Letting go for life

20 May

The atermath of subtraction

Lately I’ve given myself the gift of letting go. I’ve let go of clutter, unwelcome habits, and even slightly welcome pastimes. Life isn’t short but it’s most enjoyable when lived like it is. Here’s my love letter to life in words made of pictures.

It all starts with a feeling


19 May

drawing arrows

If you could have one super power what would it be? I’ve always wanted to get my hands on cupids arrows.

This lead me to imagining what modern day cupid would look like. I believe that her exposure to everything those arrows cause would cause her to outgrow that cherubic phase real quick. And yes, I believe that cupid would be a “she.”

Here’s my cupid. She’s powerful, wary, and fearless.

in color

The last arrow

17 Feb
The last arrow

Inspired by the last arrow

I’m so tired of playing,
Playing with this bow and arrow,
Gonna give my heart away,
Leave it to the other girls to play,
For I’ve been a temptress too long.

– Lyrics from “Glory Box” by Portishead


There is freedom in the moment

I’m learning to commit to the moment. I’m learning to find infinity through trust and truth. It takes courage to draw lines in your life–to love fully without fear of making a mistake.

So I take a deep breath and dip my brush into the darkest pigment I can find. I exhale as I let the canvas and ink meet. My only role is to guide the lines and accept the outcome.

There are no bets to hedge. There is no ctrl+z to push. There is no going backwards. There is only the chance that something lovely will occur or disaster might strike, leaving a mess that cannot be undone.

This is life. This is art. This is love.

Last arrow

"Last arrow" Painted for "No Horseplay in the Train Station" at 5 Claude Lane

5 Claude Lane

Happy Valentines Day, San Francisco

14 Feb

you can find yourself

In the city

when you find yourself looking

What is San Francisco if not a big  “___ & Found?”

I came to the city put together like a jigsaw puzzle. Every piece had its place and every car had a parking spot. That was the suburbs for you. Mountain View California breeds the expectation that parking signs only say one thing, cars have ample room to emit carbon monoxide, and the most exciting restaurant nearby is Fresh Choice. Blueberry muffins anyone?

It took two weeks for San Francisco to undo me and let it be known that no amount of organization, willpower, or habit of getting my way was going to grant me ease and comfort in this city. I quickly traded my frustrations for appreciation–for every cold gust of wind, foggy day, and missing parking spot that I experienced I received a multitude of gifts.

A gift is something you get without expectation. I never expected San Francisco to give me the presents and presence it has. I found things I didn’t know I was looking for. Friendships, new forms of dance, a growing love for jazz and blues, art, artists, a kaleidoscope of views and viewpoints, tastes, flavors, sights, sounds, feelings, and most of all… me. You see yourself every day, but in San Francisco you get to be yourself.

This city is a lost and found. Lost people, lost loves, lost causes… they all congregate here to regain their sense of self, join forces, and return to life with the support of a city that is full of hope and beauty. This is the city where art shows up on sidewalks, on drainpipes, in the homes of real people… This is the city where people declare who they really are and wave a rainbow flag to prove it. This is the city where grown ups keep growing but stop concerning themselves so much with the word “up.”

“Up” is an illusion that keeps you from being able to see what’s amazing around you. I love this city. I love the many opportunities at self awareness, absolute amazement, and complete joy that San Francisco offers. I love that “growth” and “play” are synonymous for so many of its residents. I love that when I feel lost I still know I’ve found myself in this place I’ve chosen to be home.

Here you go, San Francisco. I painted this for you.

"____ & Found"

"____ & Found" painted for "No Horesplay in the Train Station" at 5 Claude Lane

5 Claude Lane

It’s never over

12 Feb
No ordinary moments

The end is just the beginning.

Making Art is a full time experience. A painting starts with desire, becomes a possibility with a sketch, and is born through patience, endurance, and faith. It’s like living encapsulated into a smaller moment–the rewards and challenges are a mirror to the bigger game we call life.

I remember how I felt when I sketched this piece. I felt free. Hopeful. Light. Loving. Possible. Wonder(full). I remember watching my hand lightly sketch something that made my lips curl with pleasure. She looked so sweet and dreamy. This is how I felt.

Getting a pencil sketch to become a painting is a little nerve racking for me. It means commitment to the possibility of disappointing myself (and others). Luckily it also means the opportunity for joy. Transferring a sketch from a piece of paper to a canvas requires a deep breath and relaxation. It’s important to retain the feeling and amplify it rather than copy it and risk losing something in translation. This is why no two pieces are ever the same even if they contain the same screaming bunnies, dancing puffs of air, and swirls of color.

The art-making process is one part exploration, one part problem solving, and a hundred parts play. I love using multiple canvases to represent one piece. I name and price each panel as it’s own piece, hoping that someone will buy a part of a painting and give it a home–allowing me to repaint the missing panel using different imagery. The idea is that the buyer, the viewer, the everyone is a part of the piece. The idea is that art is not in the final destination of an image but the birth of an intention.

So, as I wrap and ship this dreamy girl off to her new home in Denver I remind myself that it’s not the end. It’s just the beginning 🙂



Feelings become reality


It started as a feeling

It’s good to let go, but not too soon.

11 Feb

Hanging in there

It’s only failure if you can’t make fun of it :)

10 Feb
you'll get there someday

from the brain of pogo through the creation station of choijoy