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.

February 28, 2010

more to see.

here are two other paintings i'm gonna try and do at the same time.....yeah, ambitious. but the underpaintings are done. i'm loving the faces i'm getting when i tell people my show is the beginning of april. c'mon people have some faith. either way i hope to have a good body of work for my show and my portfolio. i want to even do one more still-life.....

this is my dad shopping at an asian store......wild colors eh?

this is my grandma getting some green onion out of the fridge for the dinner she was making at night. i really wanted one portrait looking at the viewer, i feel eye contact is important, it's almost like she's caught in the act. and not being mean, but this underpainting reminds me of the artist who paints these dogs....no my grandma does not remind me of a dog, just the style.

February 24, 2010

6 days, 6 nights
1.5' x 2', on canvas

Here is the final image of the painting of my dad and his family on their boat after escaping vietnam. i really enjoyed the process of this painting,from the sky to the waves of the water. for it being my first landscape i would say i succeeded. i am also happy with the idea of space and the sense of fear and hope that is instilled in the painting. in critique today, charlie mentioned that i give information to draw the viewer in, but after that i leave the choice to the viewer to decide what this painting's meaning is about. and i liked that comment and believe that's important as a painter. expect to see this in my senior show APRIL 6TH-9TH, 2010. that's right, that was a total plug in.

now, on to the next painting(s).

February 19, 2010

feelin a lil' blue

here is the boat painting that i am trying to finish for monday's critique. it's about 1'1/2"x2'. it's done from a picture of my dad and family escaping Vietnam. it's a very old, blurry photo, but that's what attracted me to it in the first place. i'll post final pics soon w/ more details.

don't adjust your screens

here's the underpainting for my grandma's painting. whoa, right? don't worry it'll look more like a human once the top layer comes. the underpainting is basically just a way to map out how i want to paint while also having more depth to the painting. plus if i miss a mark or two on the top layer, the underpainting makes up for that instead of ugly white gesso. i'm gonna plan to be done with this painting by next weekend. 6 weeks left, holy shit.

February 15, 2010

painting is my chance to speak.

i'm in week 4 of the last semester, with a better sense of direction and now am starting the process of painting again. it's weird how just having images can give me a confidence boost, however i'm waiting till i get into the nitty gritty and panicking about how am i going to finish....in due time, in due time.

i thought i'd post some pics of the first painting, it's a SQUARE. it's about 3'5"x3'5" and it's of my grandma (Ba Noi) squatting down on the kitchen floor, cutting meat. most people find this comical, but i remember being slightly disturbed by this as a child. mid-day she'd get out the chopping board, slab some meat, grab the machete and take a whack. the noise, of the tool striking the meat on the floor, well it was an interesting experience as a 4 year old....you'd think i'd be a vegan, but i'm definitely not.

my ba noi, has been a constant in the family, the heart of the family much like the kitchen being the heart of the home. she uses modern age appliances, but creates passed down timeless meals. there's something to be said about that.

this drawing is freehand, with no use of projector...i'm hoping that i got the proportions well enough. i've found i understand what i'm painting better if i draw it beforehand. but this took some time, i definitely struggled with getting the characteristics of the facial features down. since she's my grandma i know what she looks like. it's never good to draw what you know, rather than what you see.

i'm here, just look behind the chalkboard.

here's my studio space for this year. keeping the hands of painting one students out of my space has been kind of difficult, however i like the chalkboard being a barrier from everyone. it's as if i'm invisible, which is completely opposite of last year where i was open to the whole art floor. but man, look at all those canvases ready to be tackled....

(see, no one knew i was doing this...until now.)

February 4, 2010


here's what i did in painting III for fall semester of 2009...what can i say, it wasn't the most prolific semester I had. I started out painting a few coworkers of mine and somewhere forgot why I started doing that in the first place. i'm still interested in the working class, but have decided to switch gears for my senior show coming up in april here at stout.

in january I was tired of doing the figure and failing, so i decided to paint some still-life's. the first one was of a picture I took of a styrofoam container that was left on the road after the flooding in Cedar Rapids. it was more of a break away painting, to reconnect with objects and give them a narrative tone (refer back to my grandpa's boots paintings). i found it for the most part successful, but don't know if i'll go that direction for the time being. lately i've been interested in buddhism and it's correlation with commercialism. buddhism is about having little material items, yet you go into an asian store and see trinkets everywhere of plastic buddhas, dragons, etc. so i decided to paint what i thought american society thinks of asian culture. little asian trinkets.

it was a fun study, but now i have a better idea what i want to paint for my senior show...more geared towards my grandma & dad, how growing up was difficult living in a predominantly white american society, while still being exposed to traditional asian customs. my dad learned english since moving to the U.S., however he never taught me vietnamese...this left me with a language barrier between my grandmother and sometimes even my dad....my idea is to go off of this and figure out ways affection was shown without language and that would be with food, care-taking, etc.

so coming up here, you can expect some rants, some personal fears, as the semester wraps up and my college life comes to a close. senior show is beginning of april buckle up your seat belt.

Lost & Found, 2'x3', Oil on Canvas



Golden Birthday [Buddha Study], 1'x1', Oil on Canvas

[Buddha Study] Detail