Overwhelming Beauty


Fuck. I can barely look at you.

You are so far beyond perfect, you overwhelm me.

I can only steel glimpses, then quickly look away.

You really do hurt my soul, with your perfect beauty.

It’s agony.

I can’t even put into words how you make me feel.

I want to bite you, I want to consume you, I want to freeze you in time.

I want everyone in the world to experience the eyegasm I am feeling.

But to my dismay, some look at you with indifference.

I am baffled.

How can they deny your magnificent glory?

They are lucky, in a way.

It actually hurts me to look at you.



I wrote this while trying to look a vase of pink peonies. But I could barely look at them. 





Sensitive Bliss

After I reached my destination, I but sat in my car to keep listening to the song.  And the next thing I knew, I was crying. No, it wasn’t one of Gwen Stefani’s God-awful break up songs. It wasn’t a heart break song at all. There weren’t any vocals, and I was not experiencing a flux of hormones. I felt moved by the sound of bows being pulled across strings, and my eyes flooded over.

Why does it slightly embarrass me to admit this? If someone says my writing made them cry, it is the highest compliment I can receive.  I have really touched them and they became invested in my characters.

I embrace my sensitivity as part of being fully conscious and alive. If you have never been moved to tears by music, art, or writing, then you have something to look forward to. And I am immensely grateful to the musicians that moved me so. (Do you want to know who it was this time?)


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Spotlight on – Sarah Sunderman!

If you happen to take my sage advice and visit the Santa Ana Art Walk, then you definitely should seek out the subject of this week’s spotlight; Sarah Sunderman. Sarah is the co-owner of Cameo Appearance Vintage, where the store and merchandise are reflective of the stylishly hip ownership. You won’t have to weed through junk or tolerate a musty old smell in order to find a unique vintage piece that is ready to wear, and reasonably priced. Sarah oversees the operation of the showroom, as well as buying, listing, and photographing the array of fantastic vintage clothing.

The fashionista / photographer created their website and manages all marketing and social media.  You can visit http://www.CameoAppearanceVintage.com, or just check out this preview of stylish eye candy:

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Cameo Appearance Vintage is new to downtown Santa Ana, having recently relocated from Las Vegas.  It was a smart move that allowed Sarah to open up a brick and mortar shop in addition to her online business.  Now she can enjoy interacting with her customers, as well as thriving off of the supportive and collaborative artists community that Santa Ana provides.

The official “grand opening” is on March 7th, same night as the March art walk.  There is plenty to enjoy, such as street performers, open-air vendors, food trucks, art galleries, and open doors to many art studios.  I’ll be there and will make it a point to swing by Cameo Appearance Vintage and say hello to the creative Sarah Sunderman.  Maybe I’ll even get a new old dress!


The Santa Ana Artwalk is held on the first Saturday of each month from 7-10:00 p.m., between Main and Broadway, Fourth and Fifth.  Cameo Appearance Vintage is at 207 N. Broadway, Suite H.

Monday Musing – Art Walk

Santa Ana Artwalk
Santa Ana Artwalk

I finally made it down to the Art Walk in Santa Ana, held on the first Saturday of every month from 7-10:00 p.m.  The area is between Main and Broadway, 4th and 5th.  I loved the architecture of the old buildings and the fact that so many people showed up to support the arts.  My son loved the taco truck and seeing policemen on horseback.

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This lovely lady in the last photo is Sara from “Cameo Appearance Vintage”, and will be featured in an upcoming “Spotlight”.



Spotlight – Lil’ Johnny Tharp


Remember that guy in school who was always doodling disturbing pictures in class?  All manners of skulls, monsters, and fantastically horrific art?  Yep, ‘Lil’ Johnny Tharp’ was ‘that guy’.  The Catholic nuns tried to curb his enthusiasm while his friends egged him on, meanwhile his poor mum didn’t know what to do with this imaginative boy with a love for all things creepy.

The 1980’s music scene in Long Beach and Orange County proved the perfect ground for John to hone his skills as he was called upon to create flyers for punk rock shows.  We called them “gigs” back then and social media was handing out flyers, usually with a disturbing sick graphic intended to scare away the faint-of-heart.  Around that time, John began assembling his own tattoo guns from guitar strings, small motors, and various power supplies.

John, a.k.a. “Lil’ Johnny Tharp” wielded a pin on paper with such precision, most assumed their tattoo would be nothing less than “bad ass” and the guinea pigs came lining up. Today John’s an accomplished and professional tattoo artist, and looking back he’s indebted to those foolish enough to get a tattoo from a kid in a kitchen with a homemade tattoo gun.

John Tharp has been tattooing professional for 20 years, and along with his wife and son he owns and operates “Main St. Tattoo & Body Piercing” in Merced, CA.  The most rewarding part of his career as an artist has been passing on the trade to his son and building a family business with support and assistance from his wife. “Being able to make a living through art, giving our son a set of skills that allows him to be self-sufficient, having my wife as not only my life partner but, business partner too…What more could I ask for? I feel very blessed.”
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John’s interest in the alternative music scene was not limited to just making flyers.  In addition to perfecting his artistic skills, he also has devoted time to fine-tuning his guitar and vocal talents.  Currently, Lil’ Johnny Tharp is lead vocals/lead guitar for a psycho-billy trio known as “Little Johnny & the Sleepwalkers”, playing on St. Valentine’s Eve at the Minor’s Inn-Hwy 140 Lounge, Mariposa, CA.
John continuously pushes his art skills forward with painting classes at the local college and watercolor workshops offered at various tattoo conventions. To view his art visit:
Instagram@LILJOHNNYTHARP, Instagram@MAINSTTATTOOMERCED, Facebook@ Main St. Tattoo & Body Piercing Merced, Facebook@Little Johnny & the Sleepwalkers.
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Spotlight on – Manny Sanchez

 Not just a scarf, this is art:
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“Manuelle Scarves” is a collection of unique digitally printed silk photo scarves, each series originating from photos taken in NYC, Asia, and Europe.  Each season consist of limited scarves.
Photographer / Artist  Manny Sanchez currently resides in Brooklyn, but he loves to travel.  Born in Long Island  New York to Cuban parents, Manny was raised in Los Angeles, but eventually came back to New York.  Travel and photography had been life long passions, but inspired by the fashion of New York City he began to work with fabrics as an art medium. Soon he began transferring his pictures onto silks -thus the idea for Manuelle Scarves.

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I recently caught up with Manuelle and discovered that The American Museum of Natural History in NYC asked him to develop a limited edition of silk scarves inspired by their Hall Of North America Diorama’s and their hall of Planet Earth, quite an honor!

I asked what he was up to now and Manny answered, “My last collection of scarves and summer wraps consisted of a series of photographs I captured in Havana, Cuba.  I’m currently working on my spring/summer collection, the theme is “From the Desert to the Sea.” I grew up in Southern California and being away for several years has made me long for the beauty this state has to offer. The series will consist of images from Sequoia National Park,  California Beaches, and Palm Springs.  I also continue to produce exclusive digitally printed scarves for the AMNH. I recently designed a Scarf for their Nature’s Fury Exhibit currently running in NYC until Aug of 2015.”

To see other examples of Manuelle Scarves or to make a purshace, visit:

Website:   www.manuellescarves.com  instagram:  manuellescarvesunnamed (3)



Spotlight on – Andrea Patrie

It’s not just eye candy for artist Andrea Patrie.  She doesn’t create pretty paintings to decorate your wall and coordinate your furnishing.  Andrea goes for the emotional jugular.  Check out this artist in action:


Ah, the intensity, the focus, the passion!  Wonder what she is listening to in that photo?  “Nasty-crude hip hop, my dirty little secret.”  Music as well as cleaning her brushes and pallet are part of the ritual that puts Andrea in the right mindset; where the outside world falls away and it is just her and the canvas.

The outside world includes kids, school, and recently a job as a waitress.  Andrea used to be a special-ed teacher, but was laid off in 2013.  The sensible thing would have been to find another teaching job.  The world is chock-full of sensible folks, then there are people like Andrea who want their eulogy to read “Went for it.”

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When a human being feels a drive to create that is too intense to ignore, less passionate people shake their heads in wonderment.  Those who understand know you can’t put a cap on that volcano.  Sometimes creativity finds a little vent to flow out from, but I believe Andrea was on the verge of an eruption.  That pink slip may have been the greatest gift she ever received.  In her own words:

To embrace the unfamiliar and go to that place where work flows and thoughts are non-existent is what drives me to create.  For me, this is a place where there is no judgement, where the mind is not in charge, where my intuition takes over and the body overrides the mind.  I feel my subject matter and the way in which I manipulate my preferred medium, luscious paint, has a definitive style and is charged with a kind of “hysterical” energy bringing cohesiveness to chaos. My work is very much about the physical process that encompasses making something tangible.  Regardless of the medium or the size of the piece, my work is centered in the body.  It is psychologically charged, introspective, and in the end insightful, as I typically come away from each piece with a little more clarity about the subject I was drawn to.


Andrea currently attends CSUF where she is working on an MFA in fine art, but not for another degree that might lead to job marketability.  Andrea is feeding the fire.  A recent addition to her skill set resulted from a class in Plein Air, (painting outdoors in the air). There is a fresh element to her repertoire as she captures beautiful California landscapes with her unique Andrea-perspective.


Recently Andrea told me about a quote, the gist was evolving to a place as an artist where words are no longer necessary, where we communicate through art.  I’d like to visit her Utopia, but I can’t stay indefinitely.  I am a word-junky, I’d have to run out and tell everyone “You should see this amazing stuff Andrea is doing!”  Like I just did.

To see more of Andrea’s work, visit AndreaPatrie.com