Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Little visual recap of our our year, thanks for being YOU!

We wish you a wonderful Holiday Season &a fabulously prosperous New Year!

Tomorrow, we leave for Chile  we were not planning on traveling, but it is a gift to ourselves for making it through one of the most difficult years *ever* ....

from the very beginning, 2014  gifted me profound losses: unveiling of abuse/abandonment via my mom
the death of a dear friend
too, there were profoundly beautiful moments
the birth of a dear relationship that surpasses time and space
2014 brought forth  sadness in so many different ways.... yet it also brought forth the *mirmagic* of love

God/Spirit showered me with love in so many ways.... first of all, through my adoptive papa Sy, who although he was in my life only 9 months, was a gift that words can not express.
I love you Sy.

God/Spirit showered me with love through so many of you, reading this right now...

I love you all.
So, here we are, stronger than ever and we want you to know that we are so grateful to so many of you who reached out to me when I went through one of the darkest times of my life this past Winter/Spring....
you know who you are, thank you and a special thank you to my friends new and old - with a special shout out to Angie, Claudia, Ana, Tamara, Donna, Sue and Ruthee and all my WoW sisters too!

We love you!

Thank you for sending me cards and pms and texts and emails, and for the phone calls and comforting hugs and prayers and lovelight and all the encouraging "likes" on our "fan" page posts where I poured my heart out, when I was so broken.....
Thank YOU!

My heart is also full of gratitude for so many professional achievements of the year which include having my whimsical art represented for art licensing by  Parcai Designs

We were also invited to appear in several local television shows; my work appeared on a few book covers, 
we had our work in national and international exhibits, 
as well as in other collaborations and distinctions including

an award for "best Latino visual Artists in Washington DC"

I hibernated and painted through the winter and spring as I gave my heart and soul time to heal,
 I stopped my adjunct position at the college *nervous* about bills,
but we were provided for with increased art sales (thank YOU) !

I struggled with CPTSD from the abuse I have endured which got worse after I shared my story here on this blog because, I was helped by so many bloggers in my journey, that I too, must share because yes: ....

"When the Japanese mend broken objects, 
they aggrandize the damage by filling the cracks with gold. They believe that when somethings suffered damage and has a history it becomes more beautiful"

Thank YOU, our students/collectors/friends and framily for being part of the glue that has put me back together again.... 

Do you choose a word for your year? A certain goal or "go to" phrase?
This year will be my year of "joyFULL release" thanks to my beautiful FB dancer friend, Christine Claire Reed.

I have learned a lot about forgiveness this year 
and it is now time to release and reclaim my joy! 

We would LOVE to hear what you have set as an intention/goal for yourself in 2015! Please share in the comments below and keep in touch in 2015! We have lots of exciting new things to share with you!

We love you and look forward to a JOYfilled, LOVEfilled 2015!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Sotomayor, Awards and more

Some news....

A month ago, Sergio and I were honored to be the recipients of "Best Artists in the Washington DC metro area" in the category of visual arts! Thank you Washington DC! More thrilling: the third visual artist to receive the reward is our dear friend Gloria Valdes Tarasca; she is our Godmother of sorts, as she is responsible for our meeting in Queretaro, Mexico- ten years ago!

I was commissioned to paint a watercolor for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and I was thrilled to receive this note:

"Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor received your wonderful painting. 
She was very appreciative and grateful and said it will go in her office.
I too thank you for providing your wonderful art congratulating the Justice on her distinction to serve 
on our nation's highest court."
                                                      ~ Franklin Garcia -US Representative (shadow) Elect, DC.

As you all know, we are now printing some of our work on canvases here in the studio. All our reproductions are made to order by us *in house* to ensure archival quality and color matching like none other than the artist can attain! Please contact us if you are interested in any of our work!

This coming weekend, we will be hosting our 9th Annual Open Studio!
YOU are invited and we will be making a video as usual for those who are far away...

Watch this video for a little peek of our 2015 Open Studio.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Abstract Painting Process in Pictures

I have been working on abstracts for the past 6 months and the process is fascinating and challenging at the same time.

Each piece goes through so many transformations that almost always I find myself working over a piece and transforming it into something entirely different that what I envisioned. 

Often one tiny mistake leads me to start the whole thing over again, one over the other over the other.

I have sometimes realized that I bury a good painting with a bad one then another *almost there* replaced by another and then another.

Documenting the steps makes me feel a bit better about it, so here it is....

I kind of miss the pieces that are created only to be buried under more paint.... 
so here it is, one of several pieces I have documented these past few weeks. 

This first photo is how it looked after one long day of working on it. I love pink and black together; I also love sap/olive green and pink- but Sergio hated the combination as much as he disliked the white splatters I made over the center, so... since I disagreed with him on both of those points, yet also was unhappy with the piece, I let it rest for the evening.

The next day, I added white all around to soften and break the space a bit.
Then more white:

At which point I encapsulated everything in one area inside the white splatters...
I liked the effects of the soft white and back and forth play of the original colors peeking through, but I was unhappy with the shape/composition
so I covered it in a glaze of burnt sienna

I liked it more now, but also wanted to add some white for balance towards the bottom.....

At this point I liked it. And it is here where it gets complicated when you second guess yourself AND you are married to a fellow painter whose critiques you respect but ..... 
so this, I liked. 
A lot.

But then I did this:

and I like that too... though at the time, I didn't realize it, so I went on...

And then the palette knife into some squarish forms...

At this point, the squares began to remind me of my "Cities at Night" Series, 
so I began to create the 
watery reflections below

And the one that follows became another piece that I liked.

I should have shown it to our son because he loved it when he saw this photo below,
but alas... I was still unsure and Sergios critiques were still the same

So I got rid of the watery effects
And regretted it right away

alas, there was nothing to do but continue
So I turned the canvas on the side and add a glop of white oil paint to it and picked up 
the palette knife again

I then decided to add more black to the central image
at which point everything changed for me
I became quite involved in the process and did not document further....
A few hours later, I had finished.

Admittedly, this is something I am very, very happy with.
The process was long, and full of surprises, a few challenges and lots of fun, a labor of love.
 I think it is a lot like life, we live, love, make mistakes, grow, stretch this way then the other, try this then that, we learn from others as well as from own revelations and ultimately, 
the process is indeed, half the fun!

The image below is not very good 
(lots of reflection as you can see)
 I will replace it with the scanned image once the piece dries.

Not only do I love my finish piece.... Sergio took one look at it and his eyes opened wide as he said:
"it's so damned good, I wish I had painted it myself"

Here is a close up of the piece:

Let me know what you think and if you would like for me to share my process with you more often!

Love & Light,

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Calendars, limited edition

Offering a very limited edition /test run of 2015 Wall Calendars.
 These beautiful, spiral bound wall Calendars each have 12 different  images.
Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing one (or more)
via email olivosartstudio {at} gmail 

Thanks for loving my art!

You can see each page of both the Goddess calendar and the Joy of Children calendars here:

"The joy of children"
One image per calendar month
 8.5 x 11  inches
$15.- plus shipping

"Celebrating your inner Goddess"
One image per calendar month
11" x 9" 

$15.- plus shipping

♥Makes a great gift!♥
♥ Has a hole at the top for easy hanging
♥ Plenty of room in boxes to write notes and circle important dates
♥ Professionally press printed on high quality paper
♥ A sweet new image for each month

Would you like to create your very own unique calendar using your favorite images from my collection? 
If so, just let me knowwhich images you would like (and what month you'd like them on).
Or, you can Contact Me at the link below to specify the images you'd like and I can design it for you!

Love & Light,

Monday, November 10, 2014

A circle of Love, Seymour Gresser

Alav Ha-sholom, may you rest in peace, dearest Sy.
Great man, poet and sculptor...
Seymour Gresser “Sy” May 9, 1926 -- November 1, 2014

We love you and you will remain in our hearts and lives forever.
Thank you for your love and wisdom:...

"... that's why we do our art! To express our divinity" ~Sy Gresser

Sy came into my life only 9 months ago, but in our hearts we knew immediately we had a soul connection and had known each other already... we knew it was all "magic and serendipity" as he said... I say: *mirmagical* a blessing... 

An other worldly connection-- a connection with one another, with art, my papa.
Sy and I emailed for a few months before meeting in person, and it was not until then that we both  realized he had been my papa's friend.
Not only that, but it was my papa who mentored Sy years ago in regards to his art and fellowship from the OAS to create his art in Mexico. Everyone who has known Sy is keenly aware of the fact that the trip to Mexico had an enormous impact in Sy's life, indeed-- it is what took him into the depth of his lifelong career as a sculptor. The OAS fellowship is mentioned in everyone of his artist statements... and it was a trip that came about for him when he was going through a particularly difficult time in his life... so the circle comes around- and so we met when I was going through a particularly difficult time in my life.... a circle of Love. 

Sy and I emailed daily. We tried to visit him every Sunday, and I planned to do that for many years.... it was a sweet time of talking about Mexico and China and our art and culture; he told me stories about my papa that brought so much comfort.... he was/is family. An extension of my dear papa here on earth... a gift.

Sy was my parent, my mentor my friend for these nine months which have been so tough... he came into my life exactly one week after I came out of the denial of the abuse.
He has been my anchor, my comfort, my hope.
I will never be the same-he will always be with me.
My heart is full of sadness and gratitude too....

Nine months... I can find great symbolism in the time frame... nine months of gestation-- and here I am, MUCH better than I was back in February when I met him and I was experiencing such a painful time in my life,  here I am, nine months later-having been soothed and loved and nurtured by Sy.... by proxy,  Sy and my papa Luis. 

I love Sy

My heart is full of gratitude to my papa and to God/Spirit for bringing us together, even if for a short period of time....

 Sy and I connected through my papa, trough something so intangible that only he and I understand.... we have shared daily for the past 9 months.... it has been love and sweetness and a connection that surpasses time and I know our souls will meet again...
But there is sadness too, when we loose someone.....
and my heart goes out to his wife and children....

 A few days before he passed away, my sweet soulsister, Ana Medina offered to play her healing bowls for him and he was delighted and comforted by the healing sounds of the bowls.
(Ana took these photos and sent me the message below).

It was such a blessing to see him and his wife receive and bathe in the holy sounds...
My heart is filled with love and sadness and gratitude.

There was an informal gathering in his studio one week after he passed, and his wife lovingly refered to me as "Sy's adopted daughter" ... and indeed, this is how I feel. A deep paternal link to this beautiful human. One of Sy's family members said a truth that is a good lesson for us all:

"Sy made everyone feel loved, because there was no judgement"
I love that... it is something that I aspire to on a daily basis:

 it is unconditional love.

 I will miss him terribly and my heart hurts to think of him not being *here* any longer...
but as I told him: because of my abuelita and my papa, I know dear Sy too, will always be near.

 Seymour Gresser “Sy” was born 9 May 1926, in Baltimore, Md., the son of Simon Solomon and Sara (Williams) Gresser. Educated at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Washington, D.C. (1949-1950), George Washington University (1950-1953), and University of Maryland (B.S., 1949, M.A., 1972). Gresser served in the U.S. Merchant Marines as a radio operator (1944-1946). He has received an Organization of American States fellowship for 1960-1961. Gresser has been a sculptor and writer and employed in various positions, including doing research on American Indians, technical writing and editing, and teaching art. He has been an Instructor in sculpture, Sculptor's Studio (evenings, 1958-63), and Paint Branch Unitarian Church, sculptor-in-residence at Yale University (1969). His work has been exhibited in one-man shows and group exhibitions in U.S., Europe, and Mexico since 1951, including Smithsonian Exhibition, 1952; Washington Irving Gallery, New York, N.Y., 1956, San Angel Exhibition, Mexico, 1960, Capricorn Gallery, New York, N.Y., 1967, Harvard University, 1971, Fordham University, Berkeley Center at Yale University, and Athena Gallery, New Haven, CT.

 Ana wrote:
This is a long story. It was not my story until today. My soul sister Claudia Olivos has a very special friend, Sy, a fabulous sculptor who is soon closing a chapter in his soul's path on this earth. She has a deep connection to Sy, and I have a deep connection with her, so I by extension have a connection with Sy. My spirit called me to offer a sound healing to Sy, and he was not only receptive but excited. His wife said he had been talking about it for days. This morning as I was thinking how best to honor Sy's beautiful path on this planet, I was guided to wear white and purple. I was not surprised Claudia was also wearing purple today. On my way out the door, I knew I had to bring him rose quartz. Not just any piece of rose quartz, the rounded polished one I use for healing. Sy held it, admired it and enjoyed it's energy. I am honored, humbled and in awe of the beauty we can share at the end of someone's life. Sy touched my heart today, and his beautiful spirit will live way longer than his frail body. What a great reminder today that life is truly eternal, and the bodies are a temporary vehicle. Let's wake up....wake up the rest of our senses so we can be with all the love that is and drop the fear of the costume change we call death. Love is WAY larger than we can ever imagine.....

Sy's sculpture in front of our Washington DC area studio.

We made a trade of our art for his... and he told us to choose two pieces...
 this is one of the ones we chose, and we did so without knowing what it was....
Serendipity again, as Sy later told me it was a Mandala!

The word Mandala  means "circle". 
 A Mandala represents wholeness, a cosmic diagram reminding us of our relation to infinity, extending beyond and within our bodies and minds.
The mandala appears to us in all aspects of life, the Earth, the Sun, the Moon and more obviously the circles of life encompassing friends, family and communities.  
Mandalas are circular designs symbolizing the notion that life is never ending.

LOVE. PEACE. JOY to you and yours

Monday, September 22, 2014

ARTnapped and learning to relax into the moment

I was "ARTnapped" today  

It was my third time visiting a local assisted living condominium to host art classes.
It has had a slow start over the summer, so I was not surprised to only see one gentleman waiting at the table.

He was a Chinese man whom I had heard the residents speak very highly of because of his masterful traditional Chinese watercolors.

I sat down and upon seeing he had an ipad with him (way to make me feel *outdated!*- we have no i-phone nor i-pad!) I asked him to show me his paintings.

He spoke no English other than a few words here and there, but he laughed delightfully when I ''oohed and ahhed" over his pieces.

He also showed me his Jade jewelry, large bracelets and a huge jade medallion of a dragon he wears inside his shirt for "health and vitality".... he speaks very little English... but this 84 year old had a twinkle in his eye when he said "vitality"   ;)

His paintings done in the traditional Chinese style of vertical handmade papers with a watery ink.

His pieces were glorious and he was happily scrolling through his collection when a Chinese woman joined us at the table with a big smile; and seeing that I was looking at his work, she exclaimed with lots of hand motions: "wait here I get mine"
And off she disappeared into the building.

As we sat there looking at his pieces, one of the staff there told me that the man and woman are a couple, that it had been "love at first sight" for them and they are both painters.
Sergio and I too, had a "love at first sight 'thing'....

The woman came back and excitedly showed me several paintings in frames she had painted and also some cut out figures of painted cardboard, they reminded me of old fashioned 'paper dolls."

Suddenly, they began to speak in Chinese... and within minutes, they were scooping up my art supplies as they invited me upstairs to her apartment.

The three of us rode up the elevator as they spoke in Chinese to each other.

Stepping out of the elevator into the hall, I saw that most of the doors had some type of decoration. We walked up to a door which had  Christmas decorations and Jade hangings.

Inside, all the walls were covered with their art. Art of all sizes, mostly Chinese vertical landscapes and tigers too (I found out later that tigers are his favorite theme).

They gave me a tour of her little place and told me he too, had hundreds of pieces made by both of them.

We sat down at the small table in the living room and she offered us Lychee and watermelon cubes and they turned to me and pointing at the canvases I had brought, they said "you, teach"...

I had no idea what I would teach these two accomplished watercolor artists.... I had canvases and pencils, so I handed them the supplies and as soon as they had them, they began to draw.

I have to confess that instead of *being in the moment* ... I was totally obsessing over the fact that I was not teaching them anything (!)

St. Catherine, Patron Saint of Artists
Available here
That's what I was there for: I was getting paid for an hour of teaching.... but they were doing their own thing.

And as I watched, I realized that there was not much I could do... just as I, an oil painter- handle acrylics like oils, they handle acrylics like watercolor.

Drips everywhere.
Lots of water.

I told myself to relax.
Let it go.
It was good enough that I was there and my presence was inspiring them to paint, they were obviously enjoying it, so I decided to join in!
I grabbed a canvas and began to paint too.

As soon as I stopped worrying about the fact that I was not teaching them anything, I began to worry about the silence.
Nobody said anything.
For a Latina... that was tough.
There was no music, no conversation... not even between them.

It took a whole hour before I was able to convince myself that it was "ok" that I was not 'teaching' and I was not 'entertaining'.... I reminded myself that the ancient practice of meditation is very much a Chinese tradition.

So I sat in silence with them.
And it was beautiful.

Before I knew it, I had not been there for only the hour I am paid for.... I had been there for close to four hours, mostly in silence, all three of us painting together.


Sergio called me as he was worried about me "missing" ... so I got up and told them I had to go home and cook dinner-- and oh my, they wanted and wanted and wanted for me to stay for dinner.

Such an incredible experience.
No language barrier.... just art and sharing.

As we said our goodbyes I hugged them "Latina style" and they bowed and gave me their blessing.
We exchanged business cards, and I then found out that not only is he a gifted artist, he used to be an attorney at Law and a Law professor in Shanghai-- which means it was under Mao (!) .... the stories he must have!

When I left, she walked me to the elevators and as we said good bye, she told me how beautiful I am and insisted I return soon, this time: "you stay for food".
I wanted to cry.
As I mourn the abandonment from my mother and siblings... All that Is/God is sending lovely people into my life to remind me that I am loved.

Some may call it *reaching* .... but I do believe that this afternoon was another gift from All that Is and my papa too... such a balm to my heart when my heart is still healing.

I am grateful, oh so grateful!

There is no surprise more magical than the surprise of being loved: 
It is God's finger on man's shoulder.
~Charles Morgan

St. Catherine, patron Saint of Artists. Available here as reproduction on canvas & Paper.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

our ARTventure in NYCity

A busy month for us with two trips to New York for our art~!

Claudia & Annie,
another of the artists represented by Parcai Designs

The first time we went, was to visit Surtex- the annual *trade show* for art licensing.

Since I only signed on with my agents 

Parcai Design in February, we thought it would be important to attend the show and get a first hand glimpse of what "art licensing" is all about.

The show began on a Sunday, so when I happened upon a "call for artists and crafts people" for the Saturday, I thought it would be a great time to do a "practice" set up with our tent and art in New York as we were scheduled to participate in the Washington Square Art Market two weeks later.

On the right, you can see some of my whimsical drawings for Halloween themed art licensing!

Our trial run was interesting. 

Sales were basically the same as we have on a Saturday at our local Farmers/Indie Market here in the Washington DC area.... still, we had to subtract expenses from that (travel, tolls etc.)- but again, more than anything, we wanted to get a "feel" for showing in NY.
Both of us have exhibited in NY in the past, but they have been gallery shows.... selling on the street is so different, and we have found that everything changes from one place to  another-even within the same city.

During our first weekend in the streets of NY, we overheard many comments such as:

"Oh look, Mexican art!"
(never have heard people saying that before.. and it was said many times and both weekends... funny, I guess here in Washington DC everything is a bit more politically correct and we may hear: "Latino Art" or "Colorful art")

we also heard:
"Religious stuff... keep walking" 
 and reactions to my "Dia de los Muertos"/Day of the Dead: "how macabre!" "how weird" 
(both of which we have not heard here in the DC area- which is admittedly more "religious" than NY, although we are not certain why the reaction to Day of the Dead art, as NY has many Mexican immigrants too).

We came back home

~unloaded our car.... and a week later re-loaded with different art. 
Deciding *what art* to take with us
the second time to NYCity

No retablos (reproductions we make on small pieces of wood), only three angels, and only a couple of "Dia de los Muertos" pieces in the "bins" not the walls.

The second weekend led us into some misadventures involving our lodging and transit to and fro the event ....
(we left our car in NYC and commuted to an affordable rental in NJ--the adage: "you get what you pay for" came true!).

The Washington Square Art Market was started by Jackson Pollock.....

"one balmy spring day in 1931, in the midst of the Depression Era. Jackson Pollock, desperately in need of funds to pay the rent on his Greenwich Village studio that also served as his home, took a few of his iconoclastic paintings down several flights of stairs and set them up on the sidewalk near Washington Square Park. His friend and fellow Village artist, Willem DeKooning, in equally desperate financial straits, soon joined him.."

As far as sales, the first day was horrible for all the artists, but the second day was profitable (though again, we need to subtract the travel & lodging expenses from it all);  nonetheless we did make a profit and we were able to take our art to a wider audience, in short, we are very pleased overall!

It was again underlined to me how different the public in NY is to DC metro area...
This time around, with only three paintings of angels, we still heard comments that the art was "too religious" ....
One woman was *very tempted to buy an angel* she came back three times- but said she felt "like a hypocrite because I am not religious" .... (she did not buy it)

You can see our booth set up in NYCity here.

One of the BEST parts of the show

~the other artists we met who were exhibiting nearby: a Portuguese potter, a Chinese photographer, Jamaican painter and a native New Jersey couple who paint Americana folk art.  

The interactions we had with them were fluid and natural and just truly amazing... it felt like "home" to us...  not only wonderful people, they are all full time artists, which is what we aspire to....*hoping* that soon Sergio can let go of his day job as an assistant teacher...

One of the artists, a Jamaican artist, I am quite sure must have known my father as he was exhibiting in the UN in the late 70's and 80's which is when my dad was at the UN and as a side assignment, he would help with curating the UN exhibitions where this artist exhibited often at that time and also they both knew the Ivory Coast ruler/later: president 
Boigny who I remember having dinner with at my Papa's place in NYC.
It is always touching for me to meet someone who may have known my father... 

We have exchanged phone numbers with the group and have already made dinner plans for when we return in September! 

We came home absolutely exhausted... part of it was the "not sleeping" the couple of nights before the trip as we had so much to get ready for... part of it was not sleeping when we arrived because other guests at the place we stayed at were making sooooo much noise all night... 

On our way home, Sunday, when we were only about 20 minutes from home, we came upon a HUGE traffic accident. It was after 2:00am... and we arrived upon the accident only minutes after it happened- ambulances and police began to arrive after we did.

Then, a second accident (a van that slipped in the oil spill of the first)- it was all very chaotic... and cars were playing *bumper cars* all around... we watched as the car in front of us hit the one right in front of them as that driver was standing outside his car looking at the chaos... it was awful... but we could not help but be thankful that we had not arrived there minutes earlier ... and pray for the victims.

We arrived home at 4 a.m.   
It is now Wednesday, and I am only now recovering from all the travel and sleepless nights *whew*

BUT, it was all well worth it and we both look forward to doing it again for Labor day weekend in September!

Our space was in front of a Mexican Restaurant.... the owner not only bought a piece the last day of the show... he gifted us frozen Margaritas!