Monday, August 19, 2019

Recent paintings

It's been a year since I returned to the Art Students League with Dan Gheno. I've been doing smaller head studies (as opposed to larger paintings at the National Academy and 92nd Street Y) and it's been fun trying out new compositions, colors, and expressions.

My medium is still acrylic on small canvas panels or gesso boards. I like the immediacy of acrylic as well as its ease of layering and vivid tones. I love oil as well, but its drying time is too slow for me (for my current methods anyway).

Class resumes on Saturday, September 7. I'm looking forward to some solo projects (yet to be determined) during my break.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Recent paintings

I'm now at the Art Students League in Dan Gheno's Saturday morning class. It's great to be back to where I started 18 years ago (I signed up after seeing the film Pollock with Ed Harris). Here are some recent paintings, all head studies in acrylic.

Johnny, 11 x 14 inches

Patrick, 11 x 14 inches

Andy, 12 x 16 inches

Ellie, 12 x 12 inches

Regina, 11 x 14 inches

Monday, June 4, 2018

Four Freedoms

I'm pleased to announce an exhibit in Seneca Falls, NY, featuring reinterpretations of Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms by Louis Ebarb, Tina So, Chifung Wong, Lorraine Brooks, and me.
Revisiting FDR's Four Freedoms
Women's Rights National Historical Park
Seneca Falls, NY
May 5 to June 30, 2018
Here's a Q&A submitted in preparation for an upcoming article by Anita Chan in The Still Point Arts Quarterly:

Why did you accept Mr. Ebarb's invitation to join this project which is purely noncommercial in nature?

I wanted to interpret the Four Freedoms from a different point of view from Norman Rockwell, i.e. non-male, non-white, non-narrative, and based on historical figures.

Was this the first time you have used art as a means of expressing a personal belief or some abstract concepts?

No, I recently did a text-based portrait of a Latino-American, inspired by Barbara Kruger and Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech. The experience was empowering and exhilirating, and I wanted to experience that again with Four Freedoms but using a different technique.

What was the biggest artistic challenge for you?

This project had several challenges, all of which diverged from my customary art practice:
  • working with a new medium (acrylic on plexiglass)
  • working from photographs (I normally use live models)
  • working in a series (rather than stand-alone paintings)
  • working with a restricted palette (i.e. black and white portraits against a solid color background)
  • working on a small scale (12x12 inches)

Do you think the project will bring anything new to your art works, e.g. in terms of subject, medium, and style?

I was able to practice using photographs as references for portraits, and also learned about plexiglass as support. The project made me aware of my ability to make a political statement through simple images.

Do you have any experience that makes the Four Freedoms concept particularly relevant to you personally, for example, have you encountered anything or anyone that makes you believe that these Four Freedoms are important?

The Trump administration actively suppresses all four freedoms among those who do not conform to its populist agenda. The Four Freedoms concept is relevant to everyone around the world today.

Tell us something about the thinking behind your 4 art works, e.g. how you chose your subjects, medium, and style. Why you think they could effectively express your idea about the 4 Freedoms.

My idea was to celebrate four women who embody the four freedoms: Oprah Winfrey, philanthropist and entrepreneur (Freedom from Want), Mahalia Jackson, gospel singer (Freedom of Worship), Angela Davis, radical feminist (Freedom of Speech), and Rosa Parks, civil rights activist (Freedom from Fear).

My composition was inspired by the graphic art of the 1960s, particularly record album covers - I've always admired the immediacy and simplicity of of this style. I used plexiglass supports because of its deep, rich colors and reflective surfaces, which would bring the viewer's image into the visual experience.

In my design, I also wanted to acknowledge contemporary African-American painters who use photo based portraiture and saturated colors to communicate larger social, cultural, and political ideas, particularly Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald, Njideka Akunyili, Barclay Hendrix, and Mickalene Thomas.

What do you hope to achieve with your art works in this project?

I hope to evolve into a more photo-based style that reflects current trends in the artworld. I also hope to communicate that Norman Rockwell's Four Freedoms belong to everyone, not just the white middle-class.

What do you hope this project would achieve?

I hope that this project will encourage viewers to take affirmative steps to protect their freedoms in the current political climate.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Recent drawings

Over the past month I've started drawing again.

It was a nice change from painting. The focus on line and sometimes shadow, within 20 minutes at the most, was liberating and also challenging. I haven't drawn the human form in a while and it was a delight to rediscover its complexities and incomparable beauty.

Here are a few selections:




Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Recent paintings

I recently completed four paintings (all acrylic on canvas, 24 x 36 inches) at the National Academy of Design.

These paintings featured profiles and a bit more of the models' torsos, which is a departure from the large scale headshots that have been the focus of my work over the past few years.

These paintings are also more realistic, less glitchy, and in the case of the last two, I also tried to use a brighter palette and abstraction in the background.

Sadly, the National Academy has closed its doors until it finds a new location. But I will continue my studies at the 92nd Street Y next month. I look forward to a new chapter in my art practice.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Courage and Disturbance

I'm happy to announce that three of my paintings are featured in Linus Galleries' online exhibit, "Courage and Disturbance":
This is a combined online art show of two different themes: Disturbance and Courage. We feel that almost every artist comprehends and feels on a different level than most people the concept of Disturbance. It’s a feeling or thought that creates a dissonance in spirit. But isn’t that what creativity evolves out of? Disturbance can be discontent, a different perspective, a conveying of hard truth, horrible unrest, or a reporting of injustice. In this open art call we asked to see what disturbs the artist.

These are times of real courage, of strength, of protest, and resilience. We asked the artist to take those thoughts and emotions and express through their art the concept of Courage in this call for entries.
I hope that you'll have a chance to view the inspiring works in the video.

Thursday, June 1, 2017


My painting Connie 3 is featured in Top 45 Traditional Art Bloggers by Artfixed, a blog by John Thatcher.
Once a year Artfixed handpicks its favorite artists across categories. These artists stand out for their work or contribution to the arts. These are primarily artists who embrace traditional mediums and conventional tools- gouache, colored pencils, acrylics, watercolor, charcoal or ink. Although they might not limit themselves to only these tools.
Thanks John for the kind words! I hope you'll all get a chance to explore John's wonderful site.