to remember


Sometimes I ask myself, “What will I remember from today?”

Will it be the eight am beach-combing and ocean swim? The almost running out of gas on the deserted road, or the ten am piña colada that accompanied the epic wave watching laziness. Will it be the five year-old attitude and the endless sibling fighting that defined the afternoon?

Or maybe the phone call to my ever patient husband who listened while I described said fighting, the attitude, and my complete incapability of dealing with it. Maybe I’ll remember his calm mention of the promised land–school starting in just 4 short days and how kindergarten and a routine is just what this tiny girl/big attitude needs.

Will I remember the pink sky and warm winds behind her now sweet, early-evening, five year-old daring self, as she performs handstands on the trampoline?

Or maybe the only memory will be this sunset swim. The one where summer and fall and my girls growing selves meet. Where seasons change subtly, days blur into one another, and so many beautiful moments in life are blown into the wind.

Ah, we meet again

karinabania floating




in summer.

living lately //
eating outdoors every night
reading the luminaries
contemplating conscious parenting
listening to first aid kit
feeling good about recent art shows in joshua tree & ocean beach
experimenting with plaster
playing with clay
walking beaches
swimming in warm oceans
gathering with friends
enjoying my time with the girls
moving slower
breathing deeper.

hope your summer is everything. xx


San Diego Art Institute Karina Bania

SDAI Karina Bania

karinabania gallery

Karina Bania San Diego Art Institute

One of the interesting things about creating something for people to look at is watching them look at it. It’s a bit surreal. The work came from you, but it’s not you. Much like your children, you created them but they came into the world wholly their own person, sometimes as if you had little to do with it. Standing back, I watch people get in close, take a step back, discuss it, want to touch it. They’re doing all the things that I do as I look at a piece. I am always interested in everything that went into a painting, so I usually sneak in close to decipher details and technique. I see many people doing this too. And coming back, I always like to see the people that come back to get a second look. Or a third.

. . .

The exhibition runs through May 18th at the San Diego Art Institute Museum of the Living Artist in Balboa Park.

Art Happenings

Karina Bania studio

A few things.

If you are in Marfa this weekend, my work is part of the Biennial Roadshow being held at El Cosmico. Marfa!! It should be a great event!

I am also thrilled to be part of the Southern California/Baja Norte Regional Exhibit at the SDAI Museum of the Living Artist in Balboa Park, San Diego. The opening gala is Saturday April, 5th. I’ll be there, so if you’re in town tomorrow night, pop in and say hi! The show runs through the end of April.

Also a heads up for Art Walk April 26th & 27th in Little Italy, San Diego. I’ll be in Booth 184, on Beech Street.

I have a ton of new work and am spending this weekend getting digitally organized, so they’ll be a shop update soon!

Hope you have a great weekend. xx

inspired by




Totally inspired this morning by the collected objects + space of Jill Wenger, owner of Totokaelo.

The Alma Allen bronze sculptures and the story about way she acquired them are so beautiful. “These bronze and wood sculptures are by Alma Allen. I try to get out to Joshua Tree every once in awhile to visit his studio. In fact I’m overdue for a visit! The space is filled with Alma’s work —sand cast bronze and hand carved stone and wood pieces. Most of my small-scale sculptures were ones I asked about in their kitchen or living room, mixed in with their books and own collections of things. I love buying are like that. Pieces that have been lived with and loved.”

I’ve always believed that the objects we live with become part of our family. They take on energy and meaning, forging their history, telling their story. I talk to the girls about this and they watch me interact with the plants and objects in our home, talking to them, being thoughtful. It’s a beautiful way of living.

Images via Sight Unseen.

just listen

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

“Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” -Norton Juster

When I’m not here, you can find me on instagram @karinabania.

mistakes & the fight against preciousness



Karina Bania art


This is a painting still in progress, or maybe it’s done, I’m not sure yet. I usually have pieces in process hanging around the house, reclining on the couch, pulling up a chair with us at dinner, sleeping next to me in bed. You think I’m kidding, but if I’ve created you, I need to look at you a lot. Just ask my kids or my living room after I rearrange it.

The thing that kind of gets me in life is that there are endless possibilities. Endless decisions to be made, endless ways to frame and filter that photograph you’re about to post on instagram, endless streams of words to put together for a blog post, endless marks to lay on the canvas. For someone who struggles with perfectionism, there comes a point in certain paintings where I hesitate to make the next move for fear of ruining it. Into my head swim deadlines, thoughts of limited studio time between carpools, and tallying all the time invested into a piece. That fear can then make me act with caution. And caution, well, that’s a killer of creativity. So I must kill caution right there. What do I do? I usually throw paint on preciousness.

If you fear your next decision will ruin your work, you are being precious. Preciousness is trading creative freedom for fear. It’s holding you back and stifling the natural creativity that wants to come out. I paint over paintings all the time. I make mistakes constantly. My mistakes are what generally lead me to some of the best places my work has gone and definitely some of the most enjoyable moments of working. But many pieces go nowhere. Many times I leave the studio with nothing to show for it but the act of creating. And that is enough. Everything doesn’t always have to be “something.”


A few tips for feeling free:

• Let go of needing every creative act to go somewhere. Every work can’t be a masterpiece. Create to create.

• Step back. Think about your overall body of work or what you want to express. Create for that. It puts less pressure on an individual piece or project.

• Try something different. Make time to try different projects. Sketch, doodle, journal, knit. Trying a different medium often helps you loosen up, get inspired and feel more creative.

• Exercise, drive, shower or sleep. Inspiration often comes when our mind is relaxed and body are relaxed.

• Loosen your self-imposed expectations. Play and have fun.

going round




“Still round the corner there may wait
A new road or a secret gate
And though I oft have passed them by
A day will come at last when I
Shall take the hidden paths that run
West of the Moon, East of the Sun.”
JRR Tolkien

Life circles round. People come in and out of our lives. Things we used to do and tired of, suddenly look fresh again. Nothing is ever really done. We can always do it again, in a different way.

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