This morning I was searching frantically through old CDs of my artwork for a high resolution image for a customer, and I stumbled upon this piece I painted of my friend Autumn and her two Chihuahuas when we lived in Venice, CA. It took me almost heart-wrenchingly back to the bright sun and friendships with "the girls" (Marisa, Melissa and Outi ) we were starting our careers in this paradisical land of art, sea and sun. It was a golden time. I love that there is a whole day -- Thursday - dedicated to reveling in nostalgia. So I thought I would share this piece and some of the photos from the "shoot" we did in Venice that afternoon. It's funny to see this painting now because it was from back when I used to use reference photos rather than my imagination for my work -- but you can still see here where I gave her a "tattoo" of my signature red bird and transformed all the paintings in the background into cartoons of my own work. I love painting from my imagination now, but it was also really fun to paint from photos. I may have to try this again sometime!