Misha Flores

Painting and Photography

Great book for artists.

So, Painters, you probably already know about this book, because I’m apparently the last artist I know to find out about it, as I found out when I posted about it on Facebook, hehe….but just in case you DON’T know about this book, like me, and someone needs to tip you off, check out Color and Light by James Gurney.  And his blog is also supposed to be useful and interesting. Ima go find it right after I post this. Or maybe I’ll find it BEFORE I post this so I can include a link. Sounds better. It really breaks down the elements in a digestible form. And the art is amazing. Anyway if you haven’t ever seen this book, go get it! Links below. Find it on Amazon here. His blog, Gurney Journey, is here.

Exploring a New Direction

Well I have to thank my friend Daniele who comes up with names for the Art Guild’s shows. She just really was in love with the word Wanderlust, so she pushed for that as a show name.  That made me think of my old iPhone snapshots I took in India, intending to use them as painting subjects, eventually. Or maybe to just print, or use as a mixed media project.  Too much visual fodder not to do something interesting with them anyway! But alas, it was one of those ideas you shelf and don’t revisit. But with a name like Wanderlust, I decidedly had to use something I’d garnered from my travels for a motif. I’m so glad I dug up those India snapshots! I think they will be the source of my series for a little show I’m doing next May at the Quarry Gallery. Can’t use my nude figure paintings for that, so I was trying to figure out what else would keep my interest well enough for a whole lot of work. Voila! This is the one I submitted to Wanderlust. I’ve done a few more since then, and I’m thrilled to the gills! I believe I’ll submit my last one for the guild’s Member Show. If you’re lucky you win a coveted show with three other people in the main gallery during the next year’s Member Show.  Wouldn’t that rock?! I won’t hold my breath but it’s worth a shot!  

I’m a bad blogger.

Hi, been a bad website admin/blogger for a long time now. Got some horrible news about a family member I’m super close to getting ALS in September of 2016, so that has been devastating and life changing.  And the elections, and the holidays, and my dog tore her canine equivalent of an ACL in her knee, so surgery for her and she’s just recovering. But I have been painting! And protesting!  And calling my representatives!  Much work ahead for all of us, indeed. So here’s a little something I made to carry for the woman’s march.     I chose a woman of color to represent all minorities and women, and a rainbow to represent the LGBTQ community. The serpent represents healing and wisdom, but it also refers to the original Don’t Tread On Me flag, where the viper is to be respected because it will defend itself fiercely. I made her a goddess to honor the strength and power in all of us. A friend shared it on Facebook, and one of her friends commented that it reminded him of Ayida Wedo. So I looked that up. All these pics came up very similar to mine. I thought oh, no, I plagiarized some artist! Nope. She’s an African rainbow serpent goddess. The things that she stands for, so appropriate to the march. “She represents continuity and strength, integration and wholeness, as the rainbow contains all the colors, split from white light. Integrity, whether physical (structural), or moral, is the natural result of integration–weaving together elements that are very different. Her message is one of healing and strength for the whole of the world.” Carl Jung, eat your heart out.

Baby Fatts Collaboration

Met a really great artist, Big C, who creates these great vinyl toys Baby Fatts, and he gave me one to paint for his show (Woot Bear Belly gallery in San Francisco.) Just went to check out his page and see what he was up to and yay, our baby found a forever home!  Mine’s the one on the right.  Life & Death Baby Fatts.  

Women’s View — 2016

Excited to have gotten into this exhibit of San Mateo County women artists!  I will be entering Anahata, the latest in my series about the chakras, the heart chakra.  I am so enjoying this series.  All the symbolism inherent in each chakra–its corresponding element, its aspects of the personality and emotions, where it is on the body–it’s all rich with opportunities at imagery, you just have to use your imagination to think how.  And as we are talking about points on the body, it centers around the figure, which is my favorite subject of course.  The figure and the psyche.  How perfect is that?   Anyway see the Exhibitions page for details about the when and where of this women’s exhibit!  

This Year’s PBC Earth Day Billboard.

Otters are the mascot du jour.  Just finished this cute lil billboard.  In case you’re thinking, “Earth Day is on the 22nd!  So what about Earth Day?”, that kind of thing:  The Beach Coalition here has been doing this Earth Day celebration/volunteer thing every year for a long time, and it’s always held at the same place, Linda Mar Beach.  Always at 9:00 AM.  So everyone knows the drill.  So I can just focus on making a cute critter and putting the year’s slogan front and center, ya know? Anyway now that’s done on to painting an actual painting.  I’ve been so busy with getting that photo show together and painting my hubby’s office, and painting the fireplace, and then this, I haven’t had time to actually PAINT!  That’s just not right.  Though this was fun.

New Year’s News

Whew!  The holidays were long and active.  Got to catch up with a lot of family and relax a lot.  Went on a meditation retreat for a week.  Went, sadly, to a funeral for a dear old friend.  But I’m back home and hitting the ground running. I’ll be hanging a series of photos of local landscapes at the Pacifica Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday.  I hope folks will swing by and check them out if they are around Rockaway Beach in February, they’ll be there all month. Then I’m painting billboards for Pacifica Beach Coalition’s wonderful annual Earth Day event.  The theme this year, their mascot, is:  The Otter! Should be fun to paint!! And I’m working on these chakra paintings, and some other figure paintings.  I’ve pretty much decided life is too short to paint things you don’t want to paint.  So I’m gonna basically focus on what I really love, what really speaks to my soul, the figure.  I can’t tell you how relieving that feels.  So goodbye, experiments in trash art, nature closeups; you were fun. But I need to get down to business! About to enter the San Mateo Women’s Art exhibit for 2016 as well, wish me luck. Here’s to creating!      

Oddville

24" x 36"

So I’ve been painting up a storm lately working on a series I told myself I’d do years ago, about the chakras.  And that’s been coming out great so far, I’ll post some later, but I took a break this week to paint something different. There’s this Oddville show coming up on Friday, of which the Create! Art Collective is going to be a part, so I was thinking this would be a perfect time to paint something outside the box. A while back a friend of mine posed to me the question of how I would depict a hungry ghost, which is actually a Buddhist concept of a state of mind.  It’s a state of mind that is full of insatiability, quench one desire and more pop up, there is always an emotional emergency or a perceived need that must be relieved.  I immediately thought of No Face, of course, from the amazing animated flick Spirited Away.  If you’ve ever seen that movie you know that No Face is like the most sublime and perfect example of this state of mind, of endless, unquenchable desire.  Because it had really been done so perfectly already, I put it aside after a couple sketches.  But then this show is coming up, and though I have a few odd pieces that are probably too strange for most galleries, I wanted something extra out-there to stand out for this show.  And my thoughts turned to those sketches I had done for a hungry ghost. I think it turned out pretty cool!  So I’ll be there with this and several photo montages I need to unload at a very reasonable price. 😉  I will be with a couple awesome fellow artists and their work, such as Mark Bray –who has a great show up right now in San Francisco at the Reading Clinic on W. Portal, check it out!–and Luis Marroquin who does really cool carved tribal looking work out of skateboards and such!  

Fun with other media…

      Been feeling like a kid this week having a blast playing with ink, charcoal, gauche, caran d’ache, watercolor, pastels.  Why have I neglected these other media for so many years?  They are soooo fun!  :p      

Fogfest!

Fogfest is a local annual Pacifica tradition, with a parade, music, food, art.  The last couple of years I helped out with the Pacifica Beach Coalition’s floats/art and marched with them.  This year I am participating with another group, the Create! Art Collective, run by the fabulously On-It Rebecca Gulley.  She doesn’t miss a beat.  She has arranged a booth in front of the CWC on Palmetto Ave., so there will be art at the booth as well as inside the CWC.  We have some really beautiful work together!  Helped hang the indoor exhibit today.  I cannot be at the festival this weekend as we have a multi-day Pakistani style wedding to attend (which is exciting!)  but my art will be there for me, and the Collective will be representin’!

Wildlife Mural Complete

8' x 10.5'

Finished sealing this puppy today.  Here’s how it basically ended up.  I’ll have to ask the homeowner if I can get a better pic without tape and stuff on it sometime.  What a fun project, I enjoyed making their ideas a reality and creating this joyful nursery piece in honor of this precious new life coming into the world.  Sending best wishes and blessings to the parents and their little-bundle-to-come!  

Tiny Paintings

Thought I’d make a couple wee tiny paintings to sell at very low price point at an upcoming festival thing. Turns out they take just about as much time as big ones, you just use smaller brushes! (Hmm, I suspect I’m doing it wrong.)

Wildlife Mural

Terribly fun, I get to paint my friend’s nursery wall, a nice big space.  And I do love painting animals, and whadya know she and her husband want some local fauna populating the local landscape!  Got a start rolling here, got some background, soon there will be critters!

First Attempt at Portraiture

      So yeah, aside from back in art school when we did a self-portraits, and one watercolor I tried back then, this is pretty much my first attempt at portraiture.  This is of my hubby.  A lot of fun! I also just created a Flickr account. (Yes, I know I’m way behind the times.) So I’m going to be posting as I try new things and hopefully grow by leaps and bounds as an artist.  🙂  That’s the plan anyway!

Friends on the Beach

24" x 24"

So, been making more of this Landscape Interrupted series.  This one is based on a great shot I got at Mori Point of these two hanging out together on the rocks, looking out at the ocean.  I’m pretty sure I got all the trash in the piece from this very scene.  

Benefit at Shelldance

So I had donated to this benefit for Pacificans for Highway 1 Alternatives, folks trying to fight the Hwy 1 widening project.  The benefit was held at Shelldance Nursery, an orchid nursery, and though I frequently hike the trail that starts from its parking lot, I had never been inside as it is usually closed.  (Turns out it’s open weekends only.) Well what a little hidden gem!  It was just beautifully arranged with plants overflowing everywhere, and light coming through the ceiling and walls.  The succulents were just as gorgeous as the orchids. They had a little stage the bands were playing on, and a lovely meditation/yoga room.  What a great vibe. Here’s a link to their page, you should check them out if you find yourself in town.  shelldance.com

Sanchez Art Center Open Studios May 10

So I had to drop off a donation piece for a benefit auction this weekend.  Made a little abstraction of the Mussels and Barnacles piece I had done for my Closer Look series… And drop off was at the Sanchez, so I had pleasure this Mother’s Day of visiting my local art center’s open studios, and exploring what a few of my fellow local artists are up to in there! There were playful, bold prints by Kristina Ayala. Adorable pet portraits by Lillian Cram. Edgy B&W and X-Ray photography, contemplations on fertility by Tanya Lin Jaffe. Wonderful playful figurative watercolors by Robert Dvorak pictured below… And Many Many More. One of my favorite pieces was this lovely little realism number depicting one of my favorite things in the world, Sriracha!  This was by Wayne Jiang.       It was a pleasure to meet so many talented folks and get to talk to them about their processes and media!

Website Makeover

If you are checking out my page I hope you will be patient, as it will be constantly undergoing an awkward-prepubescent-stage for the next several days (hopefully not weeks??!) as I adapt all my data to a new theme.  Forgive nonsensical text sample ramblings and missing galleries in the meantime!  This should all result in a much smoother and more polished experience.  Unfortunately at the expense of much screen time.  Argh, time for a computer break and a nap… Be well!

PBC’s Earth Day Events

I’ve been a bit busy with several of the preparations for Pacifica Beach Coalition’s Earth Day events this year, and was sad I couldn’t be there for the actual day itself as we went out of town to visit with family.  But at least I got to contribute by painting for them.  They asked me to do their billboard again this year, and a little photo board you can put your head in for some silly fun shots at the event itself.  The theme this year is BEES!  Because they are a precious and endangered resource.  I got this sweet shot of a honey bee at Sharp Park beach, on a lovely little daisy, with the intention of loosely basing my billboard on it.     And the billboard came out like this…     It was a good 4′ x 6′.  Not bad for short notice anyway. 🙂 Today I discovered the Create Art Collective here in Pacifica, through a friend at the Pacifica Art Guild. Excited to make some new art friends!  I’ve been so focused on the Marine Mammal Center and the Beach Coalition that it’s been hard to art sufficiently!  But I have got to shift gears.  More to come…  

Studio Ready to Go

Super excited to have prepared a good studio space the last few months and now I’m ready to roll!  We got a house and the last few months I had to remove the stinky 30 year old carpet and paint the dark panelled walls.  Then the holidays happened.  But finally, it’s painting time. Feeling pretty fortunate!!!

MUSE: The Art of Transformation and Healing

Excited to be a part of this upcoming exhibition and festival for Art and Healing, at Commonweal in Bolinas, CA!  Sounds like it’s going to be a full afternoon of film, workshops, poetry, music, ecology, empowerment and healing, of which art is just a part. ~Opening Reception and Arts and Healing Festival, Saturday, July 12, 1-5 pm~ ~Closing Reception, Saturday, September 27, 3-7 pm~ See the event here. The Commonweal Gallery, Institute for Art and Healing.  

Disrupted Landscape

How to convey, in this visual medium, the frustration of being in a beautiful corner of the world, and every time I walk out into it my eye is drawn the the menace of garbage. Garbage everywhere. Killing wildlife, leaching toxins, ruining the view. Let it disrupt the painted landscape as it does the real one. I hope to do a series like this prototype.  Unfortunately, there is plenty of free material to work with!  I’ll continue to collect it every time I go on a nature walk. A fellow member of the Pacifica Beach Coalition posted a link to the blog coastodian.org the other day.  I was struck by this poem, from his entry Memorial Day In West Marin.  Truth: Blessed are we that live near to the coast Rhythmic surf soothes our souls Peregrine, osprey, pelican fill the sky Five white sharks swim free in the sea – Cursed are we that live near to the coast Explosions of plastic remind us our folly Blanket the beach needlessly with pretty poison – Soldiers travel the world To protect us from evil empires Who to protect us from our convenient plastic poison?  

Oh My, Where to Start…

So we moved to California!  The San Francisco Bay Area to be exact.  That happened last year, and therefore I had quite an adjustment period.  But I’m back!  Been doing some commissions, but haven’t gotten into the art community in this area as of yet.  So <gulp> there may be a bit of a gap in my exhibitions list for the last year! But getting back on track. 🙂 So many things!  Been taking closeup photos of nature for a couple years.  I will get that printed into a series.  Also I’m very inspired by the landscape around here, so I’ve been painting some closeups as well as working on a photo series for a local calendar. I am most excited about a series I’m just starting that ties together the volunteer work I’ve been doing and my art.  I pick up trash, and paint things for the Pacifica Beach Coalition, a fantastic local environmental group.  I’m also volunteering with the Marine Mammal Center up in Sausalito, where they rehabilitate injured and ailing pinipeds (seals and sea lions.)  So I am very cognizant of the impact of trash on our local wildlife.  My new series will repurpose the trash I’m picking up, and make some relevant art that juxtaposes this disgusting debris with the very land and animals it destroys. So things are cooking.  I leave you today with my last commission, for the Pacifica Beach Coalition’s Earth Day festivities.

Mindfulness Meditation in Dallas/Fort Worth

Hey if you’re in the DFW area, especially the Mid-Cities, and you’re interested in joining a meditation group or seeing what mindfulness is about, check out our little sangha in Grapevine. We meet on Monday nights, and have great guest speakers a couple times a month, usually. www.metamorphosismeditation.com  Plus I designed the website so I’m happy to link to it and show it off a bit here.  🙂

New Yoga Gig

I’m excited to be adding a few new classes to my schedule!  I’ll be joining the folks up at Kenpo Karate Studio in Colleyville, teaching a nice hatha class twice a week, and a restorative class, starting in December.  (I also teach on Wed.’s at Cosmic Cafe in Dallas.  Come on by!)  For the whole yoga schedule at Kenpo check out meetup.com’s listing, Yoga In DFW.  I’ll be adding my classes on there soon!

Westside Music Festival

Got to teach a little yoga at the Westside Music Festival Sept. 24th.  That was a benefit for Resolana, the program that enables us to bring yoga to the Dallas jail.  They also do art, dance, anger management, AA, writing.  If you are a woman and you think you might be willing to volunteer, they can always use people. http://resolana.info/about.htm

My First Yoga Teacher.

I recently got to have dinner up at Cosmic (where I teach on Wednesdays) with my old friend, my first yoga teacher, Swami Dev.  You’ll never meet a more genuine guy.  Just have to be careful, he doesn’t know his own strength and he might hug you so hard it hurts!

Tibetan Sand Painting

Got to go see a mandala of the medicine Buddha being made by the Tibetan monks.  They come every year to the Crow Asian Art museum, but this is the first time I’ve gotten to see them personally.  I got to talk to one of them, his name was Gyatso (just like His Holiness the Dalai Lama) and he was my age.  (Eternally 29 of course.  Hehe, just kidding.  Mid-thirties really.)  They were going to destroy this beautiful painting after it was completed, of course.  Symbol of the truth of impermanence.  And then they would pour this mandala into Turtle Creek when it was all over, to send its blessing out into the waters of the world.

Forces of Nature feature on cravedfw

Many thanks to Stealingkitty for her article about the Forces of Nature show! “There is a celebration going on at this exhibition and Misha Flores and painting it out loud. I felt great joy while viewing her painting that depicts the connectedness of animal and tree in this living infinity. In brushed motion, a light pastel background sets the tone, and the luminous sun illuminates life. The life consists of delightful painted monkeys, tree, roots, birds, curvaceous naked women, and a variety of other living things swirling together–life. Her Buddhist beliefs feel present in another work featuring a woman with tentacle-like hair in a lotus position. The beautiful greens and blues play nicely in this piece and continue influencing a feeling of joy while being viewed. I applaud Misha for celebrating life on her painted canvas, and am thankful to experience joy while standing in front of her work.” via Fractal Logic Mural Show and Forces of Nature | cravedfw.

All Images Copyright Misha Flores Fine Art 2017