Tag Archives: San Francisco

Dia de los Muertos

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Dia de los Muertos is a traditional Meso-American holiday dedicated to the ancestors; it honors both death and the cycle of life. In Mexico, neighbors gather in local cemeteries to share food, music, and fun with their extended community, both living and departed. The celebration acknowledges that we still have a relationship with our ancestors and loved ones that have passed away.

In San Francisco, Day of the Dead has been celebrated in the Mission district since the early 70s with art, music, performances and a walking procession, which help us contemplate our existence and mortality — a moment to remember deceased friends and family, and our connections beyond our immediate concerns.

Today, I honored several of my loved ones whom have passed over to a new dimension.  I honored them in my heart, my mind, and my prayers.  I wanted to share a picture of my late partner Mona Lucero. She sadly committed suicide on January 5th, 2010. She left an indelible imprint upon both my life and my heart.

The picture you see below is one of the last photos I have of Mo that I took one month before her untimely death. The sketch is something that I drew while at a work training. Ironically, the topic of the training dealt with suicide. I immediately became uncomfortable and emotional when the ‘suicide powerpoint’ went up. Doodling helps me focus, listen, and concentrate sometimes. After our training, we had a Dios de los Muertos ceremony where we acknowledged some of our loved ones. I was unable to share with my co-workers at that time; however, she was in my heart….I just was too emotional to verbalize and share in that forum….so I am sharing her with you now.

Mona was an amazing, tragic, troubled, crazy-beautiful, complex soul who was too sensitive and traumatized to remain on this earth. I know she is at peace now. I know she is no longer struggling. She has finally found the rest which evaded her in this earthly dimension.  I will miss her for the rest of my life.

Rest well world….

k i m b y

 

 

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I got nominated for the “Versatile Blogger Award”!!!

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I want to say a huge thank you to my fellow blogger extraordinaire, Jenn of “Jiltaroo”! She nominated me for this lovely award and I am thrilled. When you have a moment, take some time to peruse her amazingly inspiring and multifaceted blog at: http://www.Jiltaroo.wordpress.com. Talk about versatility, this woman has got it! She is both a writer and an artist and I promise you, her musings will keep you coming back for more…..which leads me to my next task….

I gratefully accept Jiltaroo’s nomination and in turn, I am paying it forward and nominating several other bloggers, whom I adore, for this award:

http://www.jiltaroo.wordpress.com
http://www.milkshakesinspring.wordpress.com
http://www.caseymatthews.wordpress.com
http://www.liamrainsford.com
http://www.bryannchapeskie.wordpress.com (The Heart of Arts)
http://www.luannudell.wordpress.com
http://www.anartyblog.com
http://www.bravesmartbold.com
http://www.blueadventurine.wordpress.com
http://www.artsyforager.wordpress.com

7 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME….
***Just a note, this was a really difficult task for me to do. I am easily overwhelmed because my brain is ALL OVER THE BOARD and I am inherently a random personality….AND I had to really consider what facts I wanted to make public since so much of ‘me’ really shouldn’t be let out of her proverbial cage, so to speak…so, here it goes…..oy-vey:

1. I love the silence of my city (San Francisco) deep into the night. This results in me taking long walks with my best friend, my Rat Terrier, Benny Hill. I am convinced that there are FOR SURE two certainly haunted houses in the vicinity of my flat….and my dog thinks so too!

2. I am a crazy multi-tasker. Case-in-point: I just started painting my nails while listening to Madonna’s Hard Candy album but then I hopped up and pulled out some stationary to write thank you notes for my recent birthday gifts and as I was in my office closet I noticed my vintage white mink coat and I thought, “I should Google uses for old mink coats” (perhaps I should have a tailor convert it into cool decorator pillows for my bed…or couch???) but as I was thinking of that I found that the coat smelled just like an old, vintage mink coat so I decided to Febreeze it which turned into Febreeze-ing all of my area rugs which made me start to dust mop my hard wood floors near one of my many bookshelves where I noticed two different books that I had to read the bibliographies to which led me to playing laser tag with two of my three animals…the three legged kitty opted out of this particular game. Oh no….have I said too much, overwhelmed you perhaps? Welcome to my world….now where was I?????

Oh yesss, number 3 random fact: I LOVE rap music and I know all the words to almost all old and new school raps….this includes obscure rappers who have yet to sign to a record label and ‘make-it’.

4. I love fly-fishing and I used to tie my own flies…..they never worked to catch any trout but they were soooo……pretty to look at.

5. I am obsessed with the sky….daytime sky, nighttime sky….it doesn’t matter, I am always looking up. I have seen some trippy, crazy, out of this world types of things….you should try looking up more….you might be blown away. Did I mention that I have a telescope that I use in my bedroom window? I can also see a peek-a-boo shot of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of California from my bedroom…it is amazing!

6. I can write with both my left and right hand….and paint this way too.

7. I used to be addicted to drinking, yes drinking, maple syrup. It is not something I am proud of; however, I am happy to say that I am clean now…..had a few slips…but for the most part clean for the last 3 years.

Ok, that about covers it! Thank you Jenn, so much, for the nomination…..and thanks go out to all of those beautiful blogs that keep me intrigued and interested.

Cheers from San Francisco on a cold and foggy October night….

k i m b y

“Gift from the Sea”….an October evening at the beach

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I have been reading the most amazing little gem of a book….for the 3rd time.  It is so simple yet profound…so full of wisdom and practical advice….and so full of natural beauty.  It was written in 1955 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of Charles Lindbergh, ‘Father of Flight’ Lindbergh.  It is entitled:  “Gift from the Sea”.

Mrs. Lindbergh was far ahead of her time when she wrote this book.  It is a peaceful book.  It is an enchanting book.  It is also a quiet book.  It is a story of a woman’s time spent at the beach.  A story one reads and then re-reads, as I have done in the past and am doing now.  Each time I do so I find yet another piece of long forgotten wisdom.  I won’t provide any spoilers so you will just have to pick it up and read it for yourself.  My advice, purchase the hardback version…if you are anything like me, it is a book you will find yourself pulling from your  shelves through the years.

Here is a small teaser…a taste:

“Simplification of outward life is not enough.  It is merely the outside.  But I am starting with the outside.  I am looking at the outside of a shell, the outside of my life…the shell.  The complete answer is not to be found on the outside, in an outward mode of living.  This is only a technique, a road to grace.  The final answer, I know, is always inside.  But the outside can give a clue, can help one to find the inside answer.  One is free, like the hermit crab, to change one’s shell.  Channelled whelk, I put you down again, but you have set my mind on a journey, up an inwardly winding spiral staircase of thought.”

Today after work, I felt myself longing for the beach.  My little dog Benny Hill, a sprightly 42 year old (we are the same age currently)….I am talking dog years here folks…. anyway,my furry best friend was longing for an off leash excursion…a chance for him to run free and unencumbered.  His brown eyes pleading, I realized that I too needed to roam free and unrestrained.  Today was a gorgeous, “summer” day in San Francisco.  October is our best month and the weather has been warm and lovely of late.  I needed to capitalize on a fleeting moment and head west to Ocean Beach.  I am so blessed as I can see the ocean from my bedroom window…a peek-a-boo shot of the Pacific Ocean.  It is a quick train or car ride (about 30 blocks) from my flat. One would think I would be inclined to spend more time there however time is a funny thing, isn’t it?

I walked along the shore, feet in the sand, with my dear friend Michelle.  She brought her poodle Glory along as well.  We talked, watched the dogs chase both balls and sandpipers, talked about sanddollars, I shared about my memories spent at Pawley’s Island, South Carolina combing the beach for miles looking for shells with my mother, and we listened to the sounds of the choppy surf luring only the bravest of souls (i.e.:  surfers) to its icy waters.  54 degrees year round makes not for the most pleasurable swimming excursion….unless you are wearing a thick Neoprine wet suit that is.

It was lovely.  Even though the surf was rough and the wind was strong, it was calming to my soul.  I am grateful.  I feel peaceful this evening.  Thank you Mr. Sea and thank you Michelle.  I hope you enjoy some of my photos AND your evening (or day) wherever you may find yourself in this big world.

With warmth,

k  i  m  b  y

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“Swallowed Me Whole Then Spit Me Out”

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Below are some photos of a one of my latest pieces.  The title accurately explains my current feelings regarding a painful subject and period I am currently muddling through. I feel like my dreams, as well as a huge part of who I THOUGHT I was, have been shattered into tiny particles that were once part of a whole.  “Whole”  may look different to each of us but it doesn’t make it any less “whole”…thus my inspiration for this piece.

I was inspired by a song I heard and it made me think of how I am left feeling:  with a very bad taste in my mouth.  You know how it feels to put your tongue on a battery….or perhaps how it feels to bite into a crumpled ball of aluminum foil….you know, that nasty, assaultive, metallic taste?  Well, that is how I feel right now….how I have been feeling for the last several weeks.

I used Liquitex acrylic paint and I worked in Golden Gel Medium/Clear Granular Gel in order to create the texture that you see.  I did this with a palette knife and a Filbert brush; however, most of the painting was done with my fingers working through the paint and the medium to create the pattern that you see.

I am an oil painter, historically speaking.  In other words:  I have strictly used oils for years; but, I recently decided to move out of my comfort zone and try my hand at acrylics.  I initially found them awful to work with….but I stuck with them and I have been pleasantly surprised!  They are a fun and versatile medium that allows you the ability to alter their properties quite easily.  I am still learning.  This little painting is being added to an installation I am currently working on of small acrylic paintings on paper.  I sold one three days ago and another one two days ago so apparently, some people find them interesting and/or beautiful.  I hope you do as well.

Have a wonderful week and a peaceful Sunday night.  I shall try to do the same….challenging though it may be.

With warmth from San Francisco,

k  i  m  b  yImage

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Theme of the Week

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Greetings friends!

I just wanted to post a favorite picture of my most cherished flower:  the purple hydrangea….specifically for the “Theme of the Week” WordPress photo collaboration.  I took this picture a couple of months ago as I was walking in downtown San Francisco.  It was too beautiful not to capture on film.  I am contributing this photo to  a Friday photo competition open to bloggers on WordPress.  I actually posted this picture in an earlier blog; however, I just could not resist giving it a little more ‘face-time’ yet again.  The hydrangea is important to me for many reasons but most of which it is because this amazing flower reminds me of my father, Dick Faires, who left this earth in on April 22 nd, 1999.

I had a vivid dream over 13 years ago that I have never forgotten.  It was about my father.  I had the dream a few months after his death in April of 1999.  The details of this dream have never left me.  It was as if it was not actually a ‘dream’…it was as if the ‘dream’ was in actuality reality.  I honestly felt his presence that night.  I felt the warmth of his skin.  Perhaps it WAS real…perhaps…

The dream went something like this:

I was walking in my father’s backyard, at the base of the White River in Indianapolis, Indiana, when suddenly the river began to overflow in the form of a flash-flood during a summer storm.  The river’s water began rushing up onto dry land where I was standing.  I was frantic because I was quickly being overcome by the rapid and turbulent river water as it began to suddenly rise.  The mouth of the river began to pull me into its’ clutches ever deeper into more dangerous currents as I frantically tried to swim to safety towards the shore.  I was trying to claw my way back to the shore to the safety of dry land; however, I was becoming more and more exhausted and fearful that I would soon succumb to its’ fury….when suddenly, out of nowhere, my Dad appeared.  He put out one of his hands and I immediately grabbed onto it as if a magnet was forcing our palms and fingers together by an invisible force.  The moment I felt his skin, the violent river instantly receded and turned to an expansive field of flowers….a vibrant, purple field of hydrangeas.  It was at this moment that I was safe.  

When I awoke the next morning I felt a sense of peace that had previously eluded me since my father’s illness and subsequent death.  Somehow I knew that he was with me, perhaps in another dimension, but still with me….always, no matter where I went or what I was struggling through.

Every time I am blessed enough to be able to look at, smell, or touch a hydrangea my memory softens around the fact that I know my father is still with me….and always will be.

Have a wonderful and safe weekend my friends….new and old and yet-to-be-known.

Blessings from San Francisco,

k  i  m  b  y

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A Beautiful Sunday

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Hello friends!  It has been several days since my last post.  I have had a lot going on and all is wonderful.  I went with a good friend to visit the California Academy of Sciences, an amazing museum in San Francisco, on Sunday.  I took some photos and I wanted to share with you the highlights of my visit.  If you are ever in my beautiful city, I highly encourage you to visit this unique and interesting museum.  Yesterday was my first visit.  It was impossible to see all that this amazing museum has to offer.  Consequently, I am already looking forward to my next visit.  I hope you enjoy the following pictures…supreme evidence of our genius creator.  I hope you have a super week!

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Raw Beauty…..just because

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I was walking to an appointment in my beautiful city of San Francisco last week and I almost tripped over myself in a very public place.  To my left was the most gorgeous flower….one of my all-time favorites:  the hydrangea.  I was so taken aback that I started snapping picture after picture.  It was perplexing to me that so many people could walk by this amazing display of God’s artwork and not, at the very least, pause to admire its natural beauty and purple glow.  As I was happily distracted, one man walked up to me and looking rather confused said, “What are you taking pictures of?”  Really, I thought?  I wanted to ask if this was a rhetorical question, but I bit my tongue, thankfully.  The interesting thing was….once I showed him what was blazingly obvious to my eyes…he became transfixed by this flower.  He then turned to me and said a heartfelt “thank you”.  

I usually try to limit my conversations to mostly art related topics….but a flower IS art, isn’t it?  It is almost 4 a.m. in SF and I could not stop looking at this picture.  I just sent it to someone that I love….and I just had to share it with you….not because it is a fantastic picture….but because the hydrangea is complex and beautiful and magical…..and we all need a little beauty and magic in our lives every once in awhile, right?Image 

Good morning and happy Saturday…..

Until we meet again,

k  i  m  b  y