Be whatever you want to be.
There is a fairytale left in us all.
Don't ever get so hung up on plans and goals that you forget to leave room for the unimaginable.
Turning myself inside out sharing the creatures than have wandered across my heart and mind is not easy.
When we see people facing their fears, triumphing over adversity and succeed, we feel lifted. It inspires us to think: “If they can do it, why can’t I?”
A painting kept in the studio is safe
But that is not where they belong.
You can stay comfortable,
Or you can risk everything
This is a preview for my summer 2022 show Pink Lions Paper Crowns.
I can’t wait to share these stories.
Today I posted a reel to my instagram. This is a reel of my weekend. I reposted as a regular post for caption and no text in the video.
Here's what I have to say on this "weekend" recap: Dhirubhai Ambani said, “If you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs.”
This “weekend” I painted a new piece, finished the first layer on one I started last week, sketched/blocked in a really big new 40x30” composition, started and totally messed up a new mini, varnished and wired the backings on finished work, picked up and even delivered a big custom print order.
And I I still felt like I didn’t “do” much.
Because outside of this, I didn’t.
I guard my time in the studio fiercely to do what I do and share it with all of you hoping maybe it might inspire someone else to pursue their art.
Just know, it isn’t easy and it comes at a cost I choose to pay.
(Despite a lot of therapy, It also comes with a heavy load of self-criticism)
You make time for the things that are important to you. There is no easy balance to working a full time job as a nurse practitioner while being a painter, a dog mom, a distance runner, a good sister, friend and daughter.
Seeing my work resonate with so many is what keeps my heart pumping.
To build those dreams, You're going to have to make sacrifices.
Are your dreams worth it?
“Cecelia and the Satellite.”
Tiny oil painting on panel 5x5”.
In the original caption for this piece, I talk about the artist who does my tattoos. You learn a lot about how to deal with pain for extended periods of time, but you also learn a lot about trust. I don’t think a single client of Jeff Cornell (@horijefe) would tell you they left without hearing him sing or hum along to whatever was jamming in the shop or his heart. He was never short on encouraging me to pursue art
I was shattered to see his diagnosis of advanced colon cancer. If you want an idea of just how treasured this man is, his gofundme has raised almost $50k out of his 85k goal in just 6 days.
Please take a moment for him and his sweet family if you can.
Stephen King says “all novels are really letters aimed at one person.” I don’t view my work much differently.
Similarly, the artist who does my tattoos, @horijefe once told me something I’ll never forget. Mind you, he’s not only the grand daddy of the Seattle tattoo scene, but he’s a brilliant musician.
✨“Doesn’t matter what type of music it is, I think every song is a love song.”
And initially I was a little distracted by the fact he was drilling my elbow (OW!) but the more I thought about it? I couldn’t agree more.
I had a 3 piece series of bears that were letters to someone and part of gluing back together a broken heart.
The last of the bear letters was called “Even Every Sunday” :
I know we didn’t talk after I left.
But maybe the best part about not seeing you anymore
is I can still write you these letters. Even if all we had left were Sundays, I’d still write. Because maybe these aren’t even letters anymore than they are the story
of how I found myself.
I don’t think I need to send this one, after all.”
🪐✨… and here I am again.
Trying to tell you.
There is a girl who still writes to you.
She doesn’t know how not to.
Don’t be fooled, these are not paintings
These are love songs.
The title of this piece is from a song by Andrew Mcmahon and the Wilderness
Korra, a special commission. Oil on panel 20x16”. And a bonus mini 5x7”!
No matter how crummy you feel, that little dog is gonna love you.
There is nothing that can replace the hole left behind in our hearts when the people we love are no longer here with us. For some, the hole is wider and darker during birthdays, holidays, graduations.
But, for those who choose to share their lives with dogs, you understand the hole can be a little less dark with one by your side.
When I was asked if I had time to paint a commission as a special birthday gift for a girl who is no longer fond of birthdays, I really didn’t. But it wasn’t a commission I would turn down in a million years.
To be able to play a small role in making this gift that was so heart felt is everything.
As you know by now,
While it may be a wait list sometimes,
Dog commissions are always open here.
Sometimes I am provided a selection of references that I honestly just can’t pick which one I want to paint. So I don’t.
I paint a couple and send a bonus! 😂
All I Need I. Oil on canvas. 20x16". Original sold before it was even for sale, limited edition prints available!
Share what you love
And the people who love the same thing will find you.
“But really, all we want, and I speak for the entire human race here, is contact. Someone to let us know that we aren’t alone. That the world isn’t a dream and you and I really are happening at the same time, even if it’s not in the same place. That this is real. You’re really there. I’m really here. We’re real. This is real.” ― pleasefindthis, I Wrote This For You
I’m just going to keep asking you to do your part and keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable.
One day we will all get to wake up from this one.
Hope begins in the dark.
My mom sent me a photo from one of my childhood sketchbooks, age 9 or 10 and the pages- studies, really, of a fennec fox.
I had to follow the thread as soon as I saw it.
In this piece I knew 3 things from these unlikely companions:
I wanted a lightness,
I wanted what I have never been able to hold.
If I can paint them, I can see them and I can know them, in a sense. And no, they might not be mine forever
but for a moment
I forget about everything that ever took them away from me.
I never know where my work is going to end up
but I know if I don’t share it,
it’s going nowhere. I quickly shied off sharing this piece as it grabbed me in such a way I’ve never experienced with my own work. Now that I know it’s going somewhere it will be treasured just as much, the weight of the world has lifted.
I don’t have the vocabulary to properly convey just how special this piece was to me, but when I put down the final mark I took a step back from the easel and felt so strongly that someone needed to witness this with me. I called my mom to show her, and for a moment, I got to hold the feeling that I’ve chased my entire life. It feels like when you’ve been holding your breath for 32 years then finally exhale and let it all go. Breathe, paint, breathe, keep painting. I’m lucky to do what I do and every mark that hits a canvas is a little victory in keeping joy in my life. It’s the only tool I’ve got for organization in a world too chaotic to hold still.❤️
Since the original sold i keep finding myself looking for it on the wall. I finally ordered myself a canvas wrap print for the studio and it came out perfect. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have these two back in the studio 🥺
The Royal 👑Collection on the easel in the background
Don’t ever apologize for the fire in you.
The denial of your actual feelings doesn’t create better ones.
Never say sorry being real. Never apologize for how you chose to survive.
You’re like a little wild thing
that was never sent to school.
This new Royal character, he’s a little moody.
He’s a little bit untamed. Shine your savage crown sometimes.
I think all of us has a little bit of the Royal 👑 in them.
Some are just a little better medicated, that’s all… 😆
Really loving this new character.
Ruth. Oil on canvas 30x40”. Congratulations to @colegallery , original is SOLD❗️
Limited Edition prints, signed with COA available directly from alizaandhermonsters.com
I’m often asked where the name “Ruth” came from.
✨Here’s the original caption explaining the title:
People who say they don’t need anybody went through a lot of things alone.
A lot of things broke my heart
but fixed my vision.
I read somewhere that a piece of art that speaks to you can open windows in a room you hadn’t even known was dark. I had posted this piece initially to my personal social media account and it really resonated with the person this piece is named after. She asked me what her name was, the tiger. She hoped it was something fierce, independent and sexy to fit her vibe.
I know these creatures in my heart and soul.Truth be told, I never name them until someone needs one. I cannot tell you how much it means to artists to hear someone relate to your work.
It really is everything.
I knew in a second what the tiger’s name was.
I answered Ruth’s inquiry promptly, posting this piece with its proper title. 💖
I considered copying some of what she had written to me about what this piece meant to her, but I actually think it is better if you look at it and take away whatever is there for you.
This piece is definitely one of my precious babies, as are most of my tigers.
If you know, you know.
“Art is restoration: the idea is to repair the damages that are inflicted in life, to make something that is fragmented – which is what fear and anxiety do to a person – into something whole.” L. Bourgeois
Everything I paint is a small part of me. But, Ruth was one of those pieces that helped me understand art is an effort toward wholeness, both for the creator and the viewer. It’s bittersweet to see her sell. When my work sells through the gallery I never know where they end up but I trust she found the most perfect home.
Ink by @horijefe, last photo by @somerrunner
The Royal. Oil on panel 10x10".
Inspired by a recent commission of the Royal Fritz of the Forest (thank you Liz for this new character in my story!)
It's not enough to have teeth.
You've got to have nerve.
“I've been drawing as long as I can remember. I think all children draw as soon as they figure out the thumb and can grab crayons. The only difference with people like myself is that we never stopped drawing. Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the 'creative bug' is just a wee voice telling you, 'I'd like my crayons back, please.”
I hope you find the courage to create whatever causes a revolution in your heart, and keep some room in there for the unimaginable ☝️✨
Amazing reference photo by @arno_van_zon
Aliza and Her Monsters