Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

There is no longer a countdown on top of the page
I just turned in my portfolio for CalArts today.
I was nervous just walking into the admissions office. But it's all good now.
I can relax a bit and wait for the decision's letter.
I might up a countdown for the month of April because that's supposed to be the month that I will hear from CalArts if I got in or not.
It's been quite the crazy month, and now I can celebrate with Thanksgiving.
And I have quite a lot to be thankful for!
My family, the teachers who have helped me and friends.
I remember, when I was getting stamps carved for me for my Chinese paintings, my mom suggested a Chinese quote. I don't remember the quote but translated into English it's: Be grateful for what you have.
(Something like that... I hope I didn't butcher it..)

I really hope that whatever happens works out for the best.
Though... I really do want to get into CalArts :)
We'll all be waiting.
I'm going to keep this post short

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 23, 2008


I guess the title of this post is the description of the pictures that I posted
and my stomach...I'm so nervous
I know my CalArts countdown says that I have a week left but I'm actually turning my portfolio in on Wednesday the 26th. The schedule got a little complicated with Thanksgiving and CalArts being closed on the weekends.
But I think my portfolio has gotten a lot stronger since Portfolio Day.
I haven't exactly been neglecting my blog, I've just been doing other drawing.
I went to the Long Beach aquarium today to do some animal drawings with Gary Geraths.
I got some really good drawings that will be put into my portfolio.
I'll post my pictures of my portfolio after I send it in. Gotta do it anyways so I can apply to another art school.
But for now, I just wanna post pictures of jellyfish.
Beautiful serene jellyfish...

It's sad how bad my camera is. People next to me were taking photos of these guys with their cellphones and their pictures were much crisper. I need a better camera...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Chinese blood?

I just wanted to take a short post to share some thoughts.

Mr. Lee asked me to describe myself a bit and why I wanted to take up Chinese painting.
So I told my mom to translate and write about how I have always been interested in art and that Chinese painting was a new way to develop myself as an artist. Some good honest stuff like that.
But my mom wrote something else and when I read it, it said:
Everyone must be curious as to why I like Chinese painting,
it's because I have Chinese blood in me.

Wow... I really thought that was corny. And I asked my mom if she was sure about it.
I trusted my mom because she is old school Chinese and I wouldn't want to argue with that :P
So the time came to present my speech.
I spoke to the audience and I told them the reason why I took up Chinese painting:
because of my Chinese blood.
And unexpectedly, the audience cheered. It really wasn't the response I was going for, but I guess that really appealed to them.

But in the end, it is an honor to have Chinese blood in me and have the ability to create those Chinese paintings.

On a day like this, I can't help but also think about the World Wars.
The World Wars are only history and stories now, but it is because of them-the men and women of the world wars-that we are what we are today.
I can't help but think of the Bixby Letter written by Abraham Lincoln

"Dear Madam,--

I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle
... I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.

Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,

A. Lincoln"

Yeah, I read that some parts of the letter are inaccurate and etc. (and I shortened it..)
But I think Abraham Lincoln really captured the soul of this holiday.
This letter was read out loud in Saving Private Ryan... which I think the movie totally cheats because Tom Hanks is such a good actor (big fan right here!).
I also want to give a shout out to my good friend Derek Casarez who is currently in the Marines serving the country.
Indeed, it is a good time to be a proud American Chinese :)
Happy Veterans Day!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chinese Painting Exhibition

This weekend was fantastic! The Chinese exhibition was a real success and it was just in general, a very awesome experience. It all started with setting up on Friday. The exhibition room was empty and we when we began to put up all the paintings, I was just in awe. Especially Mr. Lee's paintings. Him and my teacher had the largest paintings. They were monstrous, I'm guessing 6'x4' or 5'x4'. Very big, but beautiful :)
Then on Saturday, we had our opening ceremony hosted by me... x_x
But it was wonderful because I realize why my teacher and Mr. Lee chose me as the host. Since I'm my teacher's youngest student, they wanted to use me as a symbol of the longevity of Chinese painting. I am really honored to have been host. Chinese painting has been a very wonderful journey and I'm really glad that I was able to express my feelings.
Afterwards, I took my time to walk around the exhibition and look at my peer's paintings.
They really are beautiful and very inspiring. All of them have been painting for 3 years plus. My little paintings are nothing compared to them. But I think everyone of us has our specialties. My teacher wants to cancel class for this week but I will hassle the man because I can't wait to learn how to paint like my peers!!!
I'm hoping that next year's exhibition, we will achieve our goal of spreading the Chinese tradition of painting to a lot more people. I took many pictures because I want to bring the exhibition to my blog.
Some paintings were very high up so some pictures may be at a weird angle.

This magnificent painting was done by my teacher. Most of my pictures are only parts of the painting, but I wanted to really zoom in on the eye candy :)

This is one of Mr. Lee's. Mr Lee and my teacher are the only ones who paint the large birds of prey. Very awesome.

Shrimps painting by my teacher. This is one of my teacher's specialties.
This piece is done by a women named Helen Wang. I think it's one of my favorites. This picture was up high and very large. But I wanted to take a picture of the whole thing because it's very cute in a sense. The pink dot in the middle is a plum blossom and all the koi are gathering around it because they are curious as to what fell into their pond :)

This is also another one of my favorites. These purple flowers are chrysanthemums. I'm not very good at painting these, but this painting really inspires to become better. Soooo beautiful...

A signature painting of Mr. Lee's: crabs.

I did not include any of my paintings because I have done so already in this blog :P
I really can't wait to paint those large paintings like my peers..
Next time I will take pictures of the actual exhibition because I want to be able to show the scale of these paintings.
I hope that these Chinese paintings can inspire everyone. Next year's exhibition will be even better. Hopefully a lot more people will attend. Not just Chinese people! Because our goal is to share this wonderful art with all kinds of people :)
Every year it is held in El Monte at this little cultural center. I will posting information about it next time so the people who stumble upon my blog will be aware!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Waiting for December...

I thought October was a hectic month because of portfolio day.
But November has been pretty busy mainly because of the Chinese painting exhibition.
It's going to be this weekend on Saturday and Sunday as well. I will have to attend both days from 10am - 5pm because I'm a featured artist and host. :P
Thanks to my mom, I have a speech prepared in Mandarin and I don't have to memorize it... but I have to become pretty familiar with it.
When I was reciting it to my mom, I thought about all those people who I knew that wanted to learn Chinese.
I warned them that Mandarin has 5 different tones and if you use the wrong tone, the word would be a completely different meaning. So I was practicing my speech out loud to my mom and some of my tones were off. My mom laughed so hard at me that she had to use the kitchen counter to support herself.
In one sentence, I have to say " it is time to cut the ribbon." My tone was off so I ended up saying " it is time to cut clothes."

I wanted to post a few pictures of the exhibition brochure in my blog:
This tiger was painted by my teacher. It is rather large, which makes it even more magnificent.

All the students are featured in the brochure this year. Everyone has such beautiful paintings...

I've also been experimenting with watercolor and trying to pick it up again.
I started out a little easy with some watercolor pencils:

Then I bought a little pocket watercolor set. The lighting in my apartment is terrible so the pictures had to be taken at certain angles and such...
But I really enjoy doing landscapes with watercolor. I was really inspired by a fellow sketchcrawler Alina Chau.
Her watercolor pieces are gorgeous and I hope one day I can use watercolor in a similar nature :).
I will be taking pictures at the exhibition to share on my blog. There's definitely going to be a lot of beautiful pieces this year because everyone gets better year after year. Hopefully next year my pieces will be better too.

I have less than a month left until the CalArts deadline. It will come really fast but I will be prepared.
There's no time to wait for the end of the month.. but I still am :P