May 30, 2016

264 Up Draft

Private Dancer264 Up Draft

30x30 inches :: original acrylic and spray paint painting on stretched canvas

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In her book, Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott talks about the writing process in terms of drafts. The first draft is what she calls the down draft. You just start getting words down on paper. Then she talks about the next draft being the up draft. To examine and fine tune and correct what has been put down. And then the final draft is the dental draft. Where each and every word is examined as a dentist would examine each pearly white.

The down draft for this work happened with layers of acrylics followed by stripes made with spray paints in the outdoors (for good ventilation) ... a time-consuming task with effects that I adore. The up draft was to paint a face and figure referencing an earlier watercolor work from a few days ago. And the dental draft ... looking at every detail while staying loose and free. So maybe less of a dentist and more of an organic farmer, examining each and every seed ... while dancing under the sun. I like that imagery.

May 28, 2016

263 Company

Flowers1263 Company

30x30 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas

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This is the demo painting I made while providing a private painting session today in the studio. It was such a great session. So much receptiveness in the crisp morning air to express, share, give, and receive. And actually many challenging topics to consider ... including one that's been on my mind lately, which is about the company I keep ... inspired by a documentary I saw about Tom Petty, whose work I admire so much ... which relates to the company he kept ... the artists with whom he collaborated ... Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, George Harrison. There's so much about the company that a person keeps. It speaks volumes.

So after the private painting session was officially over, I stayed in the studio and had a grand time finishing this large work with acrylics, appreciating how this re-entry into acrylics and larger substrates feels so good right now. And how very much I enjoy the company I am honored to keep.


May 27, 2016

262 She Will

She will262 She Will

30 x 30 inches :: original acrylic painting on stretched canvas

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It's always a jolt for me to switch gears from small to large. Oils to acrylics. Both of which I did today. Total jolt. Fish out of water, I feel like every time. And the process is one where I hold onto one of the biggest life lesson I've learned, which is to avoid spinning my wheels running around taking a poll from everyone about what should I do, but discerning what I will do and then doing it.


May 26, 2016

261 Spam

261 Spam261 Spam

5x5 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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A few years ago I paid homage to SPAM by doing several larger acrylic works of this food item that I ate a lot of as a child. Thought it would be fun to paint the subject with oil paints, which is what I did today. Spam was a go-to thing that was easy for an immigrant family to eat as we made every dollar and every meal stretch. My mom sliced Spam and fried it and served it to us with rice and seaweed. I think we even dipped it into a plate of soy sauce! Like it really needed more sodium. Hahaha.

May 25, 2016

260 The Inheritance

Wishes260 The Inheritance

5x7 inches :: original watercolor on paper

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I recently took an abstract watercolor class from Erin McIntosh. I am enjoying the ways in which what I learned is influencing my watercolor portraits. I feel that what I learn from other artists is an inheritance of sorts ... where I take what I learn and integrate it with my essence and allow new things to happen. It's a beautiful thing.  I hope that I continue to be a good steward with all that I inherit and gain from the people, places, and things that teach and inspire me. I referenced the oil painting I did yesterday for this work. //Comes with mat frame and backing mat, all ready to be encased into an 8x10 inch frame.

May 24, 2016

259 Evelyn

259 Evelyn

259 Evelyn

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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This is my demo painting from the private oil painting session I offered today. It was one of the most rewarding experiences that I've had. Beautiful work by all.

I named this one Evelyn, in honor of the word one of my favorite words: evolution. Maybe it's because last night, I was part of a program with my alma mater where I was asked to be part of a panel with a big audience where we were able to recollect some of our stories from the good ol days. Important stories.

And as much as I find it to be an honor to be asked because I was "the first to do this" and the "first to do that" I have never wanted to be that person who goes on and on with the same old stories. I want to create new stories. I want to remember but more than that, I want to evolve.

Yes, once upon a time I was editor of this, and president of that, and victim of this, and victor of that. I'm not saying any of that isn't important but repeat the same stories long enough and things get stale, boring, and uninspiring. I'm more interested in what comes after that. What have I done today? That's what I want to know. Well, what I did today was to allow this subject to become slightly funky, slightly abstracted, with a magical flower placed on her lips. Viva la evolution.

May 21, 2016

258 Crown of Thorns

Crown of Thorns258 Crown of Thorns

5x7 inches :: watercolor on paper with watercolor strips collaged with staples

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May 20, 2016

257 Sweet and Simple

257Timed257 Sweet and Simple

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I struggled today with composition and thought I might not get a painting done because the day has been so busy and as soon as I list this work I have to get ready for a busy night ahead. But the more I simplified things and kept things super minimal, the better I felt and it all came together. A dried peony flower in one of my glass jars next to my trusty kitchen timer. Sweet and simple.


May 19, 2016

256 Never Again. Great Again.

Never Again. Great Again256 Never Again. Great Again.

8x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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Such strange times we live in. Strange times. Strange fruit.

This work was inspired by the song, Strange Fruit, as sung by Nina Simone in 1965 (and written originally by Billie Holiday). A song in response to the lynchings of Black people in America (of which there were about 5,000 from the years of 1882-1978). 1978 is not that long ago. Just 4 years after my family and I came from Korea to the US, which means that lynchings were still happening during the first four years of my life in the US. It's when strange things happened simultaneously ... like when an Anglo family enveloped my family in love as they gave us food, shelter, and money and love as we transitioned into American life, while Anglo kids of a different family shoveled dog shit onto our driveway. I'm sure both families thought they were making America great again. 

Strange Fruit :: Billie Holiday

Southern trees
Bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves
And blood at the roots
Black bodies
Swinging in the southern breeze
Strange fruit hangin'
From the poplar trees
Pastoral scene
Of the gallant south
Them big bulging eyes
And the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolia
Clean and fresh
Then the sudden smell
Of burnin' flesh
Here is a fruit
For the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather
For the wind to suck
For the sun to rot
For the leaves to drop
Here is
Strange and bitter crop

May 18, 2016

255 Practice

Practice255 Practice

6x8 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I've recently added the practice of yoga into my life and I love it. I love that at the heart of the practice, it's not about mastery or victory but rather, that p-word: practice. Practice. Right where I'm at, with what I have, with what I don't have, in and out, the the degree that I want to be in or out. Peacefully and non-dramatically. Some poses I thought I could never do but incredibly with practice over time, I find myself doing them.

For this work, I referenced one of the poses from Laura Kasperzak's inspiring IG feed, someone who I discovered through my boxing coach, who has also discovered the wonders of yoga! Oh, this beautiful life.

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