I write you with a full heart and an empty stomach from my mom's home in New Jersey. We're in the last few days of Ramadan, and I've been really enjoying the month. I wanted to take a moment in the midst of my creative madness to write you and share a bit of background on what's been inspiring me lately.
A few months ago, I took a trip to Bali, Indonesia. It was one of those places on my bucket list, so when a friend asked me to travel with her, I jumped at the thought. I started the trip wide-eyed and open for everything in store. I didn't know however, for better or for worst, that the trip would be a defining moment in our friendship. We decided to go our separate ways after the first 24 hours together.
You know how they say, you don't know someone until you live with them or travel with them? That ringed true. And there I was in the middle of Bali, alone, slightly scared, but relieved. I was going to have the trip I was meant to have and I was determined to not waste another minute. I believe there's a revival of the soul that takes place when you travel. And sometimes, the best way to really immerse yourself and truly experience it all, is by traveling alone.
Here's the thing, when I travel, I like to take the unbeaten path. Wander. Meet the locals. And be a bit more low-key than I would on home turf. Bali was the perfect place for me to find myself again. Its colorful markets, and even more colorful people made me swell with love for life again. I cried several times in the back seat of my driver's van. Just overwhelmed with the sheer beauty of this place.
And then I moved back home. And was greeted by oak trees larger than buildings, hills and mountains, sun that hugs you in the breeze, New York City skyline in the distance. Home.
But just for a few weeks. Because after that, I went to Italy for a workshop and was once again moved by the exuberance of getting lost only to find yourself again.
I'm not telling you to brag or pretend to have this glamorous life, I promise. A trip to a neighboring town can be every bit as meaningful globe-trotting (and less scary, too). But I wanted you to know what it means to me and how the recent weeks have affected my spirit.
Once I came back home, I went straight to the art store to find the pigments and materials to match the colors I saw in Bali and Italy. It looks like bright fluorescents, tropical fruit, seas of green, rich skies and sparkling seas. Here's a peek at the work I've been making thus far. Some of them are stripes of patterns and lines. Others are layered with rich passes of Sennelier oil pastels, requiring me to spray them with fixative on my mom's back porch.
It's bold. It's colorful. It's summer, and I want you to have it.
I'm planning to put these beauties out into the world some time in July. I don't know an exact date because I've been really taking my time with these. Fine tuning some corners, editing, and exploring. I don't want it to end. But when it does, they will be in my shop, and I'm thinking of including some little treasures with the purchase of each original painting. They are recycled glass beads made by a lovely family that I met in Bali. Some contain the mala prayer bead and colorful tassel, others are more minimal but beautiful in color. Which one is your favorite?