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.

September’s End

Hello hello,

It’s the tail end of September and the beginning of my favorite season — Autumn! I’ve been waiting for the leaves at the Park to turn color. I don’t think they have yet.

Just some quick uploads. It was the end of a two week pose with our model yesterday. My painting is so unfinished! I tried to just draw her body in and get the composition correctly and then directly paint in her facial features. It’s so difficult! I’m too dependent on graphite and lines. I know it’s not always a bad thing, but direct painting is my weakness. Anyway, here we go. Our model had cerulean irises and black navy pupils. So awesome.

9/28/12

I feel like I shouldn’t post such unfinished things on here. But it’s all part of the process I guess. Anyway. Onwards.

Next week, my schedule changes and i’m hoping to finally start on some of my own projects. I pulled out some ink on wednesday and have been in these pages.

you should never lose your own calligraphy

thumbnails and composition studies

Oh and I forgot to post this shot last time. They’re my thumbnails for my Grandma’s drawing (remember the last post?). It’s funny how things are born and then see how they end up.

original idea on top right

Anyway, i’m off. A lot of work to do. As always. Stay lovely.

 

Always onwards.

Drawing From Life

Ennis

This is Ennis. Doesn’t he have the coolest name? I hope I spelled it correctly. He said it was like Dennis, but without the D. Apologies for the terrible photo from my phone. But not bad for a first finished drawing from life huh? Could be cleaner, but I worked my ass off during this pose. But of course, there is always something more you could do. Ha so just no regrets! Sigh. Stressful, but freaking fun.

Oh and story! My painting instructor said the funniest thing to me yesterday. She said, “It’s better to be wrong than tentative.” It was all the context of my painting of course, but seriously lady, story of my life. Lol. Then my anatomy instructor goes and says last night, “Think three times, draw once.” Oh the things you learn in the life drawing room.

Alrighty. Have to go. New York’s waiting.

Onwards now.

Inhabit the Air

Happy Birthday to my Mom and Grandma today! Yup! My grandma had my mom on her birthday! That sounds weird. But you get it. How awesome is that right?! Technically, it was the 15th for them yesterday. They’re half way around the world right now. My life exists in different timezones. Ha.

Here’s the little drawing I made for my Grandma. It’s was mailed off in August for my mom to give to her. That was fun.

“Stone in the road? I save every single one, and one day i’ll build a castle.” — Fernando Pessoa (written on the back)

Here’s a painting I finished yesterday! I was so excited to finish it! It was the last day of our two week pose with our live model, the lovely Karen! I’ve been taking classes at The Art Student’s League in New York City. So awesome.  My friend said it sounds like i’m part of some kind of secret society. Haha.

Karen

Doesn’t she look sleepy? Hahaha.. we have class early in the morning and I wish I had painted her eye after she had her morning coffee. Oh well no regrets. I like having that memory of her. Such a trooper.

Okay. Gotta run. California’s waiting on Skype. See, different timezones I tell you. I live in the air you see and i’m tied by a string to my lovely ones in different timezones. That’d be an interesting kid’s book.

K, stay lovely.

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.

Invisible Strings

It is now 11:02pm as I write this and as always, though I attempt to sleep at 10:30pm there is always some kind of delay. Usually some life business of some sort and now my brain is too stimulated/stressed to sleep. Anyway, maybe if I stop blabbering on I would make it through this post in 15 minutes like I intend. 11:04pm.

So during my recent visit to LA, I taught my friend’s kids to write letters. I brought them stationary, taught them how to write addresses on an envelope and gave them a load of stamps in an Altoids smalls container. I’m hoping that even kids of their generation would experience the loveliness of receiving handwritten letters and experience how connections can be kept even at great distances. It is SO difficult to miss people, but I try really hard to believe in the invisible string that connects us all. Anyway, I received a letter from one of the littles ones last week when I got home.

Abigail’s letter! She said that she wanted to tell the mailman that she was 6 years old in case he was wondered about the handwriting.

So in reply to Abigail’s letter, I made her a little card. I initially made a half-ass one last night, then reopened the envelope again and made her something a little better. It’s 11:19pm now by the way. Onwards.

She’s a clever little kid so hopefully she’ll enjoy it.

The letter insert

I guess it’s hard to tell from the photo that it’s a cutout, but I got super excited by how it turned out!

A lovely little light effect from the cutout.

Okay that’s all for now. Things i’ve been working on… just these tiny things from last weekend. A 22″x30″ sheet of paper from Hiromi awaits these dark graphite creatures.

Graphite + Chinese Ink

Okay. I am off. Good night You.

Onwards now.

(11:46pm)

Birthday Wishes

This is an odd and rare mood. I’m listening to Taylor Swift right now. She’s on my list of guilty pleasures — along with The Hunger Games series and blasting What Makes You Beautiful by One Direction. Lol. Anyway, enough confessionals.

So I’ve deemed this piece finished. I wanted to polish it a little more, but I couldn’t touch it anymore. Friends have asked me that “how do you know when it’s done?” question and I hate answering the “you just know” line, but you do. You approach it and all of the sudden there is nothing else you can do.

Untitled. 2010-2012. India ink on canvas paper.

My current fixation of the week is mulling over this idea that looks and feels a lot like blurry mush. I’m not at all a writer, but it reminds me of this.

“I wish I could say everything there is to say in one word. I hate all the things that can happen between the beginning of a sentence and the end.”

–Leonard Cohen

peeks into the sketchbook

stewing

My birthday is in two weeks. I almost forgot until a friend reminded me today. I’m not that good at making birthday plans, but I do have plenty of Type A friends who love me. Haha I’m kidding. I’m working on it though. I plan on people i’m thankful for and a cake. I’ve even thought of something to wish for this year. I just thought of it today. Aren’t you proud?

In other news, I’m making a trip to LA next weekend. I’m so excited. I’ve been terribly homesick — not for the city, but for people. Home is not a place. It’s still a question for me and only makes me think of this, “The heart is still aching to seek, But the feet question ‘Whither?'”

Wait, here’s the whole thing:

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last long aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question ‘Whither?’

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Have I posted that here before? At certain points of my year, that poem usually makes it up some where.

Anyway, have a lovely week. I’m still riding out my little adrenaline rush from watching The Avengers today. So. Freaking. Awesome.

Alright. Alright.

Onwards now!

Making My Way Back

Surprise surprise. I’m updating and it’s ONLY been less than a month. Ha! (Trying harder every day over here). Since my last post, I have still not been able to start on any of those ideas sitting in my sketch book. Now that I actually have time to better translate my ideas, I chew and chew until I have no excuse but to sit in front of a blank piece of paper.

My little brother told me that you should be working on multiple projects at the same time. I forget his reasoning, but I like Roald Dahl’s reasoning. He says that some artists like to keep working and working until they run out of juice, but Dahl learned from Hemingway who said, “When you are going good, stop writing”. He said it was so that when you came back you knew exactly where your next chapter was going, instead of returning to no ideas and no direction.

Anyway, unfortunately I am not where Hemingway or Dahl are. I have found other things to “procrastinate” with.

I pulled out this old drawing.

This was started sometime between my 09-10 school year. It was when I lived in my Rochester apartment in Westwood and continued on for another apartment (my life is measured by the number of times I’ve moved). I don’t remember the last time I worked on this, but it was certainly never finished.

Too much talking now. More photos. (Forgive the Instagram photos. Ways of the lazy.)

detail

Picked up my desk from LA last weekend. Making my way back to my old ways.

I’m off! Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Onwards now.

Moments of Sun

Finito! My first piece for 2012. Endings are so bittersweet. I dragged on the finishing touches to this and then one night I just decided it was done. Haha, more like tired of it.

Smithereens (Moments of Her)

Smithereens (Moments of Her), Watercolor Paper, Ink, 11 x 14 in.

detail

detail

I’m working on getting prints of this on sale. Scratch that. They’re up for sale on my Bluecanvas. I just did it in the middle of writing this. I want to make the image quality a little bit better, but they’re up and i’m committed haha. Anyway, i’m gonna stop thinking about it now before I change my mind. 

Anyway, back to work and all of this.

square one

back to square one

And I feel the need to confess that i’m back to my little addiction of buying books. I said I would stick to my little kindle app until I have settled down (whatever that means). But alas, I have given in.

“All grown-ups were children first. (But few of them remember it.)”

Antoine De Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince

I’ve found that the heat is a privilege for the norcal area. So enjoy the sun where ever he finds you!

Onwards now.