holding on & letting go
holding on & letting go
I heard them calling in the distance
So I packed my things and ran
Far away from all the trouble
I had caused with my two hands
Alone we travelled armed with nothing but a shadow
We fled far away
Hold your horses now
Sleep until the sun goes down
Through the woods we ran
Deep into the mountain sound
– Mountain Sound, Of Monsters and Men
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
Revisiting an older piece
8.13.18 – 8.19.18
8.5.18 – 8.12.18
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
Here: a roundup of all my daily art entries for the month! From cotton candy skies to landscape doodles to opinion pieces nobody asked for, this month’s pieces reflect this month’s day-to-day. I rejoined the news writing and photography team at the newspaper–I joined illustration (!) I tried wine & cheese, done properly, for the first time.
I spent the first three weeks of January bumbling around, meeting new people and seeing old friends, etc. Being social in the busy bee talkative-as-ever way. I had no qualms calling up complete strangers I’d added only five minutes prior on FB (which I momentarily activated just for this phone call, where I hunted down strangers) for an interview.
And I didn’t mind step-dancing around and laughing and joking with strangers. Or going to friends’ houses or making new friends at birthday dinners or chatting up on politics with more strangers at debates. Or, in other words, doing extraverted and chatty and exhaustive things.
I mean, the exhausting part caught up within a few weeks–the familiar intense urge to hide-out to come over me. So I retreated into my cozy introverty den, a warm shell carved out for occasions just like this. A space to recharge, recharge, recharge.
At eleven I was enamored by sunsets—wash of pinkish orange, streaks of yellow, fading violet in the sky. The byproduct of our pollution, I read somewhere. Happy-go-lucky as ever, I found the silver lining: look at how beautiful human destruction can be.
1.1.18 | Daily Art
Cotton candy skies. That’s what the Youtube tutorial was called, at least, but my clouds look less like cotton candy and more like chewed-up Skittles hovering above spilled berry juice.
1.2.18 | Daily Art
A sky full of stars….
1.3.18 | Daily Art
Chorizo empanadas. Broken bulbs. James Dean. Frayed posters. Home theatre. Vanilla milkshake. Bundt cakes. Tush shakes. Awkward Juans (ones).
1.4.18 | Daily Art
During the day we went to the mall, chowed down on the savory and sweet. At Paciugo, I mixed Coconut gelato with Fruity Tutti for a light, beachy taste, sweet and tangy. I kept imagining the store would one day market the stellar combination, serve it to vacation-going gelato aficionados.
Afterwards we meandered around, stopping by the fountain, a restaurant, a bohemian overpriced home-and-dress shop. The handmade soaps store, less crowded, seemed smaller.
In the afternoon we split a shaved ice milk tea. Initially, it tasted like cold sand that’d melt into your mouth and turn into watery milk ice cream. The owner plucked in an ice cream fish, a sweet pastry stuffed with vanilla ice cream. On the house, she chirped.
Afterwards, we ate dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, where we sat across a massive fake tree and by long tables of families and co-workers. I finished my meal off with a strawberry daiquiri, texted several belated thanks, and cozied up at home.
1.5.18 | Daily Art
1.6.18 | Daily Art
Everybody wants to be a cat!…cause a cat is a cat who knows where he’s at.
When I was four I memorized the lyrics to the song Cats and creeped around singing it at the top of my lungs.
1.7.18 | Daily Art
Home. A lot less metropolitan than this painting would lead you to think. Quieter, too. Sweet, occasionally suffocating, suburbia. To be honest, it wasn’t until I left home that I realized all the things to do and places to go there were. The neighborhoods, niche cafes, art, museums, pockets of entertainment.
1.8.18| Daily Art
Purpley non-depiction of my surroundings. It’d snowed the day before. By the time I returned, there were layers and lumps of unmelted snow outside, piles muddied with dirt.
1.9.18| Daily Art
Branching leaves, creeping tendrils, wash of blue ivy.
1.10.18| Daily Art
As I took this photo (reference) with its snaking telephone wires and pointed cathedral towers and cyan blue skies, I thought to myself: I am happy to be here.
1.11.18| Daily Art
Quick snapshots of the walkway.
1.12.18| Daily Art
At the art museum, which I’ve wanted to visit for years, we passed by a few Degas works, angry charcoal sketches of ballerina dancers, juxtaposed against the many Renoirs littering the place. Renoir’s style was pasty and smooth, countless pastelly depictions of all-American blue-eyed little girls in blouses by the sea. Degas, on the other hand, had a fervent, loose and expressive style. I found myself sailing back to the previous rooms to get a better look at Degas.
Other things I noticed about the artists in the collection: Picasso’s earlier works, from his 20’s, were smooth and realistic–it wasn’t until much later that his pieces devolved into abstractions and shapes, none of which impressed 5 year old me. Van Gogh’s style’s similar to Degas–raw and vivid.’ Matisse’s work, although done in oil, looked watered down, almost acrylic; many of Matisse’s figures had eyes that bugged out and lined eyebrows.
The night before,
SG dragged me out I’d gone to take a mini-lesson in Latin and Ballroom dancing. It was surprisingly fun, a lot of basic rhythm and stamping around in the right direction. So consider this charcoal painting of a dancer an attempt at conveying both the art museum (Degas!) and the dance event.
1.13.18| Daily Art
Warmer days, warmer days. I’m dreaming of warmer days.
On an unrelated note, it’s National Squirrel Appreciation Day! Feed a local squirrel.
1.14.18| Daily Art
It’s been about a year since I’ve done photojournalism, picked up an assignment at the newspaper. So it felt like relief/excitement/exhilaration (or all!) to photograph tonight’s candlelight vigil. I tag-teamed the assignment with JS, another Associate Photo Editor from way back in the day. Got to know the new editors a bit better, too, and when we pulled up Notes to write a caption, the last post had been mine–written in November 2015!
All of this is just one convoluted way of saying: it feels good to be photographing again, and to be at the newspaper.
1.15.18 | Daily Art
Belladonna–a poison women used to dot in their eyes to make their pupils look wider, so they’d appear more attractive.
1.16.18| Daily Art
First newspaper illustration!
Guess who’s illustrating at the newspaper? -raises fork- I’ve always wanted to draw for the newspaper but never got around to applying. An art project mention (from a friend, a past associate editor!) and design editor-meeting later, I’m finally illustrating for the paper!
1.17.18| Daily Art
1) perfectly golden brown
triple stacked grilled
2) water fountains that dispel water that isn’t
metallicy or tap watery but is
instead, properly filtered
and clear (not like the cosmetic brand, more like
the way water should be)
3) best friends who, 4 years prior, demanded
commitment–not a monday, wednesday
friendship, okay? but, like, Friendship
like 8 missed calls Friendship–and with whom you vibe with because
1.18.18| Daily Art
Rosé all day–
Wine, meats, toast and cheeses, set out neatly on a beige platter. Plate of strawberries and macarons on the side. Not from the upscale fine-dining restaurant downtown, but from CL’s apartment–that’s right, she set this up herself (!)
1.19.18| Daily Art
1.20.18| Daily Art
I’m usually not superstitious, but a handful of eerily accurate fortune cookies in 2014 convinced me the cookies were onto something.
But–and this was the caveat– they were only accurate when the lady with the short hair and ringing voice and glasses handed them to us.
In the years since, I’ve visited the restaurant a lot less, cracked fewer fortune cookies. I stopped by recently and the waiter threw in an extra one, the one at the bottom. Not the same lady as the one from 2014, so I don’t ascribe the same fortune-ess powers, but who knows?
Maybe a new voyage will fill my life with untold memories.
1.21.18| Daily Art
That’s just the wave…
1.24.18| Daily Art
I wrote an article on an event going on in this grand Hogwartsy room, with its arched walls and vaulted ceilings. I thought about sketching out the event, but the setting–decorative, grand, Harry Potterish–really made it, I think.
1.25.18| Daily Art
The idea of the city as bustling and alive and empty and slow stemmed from a 5th grade school teacher, Mr. David, who was was wiry and tall, with edges like a bendy metal ruler. He spoke dreamily about urban paradoxes and told us—wee 10 yr olds—not to fuck with ouji boards.
1.26.18| Daily Art
1.29.18| Daily Art
Every few months, I’ll get the itch to lop off some hair. Sometimes it’ll starts to feel a little long. Or heavy. Or unhealthy, splits-endy, riddled with brassy blonde forks. Or, as in the case of 2016, my hair dryer will simply break in the middle of February, coldest time of year, and I’ll be too lazy to buy a new one, so I’ll cut off my hair instead.
This time, though, it just spun too many times when I bunn’ed it over my head. The ends felt speckled and dry and fried, probably from all the hydrogen peroxide I doused it in over the summer. It just felt weird. Too long. Too light. Too dry. So I cut off four inches–a pretty moderate snip, if you know me.
Last time, I went overboard, chopped off a layer so short it hung parallel to my ear.
It feels short and clean and healthy right now. The ends are dark, the way they should be, and not forked or fried at the ends. I thinned out my hair as well but it feels the right amount of thick, enough to keep my scalp warm (I hope), but not so thick I feel like a tree.
Since I was already on the grooming train, I figured I’d do my eyebrows as well. So I threaded those bad boys. My skin above my brow’s burning a little now.
1.30.18| Daily Art
Fun fact: Canada Goose jackets are made from the fur of coyotes that’ve been killed and skinned. The coyotes often end up being “shot, stomped on, or bludgeoned to death.” Yet in our avid status seeking, we buy the bloodstained product in hordes.
This is what I’m trying to figure out: do people know what the jackets are made of? Or are we too blinded by elitism, conformity, and status-seeking to care?
1.31.18 | Daily Art
“I like you; your eyes are full of language.”
[Letter to Anne Clarke, July 3, 1964.]”
Another fancy name for nosebleed, a set of constellations in the sky. Can you see the W? I pretend I can. But if you use your imagination hard enough, anything can morph into the alphabet.. Cassiopeia: not a body of stars, but pronunciations we stumble on a Saturday night.