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.

September 30, 2009

culture day.

Win Young Huie

^This one shown above here reminds me of my Grandmother's house. Maybe not as much chinese scrawls on the wall, however a definite mix of american and asian life style.

I came across this artist while researching for events near by. Wing Young Huie was born in China and now resides in Minneapolis, with his own photography salon. Wing Young Huie has a remarkable eye for capturing the essence of a person's surroundings as well as their very own well-being. The fact that he photographs images of multi-cultural and minorities in the U.S. is something that fascinates me as well. It is as though he is trying to talk about the stereotypes/cliches of what some may think minorities (Asians especially) are like in America. His images are direct, thought provoking and what I am looking to say in my paintings. See more of his series here: Wing Young Huie

Beverly McIver

As I was washing my brushes I was looking at the wall at art magazine clippings, which I'm guessing are there similar to seeing the advertisements in a bathroom stall. My eyes came across the artist Beverly McIver and an image of a african american woman with a mask on her face. I suddenly had a flashback, and this was an artist that I recall visiting Stout. I can't remember if she had artwork in the Furlong, however I did attend her presentation. I recall McIver because of a) her marks on her paintings are AMAZING as well as the use of arbitrary colors and b) she talked about how she taught and at the end of the year gave a painting away to one student. Seeing her image again reminded me the use of colors that aren't apparent to the naked eye, rather you have to squint to see them. It also pushed me to further investigate my own Vietnamese roots, because I think there's a story there. You can check out her website at: http://beverlyjmciver.com (however it wasn't working for me, you can find different websites about her through google).

September 24, 2009

good egg.

product photography this week consisted of taking pictures of eggs (a white one and a black painted one) on black and white backdrops. the only light source i used was my desk lamp and a few materials like wax paper, tin foil, a mirror, to reflect the light source. it was actually a really good project for me to look at light and also the plane shifts. it feels good to dip back into photography again.

September 22, 2009


this semester i've decided to cram in 3 studios: life drawing, painting and product photography. all two-dimensional surfaces, however they involve completely different procedures, methods and ideas of thought. and while i'm a little on the stressed side and my brain is kind of fried on all of these subjects, i am trying to take inspiration from one course and implement that into my other courses.

let me whip up a little example for you:

today in product photography we talked about lighting and how to capture a moving object. the teacher brought up an artist by the name of Howard Schatz. in photography, it's all about capturing a moment that will soon cease to exist, and howard schatz succeeds with this concept. we looked at his images and he primarily focuses on the figure, usually in water or making sort of action. i was immediately drawn to his prints mainly because he does these outrageous angles and played up characters of the figure. this made me think of life drawing and plane shifts. i noticed the muscles that were being formed and the lines being extended. the images also made me think about composition, color and space, something i try and tackle every time i begin a painting.

i really enjoy how these courses are overlapping with each other. i feel like i am have more inspiration than every before and new insights into the art world. probably the only downside would be that it leaves me with more questions than answers, something i always seem to fall into.
right now my big question is: why try and draw/paint something when you can just take a photograph? can a diverse message be conveyed between the same image, but different mediums?

September 19, 2009

did you know

my ongoing fascination with people still continues on.
i always find it interesting that you never know someone
truly until they actually tell you their story. you can make
all the stereotypical judgements and assumptions you want,
but someone's words make everything concrete.

the other day during class i had an opportunity to learn of what
some people wanted to do after school. and i found it eye opening
that i had a lot in common with individuals.
some thought about teaching or some didn't want to at all.
most wanted to travel, or just figure out why they are
who they are. i got the feeling each one of us wants make a difference,
and i always thought i was the only one. i saw that maybe they too are struggling
with what lies ahead, and wondering what place there will be for them
out in real world.

while i want to be a unique individual,
it's comforting to know i'm not the only one puzzled when someone asks
"so what do you want to do after school?" we're supposed to know the answers now
but maybe that just takes all the fun out of it.
perhaps there is hope for us.

reflection deux

current inspiration:

this summer i went to visit a good friend of mine in door county, wisconsin. it was a remarkable trip and i was very surprised how many fine artists had migrated up to the peninsula. you had the artists who were obviously there to paint the typical lakescapes and take pictures of apple trees and fences and cater to the tourists. however, there was a gallery we visited in the town of sister bay called the fine line gallery. here they had sculpture, art metals, and painting. they possessed nothing that i could purchase whatsoever, nevertheless i was very impressed that they had such a collection in such a wide open two story space. in the back of the gallery however, there was one room with a series of paintings. the room was dedicated to artist pamela murphy, someone i had never heard before. however, i only wish i could've experienced her paintings sooner.

visit her website for more images/bio: http://www.pamelamurphystudio.com/

while i feel that these pictures don't do justice and that experiencing them in person was in far, much better; she still left a lasting impression. enough so that i researched her on my own time (this speaks volumes people). her images are taken from pictures of individuals she finds and are placed on a textured surface. they are supposed to represent nothing in particular, but perhaps the viewer can take something from their own memories and translate the paintings into their own. her images are isolated, vintage, haunting, and hopeful. they cast a sense of nostalgia and try to speak of the past.

i want people to connect with my artwork just like pamela has done here for me. i want all of it to say more than i could imagine.

September 16, 2009

play dough

no, this isn't ceramics. it's life drawing. building 3D models of the skull to give a better understanding of the form.

September 15, 2009

i don't have all the answers.

Yesterday, being my first drawing II class, was exciting and completely terrifying at the same time.

Some things I realized during the 3 hour course:
-Drawing is the foundation of art, and I have completely missed this step for the past two years
-I'm a tad stiff and need to be more fluid with my marks
-Standing up is better than sitting down
-Plane changes are something I can't really grasp and until then I won't be as successful in life drawing

For some reason I thought about the painting I did of my dad smoking (>see previous posts) and how I couldn't paint his hand holding the cigarette. It was impossible to get and I ended up abandoning the project. Now I see the reason for that was how the plane changed and maybe will try the image again in time as my drawing continues to develop.

So another goal to tack onto the list of my 'make it or break it' semester, is to learn plane changes and be conscience of the surface that I am trying to capture (front, side, back, angle, etc).

September 10, 2009

time spent.

so like i said in the previous post, i was a) broke this summer b) too cheap to buy gas c) working 40 hours a week. this left me with limited options, but luckily i am close to the twin cities and those options are better than most. too often i feel that most individuals (including myself) want to explore far away lands in search of more. however, i say why? yes, i want to be a traveler and go to europe and third world countries, but let's face it i'm a student for the time being.

so this summer i went to local areas in the cities and in the outskirts as well. some of these places i had been before and others i hadn't.

these pictures were taken in dinkytown with a good friend of mine. i tried to capture texture, color and line.

another expedition occured a few times over the summer. i really enjoyed the area by summit/grand avenue in st. paul. there are ideal shops, creative neighbors, historic buildings and grand architecture. i found a cafe as well that i went to a few times called Nina's...check er out.

a friend and i then travelled to the outskirts of minneapolis to franconia, mn. ever heard of it? yeah, me neither. but i was told there was a sculpture garden there and had to see it for myself. my appreciation for sculpture is on a tipsy scale, however this was a remote area with remarkable aesthetic pieces. i'd recommend it.

finally, i felt like i became a true city girl when i went down to lake street/hennepin avenue. it's a great place to people watch, sketch and observe. but sometimes it means being observed as well, just so you're aware of that. lake calhoun is a great place in the summer and i hope to someday live close to the area (big big hope).

during the summer sometimes i would find myself very bitter over the fact that i couldn't actually take a plane somewhere or just go on a whim. but looking back at my sketchbook and these pictures, i realize that i've got a lot to show for.

September 9, 2009


back to school time and you know what that means, blogging. i actually started a blog last year because i couldn't really explain that i was an artist without visual representation to back it up. and since i think facebook isn't the best source for these cases, i took matters in my own hands...so to those who read this for class or for pure enjoyment, i am combining my artist blog and my life drawing two blog. and now that you're all good on the dL, here's assignment 1.

i am looking forward to drawing two; which may sound cliche to say, but it's true. too often i find myself relying on photographs and other outlets instead of just sticking to my roots, the basics and witnessing what is right in front of me. drawing is what got me interested in art in the first place and i want to keep it that way.

i hope to learn more about faces and the structure. seeing as that i primarily paint the figure, how could it not be to my benefit? to know what is under the skin is probably one of the keys that i am missing since right now, i just draw what i see. however, it would be grand to have the knowledge of what is creating those divets, folds and shapes on the human face.

certain goals to work on this semester are:
-be aware of the marks that i am making
-not overdue/overwork my drawings
-make mistakes and leave them
-REALLY observe--do not draw what i think is there, but what is.

i've already uploaded a lot of my artwork in previous posts, mainly of paintings. so i will show what i did during 3 1/2 months of break. this summer was all about getting to know my surroundings since i had to work and was pretty broke. so for entertainment, i carried around this sketchbook to most of the places i went and i finished it, which is unheard of in my lifetime. it's a recollection of what i witnessed (cafe's, family, coworkers i worked with, where i went), what i hoped to see and personal insights about the past, present and future. i was quite happy with the outcome and this only gives me more motivation to keep up with documenting the process of daily occurrences in my everyday life.