Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Shop for art!

As a woman, I love shopping in general. But, I've got to say, my two favorite things to shop for are art supplies and books!! By the way, if you live in TO and you paint, you should really go to Gwartzman's on Spadina Ave. They have the best prices on canvas and acrylic paint. Curry's is good (costly on certain items) but they have all sorts of texture modifiers to play with. Recently, I have tried moulding paste, gloss polymer medium, black lava and resin sand. They give extra characters to what I'm trying to created. So far, I really like how the gloss extend and mix the colors I used. Also, I'm totally in love with iridescent paint - espeically gold. They finally got resin sand in and well, it gives you that sandy, rough texture underneath the paint. I stop shopping at Above Ground and Deserres - too expensive compared to the other stores. Anyway, just a bit of review for my fellow TO artists.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Not A 7-11 Artist

Lately, I wonder if I have lost a certain perspective in making abstract work. Though, packed with feelings for me, not everyone gets the idea behind the work. I often face questions like "what does it mean" or "what am I looking at." And, I find myself hesitating in answering this kind of questions.

I have always maintained the position that a viewer should find his or her connection with any artwork, and establish one’s own opinions as to what the piece means to him. However, in reality, much of the public wants to be fed an amount of things it can recognize, like a tree or a person, before any thought or feeling is processed. I am realizing that audiences prefer to view artworks that are “practical”.

As an artist who is striving to be more commercial, I find myself making more and more landscape work – images people could easily comprehend. I try to incorporate my style in it, but somehow, with fewer questions came fewer emotional responses. I catch myself thinking, while painting, that “is my audience going to distinguish this part.”

Eventually, I catered too much to the need of my viewers that I am losing all sense of perspective as an artist; I’ve become a 7-11-artist because I want to sell my work. True, there is a sense of comfort in looking at things we identify - there is no urgency to dip deep and to discover what other meanings something might embody. But, I think that is the real allure in abstract work. Something that makes us wonder, try to figure out and to think about.

Therefore, though it was nice to paint water and mountain, I must now return to abstract art where my true heart lies and regain my inspiration in producing artworks.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


For the past two weeks, I have continued to work with acrylic and palette knife to create different results in a couple of paintings. The modeling paste I mentioned before had a great texture effect, I was really pleased to add an extra element in my work. I also did a 4-panel painting. Never done it before and I like how I can look at the panels as one or individually. The colors I chose for this project were more earth-tone, which is another difference in my work.

Acrylic is really an awesome medium. It never ceases to surprise me at how versatile it can be. I have discovered all sorts of "effects" I can mix with paint. So far, I have worked with modeling paste and I am about to try "black lava" and "gloss medium." There is this effect called "resin sand" that I am dying to try, but it is always sold out. I hope to get it this week. Can't wait to see what comes of it.

In most of my work, I have realized that the process really reflects in the art. If I enjoy the process, I feel like the piece has reached a new height after completion. Even if I did not start with a clear vision, as long as I am focused with the intention to experiment, the work still takes on a life of its own to communicate a specific emotion. With that being said, I do get frustrated when a creative block occurs. In this case, the only thing I can do is to take my time and not rush to produce. I think artists feel when he is ready to create. Rushing to anything is only a waste of time because one is not focused on the work, but instead is driven to produce meaningless pieces.

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Thursday, January 5, 2012

Modeling Paste

It's 2012 and I am playing with a new material~~! It's always fun to discover new things, maybe that's why I love art so much! So, I've been playing with modeling paste on canvas before I layer acrylic paint on top. It's a really interesting medium, and it comes in all sorts of finishes (some even sparkling!!). For now, I'm creating parts of 3D texture and make certain shape stands out more. The texture it created on the canvas was pretty intense. I follow-up by using the dry-brush technique and stipple the hell out of the canvas. I find that when stippling the paint, it helps the texture maintain its looks. So far, the shapes are still quite abstract. I will investigate on this more and see how far it takes me!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Making mould!!

It's been ages since I made any moulds. So, when the feeling strikes I decided to cast a face in plaster bandages. I remember being inspired by George Segal, the sculptor who makes his work entirely in this particular material. It's amazing how he captures the essence of body gestures and illustrates the mood with these "white" body sculptures in public spaces. When I see images of his sculptures, I feel a sense of eeriness as if time has stopped to preserve a certain moment. 

When the mould dries properly, I will make a positive plaster mould so I can fix some details and manipulate the cast. It should be tremendous fun!!

Monday, December 19, 2011

I heart makeup!

I was sorting through my makeup supplies over the weekend, and decided to paint my face! As one might notice, I like to mix beauty makeup with little drawings on the face to make things more interesting. I used to dread doing only beauty makeup because most ladies want the same thing. Makeup is inspiring and it's another form of art. It should be  more than just smoky eyes and pale lipgloss!! I appreciate how it alters a person's face dramatically with colors and depth. Of course, the sparkles are just fabulous, too!

Also, from my research, I've came across an artist named Louise Bourgeois. She does casting of hand gestures. "There's nothing so fraught with significance as the human hands" - this quote gave me some inspirations to do some casting of myself. Stay tune for upcoming sculptures~!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The benefit of having mild ADD

The benefit of having a mild case of ADD is that I get to wonder about different things. So far, I've been playing with colors - mixing them directly and heavily onto canvas, and watching them mingle and transform. I use a spatula and direct the colors in swift and broad strokes, leaving behind traces of body movement. This method is inspired, obviously, by Jackson Pollock. Most people laugh when them view Pollock's work - seeing them as paintings children can easily mimic. But, I think the way Pollock "splashed" paint is quite poetic; I see paint as a continuation of his actions, and the canvas a record of that. Pollock saw a completely different universe on his canvases, and he tried to communicate that in his own language. I think that's what all artists try to accomplish in their work no matter what medium or style.

At first, I use smaller strokes to mix the colors - closer to pointillism/impressionism. As I continue the practice, I became bolder with the experiment and painted in larger stroke and movement. The feeling I get when doing this is really quite liberating. There's no confinement or restriction - apart from the edges of one's canvas.

Now, I am interested in combining this technique with theatrical characters. I will start on character studies with some sketches; I want to emphasize on magnifying the "character", rather than drawing a realistic portrait. I think this will bring me closer to the show I want and it will be so much fun!!!