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.

May 17, 2016

254 Stand There Shining

253 Lighthouse254 Stand There Shining

8x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I love and agree with this passage by writer Anne Lamott as written in her book, Bird by Bird: "Lighthouses don't go running all over an island looking for boats to save; they just stand there shining."

Lighthouses also don't hate, shame, preach, meddle, judge, or one-up. They simply are. Bright. Strong. And truthful. The passage and imagery inspire me to just be who I am in the least meddlesome and most bright and honest manner I possibly can. The reference for this work is an image I found on the Internet when I Googled the word "lighthouse".


252FM Loving Giving

Lovefinal252FM Loving Giving

8x10 inches :: original art quilt with free motion stitching and embroidery

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May 16, 2016

251 Sweets

251 Sweets251 Sweets

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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My plan today was to continue with the Twinkie from yesterday, but this time, with the plastic cover on it. Before I started, I grabbed a wedge of watermelon wrapped in plastic from the fridge to eat. As I started to dig into this juicy and sweet fruit with a spoon, I thought it would be a great thing to pair the melon with the Twinkie, along with the corresponding plastic.

This is the first time I have painted plastic and it was quite a challenge. But I kept thinking not that I was painting anything, really, except the shapes created by light and shadow. That helped a great deal.

Speaking of plastic, have you seen the piece about the plastic pollution hosted by Jeff Bridges? It's staggering about the over abundance of plastic that we humans produce and use and waste. The piece has educated and reminded me to be more mindful and try in small ways to avoid being a wasteful user.

May 15, 2016

250 Twinkie

Twinkie250 Twinkie

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I was 7 years old when I came to America from South Korea. My parents worked really hard and so my brothers and I were classic latch-key kids ... walking home from school every day, letting ourselves into the house, and feeding ourselves, and then doing our homework. My parents made sure to stock our pantry with lots of American snacks that excited all of us. We had never had such deliciousness in such abundance in Korea! My very favorite was the Twinkie. I loved everything about it. The way it looked, the way it tasted, the way it felt, the way it smelled, and the way the word sounded: Too-wink-eeee. I still love saying the word. Twinkie Twinkie Twinkie Twinkie. What a cute word!

It's been decades since I've purchased or eaten a Twinkie. And it felt kind of funny to buy a whole box today but I wanted to buy the box because the box also brings back so many memories. I LOVED opening that box. So crisp and full of excitement. My teen son told me that though he has had Zingers, today is the first day that he's actually eaten a Twinkie from the box I bought. As he took his first bite, he said "It's a beautiful thing."

In terms of the painting, I found myself applying the paint for the cream filling in a much thicker application than I usually do. In general, I prefer thin applications of paint and am very very cautious about using thick applications. But for the cream filling, I think it works. :-)


May 14, 2016

249 Fast Car

249 Fast Car249 Fast Car

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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When Tracy Chapman released her debut album in 1988, I was in college. It blew me away. Decades later, the album still blows me away ... every note, every word, every song, and really every ounce of strength that Tracy was able to exert by expressing these truths in such a beautiful way. When I sing these songs today, I still get weepy, like I did when I first heard them. I used the cover image of her debut album to reference for this work, infused with some of my own ideas about her, which I hope pay homage to this artist I so greatly admire.

248FM Here Before

248FM Here Before

8 inches tall :: original free motion stitched and watercolored art doll

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[I referenced a photo of a rabbit from the Internet to first stitch (without pre-made marks) and then to add the watercolors. The more I looked at the rabbit, the more I thought of this passage from one of my favorite writers, Lydia Davis: "Now that I have been here for a little while I can say with confidence that I have never been here before."]


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