I was a poor poor art student when I decided to start a blog documenting the process of my paintings, photography, drawings and journaling. Now a recent art grad, not much has changed other than the label and maybe a change of scenery.

March 26, 2009

follow through.

I recently talked to some of my friends about myself and my artistic habits.

I said, without really thinking "I am in love with the ideation process, it's the follow through that I have trouble with."

It was as though I was unconsciously speaking for myself, a wake up call if you can say.

So now is a time to set the procrastination aside, the tentative speaking as well and actually 'follow through.'Lay down some marks.

But before that, I do have some ideas I am quite excited about.

My father is number one. And the idea of him being in the working class, an Asian male in a white society and the sacrifices it currently has had on our father and daughter relationship.

Also, I am concentrating on painting from life. I have what I call a ‘sketch canvas’ and have decided to paint myself by looking in a mirror. I like the rapid use of my marks and not over-doing my mark making (which I have been known to do). I am also going to paint one of my friends from life, on a stretched canvas. Alice Neel inspires me with this idea, mainly because she was able to capture the person’s persona or a special quality without exact details. I still like the thought that you never really know someone until they actually tell you through words, however you can still gain an idea of who they are just by their presence.

And finally, third would be the organic lines and movement that come from things such as cracks, tears/rips, and roots. This I would consider a study by doing them on small canvases, seeing how they work and then moving to a larger canvas. I became interested in this by looking at them and realizing they almost appear as marks, which is something I strive to convey in my paintings.

There you have it. So, for now that is what I have my mindset on. Shall I say, all of this is to be continued....

March 17, 2009

Practice Canvas

I was asked by Tamara to work on something other than just the billboard. Ugh. Can't say I was excited to hear it, but I knew she was right. And I have been hearing a lot about 'studies' and experimenting. I'm never really sure when I have time to do this, however I know it is important to explore other ideas and possibilities where my art can lead to. So I decided to take a stretcher I had used, restretch it with a new canvas and paint from life.

My subject matter: myself.
My process: grab a lonely drawing horse, prop up a mirror on one end and myself on the other. I paint with colors I have mixed previously. No specific colors, I want to stray away from peach and rose, rather just bright colors that give the same effect as skin.

I am pretty excited to see where this practice canvas goes. This was the first study and I have already painted over it. GASP! Yes, I did. I don't regret it, I can crank these out in 20 minutes. However, with many requests, I have decided to restretch each time for a new painting. I am still going to document it through photography. My overall goal with this project is to learn how to paint from life, as well as see that leaving the background is actually a good thing. And that over-painting is something I have to overcome.

The Billboard

Almost there, is what I kept repeating to myself as I mixed paints. I was doing good, I had about 3 different palettes. The billboard, to which my father refers to it as, is for the most part done. In fact these pictures were taken about a week ago. This is mid-progress, or the 3rd layer of paint so to speak (base color, underpainting, actual painting). I have a few minor tweaks here and there...but I am glad to see the finish line finally. Would I ever paint this large again? Perhaps. But I don't think I would use as much paint, and I would suggest lines and use the canvas more. Overall, this baby was a good experience. I also like the reaction from people to 'Whoa, that's HUGE' or simply 'Wow.' I will post pictures of the final piece once I feel it is good enough to actually put on this blog. As for the title, I have been so consumed by the mark-making process, I haven't given it much thought. I don't want 'Untitled' because that's too vague. Yet, I don't want 'Dad in hospital bed, he's ok' because that's too direct/literal. I'm going to flush out some lists, yes list making is great. -K

What if this is as good as it gets?

Today, I have visited two coffee shops...yes, you're reading it right, two coffee shops. And now I am on a caffeine high and must record what I have seen today.
My first visit was to Neena's Coffee Cafe near Summit Avenue in St. Paul. I really recommend going to this place. Not necessarily for the coffee, however for the ambience. Chalk boards with the coffee choices, old upholstered chairs that have seen many ends, mid-century lighting, wooden booths, newspapers everywhere....I simply love these places. These places that you can find in the cities, hidden, yet waiting for your arrival. I can tell there are the regulars here, the one's who sit in the same place and have the same coffee. Then there are the new people (such as myself) who wander when finding a seat and who pull out their cellphones to text a person, just to show people that they are in fact not complete loners. Everyone though, is doing their own thing. Surfing the web, playing sudoku, reading a book, or talking intimately with the person sitting across from them. And while it all seems so open and relaxed, I can't help but get the feeling it is all a facade and that we are in fact all isolated at our seats.

Then I drive to the burbs and the same thing goes for Caribou coffee here in Eagan. It's a chain, same decor as the one in the local grocery store, yet the people sit here. Different people, but doing the same thing. Doing their own thing from drawing, talking on the phone, to being on the internet. It's all a show, it's all so isolated. Maybe these people are like me just trying to have some 'alone time', yet why go to a public place? Why not stay at home where you can do the same thing?

What I'm trying to get to here is, we want seclusion in our lives. We want to be by ourselves and do our own thing. Yet, we put ourselves out there to be seen, heard and thought of differently than we would in any other setting. We go on facebook because we want people to know that we infact do have a life and personality that hasn't been seen. We go to a coffeeshop to make ourselves appear deeper, with a better sense of self. Is it all a facade? Is it all a show? Perhaps. I can critique everyone else, but I see that I am a part of the crowd. I am the same coffee drinker/laptop user/girl with converse sneakers and thick glasses goer.

I'm just like the rest of them.