Saturday, April 30, 2011

Splash of Creativity in the Studio

I was planning to attend an opening in the city, but decided to stay home to work today. When my art is calling for me, I'm just not in the mood to be out there. Doodling something, refining my transferred drawing on canvas, or touching up my paintings while listening to some Balinese ambient music sound perfect than going out today.

This week, I was busy finishing up this small oil painting on paper for "Sanrio for Smiles" exhibition during MiJapan 2011 festival in Italy. It's an exhibition benefiting the people in Japan and will be held at Chiostri dell'Umanitaria in Milan.

Paper is my second favorite surface after linen. I don't really have any particular reasons than it just feels different but feels right in my heart...hehe.

Play with Me. oil on paper. 2011

Silly doodle ^^

Besides being productive in the studio, DH and I also had a bit of fun date. DH's school has this hotel management program where they train and grade the students by building a real restaurant setting on campus. They charge a very affordable price for a three course meal plus dessert. Let's just say it's below $10 per person. It's nice that I don't need to cook for a day and we get a chance to have a fancy date without the fancy price:)

Yummy Surf and Turf

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Fun Sketches, Drawing, and Some Tastiness

I did some sketches in the middle of my painting progress. I like to step away from the painting for a bit, so I would get excited again once I work on the painting again. Then I got a new inspiration for my next painting, which I just had to draw before it vanished from my brain:) Sometimes I would draw straight on canvas, and other times I would draw it on paper and transfer it. It all depends on how it feels right for my feeling to capture that moment.

Slow progress

Will transfer this soon

DH took me to the city last Saturday. We haven't taken advantage of our membership at the Met museum for a while. Whenever we were in the city, it was always in the area that was too far from the Met museum. We spent our time around European paintings and Robert Lehman Art Collection. There was a really interesting exhibition "Room with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century", which featured thirty oils and thirty works on paper. We weren't allowed to snap pictures at special exhibition, so if you'd like to know more you can see more here and some of the artwork here
Seeing all of those paintings made me really happy;  I felt energized and motivated. Often times I wish I was exposed to all of those beautiful paintings when I was a kid:)

(all photos by David F. Luecke, © Alamanda Art. Original works © their respective creators. All rights reserved.)

Jean Baptiste Greuze's painting of Charles Claude de Flahaut de La Billarderie

Jacques-Louis David's painting of Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and his wife Marie-Anne-Pierrette Paulze

Francois Hubert Drouais: Portrait of a Young Woman as a Vestal Virgin

Michiel Sweerts: Man Holding a Jug

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres: Princesse de Broglie

Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres
 I just can't stop staring at Ingres' painting...I was in awe! This painting looks as if it was just painted recently. It looks vibrant and striking.

Camille Corot: Diana and Actaeon

Johannes Vermeer: A Maid Asleep
ooooh Vermeer *dreamy expression*. Such a beauty

 Hans Memling: Annunciation

Antonio Canova: Cupid and Psyche

Raimundo de Madrazo y Garetta: Masquerades

Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Two Young Girls at the Piano

Sir Joshua Reynolds: Lady Smith and Her Children

Arthur Devis: Mr and Mrs. Richard Bull

And of course our short visit to the city would be incomplete without some tastiness. We stopped by at this place called Little Brown Chocolate Bakery & Coffee Shop. I didn't know about their other baked goods and coffee, but their brownies and toffee bar were quite tasty for my little snacks:) DH took me to Ottomanelli for steak burger for our dinner. Reasonable price and quite filling. I rarely cook meat at home, so we tend to pick food that I don't cook at home when we eat out.

Our last stop before heading home was La Tropezienne bakery. This bakery had no sign at all outside their shop, so we found it like five minutes before they were closed. Oh my, loads of tastiness - little frosted cakes, eclairs, cream cheese pastries, little fruit pies....oh yummy yum. Can you tell how much I love my sweet treats? I was so tempted to adopt all of those yumminess.

I seriously dream of having an art museum and patisserie/bakery as my neighbors. I can make my own coffee or tea, so I don't mind if they're farther, but patisserie and art museum? come here, let me hug you.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Tara McPherson's Cotton Candy Machine - "Tiny Trifecta "Grand Opening

I've been seeing news about Tara McPherson's new art boutique circulating on facebook, starting around a month ago. Then Angie Mason mentioned it to me last time I met her at Last Rites Gallery. DH and I thought it would be great to check out the new store, since the opening would be on Saturday, which was perfect time for us. I personally like it on Saturday because it doesn't disrupt my daily schedule in creating art. While it never feels like work since I'm doing something that I really love, it's very important to me to have self discipline. Anyway, Saturday's opening is great because it's day that I give myself a day off. We also have never visited Brooklyn, so it's even better.

Tara transformed her storefront studio into a gallery/boutique called  Cotton Candy Machine. The new boutique will specialize in art prints, rock posters, tshirts, books, and a variety of merchandise including stickers, toys, buttons and more.  The grand opening featured its first group exhibition "Tiny Trifecta" curated by Tara McPherson and Sean Leonard.  It consisted of 100 artists, with each artist contributed tiny artworks priced at $100.

We arrived at Brooklyn at bit early, so we could eat somewhere first. We stopped by at Pierogi and Like the Spice galleries for a quick look on our walk to the restaurant. People at both galleries are friendly and helpful. Marisa Sage, the owner of Like the Spice, also has this blog where she posts some updates from the gallery. We hope to return there again for a longer visit next time we are in Brooklyn.

Then we walked over to Don Pancho Mexican restaurant for a big late lunch. DH got a molé burrito. It was one chubby gigantic burrito. I completely forgot to take photo of the chubby burrito as I was so hungry myself.

Feeling happy, energized and well-fed, we walked back to Cotton Candy Machine. As we approached the shop, we immediately spotted a long line down the block. We walked closer to the store and we could see that the space wasn't packed inside, so we were a bit confused since we thought the opening would be open for the public at 7PM.  Fortunately, we met up with Esao Andrews and his cute dog Soybean (^_^). He told us that those people were waiting to purchase the artwork, and that moment only participating artists were allowed to be in the gallery. DH decided to take  photos from outside the store while I was waiting there. I got a chance to meet some cool people while waiting *waving at Angie Mason and Melissa Heid*. Tara McPherson let us in around 8PM. The art boutique was cute and cozy. All the artworks hung on the left wall side of the store. They did stencil on one wall for displaying the artworks and painted huge rainbow and clouds on the other side using Tara's distinctive color palettes. You can find a lot of Tara McPherson's products like housewares, stationery, prints, stickers, t-shirts, and more in the store. I saw some art books like Travis Louie's and Mark Ryden's also available at the store.

By the time we were inside the store, it was already really packed. I recognized most of the artwork but not all since I didn't have a chance to take a look at each artwork closely. The display wall was next to the cash register where the store staff would call the buyers with their assigned numbers. Those buyers would wander around the wall to choose the artwork, while the staff checked the list to find whether that piece was still available or not. Other viewers also circled around the display wall either to snap some photos or observing their favorite pieces. If we lived nearby, we would definitely return there again to have a better look of them.

During that event, I finally got a chance to talk to Tara McPherson  in the middle of the crowd. I also met other participating artists like Martin Wittfooth, Eric White, Esao Andrews, Angie Mason and Arabella Proffer. Arabella and I have been friends both on twitter and facebook, so I was glad to finally see her that night. It was honestly difficult to spot anyone in that crowd, so I was happy to spot her:) I also met another facebook and twitter friend, Edith Lebeau. It was great to talk to you all!

If you want to visit Tara's new art boutique and the group show, here's the info

Cotton Candy Machine
Store hours: Tuesday through Sunday from Noon to 8pm.
235 South 1st Street (between Roebling and Havemeyer)
Brooklyn, NYC 11211


The group show runs until May 1st, 2011. I have the feeling that all pieces are already sold out, but you can always call the store to see if they still have some available.

Some photos from the event...
(all photos by David F. Luecke, © Alamanda Art. Original works © their respective creators. All rights reserved.)

 The line was long!

Arabella Proffer, Melissa Heid, Angie Mason, Edith Lebeau, and I

Things we did while waiting. Pictures and chatting:)

 With Tara McPherson. Congratulations, Tara!


Wall display for the artwork

 Jill Thompson

Diana Sudyka

Jeff Soto

Sas Christian

Colin Christian

With Martina, Angie, and Melissa

Martina Secondo Russo

Angie Mason "When Giving Leaves You Empty"

With Martin Wittfooth

 Martin Wittfooth

 With Arabella

 Arabella Proffer

Esao Andrews

With Esao

Mike Shinoda

Isabel Samaras

Mark Ryden

Marion Peck

Camilla d'Errico

Rafael Silveira


Lana Crooks
Jordin Isip

Buff Monster

Dan May

Jermaine Rogers

Audrey Kawasaki

Travis Louie

With Eric White next to his artwork (the one that shows a peek of a woman's face). The title is "Gray Lady"

Jon Schnepp

Daniel Danger

 Shawn Barber (top)
Gary Baseman (bottom)

Greg "Craola" Simkins

Chet Zar

John Baizley

Steven Manale

Jon Schnepp

 Jim Avignon

Adam Wallacavage