Day in Lincoln Park Tuesday, Aug 30 2011 

I spent the day off walking around Downtown Lincoln Park. I love the ambiance and atmosphere there… vintage buildings, unique stores, amazing architecture, delicious restaurants, and people who genuinely are happy being where they are at the present moment. I took the time to photograph my all time new favorite store, Rugby, which houses Ralph Lauren’s upscale, preppy collection of plush cashmere sweaters and striking blazers that are devastating to the wallet.There’s a bunch of outrageously priced “thrift store”, “resale shop” “consignment shops” around that area, but they lack true soul simply because they are bare in merchandise. In my opinion, the best thrift stores and vintage finds are in the suburbs, randomly encountered, or down Belmont and Sheffield in Chicago.

Our next stop was a place called Barker & Meowsky: A Paw Firm (for all of you pet lovers out there!). Chumchum ended up getting a bag of treats and a sweet toy made out of wood and linen for only $3.00. I love that an old, brown dog greets you at the door and the staff is so welcoming. They even gave me some samples of a cat treat (shredded salmon, ooh la la) since Chum is so picky.

We ended up eating at a restaurant called Shine, and I took photos of Shrimp Rolls;  Hot Pot Stir Fry, which is Japanese eggplant, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, lemongrass, peas and tomato in an aromatic panang curry; Shine Maki, which is crispy shrimp and cucumber wrapped in baby tuna, topped with ginger dressing; and Toro Maki, with fatty tuna, avocado, cilantro, scallion, shitake, and tempura crunch with spicy sauce.

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Owl Stones Thursday, Aug 25 2011 

My obsession with owls was way before they became the “IT” animal. Here are some precious owl stones… I love the little dude all the way on the left.

 

 

Le Danseurs Sunday, Aug 21 2011 

I painted this puppy from March 2010 until July 2010. It took me four months of back and forth gesso-ing, repainting, contemplating, hating, loving, and dire frustration to finish this. It’s hanging up in our living room, completely out of place in my parent’s house, and probably requires it’s own wall/room to be appreciated. Nonetheless, here it is.

I was inspired to paint this after seeing “La Danse” by Henry Matisse, painted in 1910. I wanted to practice my skills with the human body and form, particularly in motion. I still have a lot more fine tuning, and kept it safe with using just red, black, and white with this painting.

Lovers: A Tribute to Magritte Sunday, Aug 21 2011 

My love for surrealism is truly due to discovering Rene Magritte’s paintings at the age of 14, when I was assigned to do an art history paper Freshman year of high school. I remember not knowing anything about any famous artist, except for Michaelangelo. I was pouring through the gi-normous art books when I discovered, serene, dreamy clouds and silhouettes that stopped me in my tracks. Flipping the cover over, I realized that this artist’s name was Rene Magritte, and he painted in a genre called “surrealism.” That, my friends, started my lifelong love affair with this Belgian man.

His paintings are so psychologically powerful, understated: minimal in concept yet startling in theme. I painted this tribute to Magritte, being inspired by “The Lovers”, in August of 2010. The size is enormous: 5 feet by 5 feet, and it took me an entire three months to finish this painting. I added the chessboard stairs, but tried to keep as much of the original, delicate story of the painting. I remember when I first saw an image of this painting, and how I so wanted to paint it so badly but did not want to do it any injustice until I felt that I could completely replicate it, giving it full credibility for its original beauty.

Oil Painting: Full Color Palette Study Sunday, Aug 21 2011 

I was inspired by Edvard Munch’s “Scream” for this painting, along with some news of the world  images that I had subconsciously stored into my brain. My purpose for this painting was to fully explore with color, and mix shadows/highlights using only primary reds, yellows, blues, and greens. I painted this in February 2010, size is 24″x36″. This is one of my smaller paintings, as I tend to paint on ridiculously large canvases that take up my entire room.

Robert Frost: The Road Not Taken Friday, Aug 19 2011 

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Scratchboard Etching Monday, Aug 15 2011 

I’ve done a couple of pieces on a scratchboard, and realized that I absolutely love it. It’s pretty tough to etch, because if you make a mistake, you can’t go back to fix it. You can use India ink as a “black out”, but it always leaves a mark and you can tell where you were trying to cover up. I did both of these last year, and they were more for practice and technique more than anything else. If you notice the one with the two silhouettes, the girl on the right has six fingers. (!) I specifically remember being on the phone while I was working on that, engaged deeply in a conversation, as the sixth finger was etched perfectly and proportionately on the board. I probably would have added a seventh if I didn’t stop and review it over. See, I can’t really master the dual tasking, especially when it comes to talking and being productive. More on that later.  I think I would like to do another one, more elaborate and detail-oriented, but we shall see as time prevails.

My lifelong obsession with Salvador Dali Monday, Aug 15 2011 

I would say that “obsession” is an understatement. Salvador Dali’s artwork hits my soul. His themes and projections were years advanced for his time, even in this current moment. Once you look past the absurdity or surreal aspect of his art, you realize that this man had an uncanny ability to portray political, social, and historical analogies that analyze things “to the next level.” Dali was larger than life, there is no comparison to what he has contributed to society with his images and creations. The level of depth and raw emotions are almost unbearable in his works. His paintings are parallel to my dreams, the images make me feel as if I have been “there” before. I have always claimed, “I dated Dali in my past life, but ended up marrying Magritte.” =)