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.

April 30, 2010


note to self:

i am going to experiment with timing. most of the time i hate being rushed, because i don't get time to gather my thoughts and process what is in front of me. this makes the anxiety go up.

but this year, having time to paint has allowed me to paint overpaint, and in my eye ruin the painting.

i have been trying to go back constantly to the painting i did of my father in the kitchen. i was able to paint and let it be. i put a mark down and left it for the most part. my perfectionism and super-ego weren't a problem. why is that so hard for me to get back to? charlie says it's a good battle, but again i am torn being conflicted between the particular and the expressive quality of laying marks down. i'm wondering if i can combine these, or if i will constantly have this struggle in my artist and personal life?

so goal for duck painting:

look at painting.
mix color pallet.
paint for 1 1/2 hour only.
look at it.
make small adjustments.
be done.

gosh, just typing those words makes me nervous.

April 23, 2010

5 years.

i talked today to charlie about my reflection after my show. he said he was glad to hear my thoughts since i normally just listen to him talk and smile ha. it's true though, certain times i will speak but only when proven necessary (not just with charlie, i'm speaking in life in general).

he asked me where do i see myself in 5 years. i quietly said a job, painting...?

he said dream big, because if you dream small you will be confined to that vision.

i wanted to say i wasn't sure, that even though i had this great show, a part of me still feels defeated entering the real world.

the answers

charlie had us write reflective answers about our show. it was pretty cathartic, so have a read if you dare.

What have you learned from producing this body of work?

The past few months I did nothing but live and breath painting. I was in the studio every chance I got and when I wasn’t, I actually felt guilty that I wasn’t painting. I put aside friends, family, activities, and events, to be the last one in that lonely studio every night. However, I’m not sure if I was painting for the sake of painting or because I was in love with it. Rather towards the end, I started to feel like a factory worker. I began to question myself a lot and asked why I started painting in the first place and why was I painting now? The reason for some of this could’ve been the time crunch and the goal to have new paintings in my show. I didn’t have to do that, but I felt like I needed to build my portfolio and stop relying on my old work. One day after little sleep and when my painting was going to hell, it was stated that my super-ego was a bastard. And while it was a humorous statement, I realized how much maybe that was crippling me. This recent process of painting showed me that being overly judgmental and hard on myself was making me dislike painting and my work in general. Producing this body of work also showed me what my limits were. I realized what I could do in three months and what I should’ve probably given more consideration during the previous semester. It showed me that I can push myself, but the extremes of no sleep and not taking care of myself physically/mentally in the long run hurt rather than helped. I also learned that I should consider what is important in the painting. Should it be the background and the objects, or should it be the figure? I believe this new work sparked this question and hopefully with my next body of work some answers will emerge.

What have you learned from exhibiting this body of work?
Showing in a gallery, I feel, was the crème de la crème of my higher educational experience at Stout. I’ve seen a lot of seniors come and go, some good work and some bad in that gallery and always wondered what it would be like to have my artwork on the walls. Seeing my work in a professional space, an actual series instead of just one piece, it was surreal. It felt like I had finally reached a climax of my education and the hard work was worth it. As far as the body of work I showed, I have mixed feelings. I’m really proud that I got 4 new paintings done for a show. I’m happy that they were on display and that I was vulnerable to criticism and dislike from my colleagues. I’m happy I showed a body of work that was personal, but had meaning that the viewer could relate to. I would probably say that displaying my artwork if anything showed me my strengths and weaknesses in painting. In addition, by exhibiting my work I also saw how old/new paintings stood next to each other and how I have changed in just the past year with my technique.

What new goals do you have for your studio work?

My goals now would be to produce work with a drive that I had before my show. Being in the studio, completely absorbed in the process was utterly exhausting, but incredibly rewarding. I think I need to find a new way to stop seeing painting or the studio as a chore or a lonely place…how I’ll do this I’m not sure. But I know my habits and routine will have to change once I graduate and I am on my own.
I hope to be more experimental, not afraid to ruin my paintings, I want to go back to the root of why I started painting and experiencing that freedom which I feel like I have been missing this whole year. I’m excited to not have expectations on my work or criticism (I suppose I’ll miss that…maybe) and not have limitations that I feel viewers at Stout and I myself have put on my art. I’m just ready to paint, get messy and make anything and everything.

How will this experience help you as a future artist?

I’ve never really been one for wanting to things to end, I’m always sad when they do. But putting my artwork up, hearing people’s thoughts and taking it down was probably the best closure I have ever experienced. It’s hard to get over, because it seemed too short for all the time and preparation that was put into the show. But it also gave me a newfound energy for wanting to have my work displayed in galleries. These past couple of years I have seen myself as a student rather than an artist. But showing with two other fantastic painters and seeing my work against those lovely white walls, felt like I had matured into an artist. This experience also gave me confidence in being a fine artist. The past few years I have heard, “Studio, painting, what are you going to do with that?” I have allowed other people’s negative perceptions seep into my own thoughts and have become discouraged in the process. But after our show, I realized there is room out there in the world for a fine artist like myself. It may not be easy, but I feel more determined than I did before.

April 21, 2010

back jack

after a long hiatus from the studio (two weeks, that's long in studio terms), and after my show i am back in action. i'm going to finish my last piece, it's going to be roasted ducks that we witnessed at the chinese market on lake street. if you haven't tried roast duck or pork, might i suggest you do. i've gotten mixed reactions from this image (ew, the heads are still on) but you know one bite and you'll forget that thing was ever quacking by a pond.

also, i am going to to attempt (yes tentatively speaking there's only about 3 weeks until i walk on that stage in a cap and gown) to paint little studies, either copying or using the technique of a new artist tamara introduced me to by the name of Nathan Ford. He's an English oil painter and i am in love. his colors, his marks, his confidence in leaving the painting finished when enough is stated. i want to meet him, hell i want to be him. here are some pictures and here is his link: http://www.nathanford.co.uk/he will also be in this show coming up http://www.victorfelixgallery.com/artist/Nathan-Ford.htm

the photos.

ah, this was about 2 weeks ago. best time of my life. if groundhog day only applied to this installation. it was such a priviledge to work with two great people who are great artists and friends. i just can't say enough what a good experience it was, how well it turned out and how all the sleepless nights (did i mention i was up until 5:30 that morning of setup and we met there at 8?) were worth it. so excuse me if i reminisce, because i'm going to.

April 4, 2010

you could be happy.

i'm sitting in gallery 209 as we speak. trying to write my artist statement (or revise it i should say) and am coming to the realization that this is finally happening. these past few months have been nothing but tears, sweat, mixing and paint. and now, to see my paintings, new and old hanging on the white walls...it's weird. what artist is always happy with their art? you see problem areas, things you should've fixed, but in the end everyone is their own worst critic. and taking what charlie said about my bastard of a super ego, i'm trying to tell mine to please just let up a little.

i decided to put in old work from last year. much to my discontent, since i was set on having only new work. but as soon as i got the artwork on the wall, there was something missing. enter the big billboard aka dad in the hospital bed. yeah, didn't think i'd see that thing until i had to pack it in the uhaul. but alas, there it is. i see so many flaws, so many different things that i missed. but there are also some real gems in that painting that i am proud of (the oxygen mask, the neckbrace).and i thought it wouldn't relate and it does actually. it's the everyday struggle, the relentless pull, the constant reminder that our bodies age and deteriorate.

looking at my new new paintings next to my old, i realize i'm a different painter than i was last year. i blend more, pay attention to details, and really enjoy painting reflective surfaces. some of my weaknesses would probably getting flesh tones correct and also value. how i've gotten through 5 years of college and not understood value, psh no clue. but that's the nice thing about this show is just knowing that this is the beginning. i don't have to be the best, or perfect, there is time to develop and it's waiting for me as soon as i'm done with stout.

lately i've been wondering what happened in the past few years to change my painting. no, i do not have a style as of yet, but it's on the verge i feel. as i learn more about planes and value, i hope i continue to grow. charlie told me the other day that these new paintings may not be your best paintings but that's okay. he's right, but that's hard to admit. i know that these aren't my strongest pieces, but there's something happening there.

i'm writing this, so i don't forget. forget how these past months of agony (picking this major was my decision might i add) and this day of seeing my work next to two other amazing artists is real. soemtimes (okay a lot of times) i bitch and complain and not sure if i can make it, but as soon as it's over i realize that time i did really enjoy and take away something. i'm still processing all of this so, so it will take some time. but i'm glad the finish line is in plain sight.