Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Open Studios October 9th through 11th

Fall Open Studios is coming to the Mission. My building, - 1890 Bryant - is among the many in the area who are preparing for our big retail show of the year. Usually, in the Fall, customers open up their wallets a little wider and do some personal or gift shopping. Myself and my fellow artists at 1890 are nervous but carrying on as we would in a normal pre-recession year. We are busy creating, adding new, revising old. Publicizing on blogs, Facebook, Twitter, e-vite - whatever, wherever we can using the least amount of $$$. We've even put together beautiful postcards with our building logo and our own personal artwork on the front (see above). Very nice!! We've coordinated our efforts, compiling mixed postcard packets and distributed throughout the city. Wow!!

Through all of this, through all of these efforts, I begin to slowly build on the worst case of anxiety and stress imaginable. It reaches a crescendo the night before opening. What to stress over??

1) I don't have enough work to show;

2) the work is not right for the current market whether in look or price;

3) how to hang my work and what is the most fabulous display I can put together at the lowest cost;

4) organizing and reorganizing my studio; cleaning, mopping and where to put all your junk; in the end, the answer is always: UNDER THE TABLES with the rest of the junk;

5) LIGHTS...never enough lighting!!!

6) FANS...need more fans with all the hot lights;

7) serve wine or bottled water; food snacks or just candy?

It goes on and on and on. In the end when it is all over, I feel like overcooked pasta and can only express profound relief that open studios only happens twice a year. Is it worth all the effort??? Of course!!!!


who: Estudio Martita
what: Open Studios
where: 1890 Bryant St. @ Mariposa San Francisco CA
when: Friday October 9th, preview nite 6 to 9pm
Saturday and Sunday, October 10-11, 2009 11am-6pm

Thursday, September 24, 2009

More mixed media work for September

Here's two more mixed media paintings I've just finished this month.
One is called: Saints Need Sinners:
The second is called: "Dulce" meaning Sweet.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Work for September 2009

It feels like it has been a long time since I posted any photos of my artwork. This month I've been working diligently to create some new mixed media pieces. I have open studios on October 9th to 11th plus possibly two shows I'll be involved with for Dia de los Muertos. Well, I completed 5 pieces and have 3 photographed so far. Couldn't wait to post so I'm showing the 3 I photographed.

Hope you enjoy them!

Written by one of my customers: Danielle Kuehnel: Etsy Awesomeness: Estudio Martita

One of my customers, Danielle Kuehnel wrote the nicest blog post about me and my work on Etsy. It is more than anyone could ever ask for. I am just blown-away by her comments.

A big thank you to Danielle. Again....WOW....I didn't expect such kind words!


Danielle bought the skellie bracelets (seen above) from me and also the santos bracelet.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Still Feeling the Heat

Been back from New Orleans for about a week and a half. I can still feel the heat. The humidity hangs on my skin like a thick blanket making it hard to move quickly. NOLA Time. I'm still on NOLA time and energy. I wish it could last.

New Orleans never disappoints me. The overwhelming humidity immediately lets you know who's boss. No rushing in this weather. It feels nearly impossible to move quickly. You know, that is really okay with me. In San Francisco, I hate the heat. In New Orleans I almost welcome it. Yes, I have visited in the summer. The blazing heat and humidity have a life of their own. It is definitely harder to take than in Spring and late summer. The mosquitos are also unforgiving!!

The overall friendliness of the locals are like a welcome breath of fresh air. The question becomes, "Let's see, who do I want to talk to today." I am rarely disappointed because most people easily talk back to me. Everyone has a story to tell. Greg who is divorced but still friends with his ex. Rico who has seen good business from the conventioneers visiting the French Market. Then there's Michael who's had a tougher time at his "junque" store on South Claiborne. Good stories, good people, good times.

As I always say when I return from there, I will oneday have my own place there where I can visit when I want. I can stay for as long as I want. I can return home to San Francisco whenever I want. I've had 20+ years of saying this and one day this will become true.

I have promised myself.

The pictures I chose to upload here are a few of my most favorite. If you want more, please check out my Flickr account:


Friday, September 18, 2009

Featured in Etsy Treasury: Asian Style

Hi All.

Been away for a week...recovering from my NOLA trip and mourning the loss of my doggie Kodi. Oh the ups and downs of this life we live. What can you do but deal with the downs, face them, deal with them and enjoy the ups. What can I say...life must go on. I miss my girl Kodi, though.


I was featured in an Etsy Treasury curated by Gallery Juana and thought I would post it here. Please view and comment if you'd like.


Happy almost Fall to you. Its HOT in San Francisco - well....80 degrees is hot for us!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

In Memory of my dog Kodi

My sweet dog Kodi passed away last night. She was 14 years old and a Black Lab / Greyhound mix. My husband and I and kids Mario and Gaby, adopted her from the San Francisco SPCA when she was 3 - at least that's what they told us. She grew a bit more after having her for a few months so it was never clear just how old she was. What we do know is that she was a sweet, gentle dog who loved her kids, loved other kids and loved her pack - her family. She grew grey with me (except I began to color mine) and my husband. Over the past year, she grew increasingly slow, suffering from arthritis and loosing some of her sight and hearing. Its not easy getting old!!! Last night, she grew very, very tired. It was her last night with us.

Kodi enriched our lives as a family and offered us her wonderful, unconditional love. We will miss her throughout the rest of our lives and will love her forever.

The Etsy Treasury I created was very whimsical because those memories I have of my dog Kodi are sweet and happy ones. This Treasury is in honor of her. Click on IN LOVING MEMORY BELOW, to view the treasury.


Hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This is why I love New Orleans

for more photos I've taken of New Orleans and New Orleanians,
please go to: estudiomartita on Flickr

I'm leaving for New Orleans tomorrow, September 2nd, with my daughter Gaby. Gaby wants to attend the University of New Orleans in Spring 2010. She is interested in pursuing a degree in their International Studies Department.

I have been visiting New Orleans since October 1988. My son Mario was only ten weeks old and my husband Gary was working a convention there. I had lots of time during the day so I wheeled Mario all around the French Quarter in his stroller. It was then that I fell in love with the ambiance and the people there. Forget about drinking a Hurricane and walking down Bourbon Street. I loved the openness, accessibility of the people. I loved their ability to tell a story and their offers of help when I was caring for my infant son. I fell in love then and this love continues today.

I try to go to New Orleans every year and hope to some day have an apartment there. The flooding and devastation of New Orleans after Katrina has not prevented me from continuing my travels to NOLA. My husband and I returned to New Orleans 9 months after Katrina to attend Jazz Fest. The debris in the fields had just been cleared away for Jazz Fest that May. We attended a music festival that was a testament to the strength and sustainability of the people of New Orleans.

I have included below an article from Heather Elizabeth, a jewelry designer who I've met in New Orleans. She wrote about her experience attending the August 30th events surrounding the 4th anniversary of "the storm" as locals call it. After reading it, I felt reaffirmed that it is truly the people, their strength and resilience that have spoken to me in all my visits to this city. New Orleanians express powerful ties to their past histories, present experiences and future lives. It is a city full of stories: some haunting, some enchanting, some playful and some terribly sad. New Orleans is the center of life played out on the surface for all to see and experience. No need to hide there. Feeling is part of living.


Here is the article from Heather Elizabeth:

Heather Elizabeth Designs New Orleans photograph jewelry & accessories

I memorialized the 4th Anniversary of "the storm" (as we call it in New Orleans) in the lower 9th ward early this morning. There was a gathering on the Claiborne Avenue neutral ground (called medians in other cities). Some people spoke and... said some prayers for the 1600 that perished. Then, we solemnly second lined up the Claiborne bridge which was the only means of escape for many out of the flooded neighborhood. It was very hot and all I could think about was how hot it must have been 4 years ago. We got to the top of the bridge and taps was played. Then, Major Kelly of the NOPD threw the memorial wreath into the Industrial Canal. You can see in one of my pictures the masses of photogs around her trying to get their photo op on the bridge. After the wreath was thrown into the canal, we second lined back down the bridge to happier music. (During second line funeral processions, once the body has been laid to rest in the cemetery, happier music is played and dancing begins. It is a very old tradition here. During funerals this is called, "cutting the body loose". That is when people dance happily b/c the soul has gone to happier place.) When we got down to the foot of the bridge the party began. It was mostly on Tennessee Street where the Make It Right homes are being built and have been built. When I left there about an hour ago, there was a full a street party happening! Mardi Gras Indians were out. DJ's were on porches and there was also another second line parade! Oh, and don't let me forget the N'Awlins seafood being boiled for lunch! That smelled sooo good!

The picture of Al and I is very special. It is the one taken in front of the yellow house. He lives in one of the Make It Right Homes which is on his property that was destroyed during Katrina. He is learning how to install solar panels right now. How cool is that? New Orleans is going green! He is a wonderful guy who was evacuated from New Orleans for over 2 years. I am so glad he got to come back home.

Also, there is a picture of Mr. Herbert Kettridge sitting on a bench. Some of you may recognize Mr. Kettridge from Anderson Cooper's hurricane coverage and also Frontline on PBS. He is 86 years young and nearly built his whole house back by himself. He said so many volunteers have to help him do the things that he can't do at 86 years of age. And, he is so grateful. He built his home in the lower 9th ward in 1952. He grew up in the 7th ward and is a master plasterer. A cherished trade in our old city. He showed me his Plaster Union trade card showing he's been in the Union for over 50 years! Being a descendant of 3 generations of carpenters, I have a real respect for Mr. Kettridge's line of work. He said he paid for his home outright in 1952 with his own money. Never asked for a loan. He said he worked days and nights to make the money to build it in 1952. What an amazing man. I could have listened to him tell stories about New Orleans for hours on end. I am going to go visit him again very soon.

Read more and view pictures on : Heather Elizabeth's Facebook page

This is the longest blog I've written so far!

If any of you are looking for a FABULOUS place to stay in New Orleans, look no further than the River House. Staying in the River House is a dream come true. Check out Csaba and David's web site. The pictures speak for themselves.