Category Archives: Oil Paint


Some photos of recent work! Though I did realize today that I don’t have documentation of my drawings. Updates on the website are in the works! Happy holidays everyone!

2013-12-13 16.24.26

Oil on Canvas, 36″ x 48″

Oil on canvas and panel, 36" x  48"

Oil on canvas and panel, 36″ x 48″

2013-12-10 19.14.29

Graphite Powder, Gouache, Ink on paper. 18″ x 24″ sheets

photo 3

Graphite and Oil on Panel. 36″ x 48″

Current works in progress.

2013-12-23 21.19.54

Everything except that square in the middle is covered with graphite powder now. Just didn't get a good photo.

Everything except that square in the middle is covered with graphite powder now. Didn’t get a good photo though.

Also, I should mentioned that i’m in Washington (state!) right now visit my sister and her husband. I would love any recommendations for place to eat or go! Anyway, I hope everyone is having a lovely holiday!

2013 was a good one in the books.

Onwards now to 2014!


Life Studies

Finished (involuntarily, the pose ended) these pieces last week. We had some excellent models. I wish we could have the models for much longer, but they are living and breathing creatures.

Here’s Cynthia.

Cynthia. 11×14 in. Oil on canvas.

I love painting from life and trying to figure out composition and problem solving color and perspective, but I’m starting to feel like i’m losing creativity when it comes to these paintings from life. Anyway, I have to figure out what to do with that. Here’s Sering.

Sering. 8×11 in. Graphite on Bristol.

Sering was awesome and so interesting to work with. The last day of the pose he told me about a documentary he watched about a filipino jeepney driver. He said he felt really bad for the driver because he works so hard and is so poor. He was talking about how it’s so unfair that we are where we are, while there are other people living like that. Sometimes I don’t know what to say to things like that because I ask the same questions. My dad said that it’s just destiny. I agree. But it is quite unfair. Anyway, I just didn’t want to forget that conversation.

We have a new model in class. She’s a young ballerina. I get no sharpened graphite nor erasers this week. A self imposed rule. My sketch book is a mess.

Other news, Rainer Maria Rilke’s letters have been keeping me up at night. You can actually read all the letters online here. They’re letters he wrote to a young poet that reached out to him asking him for advice about his own work. Ha, i’m totally that kid. I’ve written those emails and had those conversations with other artists and my professors, begging for the answer to my million dollar question, “what do I do with my life?!” Hahaha. I think i’m getting better about not knowing. Ha says the kid. Anyway, no matter what kind of art you make, these letters are worth reading.

“You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.” 

Have a lovely rest of the week.

Onwards now.

Be Right Back

I’m waiting to get dropped off at JFK right now. I’ll be back in New York in two weeks, but i’m already counting the days. Don’t worry California, no one will replace you. I just have to do this right now.

Anyway, here are some things I’ve been working on and actually remembered to take a photo of. Warning, terrible phone photos.

Self Portrait

This is a self-portrait from last week. I changed my schedule so I kind of had some time in the morning to paint. The plan was to do a self-portrait every day in oil or graphite, but of course that only worked for the three days. Day 1 was a charcoal drawing that sucked. The one above is day 2 and day 3 was me trying to work on this more, but I ended up ruining it. Dumb. I should have known to follow my rules — strictly oils only (no under drawing in graphite) and strictly alla prima (finish in one sitting). Anyway, this was an hour and a half painting. And this is Pedro.

Pedro (graphite on 18″x24″ drawing paper)

This was suppose to be a three week pose, but my last day with this was yesterday. Totally unfinished, but I got a good two and a half weeks with this. Oh Pedro, so beautiful. We have the best models. Oh and story, I showed the drawing to my grandpa this morning and he goes, “Oh, that’s me!”

I love the humor that runs in my blood.

Okay, that’s all for now. More to come!

Onwards now.

Purple Mountains Majesty

Hi Hi!

So since i’ve been on a streak of productivity this weekend, I thought I might as well get these progress shots on here. And I thought it’d be a nice little segway into July. Plus it’s my blog’s birthday month and I may or may not be able to blog that day. My blog was born July 9th last year while I was living in Highland Park in LA. I miss that space and that area. The east side was lovely.

Anyway, this weekend was my first weekend in a while that involved no traveling and no big events. Not that those are bad things, it was an awesome month, but I almost forgot what a weekend felt like. I finally got to work on my poster study for my oil painting class. I chose a painting by Antonio Lopez Garcia. All his colors are tricky little buggers to mix, but it’s so much fun. His painting is entitled Skinned Rabbit. Poor little bunny.

Oil in the day

I switched to my inks in the evenings. I missed my ink. And oddly enough, I marked out my next piece. I’ve been on the same pages of my sketchbook chewing on a few ideas for the past month and then this happened.

Ink at night

I’m not usually able to mark my paper so decisively like that, but the habit is setting in. It feels kind of nice. Of course, paintings are always subject to change. They are flexible marks. I’m not that decisive.

Anyway, i’m off! It’s late. Happy week of 4th of July! It’s one of my favorite holidays you know. Not that i’m such a patriot, but I just have really fond childhood memories associated with the 4th of July. Our hometown. Our favorite house. Watching fireworks from car roofs. Block parties (do those still happen?). Red, white and blue popsicles.

(… purple mountains majesty!!!!… I heard that song today and it’s my favorite line in the song! Just for the record.)

Anyway, good night and have a lovely week!


Onwards now.

Over and Over Again

Another late post. It’s 11:23pm. Can I finish by quater til midnight??? Challenge accepted!

My birthday month is coming to a close. It’s been busy work weeks, weekends in SoCal and thursday nights at SFAI for oil painting. The SoCal trips have been awesome, but my homesickness is only getting worse and my heart explodes over and over again every time I think of it.

Anyway, I quickly sat with some music and did this little number. It isn’t anything but satisfying to sit with a sheet of paper and some ink.

another heart explosion

One of the initial goals of this blog was to get me to sit with some kind of paper and ink at least once a day, whether it was for 5 minutes or an hour. It’s quite the challenge and it doesn’t happen as often as I would want it to. But I did finally get to sit down with my ink today. I started a short term oil painting class a couple weeks ago, so between the traveling and working, I’ve just been with the oils. I missed my ink.

And yes, I started an oil painting class! It’s been awesome. I’ve never really been a fan of oils, but only because I feared it… because I didn’t know how to use the medium. So now I’m taking a class! Ha! What the unknown can do to us! Anyway, we were given a reading for next week’s class. It’s an excerpt from Richard Schmid’s Alla Prima, Everything I know about Painting. (If you ever come across a copy, read even one paragraph and it would be helpful!)

“As painters, however, we must always remember that our precious poetic visions and spiritual insights will remain forever locked within us until we can boil them down to a complex arrangement of a few hundred or possibly even thousands of brushstrokes. Each of those strokes has four main characteristics — color, value, edges and drawings. Those are the only things that get onto our canvas — Art happens in the mind of the person seeing them.”

In other news, the work space has been filing with canvases and paper palettes.

taking up space

Oils are so interesting. I’m obsessed with textures and details that draw a viewer in — it’s the reason why I walked straight up to a canvas when I view art and why I love ink and paper. But I don’t get textures in the same way when I work oils. It’s so indirect, so different! I haven’t figured out a process that is satisfying. BUT I am loving color mixing! That is satisfying in a different, but almost equal way! I love it. (When I say satisfying, I mean to the soul.)

Okay. Done. So abrupt, I know. That’s been happening a lot lately. But it’s 11:59pm. At least it’s before midnight. I’ll probably pay for this in the morning. Train time is sleep time.

Have a great rest of the week!

Onwards now.

P.S. I miss you SoCal. So much.

Read as I Talk to Myself

Hello hello all!

It’s almost a month since i’ve written and much has happened. I’m happy to say that i’ve been spending less time in the sketchbooks and more time on actual pieces (lo and behold! actually carrying out a goal!). I wish I could tell you that it was all intentional, but it actually has just been working out that way. I’ve been having to commute to SF a lot, so train time has been reading time, which I am completely okay with because otherwise I spend more time buying books than actually reading them. So coming home late into the evening has meant less time to just work on random things — i’ve had to pick and choose lately. The poor sketchbooks have been sitting around untouched, but that all changes next month (ahem! next week!).

This is where i’ve been during the few nights and weekends that i’ve actually gotten sit at the work table:

progress, progress...

woodblock printing

My cousin was staying over last weekend and she let me use her InDesign to sketch something up. I’ve been mulling this one over for a while now and when my cousin said her school (AAU = AWESOME) just sent all their students the updated version of the new adobe creative suite (WTF right?!), she let me give it a test drive. I’ve got changes to make, but i’m happy to wrestle with typography any day.

Oil Paint, we have to work this out...

I pulled out my oil paints this past weekend. They were a gift from a lovely friend (ahem! kristine!) — what was it? a birthday or christmas? Anyway, she lovingly gave me a sweet set a while back, but my relationship with oil is not a great one so these paints haven’t seen the light of day in a while. This little 6″x 9″ is an experiment, possibly for something of a larger scale (possibly!). I dread the clean up of oil paint! Ugh! MUST. RESIST. COMPLAINING. (!!!!!!) I wonder if it’s safe to say that ink is the love of my life? Maybe i’m being hasty?

Oh and news, i’m in the process of putting some prints up for sale on my Bluecanvas site, but of course procrastination and my excuses are getting in the way. Setting my deadline to next Tuesday (no take backs!). Tuesday. February. A new month, which probably means the coming of a new phase. My life usually happens in 6 month intervals (reoccurring pattern since my youth), but lately the game changes about every month. Mhmm, i’ve gotten use to it. Most days it’s a good thing.

Oh oh! Last note, if you’re wondering why the photos above are so poorly focused, it’s not just because i’m lazy and sleepy, but it’s also partially because they’re all in ugly unfinished states. This blogging and documenting thing is good, you know, in case I screw the whole thing up by “trying something new”.

Alas! Good night! AHH! Blogging takes so much longer than you think.

Okay. Okay. Finis!

Onwards people!