Saturday, December 31, 2011

I'm HEALTHY and a new life unfolds...


Just wanted to send a New Year greeting and a thank-you for all your support, prayers and good wishes. I am healthy and in remission for almost a year now. UNBELIEVABLE! I found the strength through all of you to endure the discomfort of my chemo, various tests which poke and prod, an over flow of oral meds  plus the pulling around of that IRRITATING IV pole.

I've been really, really busy since my discharge from the hospital just before Labor Day. I was immediately back in my studio and managed to paint 4 large paintings by September Fall Open Studios. I had missed painting so much. October meant Dia de los Muertos activities and that was a whirlwind of activity through early November. I then left for New Orleans with Gary on November 5th for a 10 day visit. It was wonderful. When I returned, there was one holiday market (I cut back this year on the number) and some online sales. Before Christmas arrived, I decided to take some time off from the studio, spend time with Gaby and decorate the house, tree and wrap presents. It was the first time I took time off for the holidays in years and it felt good. It felt great to share time with Gaby, my girl and enjoy the holidays with her and Gary.

Where that left me was some time to reflect on my illness and allowed me to look back at this year. How did I feel:  frightened! I survived this Leukemia diagnosis with strength I didn't realize I had. I saw people dying on the Oncology Floor. I saw people who were not resilient, who were wasting away with cancer. It was frightening. I looked, felt sad but kept on going. Today, I deal with the fear every day. Thoughts come in like: how long do I have, when, will it return, how will my kids do without me? I think having these thoughts are pretty natural. How I deal with them is that I've created an imaginary pair of windshield wipers. When these thoughts arrive, I pretend to bring out the windshield wipers, clean out my brain, and wash the thoughts away. Like a dirty window you can't see through, my brain needs a good cleaning so I can think clearly. I have to remind myself I have no control over my future but I can make my present as enjoyable as possible.

So, speaking of the present, one of the most amazing things I've observed, being back and living in the present, is that experiencing a healing, rebirth, renewal, etc.does not mean that all your relationships will also be evolved. I have found myself struggling with the desire to change these relationships. I want these individuals to suddenly become introspective, more sensitive, more empathetic. Right. It will never happen. My only solution is to let go of my desire to change them. 

In my search for ways to alter my expectations, I came across a post from Tiny Buddha which I subscribe to. The title is, "40 Ways to Let Go and Feel Less Pain." Too good to be true? Maybe. Personally, I found this helpful. The article starts with: " Eckhart Tolle believes we create and maintain problems because they give us a sense of identity." I can relate to this. There is also a quote from Ajahn Chah’s which I find very helpful:

"If you let go a little,  you will have a little peace. If you let go a lot, you will have a lot of peace."

This is my latest challenge. I wanted to share the link with you just to show you that I hope to always be able to look at my life and living as something precious, that always needs work, needs revision, needs change. When my life nears its end, I hope I can then say I gave it my best shot. I looked within, adapted, revised to make my world and others more at peace and therefore made my present more peaceful.

all my love and wishes for a peaceful new year,


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays

Feliz Navidad, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays to all. Wishing you a very special time with loved ones. Also, many wishes of good health sent your way from one who is now healthy and very happy to say so!
Thanks, thanks and thanks again for your support!

~ Martha 

p.s. a thank-you to Mike Hepburn in Melbourne Australia who's fabulous graphic I "borrowed" to use in my holiday greetings - http://biggerbadrobot.wordpress.com/category/mike-hepburn/

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Sugar Skull & pop-up Tienda event "plugged" on KQED Radio San Francisco

Wonderful "plug" from Rene Yanez of SOMArts in San Francisco about our event tonight at Studio 24 / Galeria de la Raza. We are celebrating Dia de los Muertos, and honoring the Procession which will wind its way through the streets of the Mission. Rene was on the San Francisco PBS affiliate KQED Radio with Michael Krasny and his show FORUM. He mentioned our Sugar Skull Workshop and Pop-Up Tienda as one of the stops to be made along the procession route for Dia de los Muertos. Renee also providedi info.about the roots of Dia de los Muertos and how it has been celebrated in San Francisco.

Here's the link: http://www.kqed.org/a/forum/R201111021000

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dia de los Muertos Procession, Sugar Skull Decorating, Pop-up Tienda and Altar Building in San Francisco

Decorated Sugar Skulls, The Sugar Skull Gallery @ Studio 24 / Galeria de la Raza

The annual Dia de los Muertos procession through the streets of the Mission in San Francisco will take place on Wednesday November 2nd, starting at 7pm. Walkers in the procession will meet at the corner of 22nd and Bryant which is the starting point of the procession.If you'd like you can bring a photo of a loved one who has passed on and a candle to light to symbolize a lighting of their path while interacting with the living.

Wood calavera box by Estudio Martita - available at Studio 24
smiling calaca earrings with silver bow by Estudio Martita @ Studio 24 / Galeria de la Raza

For those of you that would like to stop by before the procession or take a break during, there will be sugar skull decorating, altar building (you can place your photo copy of loved ones here) and a Pop-up Tienda stocked with Dia de los Muertos gifts, at Studio 24 / Galeria de la Raza at 24th and Bryant from 5:00 on. Myself and Michele Simons will be hosting this event. Would love to see you there!

Sugar Skulls /  Pop-Up Tienda:  Studio 24 / Galeria de la Raza - 2857 24th St. @ Bryant -  from 5pm on...
Dia de los Muertos Procession: starts at 22nd & Bryant, 7pm

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Having a Dia de los Muertos event!!

Join Michele Simons and Martha Rodriguez (that's me) for sugar skull decorating* and cool Day of the Dead jewelry and gifts. In addition, we would love your help in building a community altar by adding your photo copies of familia, friends that have passed. There will also be free art supplies on hand to make custom frames, or nichos, and free supplies for making papel picado and crepe paper flowers to add on to the "bones" of a large altar we have created in Studio 24. Any photo copies 5x7 or smaller will be great and have the Little ones (that means of the child nature) bring photos of pets they would like to add to the altar if no family members or friends have passed on.

*$10.00 for adults, $5.00 for children

Sunday, October 23 · 11:00am - 5:00pm

Location Studio 24 /Galería De la Raza  2857 24th St. @ Bryant San Francisco,CA

Sunday Streets means that some streets in the Mission will be closed off to traffic. That means lots of bikers and walkers on the streets and lots of fun. Bryant Street will be open to traffic so if you're driving, park around Bryant and walk to the corner of  Bryant and 24th. We are on the South / West corner of 24th - just in case you know your directions!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Work on display at Studio 24, Galeria de la Raza, San Francisco

along with Sugar Skull Factory workshops...
see details below...

 Martha Rodriguez
mixed media and urban folk artist, san francisco

Catrina and The Moon
   24 x 30
   Mixed media on canvas
Big Cabezas
    16 x 20
    Mixed media on canvas: image transfer from photo taken by M. Rodriguez at the
    Mission Cultural Ctr., Dia de los Muertos, 2009
Hip-sta Vera Series - woman
    18 x 24
   Acrylic on canvas – series based on HIPSTER style as seen in San Francisco’s
   Mission & reinterpreted as Dia de los Muertos Calaveras

Hip-sta Vera Series - cap
   18 x 24
   Acrylic on canvas – series based on HIPSTER style as seen in San Francisco’s
   Mission & reinterpreted as Dia de los Muertos Calaveras

Young Morrissey
   18 X 24
   Acrylic on canvas –
   The Independent has stated about Morrissey, "most pop stars have to be dead before  
   they reach the iconic status he has reached in his lifetime.” Here you see singer,  
   Morrissey, just so in his calavera persona.