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My 2023 in Art

Another year flew by and it now is a tradition to share my year in art. So here we go, here is 2023 in my personal art rearview mirror.

Home Sweet Home

After the loss of my dad last year, I was able to go home, be home again and put things right. It was both hard and amazing to be at home. There is something permanently missing but then there is still home, with people I love and all the comforting friends and family.

It was really nice to be at home and "Piggy is at Peace" is a reflection on the trip and the healing, but also on the closeness we experienced and the joy that we had as a family.

Art Exhibits - Part 1

In the early part of the year my art was featured in a few shows around the Bay Area.

"Girlfriends" was selected for the Fresh Works XI exhibit at the Harrington Gallery hosted in Pleasanton's Firehouse Art Center. It is such an amazing gallery in an old fire house in downtown Pleasanton.

Being selected in this amazing show is always a privilege, but to then get the news that "Girlfriends" was sold... so cool!

My next show was in China Basin, where the lobbies of these wonderful office building host a variety of art shows. I got to meet some amazing artists and share experiences and ideas. And again, I did end up selling one of my favorite pieces.

New Horizons

As you can see in my "The World in Squares" series, I am privileged to visit countries like the Netherlands and see these wonderful flat horizons with expansive views and amazing skies. This summer, New Zealand provided some very different horizons.

New Zealand and Australia are wonderful to visit, and as an artist, seeing the diverse landscapes, the wonderful scenery, and lovely people definitely enriched my perspective on the world and influenced my art. You can read more about our trip here.

As an aside, I also got to experience the women's football world cup. We were there in Wellington to cheer The Philippines to their first goal and first win at a world cup. It was amazing to see my national team play at this stage and experience the enthusiasm and see the dreams of these women become a reality.

Art Exhibits - Part 2

Speaking of amazing locations, I was invited by the curator of the Sausalito Center for the Arts to join Spanning the Gate, a group show of 19 Bay Area Artspan artists. The Center for the Arts is right in the middle of Sausalito's water front in an old bank building.

Now, having lived in the Bay Area for over 20 years, astonishingly we never had been to Sausalito... and all of a sudden, here we are hanging around in this lovely town for multiple weekends.

Now we all understand why people flock to Sausalito. Amazing views and some wonderful restaurants, and of course an amazing art location. Our trips over there inspired the latest painting in my "Emotions of Humanity" series - "Carpe Diem".

And then, later in the year, I was one of the artists selected to be a part of the - unrelated - Sausalito Art Festival. This prestigious art festival has undergone some changes due to Covid and Sausalito land use, but this year organized a juried auction featuring artists from around the nation. Amazingly, "Reflections" has now found a new home through this auction.

Mixed in with these shows were award winning entries in the 73rd Annual Exhibition at Society of West-Coast Artists (SWA), Azgour Summer Open, and at the Fine Arts Galleria at the San Mateo County Fair. I'm particularly happy with "Pure Joy" winning the portraits award at SWA. I just love that painting. And amazingly, at the end of the year, Jen Tough Gallery took one of my paintings (Reflections - Solo) to be in her exhibit at Art San Diego.

Artist in Residency

As many of you know, I did have the amazing opportunity to spend time in Santa Fe, NM for an artist in residency at Jen Tough Gallery. You can read my reflections on this trip in my some of my earlier blog posts, and see some of the amazing artists I met.

After New Zealand and Australia, New Mexico is another one of these iconic landscapes I experienced. You always hear about how artists like Georgia O'Keeffe gush about the scenery and the light... and it is all true! The high desert is amazing and Santa Fe is just mesmerizing. It honestly makes perfect sense for artists to be in New Mexico.

Branching Out

The last part of the year was one of working on different things... I am sure you read my post on the piano, and the piano is now done! I can't reveal too much, but soon the piano will be installed in downtown Redwood City. Stay tuned for more details on that event...

An artist working with paints on a piano top
Working on the Piano

The piano is painted with acrylic paints. That is a learning curve! It dries so fast, and is just so different from oil. And then the curves and creases of a baby grand, an interesting experience to paint on such a different object.

In the end, the piano was a challenge, but I am very happy with how it turned out. And I cannot wait for it to be available for people to play and to admire... I just hope everyone gets some joy out of it.

I also did something that has been on my to do list for a long time... take classes in how to work with clay.

A ceramics creation of 4 fish on a plate with salt and pepper jars
Fish on a Plate with Salt and Pepper

We learned - at College of San Mateo - how to create cylinders and use the wheel, but I really liked the creativity of working on objects that I can sculpt like this Fish on a Plate with Salt and Pepper, or my little nativity scene in their crypt.

A ceramic nativity scene and a stylized christmas tree in a single image
Nativity Scene and Xmas Cylinder

Apart from the sculpting, I did get to experiment making pottery, refining my skills with the wheel, and then glazing them and seeing how the glaze works. That is an interesting process... and some things looked a lot different from what I imagined. We do now have quite a number of new soup bowls...

I'm excited about my new "skills", and I cannot wait to work on some of my art ideas, like turning some of my paintings into sculptures or creating related items that emphasize the paintings, or create pieces that compliment my paintings.

Some Reflections

As I look back at the year, I am amazed at the things I managed to do. My first residency taught me that I can adopt new mediums and evolve and deepen my art. It just takes focus and sometimes a bit of a nudge or some encouragement that comes from being with talented artists.

Traveling and working in different places has opened my eyes to new horizons. It would be so cool to be able to do this more and use these different perspectives in my art. And how amazing would it be for people around the world to experience other cultures and broaden their horizons.

Instead of war, we may get some more understanding across cultures and peoples and hopefully a better life for all. At the end of 2023, I just hope for that...!

Like me, Piggy wants to spread hope for 2024.

Happy New Year!


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