nostalgia ruins

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De-dandelioning. I cut my boyfriend’s hair today, effectively de-hooliganizing him. I also did his eyebrows a few days ago. He no longer looks like an unkempt dandelion. He has, as I have fondly been saying, gone from the streets to the walkway.

Nostalgia ruins. I wish somebody had taught me how to use the delete button in 2012, 2013, 2014. I organized my photos from the past 10 years, from 2008 to 2018, and every year has racked up at least 15 GB in data. Many of the photos are silly, blurry, repeats, meaningless, or all of the above. I’ve taken it upon myself to de-folder these macro folders and delete any images I wouldn’t deem scrapbook-worthy. It’s just too much to have 20,000 images per year. My life was certainly not exciting enough to warrant tens of thousands of photos. A few hundred, or a few thousand, might be apt. But tens of thousands is just overkill.

Rabbit love. I’m seriously considering buying a rabbit. This morning I scrolled through reddit r/rabbits and watched videos of bunnies saving kittens. I’d get a cat, but I’m allergic; I’d get a dog, but they smell and require too much effort; I’d get a hamster, but their lives are far too short. The amount of love that’s brought to an abrupt halt is just overwhelming. I love the way rabbits flop and do little happy binkies. I became familiar with the baby bunny in the backyard, whom I would frequently visit, and who would flip and turn when she saw me. She’s all grown up. I want a small creature to love! Later, I will go look for bunnies to peer at and learn about.

Futurama. I took the GRE yesterday after three months of prep. My brain was scrambled, a little during, mostly after, but I did fine, so I won’t be taking it again. The test was designed by IO psychologists–studies indicate that oftentimes, people score within the same range, anyways. Anyhow, it’s exciting to recognize and (gleefully) point out the ways IO psychologists make their mark within corporate, government and academia. Who knew they designed the army test, ASVAB, and made waves from there?

Recurring film obsession. It’s back, it’s back, it’s back. The film obsession I couldn’t shake off four years ago. I’d really like to travel and take photographs, but I’m just recovering from a severe desire to stay put. So I think it’d be a happy compromise to explore some artsy neighborhoods and photograph those, and to simply keep my film camera on hand.

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Medley | Photo Diary

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Right now I’m perusing the Internet for places to develop color film. Last year, I ordered four rolls of film; that, along with my two disposable cameras, meant I had six rolls to shoot through. I have barely gotten through one. Film is expensive; I am cheap. In comparison to digital, film is pricey–each shot must be worth it. It’s time-consuming, too, sending the rolls to the lab and waiting weeks for it to arrive, if ever. (I lost a roll last year, alas) But while I peer over digital images, I value my film ones. I hang them on the wall. I milk them, post by post. I have loved film for years, and yet I have been so stingy with it.

Photography and I have had a rocky relationship the past few years. Long story short, I’ve always loved photography, dreamt of being a paid photographer, became a paid photographer, stopped liking photography. It felt corny. People would always bring up photography in conversations, ask about photography–photography, photography, photography. It felt cheap. But now I miss it. Well, not the paid part. I miss wanting to take photos, and feeling compelled to do so. I wish I’d taken more photos when I was in DC, New York, Philly, but I was on that strange photo-taker’s block. Now I’m in a still city and aching to take more pictures. Maybe I’ll just start with film–I’ll carry my film cameras around.

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I’m really happy to be working towards this particular career path in Psychology. It’s do-able. It feels right. As much as I love creative pursuits, I’m not willing to eke out a paltry living for the rest of my life. And while I enjoyed aspects of Communication–interviewing, writing and transcribing in Journalism were rather useful skills–I was continually led towards a primary, unwavering interest: Psychology.

Now, in the interim, I’m teaching, working with a Professor who studies literacy and development, and getting to better understand this field within Psych (For any or all Psych nerds, it’s IO). I’m eyeing the Master’s; I never thought I’d pursue graduate school. But the more I learn about IO, the more crucial it seems to know. Ah! It is useful; it is fascinating; it is lucrative; it is meaningful.

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IMG_7820A hodgepodge of more unrelated thoughts:

  • Bojack Horseman’s rolled out a Season 5–tissues are at the ready.
  • Identity V remains alluring, as usual.
  • I’d like something to celebrate, just so I can drink more Bailey’s with the boyfriend.
  • My student gave me pumpkin tea the other day, and ever since, I’ve been hooked.
  • Boyfriend and I stumbled upon an artsy street the other day, which housed indie shops and rooftop restaurants and a Trader Joe’s.

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One of the things that initially drew me to blogging 10 years ago was old-school style blogging, like web-logging, like jotting down journal chunks of your day-today. The online web-log, shortened to a blog. But I turned from Tumblr to WordPress, which I set up like a small artsy hub of creative expression. From time to time, though, I simply want to revert back to the old-school blog style, where my entries cover the mundane, the intangible, the thought-y, the daily. I’ll try it. Again. And again. It’s been a long time since I have written.

August 2018 | Daily (Weekly) Art

August 20 to Sept 3

Swinging Away, This Childhood

I spent the past two weeks slowly working on this piece, redoing it for the third or fourth time in years. Skies, I’ve come to learn, are deceptively easy to paint.

8.20.18 – 9.2.18

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Revisiting an older piece

8.13.18 – 8.19.18

August 6th to August 13th.jpg

Mountainscape

8.5.18 – 8.12.18

July 29 to August 5th.jpg

Somewhere in Greece, a piece I worked on last week. 😎 Not sure if this defies the rules of #dailyart, but in lieu of drawing something small every 7 days, I worked on this larger piece….every day.

The purpose of this art project was to push me to make art consistently, even if I didn’t want to. on the upside, I’ve been churning pieces out! On the downside, sometimes they’re of subpar quality. Stumbling upon older, more elaborate paintings hammered in this realization.

For the next few weeks, I’m going to try & devote more time to fewer, but more detailed, pieces, and to work on them every day.

7.30.18 – 8.4.18

Series of Fun Dates | Photo Diary

Everything’s been a blur of work, dates, work and rest lately.

I perused through some photos to see, exactly, what I’ve been up to the past few weeks. They’ve been dotted with a series of fun dates with the boyfriend–visits to the art museum, walks around hipster district, strolls around the lake, movies and dinner, etc.

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Our first trip into the city. We stopped by for grilled cheese sandwiches and bruschetta, then strolled around the shops and homes. I got my art fix at the hipster-y district, which housed some small galleries.

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Later in the afternoon, we ventured to a larger art museum nearby, where I saw works by the Guerilla Girls– in the flesh! I’d spent a few classes in university learning about them, so it was incredibly cool to visit a gallery featuring their work.

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I’ve always loved furniture stores–vast, spacious, and littered with soft beds and pillows and imaginative decor. I tagged along on boyfriend’s furniture shopping for a desk to one of the largest furniture shops in the area, where we hung out for hours.

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The other day, we visited one of his favorite restaurants, only to catch the annual accordion-tuba concert, which ended up being a mix of light comedy and yodeling. Yodeling! I’d never heard anyone yodel before.

The food, also, was terrific. We ordered wiener schnitzels, with fried potatoes and a light chocolate cake.

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Silhouettes by the lake. We took a rowdy walk around the lake after stuffing ourselves full with food, and ended up racing back to the apartment.

Fallible

People are disappointing. People are fallible. People are real and complex and strange. We stumble in all the ways The Four Agreements says that we do.

I read the book years ago and tried recommending it to those who needed it most. To those who took things personally endlessly, who spread vitriolic poison for the sake of it, who wallowed in their own disappointments. They thought the book was too preach-y. I think it was was too on-the-nose.

Time and time again, I find that there are two sources of comfort: books and animals. Books, because they are worlds, and because they are predictable, even when they are not. And animals, because animals have fewer pretenses than people. But mostly books.

So I have stocked up on books because they bring a quiet, but palpable, happiness, and are not fallible in the mind-numbing way that we, and others, are.

June 2018 | Daily Art

To see more works from June, you can scroll down in the box below

June 4th

I spy with my little eye…a disorganized art project.

This week, I’ve been working with oil pastels, the adult artist’s fancier version of crayons. I stumbled upon them while cleaning out my supplies. Pastels feel childish to draw with at first–it’s all very waxy and chalky and messy. But a bit of blending and mixing will bring out a bit of realism!

6.4.18 | Daily Art


June 5th

Gesture and movement–I used to practice figure drawing by drawing random passerby’s in coffeeshops or sketching people’s faces in class.

It is about capturing their essence!

6.5.18 | Daily Art


June 6th

Shapes, shapes. This was a fun little exercise in colors.

6.6.18 | Daily Art


 

 

Fruity.

6.7.18 | Daily Art


June 8th

6.8.18 | Daily Art


June 9th

Violet

6.9.18 & 6.10.18 | Daily Art


 

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Unable to decide between the fuzzy border and circle border, I took it to IG story, where I set up a poll. The fuzzy border gives it a messy, organic look; the circle border, as my boyfriend suggested, makes it look like the view from a telescope.

Of the 80 voters on IG, 70% voted for the fuzzy border and 30% voted for the circle border. Which of the two do you prefer?

6.11.18 | Daily Art


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Scrambling for titles–the figure reminded me of a model, and the twins as if they’ve been cut out of construction paper. Unrelated thoughts:

  • Summer sounds like hissing cicadas outside my window.
  • God, I miss Austin and Gordough’s. Could we vacation there ASAP? Eat and eat and eat? Kayak furiously? Again with the so-nostalgic-it-hurts feels. Every year, one year later, I’ll look back fondly on what happened about 365 days ago. It’s a curse of sentimentality.
  • I know I started a blog to write, but sometimes my head cramps and I won’t want to write anything because it’ll seem too insignificant.
  • Reminder to self: don’t fuss over the larger picture. It’s better to set large goals, break them down, and take life day-by-day.

6.12.18 | Daily Art


 

 

flower sketch digital drawing illustration rose

A bouquet of plastic flowers

6.13.18 | Daily Art


 

strawberry illustration design

Strawberry fields forever

6.14.18 | Daily Art


 

art painting wave watercolor

It comes and goes in waves.

6.15.18 | Daily Art


June 16

Floral Vectors

6.16.18 | Daily Art


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6.17.18 | Daily Art


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Sunny side up

6.18.18 | Daily Art


Inspired by The Incredibles 2, I drew the main character in the short film, Bao, as well as my favorite character ever, Edna Mode! I threw in a little cartoon named Eggy for unrelated kicks and giggles.

June 19

Bao bao in Chinese is a term of endearment; it’s like the word “honey” or “sweetie.” A bao zhi is a type of meat dumpling. In the film, the mother’s bao bao (her son) is embodied in a bao zhi named Bao!

6.19.18 | Daily Art


June 21

“No capes!”

God, I love Edna.

6.20.18 & 6.21.18 | Daily Art


June 20

This, world, is Eggy.

6.22.18 & 6.23.18 | Daily Art


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Micron bloom. I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed drawing flowers until I started this project, and drew them almost every other week.

They’re just…naturally beautiful subjects, although I’d never paid them much attention when I was younger.

6.24.18| Daily Art


ramen illustration

 

Today, I felt like making spicy Shoyu ramen. I’ve never appreciated ramen much; the word “ramen’s” conflated with cheap-low-quality-noodles, and I never understood the appeal. Recently, though, I went to a Japanese sushi restaurant where I ordered some ramen. Life-changing. Mind-altering! The broth was rich (it’d probably been boiled for hours with meat and bones) and spicy; the egg was runny and soft-boiled. I thought I’d try my hand at a slightly simpler version, since I don’t have pork bones within reach, and I’m too impatient to boil broth for a whole day.

So I used chicken broth and dashi broth with sesame oil, garlic, soy sauce, etc–a whole slew of ingredients I threw into a pot and brought to a simmer. I soft-boiled an egg that decided to crack on its way down, so I crossed my fingers, barely moved the pot, and lo and behold, it came out solid. Misshapen, but solid. I threw in some seaweed, and there I had it: slightly altered ramen, but not the cheap Instant stuff you find for 25 cents.

6.25.18 | Daily Art


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Creeping, crawling tendrils.

6.26.18 | Daily Art


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We drive past sprawling landscapes dotted with cows and horses. Over the years, I’ve grown more and more appreciative of crosses between the suburbs and countryside.

6.27.18 | Daily Art


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Mountainside. Recently I stumbled upon an artist’s IG page where she staggered her pieces based on color scheme and B&W. I’m trying to do the same. I’ve yet to see how it goes, but hopefully it doesn’t require too much work. And I can practice simpler pieces, too–although, admittedly, my whole project’s been mostly simple illustrations.

6.28.18 | Daily Art


lotus flower animation

“There is the mud, and there is the lotus that grows out of the mud. We need the mud in order to make the lotus.” – Thich Nhat Hanh

6.29.18 | Daily Art


galaxy painting animation

In the cosmic blink of an eye–

6.30.18 | Daily Art

To Love and To Be Loved

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I’ve slipped back into life as it’s been: seeing friends, talking to my boyfriend, spending time con la familia. I hear about relationships fragmenting and forming. It’s strange how relationships, by default, are in flux. I imagine that friends in the mid-to-outer circle are changing–not so much for closer relationships. But I guess that’s an illusion.

Life is too short to not spend it with the people you love, I murmured. Did you just read an Instagram caption? my boyfriend asked. I huffed. I said that it was a midnight musing–not an Instagram caption. But it’s true. To me, at least. From reading children’s books to books about death and illness and meaning and regret, I gather that this abstraction–love!–that poets wax on about and singers warble on about and writers scribble on about is what matters most. It isn’t money or material items or career or achievements or resumé markers or positions or charm. It’s the simple, deceptively simple! equation of existence: to love and to be loved.