Painting with the Heart Artist of Cabo Transformation brings me home to myself four part story
by Debbie Arambula
Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined painting with another Heart Artist. Not that I was against it. I just never imagined it until the day I met him.
Celebrating our 35th Wedding Anniversary in Cabo was a dream come true. We imagined it and then made it happen in less than 2 month’s time, staying in a 5 star resort with money in our pockets and time on our hands. We hadn’t had a vacation in over 3 years and we were well overdue. How fast one can make a decision and then make it materialize in the real world. This is one lesson, or rather skill, I have attained while being in the art business for 20 years. The bottom line, things DO NOT HAPPEN UNLESS you MAKE THEM HAPPEN. That’s maybe why some artist poop-out after a while or get stuck in a rut, doing the same things over and over again. And that is exactly why taking a romantic vacation is vital to any relationship. If there is one piece of advice I could give to any married couple, it would be take ALONE vacations once a year! No kids, No family, No friends… Just the two of you. This is one thing I would say that I get a D- on. We hardly ever took vacations alone. Nevertheless, we survived and have the rest of our lives to get it right.
Back to my story . . . We were walking around a mall in Cabo and we both spotted this colorful heart art and I made a B-line for it. Could this be a real heart artist or an impersonator? And to my surprise, it was a real heart artist! I had heard about him from a collector years ago. There was another artist in Laguna Beach that used bright colors like mine and had a free spirited style similar to mine but not the same. I hear these comments from time to time and usually politely acknowledge them and park the comments and opinions in my miscellaneous memory box. Over the past 20 years, comments like, “Oh my daughter paints like you”, or “Are you the artist from San Francisco?” or ‘Your work is like Peter Max”, or “Doesn’t Jim Dyne paint hearts too?” Oh, I have heard everything you can imagine and the only way I am still in business is because I know my purpose in life and I am true to my work. I have had to wrestle with these comments by the 100’s and sure, anyone can paint hearts, or trees, or birds or landscapes, but it is one’s spirit that shines through. And yes, some artists share a kindred spirit that is similar to each other.
In this case I could see exactly why she compared me to him and why both of us (our artworks) hang in her home. Anyhow I really never gave it any thought, except that I really connected to his work and thought for a minute how cool it would be to meet him. And that was that. Then I walked into another store and there was his art staring me in the face again… I was like “Wow!” Realize I had no idea where this artist lived, and honestly, I didn’t give it one thought. I was just in the moment enjoying his work.
That night, around 6:00pm, Steve and I set out on a 40 minute drive to San Jose del Cabo to see the famous “ARTWALK”. Being an originator of the art walk in Campbell, when I owned my Gallery, I had a huge urge to see how Cabo does it. As we embarked on our adventure, we visited the Town Square and met many budding artists and veteran artists that really had no idea how good they were. Nevertheless, I was a bit bored and felt a calling for something bigger and better. I couldn’t really put my finger on it, but I know myself, and when this happens, I just have to find what I was looking for without knowing what it is. I had heard that there were a ton of galleries in San Jose that participated but I could not find one in sight. So I asked a very upscale looking gentleman and he said, “ Oh yes, there are AMAZING Galleries, they are down that dark street. Don’t be afraid, just keep walking and turn right, there are a ton of Galleries to the right, all up and down the streets, you will see them”. I asked is it safe, he said YES!
And so we took the journey possibly less traveled for Gringos, unless you live there or know about the Galleries. Anyway, I told Steve, I just have to go, I am not sure why or what I am looking for, but I have to do this. He knows when I get this way this is exactly what I am going to do. He has learned by now, after 39 year together, that usually 95% of the time I am right and the adventure becomes one of the greatest of our times.
So I headed down the dark street with purpose in my soul, Steve following me close by, while I looked inside each gallery as I briskly walked by, only stopping to go in in an attempt to discover what I didn’t know I was looking for or I passed on by. At this point it is 8:30pm and the galleries close at 9pm. I had to move fast and with pure intention. My hubby is like an adorable kid when it comes to exploring and can wander in many directions all at the same time, but for me, I couldn’t afford this luxury of time.
To appease him we stopped at this really cool pop-up brewery for a cold beer TO GO! And on we walked. And with each exit of a gallery, a sense of disappointment fell over me. What was it that I was looking for? Hell if I knew?????
Overdue for dinner at this point, we walked by one more very dark street and I stopped and looked at Steve and said, “I am just going to go down this one more street”. He almost said no, but then he saw that look in my eye and knew it didn’t matter what he said, I was going. And there it was! The HOLY FRICKEN GRAIL! THE HEART ARTIST OF CABO GALLERY! OMG! I didn’t even know he had a gallery, let alone that he is in CABO! He was talking with two other gentlemen and I just waited about 10 feet away. Steve looked at me and asked “Are you just going to wait?” The gallery was getting ready to close. I could see that, but this is why I came here tonight and ARE YOU KIDDING me, I was not going to let this precious spiritual moment pass me by!
Part 4: Meeting for the first time
I waited patiently for what seemed like forever (10 minutes), almost like a kid meeting a long lost friend for the first time. I introduced myself as the Heart Artist of California. He gave me a warm smile, almost like a friendly hug, and I knew instantly we would be friends for life. He was so excited to meet me, not like any other artist I have met, and I have met 100’s. I was not a threat to him, nor he to me. We both wanted to talk and visited like two old friends where no time had passed between lifetimes.
He brought me into his gallery and said “I want to show you everything.” I didn’t want to feel rude, as I knew it was 9pm and he must have been tired, so I said I would love to see everything. The connection to his work was like a soulmate on the same page, eating, breathing and living love, to spread more of it throughout the world through art. Simply one of the highlights of my art life! As he shared, my mind raced with creativity and connection, our work so different yet so similar. How does one put into words the feeling of one’s body of life work and purpose to find someone on the same page?
At one point I looked up at him and said, “You know what would be amazing?” He said, “What?” I said, “That we would paint a painting together, and then donated it to some amazing cause.” His immediate response was, “Let’s do it! Can you come back tomorrow? I want to show you everything.” I looked up at my adoring hubby and he gave me that look like, of course you can come back. Knowing that I was violating the “not supposed to work on this vacation” and “this is all about us vacation”, I wanted to make sure that it was ok with him.
My loving hubby was totally up for it.
See video of how the story blossoms: