I feel like I'm working in a factory! Zeke goes to bed at a decent hour and I'm sweating in the "studio" meaning, my dining room past midnight working up a storm with my brushes and paints and I've been having so much fun! I love working on a collection that is based only on Valentines Day. I'm thinking I should make a book out of this collection... maybe even sell it!? We shall see, we shall see! Either way, new artwork was added to the shop! They go quick! Ya'll are making me work, work, work!
Excited to announce a Valentine's Day Collection of original abstract paintings! So far, each and every painting have sold out, so you could say, today was a sweet sweet day! I plan on adding more and more paintings throughout the days leading up to Valentine's Day so do keep an eye out and check every day for new additions to the Valentines Collection. What a blast I've been having painting these small, but whimsical abstracts that are pretty marvelous when matted and framed!
Well, what can I say? The living has been easy here for our first month in our new home. I am completely in a trance with our new location. The architecture really brings the past to life as it's all very Art Deco. I've always had an eye for architecture, even when I was younger, but the older I get and throughout my years of art history classes and learning more and more of my surroundings, the curiousness of it grows deeper and deeper. Like I've mentioned before, I plan on living and viewing things in Los Angeles as it were in the past. I'm a total dreamer and though this may not be pure reality, who cares - it's making this adventure even more thrilling!
Along with architecture, I love reading up on the history. Above on the left is an apartment complex located on 4th Street in Santa Monica. My eyes fell in love with this building on a trip here last August and I made note of the location, went back to Utah and Google Earthed it. I zoomed in and was able to get the exact address and started my research. Knowing we would be moving to this city in just a few short months, Zeke and I had our eye on this one with hopes of moving in. The history was extremely hard to come by, it was truly a mystery but what we did learn was that there was no availability within the complex. Luckily, we only live a block away so while I walk into the shopping areas, I make a point to walk past this place along the way.
And alas, the building on the right, and by far my favorite in Santa Monica, is The Georgian Hotel, built in 1933. Known to be haunted, which is a total jack pot and right up my alley, the hotel was built for intimate gatherings for the 'high society' and the celebrities of old Hollywood catering to one of my favorites, Clark Gable. Considered to be one of the most modern facilities of it's time, The Georgian was filled with the night life along the sea with martinis, jazz music, beauty parlors, extravagant dining rooms, and the most notorious American gangsters such as Bugsy Siegel and silent film actor and director Fatty Arbuckle.
They say that the Speakeasy Restaurant within the hotel is where the ghost and apparitions occur. Waitresses have claimed that they hear sighs and gasps when the restaurant is closed and empty. They hear footsteps running through the halls and in the morning, while setting up, they are welcomed by a voice saying, "good morning." I think its about time I go dine there...
Another one of my favorite spots is the 'Ivy At the Shore" right on Ocean Avenue. I love this restaurant so very much because every time I spent foot in it, it takes me back to a familiar place. I feel like I'm back in Florida where my grandparents lived before they passed away and my family would visit often. It has a total Florida Keys vibe and the decor could just be my future home. With the rattan chairs, and the botanical print pillows, floridian pink walls, the abstract figurative artwork and the sailboats all around, I was in Heaven. Oh, and to top it all off, I ordered a bowl full of Gumbo! And yes, it hit the spot!
As of late, January's weather has been just absolutely perfect which according to the people here, isn't normal. It's been the in the high 70's and sunny and for Californian winters it should typically be in the low 60's and very rainy. Apparently California is experiencing the worst drought and it's becoming so extreme that the state is starting to worry. With that said though, the nights have been pretty dog-on eerie and I have been eating it up! This street corner is on the corner of California and 2nd Street and it reminds me just a wee bit of a street corner in Savannah. Though it's hard to tell in this photo, this building is a dark red brick with a mixture of palms and shady trees all around. One night, Zeke and I were walking to the grocery store and there was a warm breeze and fog began to roll in through the streets. The tall art deco buildings seemed to disappear in the clouds allowing little pockets of light glowing in the sky from the windows. It was mysteriously magical and you best believe I climbed into my pajamas the moment I got home and began reading my murder mystery novel. Throughout the night you could smell the ocean breeze.
Everyone in Santa Monica/Brentwood is extremely active. How could they not be with this beautiful weather year round and with Palisades Park shown above on the left?Palisades Park is just a block away from us along Ocean Avenue and overlooks the ocean. It is very well kept, has beautiful organically shaped trees that create the greatest shadows. The paths are wide and windy and filled with loads and loads of runners. With that said, Zeke and I are trying to be more active and live healthier lives, so this has become my place to run, or it was the first couple of weeks we have been hear until a friend of ours told us about the Santa Monica Stairs. Tucked into the neighborhoods of Santa Monica and on the boarder of Brentwood are these stairs that make me want to keel over and die. I have been running to them from our place and then run back from them after doing some sets up and down, up and down and I can promise you it will whip you into shape. I kind of love the run to and from the stairs though because it's an excuse to have my own parade of homes tour. This house above on the right in particular is my favorite as it looks like it came right from Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Now, you know my love for Hilton Head so I always walk during this part of the work out to take in this home and its surroundings and I love to mentally place myself back in my second home away from home.
The only downside to our clean eating, is the fact that we have discovered by far the most unreal homemade ice cream to ever melt in my mouth. 'Sweet Rose' is the mothership of all ice cream. When Niki was in town, we were strolling through some shops and discovered Sweet Rose and it was a warm day so we got ourselves a few scoops and I about lost myself. It didn't take much to convert Zeke has he was long gone obsessed the moment he taste tested his beloved Luxx Coffee flavor. It's safe to say Zeke and I go almost twice a week. I started out real good just getting a couple of scoops in a cup, but now I have gone straight to the waffle cone and I can't look back, I tell you. I now follow Sweet Rose on instagram and it's awful. I get an update on their flavors they are serving everyday and when I see that Pomegranate Soft Serve with the Smooth Tangerine Sorbet on that menu, I loose all self control. I can't wait to take my parents here over Valentines Day weekend. Also, I left my wallet here last weekend and they put it in the safe for me - so I pretty much owe them my life...
For the first month of living here and being away from friends and family, I've been blessed to have lots of friends conveniently having to pass through Santa Monica. Niki came for a weekend as we had a baby shower for Chelly to go to in Orange County and then Becca Boo passed through this past weekend and it was so fun to show them both our new neighborhood.
Dinner at 'Neptune's Net' with the Anderson's in Malibu
Palisades Park & Zeke at 'Baby Blues BBQ' in Venice
It's safe to say Zeke and I have been taking full advantage of our surroundings and we are making the greatest adventure out of it. I sure do miss my friends in Utah and I extremely miss my home and family in Georgia but I think California is the best place to be for distractions and keeping myself happy and full of life. I've been blessed to have a relaxing first month of the year. January has always been such a dreadful month for me while living in Utah. It was the longest month of my life, the coldest month and the most painful month and to say that I have enjoyed January for the first time in many years is mind blowing. I've have been blessed to experience a very warm and abnormal winter in January, going to the beach, trying new spots to eat, meeting new friends, and having time painting and reading. But don't you worry, I am taking action and becoming responsible and I'm truly excited to start my dream job on Monday as a Visual Associate at J.Crew and I'm ready to be put to work and to exercise everything I have learned with my Visual Arts degree while styling the J.Crew store on Third Street Promenade. Nothing could be more exciting for me at this time! Let the games begin, and onto February we go!
Well, we did it. We said goodbye to Utah and officially made the move to California. It wasn't as emotional as I thought it was going to be. The night before the move, I took my last bath (I'd take one every night before bed) knowing that the bathroom I'd be moving into wasn't one I'd want to take baths in, and that's okay, I knew I had to get in one last bath - and I started thinking, and reminiscing, and then crying. Six years is a long time to live in a place, especially by yourself without your parents and sisters, and you begin to learn to live and without knowing it, you realize you've grown comfort in the state of Utah because that's the only place you know away from your actual home. So leaving it, and the thought of leaving it hit me at that moment and I was timid and scared. I was sad to leave the friends that have become more like family to me and I was especially sad to leave actually family. No longer being in school wouldn't hit me till later but the thought of putting myself out there to show people I'm worth hiring makes me want to cringe.
I cried that night, and I cried that morning at 5 am when we pulled out of our neighborhood in a uhaul and my car. I pulled myself together until we past the Provo exit and my mind wandered back through all of my college years and the many blessings I've been given and the memories that will lock themselves in that bubble of a city. The drive was long and vigorous. Even though I was following Zeke, I've never done the drive from Utah to California by myself with no one in the car. It was painful to say the least and I began to grow extremely tired. The drive took longer than it would normally take because the Uhaul could only go so fast, and then it was show time once we landed on the Los Angeles highways and I about keeled over and died. We had to jump on about 10 different highways just to get to Santa Monica and trying to get over into the next lane was just about suicide with Zeke going about 60 mph while the whole world was going 85 mph. I was crying the whole time and screaming under my breath. Mind you, I haven't driven my car since we moved here - to say it was traumatizing is an understatement.
I'll get on the highway one of these days, but for now, luckily Santa Monica is nothing but walking distance from one place to another, which is jackpot for two reasons : 1. money saving on gas 2. slowly but surely shedding inches from my behind.
Santa Monica is beautiful. It's just as I envisioned it. It's how I have always envisioned it, being glamours, ritzy, art deco - it's how my eyes see it. The way I see things is always seen with a hint of the past. I can't help but think of the 1950's film, "Sunset Boulevard" and see what that film captured. So for me, this place is erringly enchanting. Could I live here my whole life? Probably not, but I'm putting in my time, and while I do so, I plan to explore and find adventures. Being by the ocean is a treat and if I'm going to tie everything back to the past, I picture it black and white in the moonlight like the scene from the 1946 film "The Postman Always Rings Twice."
The city is busy, lots of people out running, shopping, eating, you name it and luckily we live in the northern pocket of the city where things calm down and become quite. It's the perfect spot. It will be fun to see what this city has in store for us.
We spent New Years Day in Los Angeles hiking to the Hollywood sign able to see a birds eye view of downtown Los Angeles. The weather was beautiful and it was a great day to begin a great start of a new year. I'm going to try my best to have the most positive outlook with what is at hand. Happy New Year!
Welcoming in the new year of twenty-fourteen and I plan on living by these words the whole twelve months ahead along with continuing/repeating my goals from last yearbecause I either a.) didn't accomplish them like I would have liked, or b.) accomplished them and want to keep them around for another year! Cheers to a new beginning and a clean fresh start!
This isn't just a sweet tooth, its that and everything in between. It is freezing here (surprise, surprise) and the only way to keep me warm, besides my nightly ritual baths and the heater, is eating and consuming everything in sight because I want to, because it's fun, because it's cold, and because it's the holidays and that's what I do. I'm pretty sure I have a few cavities, actually I know for a fact because I can see them. Therefore, January 1st is going to be one heck of a disciplined day with a trip to the dentist! Christmas is getting the best of me! And I can't stop. Christmas treats are just too pretty to decline, don't you agree? So I'm just going to eat up and enjoy my holidays and then put myself in time-out come the new year. Until then, eat up!
What a special day December 17th is. Oh how it will always be a day of FREEDOM! My graduation due date has been long over due - two years over due to be exact and I honestly thought reaching that point of completion was nearly impossible. My friends even thought so. While all of my friends have graduated years ago, and moved on with their lives and out of the state of Utah, I had to sit back and watch as time slowly flew by and waited for my turn. And today was finally the day. Honestly, it did come faster than I had imagined, now looking back on it.
So, two years over due and having completed about 47 paintings in my life time, I can safely say (with no surprises from the fine arts counselor) I am a college graduate and hold a Bachelor of Science Degree in Arts & Visual Communications. It feels so good to say that! I've come a long long way and I am ready and happy to say goodbye to Utah Valley University forever and ever! I feel as though I have made a huge accomplishment in my life and the paintings don't even end here... I am just getting started! On to my next adventure!
This is what life looks like, all of the time - my artwork for school in consuming my soul seeing as how I have ONE WEEK LEFT. Yes, one week my friends! I truly honestly never thought this day would arrive. I remember it like it was yesterday realizing that I had two more extra years to go and I was beyond devastated!
Now, it's nothing but crunch time and I find all of the free time I can get to paint at home while I'm not in the studio at school. This is what my living room looks like - couch is never put together and you'll find remnants of cafe rio here and there... can you spy the red straw? It's okay though, I am enjoying these last moments of being a student and though I am not too sad about graduating... I have somewhat enjoyed my time at Utah Valley Univeristy - I mean it's no SCAD (which was my original plan then I through myself for a loop) but it was good to me nonetheless and I have more than grown with my talent and I have opened my eyes to new paths within my future career and I cannot wait! Just five more days and I'll be a college graduate! WOOHOO!
Oh bless you holidays, and bless you my sweet Georgie Georgia and bless my family and keep them safe while I am away across the country. That's all I can think about now that I am back into the grind of finishing school and moving to California. I am so thankful I was able to fly home to Georgia and be with my entire family. These moments are those that I cherish, study and hold very very close to my heart. I wish I was able to be closer to them all as they are all together in Georgia and Tennessee. I'm the odd ball out and I absolutely cry over it. But a good week home was a great cure to my soul and I feel very blessed.
I just can't help but contemplate over the goodness of my family and how my Heavenly Father has really spoiled me with my parents, sisters, brother-in-laws, and my nieces and nephews and of course my Zekey. I wouldn't have it any other way and I feel like I owe the world everything because I am so lucky to have them. They bring such joy and emotion to me that the older I get, the more attached I am becoming. I long to be a kid again, and I live vicariously through my nieces and nephews.
We all had an overload of fun, manhandling that turkey that my mom fixed in the kitchen, pounding mouthfuls and mouthfuls of food, even days before Thanksgiving had actually arrived, ordering midnight pizzas, eating spoonfuls of gumbo and grits and fixin' my Great Grandma Duncan's homemade noodles that brings such happiness to my Dad and has become a tradition in our family from our folks from West Virginia to Florida. We played games resulting in throwing whipped cream pies in each others faces nearly wetting ourselves to family walks near the Chattahoochee River covered in a canopy of Georgia fall leaves.
I made my traditional stops to what I call my version of 'Tara' (from Gone With the Wind) where I love to sit in quiet and think about all of my blessings, where I come from and the joy I am filled with when I am reunited with my family in the South. It's a hard feeling to explain how home, just the term home impacts me. When I am home, I gain a sense of who I really am, I feel comfortable again, at ease, it's very hard to explain.
I had a hard time talking about moving to California while I was home, and I think it was because I was currently in the place where I knew I truly belonged at the moment and I didn't want to leave. But once I got back to Utah, and the winter snow storms came piling down, and I was back in my routine of things, I felt excited for our move and for the adventures we are about to embark. But when I am home, it's tuff to pull me away from it. Days before my departure I am already dreading it and filled with anxiety and I have to mentally prep myself to get a grip and to not cry this time. Do not cry this time. I improved this trip as my parents dropped Zeke and I off at the airport. I didn't cry when I hugged my parents goodbye, but I was dying inside and fighting really hard. With all of the commotion in the airport, I was distracted, but once I was up in the air flying, and Zeke was asleep, I put down my table and rested my head and I cried, and I just wanted to turn around and go home - with Zeke of course. I must take him everywhere I go, but I wanted to just go home with him.
These are just minor things in my life that tug on my heart strings, and as much as I long to go home, sometimes I feel like it's easier to never arrive because that way I'll know I'll never have to say goodbye. I truly hope I can make it back home in the future. I truly hope I can live near my parents and sisters and raise my kids in the South where I was raised. A southern magazine I love called, "Garden & Gun" August & September's issue had an article about southern women and one girl stated,
"I want my children to know they belong to something bigger than themselves. That they are unique, but they are not alone. That there is continuity where they come from. Comfort too. That there are rules worth following and expectations worth trying to meet, even if you fail. If nothing else, I want them to know how to make biscuits. And to not feel bad about eating a whole heaping plate of them.
Because before I know it, my girls will be grown. And they will be Southern women too. And that, I believe will have made all the difference." - Allison Glock
Allison states it better than I ever could, but her words are so profound and describe exactly how I feel. But you know, heaven forbid, if this doesn't play out in life, as hard as it will be it's the Lord's will. But I honestly can't help but think of any other way of life for me. And that is my selfish and wishful thinking. - Just bring me home.
Truth be told, I am thrilled to go to California. Zeke and I are young and long for an adventure, a place where we fit in before we bring children into the mix. A place where there is so much to see and do, where the night life is young and goes deep into the hours of the night. So to complain, would be ugly of me. I know that I am blessed and the years ahead of me will be fulfilling. I guess, with Thanksgiving and always coming home to the South and being with my family brings me back to thinking of the future future, when Zeke and I start having a family of our own, and that is how I envision settling down and raising our kids... So I need to get my ants out of pants and enjoy the adventure I am living now and be grateful for the capability of even being able to take a plane home every once in awhile. Now, that in and of itself, is pretty awesome.
I hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful and you were able to spend it with the people you love and cherish. I sure did, and I am so very grateful. Happy Friday and may your weekend keep you safe and warm!
This is my latest portrait taken from a 1950's Vogue editorial. I am so drawn to that decade. And I have always swooned over those photographs from that particular Vogue issue that I decided I'd challenge myself and paint one, a large one if you will. This bad boy is 36" x 48" and I couldn't be more proud. I am happy to say that I will be getting all of my paintings done in time for finals! I only have one more portrait to go! And this last one I am really excited for - it's another vintage fashion magazine piece from Harper's Bazaar.
I can't believe how fast time is flying by with this last semester of school. I for sure thought it was going to drag, but I was proven wrong. It's bittersweet to be done, but it's a wild feeling to know I'll be free at last - to paint whatever my precious heart desires, and for that... I am really thrilled!
With the holidays coming up be sure to check out my artwork shop, as PRICES HAVE BEEN LOWERED! rachelanne.bigcartel.com
My oh my, this has been a looooooong time-a-comin'. It's true, one of my favorite works of arts and a huge accomplishment of mine is now available in poster form as well as two sizes of Giclees! You can pre-order the poster or giclee painting of "Tropicana Lush" NOW at rachelanne.bigcartel.com
So, what are you a'waiting for? Get moving and purchase some artwork to spruce up your home!