Friday, September 11, 2015

An Artist learning from Mark Randolph - Netflix.

Last night as a guest of my boyfriend, we sat among Columbia alumni listening to the co-founder of Netflix share how it all started. Mark Randolph was impressive –not because he is a millionaire, not because he is a genius for the Netflix concept; but because he was wise. The one comment he made that stuck with me and probably with 90% of the audience was, “As you get older, you learn to recognize what you are good at, what other people are good at.”

For years, maybe even decades, I struggled with my desire to paint something amazing –something shocking to grip a person’s attention. I loved painting nudes because it came easily to me, AND because it shocked my Christian community. As I grew older, as an artist –with an artist’s eye – I still find a woman’s body beautiful.  (And no, I’m not a lesbian.  And no, I am not “really a lesbian and didn’t know it”.)   As Mr. Randolph wisely stated, you learn to recognize things. I have learned to surrender the whole notion of creating for the sake of an intellectual theory, or to make a bold statement. I have learned to recognize that I create because it makes me feel good. It brings joy to me and to the people I reach. I learned that the act of self-expression in its truest form can change the world.

My dream is to help change each and every individual who think they cannot create, who are depressed, who feel alone, and who need a community where they can be brave enough to explore the unknown with profound expression. With this kind of heartfelt bravery to be vulnerable, a new and better world may be born and lives will be transformed.  

My goal is to create a tiny art studio that I can haul from one neighborhood/school/organization to the next. My tiny art studio will help build confidence to the weak, reduce stress/depression, and increase happiness by offering art lessons that focus on building a brighter and stronger future while spreading beauty and courage in the community.

Anything is possible once you are brave enough to disrupt the negativity of this world. With that, expect an Indiegogo campaign soon. In the meantime, any designers out there who would like to help me with the look and feel of my tiny art studio?

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Capturing a Moment to Collage

For my final art entry, I chose to create a collage using limited amount of supplies. It represents the amount of resources listed for us to read, watch and/or listened to during our Graduate Program.

For this final project, I wanted to create collage in a small, contained size by using a 3.5” x 5.25” etching paper. My purpose was to allow the collage to grow spontaneously, like the subject matters and information that stuck with me from the Graduate Program. Not everything that was taught stayed with me, nor did I find everything valuable. However, the program was packaged tightly and very well organized.
Limited amount of supplies for collage making.

Goal was to create a predominantly horizontal feel.

Playing with glue to add interest.

Using flags to create an horizon line.

Though I wanted the collage to form organically, I still needed structure. I gave myself one rule, to make the piece look predominantly horizontal. [Figure 1]  After working on the first piece for 30 minutes, I didn’t like it. The next piece was predominately diagonal. [Figure 2]   I liked it but not completely satisfied. The third was predominately vertical. [Figure 3]  This is like school; we received instructions of our homework, yet still had options of what we wanted to write on.
[Figure 1]

[Figure 2]

[Figure 3]

After more than an hour went by, I decided to let go and not think too much about creating an ineffable piece of art that is arresting for every viewer. Four hours into it, I completed 7 pieces (in total). Interestingly enough, I didn’t realize how long I spent on this project. It felt less than an hour. The work drama and persona- life issues melted away. The last 4 collages felt more organic and simplified.

In reflection, this is a process would benefit the patients greatly. It could truly allow them to experience the state of “flow”, when a person enjoys a process that he is completely absorbed in it. This process helped peel off a few layers of my stressful day. I remember starting with extremely tight shoulders and ended forgetting that I needed a massage. The small contained space will make it less intimidating for patients as well. This might be a great self-expressive project for a patient, but most importantly, it will help usher in the state of “flow”.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Yupo is not an emotive, YUPO is for watercolor

Urban dictionary will tell you that Yupo means ‘yes’ in an excited way. Today, we will use YUPO in a different form. For a few months now, I have heard about this amazing new watercolor paper call “YUPO”. For my creative practice, I decided to try this very expensive synthetic paper.
YUPO paper is different from other watercolor paper. It has a wax feel to it. When we apply the watercolor to the paper, the water gets absorbed into the atmosphere rather than into the paper like most watercolor paper. This means it takes a while to dry. Be forewarned, it has a mind of its own, but the results can be a nice surprise. Just knowing that I cannot be in a hurry with YUPO paper was forcing me to enjoy the process.
What You’ll Need:
·         YUPO Watercolor Paper
·         Koi Watercolors with Reusable Waterbrush
·         Pencil
·         Ink Pen
·         Your Imagination
·         Patience
·         Time (at least an hour)
At first, I tried to control the painting by drawing the flowers and the tree branch with a pencil. The pencil on YUPO paper feels like gliding on rich melted chocolate. It feels so smooth and good. Embarrassing to admit it, but it is true! I love how the pencil skates on the paper!
Starting with a reusable waterbrush, I added the various colors in small areas, but when the reusable waterbrush started leaking more what than desired, the colors ran together. Holding the papers up and down, trying to help the flow of the water made me forget for a minute.  I then realized I enjoyed watching the colors mixed and how they flowed on their own. I found myself having fun and accepting whatever the outcome maybe.
As I stated before, it takes a while for the paper to dry, and you have to be patient. After over an hour of waiting, the end result looks different from what I am used to.  I then used an ink pen to add final touches. Next time, I will try watercolor ink with alcohol and salt.

Close-up of Final Piece

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Slip Me a Book

My youngest half-sister’s birthday is coming up. She has everything money could buy, so I decided to make her a slipcase for her favorite book, The Catcher in The Rye. A slipcase is a box that protects your book from the light and air. It’s not 100% protective since you will see the spine of your book. Here is the end result so you’ll get a better idea of what it is. The box allows the book to slide (slip) right in.


Davey board
Book Cloth
Lining Paper
PVA Glue
Glue Brush
X-Acto knife
Bone folder
Cutting Board

1.       Measure the book and add the thickness of the board on each side of book.

2.       Cut out 2 faces, 3 sides from the Davey Boards.

3.       Glue lining paper onto the Davey Boards for the inside.

4.       Glue three of the sides to one of the faces. (see below)


5.      Then glue the top to complete the box.


6.   Measure the book cloth by adding .5 to 1 inch on each end.
7. Glue the book cloth to the outside of the box.
8. Glue the box on both faces.

9.      Cut the end flaps at the spine.

10.     Fold the flaps in at the spine, and then fold the flaps into the box.
11.     If there is excess book cover sticking out, cut it off.

12.    Cut the ends at the opening of the box.

13.     Fold and glue everything inside the box and slip your book in when the box has dried.

This project only took me 2.5 hours. It went by fast and I felt very good about the final product. The way the book cloth feels. It made the book seem more valuable than me paying 50 cents for it at Goodwill.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Creative Practice Wk1 - You Paint Me Round, Round

Recently, I came across some images of painted stones.  The painter created a mandala pattern using white acrylic ink and a quill pen. Just looking at the painted stones made me happy. It created a desire to own something like them. With the knowledge that there has been research on how therapeutic drawing mandalas could be, I thought I would try creating my own painted stone. The initial reaction was fear –fear of creating something ugly, fear of not knowing how to create a perfect circle.

Once the ink touched the stone, it was commitment time; it was time to let go of control. I found myself calmer, more focused on trying to get the ink onto the rock. My brain ended up telling my hand to create certain patterns before I completed the previous pattern. It felt good watching the patterns gradually form.

Though this was my first mandala, I can see that my hand-eye coordination will increase and the patterns will become more creative with practice.

Materials Needed:
  • Round Stone
  • Acrylic Ink - Any Color
  • Quill Pen or paint brush

Create your pattern on the stone, starting from center working your way out.

Final product.

I decided to do some art vandalism with  my painted stone by placing it in a planter with other rocks.

This rock is in a planter at a hospital. Hopefully someone who needs a blessing for the day will find it. They will only see the blessings if they flip the rock over.