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August 26, 2016


348 Serious Fruit


Top down348 Serious Fruit

8x10 inches :: oil on canvas panel

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I went to visit my parents yesterday. Visiting them for a few days are my auntie (mom's sister) and her husband who live in Queens, New York. After we had our meal, out came the fruit. Serious fruit. I mean the thing about Koreans and Korean Americans is that they are seriously hard core about quality fruit. And no meal is complete without everyone eating quality fresh fruit until you can eat no more. We had watermelon, Korean melon (참외), grapes, and kiwi. And the thing about visiting Korean relatives is that when you leave, they frequently pack a whole bunch of fruit for you to take home. Which is exactly what happened to me yesterday. I used one of the Korean melons with some fruit from my fridge for this still life composition. I took a down-shot of everything on my kitchen table and referenced it for the work.

August 24, 2016


347 I'm a Little Teapot


 

I'm a Little Teapot347 I'm a Little Teapot

6x6 inches :: oil on gessobord

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Sometimes when my partner goes shopping, I am horrified to see what comes out of his bag of purchases. Especially when he goes to Costco. But recently he brought home a bag of goods and out came a little blue teapot. So cute. He did good.

August 23, 2016


346 Tulip in a Bottle


Tulip346 Tulip in a Bottle

6x6 inches :: original oil painting on gessobord

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I referenced a photo by @linda_lomelino for this work. My continued exploration of how to add nuance to black.

August 22, 2016


345 In the Well


Inthewell345 In the Well

16x20 inches :: original acrylic painting on canvas panel

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This is the demo painting I did while teaching a private painting lesson today. Boy, it was so much fun roughing and tumbling with acrylics again.

I saw a movie titled Don't Think Twice last night ... a drama about the lives of improvisational comedians ... the highs and lows of practicing their craft and reaching for their dreams. There was a scene when a character who got his big break entered a one-person improv performance by his girlfriend who had placed herself in an imaginary well ... where he insisted on taking her out and with him to the big big world he was now a part of. To which she said, "I am happy in my well." What a line. It brought me to tears.

Wells. What a visual. One so emblazoned in my brain through Haruki Murakami's masterful book: The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. An unusual place I can imagine climbing down into through reality or through my imagination.

August 20, 2016


344 Like I Was Tanqueray


Tanq

344 Like I Was Tanqueray

6x6 inches :: oil on gessobord

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Can anyone drink Tanqueray without thinking about Amy Winehouse? The magnitude of the world's loss in terms of her art is something I've thought a lot about, especially after watching the documentary about her life and how she was destroyed by alcohol and other substances.

There was a time in my life in my late 30s/early 40s when I could tell I was drinking too much. I've written about this before on my blog. And I don't know what it was but I just told myself one day that I should go cold turkey and then see where things go from there. And so I did. And things returned from potential spiral out of control back to a less dizzying place. And now because of art ... because I know I have to paint, I find I can just drink once in a while ... including an occasional gin and tonic on a hot summer night. But not to that place of too much ... that place too close to the bar and hurt.

It's because of art.
Because of art.
Art.
Hallelujah.

You Know I'm No Good
Amy Winehouse

Meet you downstairs in the bar and hurt,
Your rolled-up sleeves in your skull t-shirt,
You say, "What did you do with him today?"
And sniffed me out like I was Tanqueray.

 

August 19, 2016


343 Coffee and Cherry Tomatoes


343 Coffee and Cherry Tomatoes343 Coffee and Cherry Tomatoes

6x6 inches :: oil painting on gessobord

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Coffee is a true love of mine. Costa Rican is my favorite. I drink 3 cups a day. Each cup is made at home using the drip cone method and I savor every drop. For this work, I used a photo by @betsysinclair ... another lover of coffee who documents her coffee adventures on her IG and blog. 


Hallelujah


HallelujahThis is a fallen tree that rests in my park where I run. When I see such awesome scenes from nature, I sometimes startle myself as I utter things that usually don't come out of my mouth. Like "hallelujah."

We probably have all uttered that word, especially when singing along with the song, Hallelujah, written by Leonard Cohen, and covered by countless musicians. I am currently reading a book about this very song titled The Holy or the Broken by Alan Light, after listening to Malcolm Gladwell's outstanding Revisionist History podcast about the song.

Says Cohen: "I wanted to push Hallelujah deep into the secular world, into the ordinary world ... I wanted to indicate that Hallelujah can come out of things that have nothing to do with religion."

Says Nick Baines, the Bishop of Croydon: "We're broken human beings, all of us, so stop pretending, and we can all use the word hallelujah because what it comes from is being open and transparent before God and the world and saying, 'This is how it is, mate.'"

Transparent before God. Is there a God?

So shifting gears, I am also reading a book titled From Eternity to Here by theoretical physicist Sean Carroll (after listening to another outstanding TED Radio podcast episode titled Shifting Time). One of the most mind-blowing concepts that Carroll explains is how through entropy (disorder), our universe continues to expand. We have more disorder today than yesterday but not as much as tomorrow. That's how the universe has been and will continue to be as it continues to expand ... as trees continue to fall, eggs crack, rooms messied up, lives lived. In other words, fallen tress cannot become unfallen. Cracked eggs cannot become uncracked. Tears shed cannot be unshed.

So then this truth about entropy leads us to ponder that a long long long time ago, there was less entropy and more order. Physicists agrees with that. And that begs the question ... what is the origin of such order?

Isn't order evidence of God? To that question, Carroll says "I don't know." Nobody knows. Maybe we will know some day. But today, when I ponder all of that ... all that I know and don't know yet ... what I find myself saying and frequently singing and dancing and painting and expressing is the singular word that has become my anthem, my battle cry.

Hallelujah.

 

August 18, 2016


342 Cat Girl


Catgirl342 Cat Girl

12 x 12 inches :: oil on canvas panel

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I referenced a very clever photo I first saw on @jerrysaltz 's feed for this work. I've tried to find the original photographer to provide proper credit but I haven't been able to. If you happen to know who took the original photo please send me an email at jenny@crescendoh.com so I can provide attribution. :-)

August 17, 2016


341 The Only Constant


On linen341 The Only Constant

8x10 inches :: oil painting on linen panel

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This is the first time I've used a linen panel for a painting. I think I like it. Not too too much difference between it and canvas ... maybe a little bit tighter and actually quite a bit more expensive. But whether I paint on canvas, linen, paper, or wood, I realize that the only constant is my point of view and degree of practice that I bring to the substrate.

So ... here's to more practice, and continued vigilance to protect the free and independent expression of my point of view.

August 16, 2016


340 The You I've Come to Know


Flowers

340 The You I've Come to Know

16x20 :: original oil painting on stretched canvas

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I used a photo by @linda_lomelino as reference for this work. For the dark background that looks black, I first blocked it in with the color Asphaltum by @Gamblincolors, which is a warm black. Then I layered that with a cool ivory black, followed by ultramarine blue to create a nuanced black. It was a joy to paint.

 

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