Sunday, December 29, 2013

Borderline Vieja-hood. A manifesto for those on the borderline of Vieja-ism, senior-hood and beyond.

I have begun a new artistic venture along with continuing my artwork. I have decided to make attempts at writing my own form of poetry. What do I know about writing poetry? Absolutely nothing! Again, starting from nothing, I continue my journey of artistic ventures. Where there is little chance of wealth in these ventures, I can say there is overwhelming  personal wealth I have achieved in my artistic journey.
Here is one of my recent poems. It is called:

"Borderline Vieja-hood. A manifesto for those on the borderline of Vieja-ism."

I am a borderline Vieja / old lady.
Should fear rattle my bones
as cavernous lines mark my face
and body parts continue their rapid, punishing, descent?

In my youth these fears seemed real.
Now at the gateway to my sixth decade,  they are unfounded, unrealistic, untrue.

Yes, my age bracket continues to rise. The body parts continue to drop. Time has passed.   
I am not the “visual candy” I was in my youth.

Am I despondent, depressed?
Should I fade to the background with opinions no longer valid?
In truth, Vieja-hood is not a negative. It is life, a fascinating reality.
I am comfortable in my skin. I am vital, yes even attractive in a vieja sort of way.
There is no desire to relive my past, to become youthful again.
Clarity, at this stage of living, reigns.

Conversations keep me connected.
Stay curious, inquisitive.
There is a world of cultures, lifestyles to learn from and
not enough lifetime to absorb.

Being a borderline vieja has other perks.
I have experience in life, lived the good and bad, made mistakes and experienced comebacks.
I know about love and hate, happiness and deep, deep sadness.

While, I may not be as technically advanced as those who have lived less,
I do however know about feelings,interpreting behavior, language.
I can speak without a need to camouflage feelings with clever, ironic prose.
No need to hide while living in borderline viejahood!

Imagine that. Be myself. No shame. Less doubts, less insecurity.

The siren call of the viejas is near.
“Join us. There is nothing to fear.We are creating our destiny. We are united.”
Viejas united in our destiny. Living life, facing truths!

This is my vieja manifesto for now and the near future.

So that's it. There is supposed to be humor here and a way of looking at ageing as something to be talked about, laughed about and shared.

Would love to hear from you on this.

edited for the last time on 1/3/14 - I hope to submit this poem to Syracuse Women's Datebook for their 2015 edition. We shall see what happens.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Martha Rodriguez / Estudio Martita - Fall Open Studios at 1890 Bryant - 60 artists, 1 building

"Flying my Bike" 24" x 30" acrylic on canvas

Martha Rodriguez / Estudio Martita

Fall Open Studios at 1890 Bryant - 60 artists, 1 building

 My new artwork includes the Bountiful Series - large sized women in fun, bright colors, portraits of Frida Kahlo and Dia de los Muertos inspired work plus some other surprises. As always, there will be newly designed jewelry and urban folk art

Come enjoy the kaleidoscope of colors at Estudio Martita, Studio 318.

Details below:

Please note that the preview is Thursday night instead of Friday.

1890 Bryant (btwn 17th and Mariposa), Studio 318
ThursdayOctober 24 6-9PM
Saturday, October 26 11-6PM
Sunday, October 27 11-6PM

1890 Bryant building map:

Hope you can stop by!

Copyright © 2013 ESTUDIOMARTITA, All rights reserved. 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Face to the Sun - Remission in the Mission - Dia de los Muertos 2013 at SOMArts

Martha Rodriguez

Face to the Sun -
Remission in the Mission

An Installation

Imagining Time, Gathering Memory:
Día de los Muertos 2013

2013 Opening Celebration
Friday, October 11, 6pm–9pm
$7–$10 sliding scale admission

October 11 - November 9
SOMArts Cultural Center
934 Brannan Street, San Francisco

Join me for the Day of the Dead 2013 exhibition at SOMArts Cultural Center. It offers a visually dense and
stimulating environment of elaborate, traditional altars and multi-dimensional art installations. Inspired by
current events, cherished relationships, and Day of the Dead celebratory rituals, Bay Area artists utilize
multifaceted, contemporary creative practices in Imagining Time, Gathering Memory. 
click here for details »

Monday, September 2, 2013

Valley of the Heart by Luis Valdez and an update on artsy activities of Estudio Martita

Have been busy in my studio with creating new folk art for a store here in San Francisco called Luz de Luna .

I have also been working on a novio / groom shadow box commissioned by a friend. Here's a look:

August was my birthday month so I've also taken some time of to enjoy life and living. Went to San Juan Bautista and saw a new Luis Valdez play with hubby and here is the promo / mini review I wrote for it:

~ Valley of the Heart and San Juan Bautista - two experiences that should be on your to do list! 

Went to the opening of Luis Valdez' new play, Valley of the Heart. It is a look back at the unexpected fusion of two cultures: Mexican and Japanese. The time is the 1940's. The location is the agricultural oasis of San Jose. The story centers on the existence of Japanese owned family farms, with Mexican farmworkers who tilled the land and the interaction taking place between the two cultures. If you want to see a dramatic window into the experience of the Japanese American internment during World War II and the Mexican Americans who assisted them during their imprisonment, this is the play for you.

In addition, going to San Juan Bautista, a beautiful California Mission Town, south of Gilroy, is like stepping into the old west. The architecture plus the beauty of the Mission itself, is spellbinding. Viewing a bit of the California old west and the days of the Spanish Missions is not to be missed.

Valley of the Heart runs until September 22nd.


Fall is around the corner. Fall for me means Dia de los Muertos plus Open Studios then holiday art shows. WHEW!!! Its always a crazy / busy time but also very exciting. I'll be posting more often and updating on all my activities.

all the best,

Friday, July 5, 2013

Somos Frida Kahlo Community Day at Fiestas Fridas

This Sunday, come celebrate with us at "Somos Frida Kahlo Community Day" at Fiestas Frida.  This is the third and last installment of the celebration of Frida's birthday taking place in San Francisco.The celebration takes place on Sunday, July 7th at the Women's Building: 3543 18th St. between Guerrero and Valencia St. It opens at 2pm and will close at 9pm.

I will be selling my urban, Frida inspired, folk art on the second floor of the Women's Building in the Audre Lord room.I created a new painting for this event titled, "Bound by Love" which will be on display in the Audre Lord room as well. 
Bound by Love - mixed media on canvas - 24" x 30"
Bound by Love symbolizes the intense bond that Frida had to Diego during their lives together and her inability to break with this volatile relationship of pain. It also symbolizes the physical pain Frida endured during her life of forty-seven years. The physical pain stemmed predominantly from a tragic bus accident that left her body severely damaged. She was forced to wear an assortment of corsets and other prosthetics to better endure the pain and get through each day. Thus, Bound by Love uses the corset as a symbol to represent Fridas desire to endure a life of bondage, being held together, even if it meant having to face daily emotional and physical pain.
Hope you can stop by to view Bound by Love and take a look at some of the folk art I've put together.

Here's the details again:

what: Fiestas Fridas Community Day
where: The Women's Building
address: 3543 18th St. San Francisco, CA 94110 
when: Sunday July 7th from 2 to 9pm in the Audre Lord room

In the auditorium there will be music - world and salsa, dance and music performances, face painting, a costume contest, craft making plus raffle give-aways! Fun for all!

Come on by!

Estudio Martita

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Latest artsy activities from Estudio Martita / Martha Rodriguez

There has been a flurry of activity in Estudio Martita for the past month. As usual, artful activites seem to always happen around the same time.

My first event is happening this Tuesday at Puerto Alegre Restaurant on Valencia Street in San Francisco. The show is titled: Pasion de Frida. It is a celebration of Frida Kahlo's birthday on July 6th. There will be fabulous artwork exhibited, music, food, prizes and a Frida look alike contest!

I will have two paintings exhibited:
Frida in Fuschia - mixed media
La Rosa Frida - mixed media

In addition, I will be selliing some of my Frida inspired folk art at the opening on Tuesday: upcycled Frida purses, jewelry, home accessories and small works of art.  Come on by!

what: Pasión de Frida
where: Puerto Alegre Restaurant
address: 546 Valencia St. San Francisco (between 16th and 17th)
when: Opening Tuesday July 2nd, 3 to 5pm; runs until August 27th



another Frida Kahlo birthday celebration...

what: Fiestas Fridas Community Celebration
where: The Women's Building
address: 3543 18th St. San Francisco, CA 94110 
when: Sunday July 7th from 2 to 9pm in the Audre Lord room

I have one piece of artwork that I created for this event:
Bound by Love - mixed media on canvas - 24" x 30"
I'll also be selling my Frida inspired folk art in the Audre Lord room also. In the auditorium there will be music - world and salsa, music and dance performances face painting, craft making plus raffle give-aways! Fun for all!

Would love to see you at both events but would be so happy to see you at one.

Wishing you good health and sending big hugs!

Estudio Martita

Thursday, June 6, 2013

The Bountiful Series

Angel  part of Bountiful Series - 12" X 12" - acrylic on canvas

In the first six months of 2013, I created a painting series called Bountiful. It is a series with images of large sized women enjoying life. My initial purpose in creating Bountiful was to portray large women as unabashedly proud, confident and unintimidated by their large sizes. I wanted to show them as capable of showing off their form to the masses without having to hide their perceived body image as shameful or defective. Bountiful is therefore a series of whimsical figures shown against a backdrop of of bright colors. Rather than offering the image of large woman as subdued, Bountiful blasts her image in your face with large buttocks, breasts, thighs shown as signs of beauty and adoration.

I also have a second reason for creating Bountiful. I am at a time in my life where the concerns of everyday life that previously held me back and prevented me from enjoying each day are less important. After surviving a diagnosis of Leukemia in 2010, I’m faced with living each day to the fullest. It’s a wonderful time. Bountiful has helped me face the demons that yes, I am imperfect whether in body type, age or personality. Bountiful’s answer to these perceived demons is, “So what? Join the masses in your imperfections. You are not alone.”

So, there you have it. The Bountiful Series. It is my answer to accepting who you are. It is my way of discarding the woes of imperfection and shaking off the pressures of achieving perfection in this imperfect world we live in.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

New artwork in Bountiful and Frida series

After an almost 8 week series of colds and flu-like symptoms, I'm back in studio and painting again. YAHOO! I decided to work on a new Frida painting for inclusion in Pasion de Frida, all all Frida exhibit happening next month at Puerto Allegre Restaurant here in San Francisco.

I may have not been feeling well but while I was at home, there were lots of ideas running through me. One of them was to create more Bountiful paintings. I so love painting this series. I feel like its a celebration of large women. Big butts, boobs, legs - an in your face, here I am celebration. The women are women of color, active and painted in a kaleidoscope of colors. Beautiful, active, proud women showing their largeness   without shame. Anyway, as you can tell, I've had such a good time creating each woman!

Here's an example of my latest Bountiful series and below that a new Frida painting.
"Enough to Build Shelf On"

Frida and Quetzal

Frida and Quetzal

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Pasion de Frida - July 2013 - Puerto Alegre, San Francisco

July 2013 PASION DE FRIDA art exhibit at Puerto Alegre. 

Here's a first reminder that I'll have some work exhibited along with 40+ other artists at Puerto Allegre Restaurant in the heart of the Mission, San Francisco. We are honoring Frida Kahlo's birthday with an exhibit of works of art of the incomparable Frida. 

Here is a wonderful quote from  Bird Levy, the fabulous wahine / diosa who is curating the show! 
"We have an upcoming Frida show at Puerto Alegre. For those of you who do not live here in San Francisco, Puerto Alegre is located in the heart of our historic Mission District, our Latin community. At the moment Valencia Street where Puerto Alegre is located is the hippest, happeningest street in SF. While still retaining the flavor of the Latin community, Valencia Street and 24th Street which intersect offers so many different venues for art, music, fashion by local artists and spoken word, blending together many cultures. 
It’s a very exciting time right now."

July 2013 Pasion de Frida art showing at Puerto Alegre. 
Here's a first reminder (I'll have some artwork showing) and a quote from @[528083806:2048:Bird Levy], the fabulous wahine / diosa who is curating the show! 

"We have an upcoming Frida show at Puerto Alegre.  For those of you who do not live here in San Francisco, Puerto Alegre is located in the heart of our historic Mission District, our  Latin community.   At the moment Valencia Street where Puerto Alegre is located is the hippest, happeningest street in SF.    While still retaining the flavor of the Latin community, Valencia Street and 24th Street which intersect offers so many different venues for art, music, fashion by local artists and spoken word,  blending together many cultures.  It’s a very exciting time right now.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Spring is blooming and Spring Open Studios is OVER!

WHEW... I did it. We did it. We painted, assembled, hammered molded, printed, pasted, organized, rushed and talked, talked, talked. It is over for this year. Spring Open Studios 2013 is finished and on to Fall Open Studios in October.

I'm taking a few days off but wanted to share some photos with you from the before and after of our bi-annual 1890 Bryant group shot from Spring Open Studios.

Here's a few shots and a link to view more:
me in my studio
Peggy Gyulai, very shy

DK Haas

and the link: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10200894831195063.1073741832.1293498494&type=1

Happy, happy Spring!!!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Morrissey calavera appearing at Mission Open Studios

Morrissey , acrylic on canvas, 24 x 30
My "Morrissey" calavera will be on display tonight and through the weekend at 1890 Bryant, Studio 318
 tonight 6 to 9pm, Saturday and Sunday noon to 6pm. 

for more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/536404086390284/

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The zen of Open Studios in the MIssion

I tell people I strive to be ZEN in my approach to living as a cancer survivor. I'd like to say that applies to a aspects of my life but in all honesty, that wouldn't be true. Take for example, preparing for Open Studios. Well, first of all, I developed a horrific cold last week. Since I'm still taking Chemo meds which lower your immune system, colds can be detrimental. Pneumonia is a common result of ordinary colds. So, I called my doctor and had them prescribe antibiotics just in case what I had was not viral. Okay, set.

Now to recover. I've been out of the studio for 6 days. In my previous life, this would have sent me for a double dosage of anti-anxiety meds. No time to loose it and besides it's worse for my health. Today, Tuesday, I am finally going into the studio to do what I can with the little time left to prepare for Friday. My paintings are finished. I have some folk art and jewelry to finish. I will try to finish what I can today. What more can I do? I have no control to change days lost, improve my recovery time or create more work by working through the nights, getting more tired, stressed out, blah, blah, blah.

Hmmmm, now that I write about this, I guess there's a little bit of Zen in my life.  Here's a ZEN definition: Zen is the peace that comes from being one with an entity other than yourself. When I read this I think that my cold, my nervousness about preparations, quantity and yes quality of work really are not all that important in the big world picture. I'll get through this and I am not alone. If I'm not well enough by Open Studios, I'll make preparations. Life will go on and these preparations are not worth creating drama. My life is not even a speck in the universe and I'm okay with that!

Now, need to get out of here and on to studio!


But before I depart, another reminder....
Rojo - acrylic on canvas, 24 X 30 - new in Bountiful series
Its time again for Spring Open Studios in the Mission. I have new paintings, folk art and jewelry to share with you! Please join me this weekend as hundreds of artists in the Mission open their studios to share their amazing work! Details below.
Spring Open Studio's at 1890 Bryant (btwn 17th and Mariposa) - Studio #318, 3rd Floor, on way to restrooms - so convenient! 
Opening Event - Friday Apr 19 - 6pm-9pm
Sat & Sun - Apr 20-21 - noon-6pm


Friday, April 12, 2013

Spring Open Studios in the Mission

Hi All.

I'll be opening up my studio, at 1890 Bryant for Springtime viewing. I'll have some new paintings 

(see above), plus new folk art and jewelry all available for your enjoyment and purchase.


what: Spring Open Studios

where: 1890 Bryant St. at Mariposa, San Francisco, I'm in Studio 318, 3rd floor

when: opening preview, Friday April 19th, 6 to 9pm ~ Saturday and Sunday, April 20th and 21st, 12 to 6pm

map of 1890:     http://goo.gl/maps/Dph0v

Would love to see you there!
Martha / Estudio Martita          

Friday, March 8, 2013

My Life as a Deer - An exploration into the sublime existence in nature

Dana Bloede, a fabulous artist out of the Chicago area, is curating an indie exhibition in her own "suburban kitchen!" She has posted a wonderful blog post with a highlight of my work. Here's a sample of it with a link to the entire post: http://www.danabloede.com/index.php/blog/

Take a read...


Sunday, February 17, 2013

A Step Back to Move Forward

WELL....I've been absent from my blog for 2 1/2 months. Whew....where did the time go and what was I doing??

First, let's just get this part out of the way. I had my two year Leukemia diagnosis anniversary on November 30th, 2012. Instead of feeling celebratory, I felt sad and ever so slightly hopeless. For the life of me, I couldn't figure where this despair came from and why it appeared. Up until that point, I had been very clear that the Leukemia battle I had fought made me stronger and I was happy to be with the living. Then my two year diagnosis anniversary arrived and I felt despondent. What was going on?

Looking back now, I can see that my altar for Dia de los Muertos, "Healing Embrace" at SOMArts was a brush with my reality. I was forced to look back at my Leukemia diagnosis and  8 months of treatment and in a sense relive the fear, pain and confinement. The "warrior" in me was tired of being strong and well , I needed to face the fear. Questions of how long do I have before my next cancer scare, will I succumb to cancer, how long do I have to live,  plus worrying about any signs of fatigue were all present. I was a mess and didn't feel like putting these feelings into words.

I can't really say what helped exactly in extracting myself from the sadness. I know that my annual "gurlz weekend" up in Sonoma with my fabulous friends Danna and Chris helped. We managed to talk through whatever needed talking through PLUS watched all the episodes of Downton Abey, Series One! Very therapeutic. Also, this February, I learned that my friend Csaba in New Orleans had had a stroke. He is only 49. My self-absorbed "oh woe is me" time turned to helping Csaba with words of encouragement. It was also major incentive to pull myself out of the dregs of sadness.

So, I'm back. I can't guarantee there won't be another time of sadness but I'm happy to have weathered this round.

What have I been doing? Well, I may have been sad but I was still  painting and making stuff in my studio.

I've worked on a couple of Dia de los Muertos paintings and some new Frida paintings. Take a look!

Las Manos de Frida

La Rosa Frida

La Fashionista

If you'd like to view more of my art, please go to Art by Latina Artists / ABLA:

Well, it feels good to be writing in my blog again.  My friend Lara Medina from L.A.  is coming with her daughter Marisol.  Marisol is now a college Freshman at UCSC. Time passes! Anyway, I have to get a few things together. Yesterday my Mom and sister were visiting along with son Mario and Adela with Leo (eight years) and  20 month old Isabelle and of course my girl Gaby who helped Gary (husband) with the cooking. With just a little bit of cleanup and organizing, I was able to  relax and enjoy the conversation.

Very good times!!