor). Each week he opens his garage to me and a few other local artists and we paint, drink wine, share stories, and listen to music. This past week we had a turntable out and listened to Spanish records from the 1960's. Our host taught us to play the castanets, although none of us were particularly successful - they are way harder than they look.
- Cooking and eating fresh, simple meals. After three weeks in Italy and Slovenia, one of which was intensely spent doing wine and food tourism, it feels really good to be back to my regular routine. Since being home I've enjoyed making/eating white beans, roasted potatoes, arugula, radishes, zucchini, nectarines, bananas, oatmeal, cottage cheese, eggs, and almonds. Not all together of course, but this is the base from which I create salads, frittatas, and bowls. There have been some treats, too, of course. But it feels good to detox a bit from all the alcohol and sugar and fat of my trip.
- Running. I ran while traveling, but there's nothing like being on my home turf. I am privileged to have a beautiful place to run right outside my doorstep. I can do an easy 3 or 5-mile loop along the water's edge, through a park, and into a marina area...or I can go the other direction and do some intense hills through the residential heart of Point Richmond, admiring architecture and gardens and killer views as I go along.
- Dancing. Perhaps the thing I most love about my life in the Bay Area these days. Be it cardio-fitness with the lovely ladies at Hipline in Oakland, salsa/bachata/kizomba at the dance school I've been going to in Emeryville, or most recently forró with live music in San Francisco, dancing is what keeps a smile on my face more than anything. I'm getting better at following, too, which makes the experience of partner dancing all the more enjoyable.
- Studio life. Currently I'm trying to clean out my studio and get back to the minimalist state of being that makes me feel at ease. I see the light at the end of the current clutter tunnel, though, so hopefully tomorrow I will resume actually making jewelry instead of just organizing and purging stuff. I am looking forward to soldering again, I've got the itch to make some chandelier earrings. Plus I have some client work lined up, which isn't always glamorous but I'm grateful it's part of my life here for sure.
- Hanging out. I've been doing a fair amount of taking it easy these days, which feels good. Hanging out with my mom and her cat, Tuxa. Drinking lots of tea. Re-reading "Como Agua para Chocolate" and wishing I was eating all that divine food and living a love story of my own in Mexico. I'm hoping to sunbathe at some point, although the weather has been quite foggy which has me wearing slippers and snuggling with the electric blanket rather than reaching for my bikini. Hopefully I'll have a chance in the coming week...