Monday, January 25, 2010

Figure drawings

Samples of my work from life drawing and model drawing class. I'm working on taking photos of the things I have now, and I should have more to show soon. I like that we have more freedom to experiment with different techniques and mediums this semester. It's a shift from the fundamentals towards personal expression and finding your own artistic identity.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

These beautifully-printed silk scarves from Swash deserve to be hung on the wall as art. I love the pastel colours and quirky mix of objects.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Degas' Pastel Drawings

My recent visit to the Norton-Simon Museum reminded me of the sensitivity of Degas' drawings. He is uncomparably skilled at capturing the gait of a ballerina and the sheer, floaty quality of her tutu through spare, suggestive lines. Also, the addition of dints of highlights emphasizes the pose and gracefulness of her limbs. We're starting to use pastels now in class and these drawings demonstrate their expressive potential.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I'm back from another gruelling day at school, and already it seems that we have a ton of work to do. I started my model drawing (aka fashion drawing) module yesterday and it was very interesting to experiment with different ways of depicting the subject and her mood and clothes. For life drawing we're working on a larger scale and eventually life size. I'm slightly daunted by the prospect, but I trust that everything will work out well as long as I practise.

Form and Space class seems much more bearable now that we're not forced to work with certain materials. I'm thinking of wood here. Cutting and fitting together pieces of wood was the bane of my existence in first semester. My palms often got pink from abrasion with the wood after working for some time. This time we're given a lot more personal freedom. We're about to start on a sculpture project based on our own theme, and using materials of our choice. Further on we'll construct a form out of textiles and fabric, which sounds pretty intriguing.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

An addition to my bookshelf

I received Julia Child's memoir My Life in France as a Christmas present from my friend. The title was my request; another option I considered was The Elegance of the Hedgehog. I'm having a lovely time reading about Child's culinary adventures in France (Paris and Marseille especially), and the book is a great inspiration to anyone who wants to learn how to cook i.e. me. Why does it seem that fiction which revolves around food appeals to me? Under the Tuscan Sun comes to mind here. The rustic simplicity of Italian food described in the former and the elegant sophistication of French food in My Life in France are equally intriguing. For that matter, my taste buds appreciate almost any kind of cuisine. Maybe it's because memories of a place, for me, are intimately associated with the local food that I understand the spirit of these books.

Waiting for Summer


Though winter here is extraordinarily mild and I don't have to put up with a perpetual feeling of stickiness (aka sweatiness), I can't help missing the ease of throwing on a tank top and breezy skirt and waltzing out the door. I miss the feel of the sun on my legs. I bet I'll be eating my words when I get back to the sweltering heat of Singapore, but right now I'm pining for summer. Maybe looking at these simple and strappy summer-appropriate shoes will help to cure my longing.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Akira Isogawa S/S 10 Collection

Isogawa manages to keep things fresh each season with interesting and effortlessly-stylish draping, and splashes of vibrant colour and prints. These garments are perfect for dressy events in summer like a night barbecue- light, breezy and not too formal.
My cousin's wedding is coming up in July (and I hope my brother's is not too far from that). Hmm, what should I wear? I'm thinking of re-wearing my prom dress but it's fun to consider other options.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wonderful things that happened this holiday

Picking oranges and persimmons- I know this is no big deal for locals, but it's a novel experience for someone from Singapore. It was so sweet (literally and figuratively) to taste a fresh fruit that I had picked myself, rather than one that is imported.

Visiting Old Town Pasadena- the atmosphere of that place reminds me of Europe, especially when night was starting to fall.

Exploring the Botannical Garden- I realized how long it's been since I was in contact with nature and the outdoors. This place is huge compared to the one in Singapore and boasts a fascinating array of flora and fauna. I love rubbing lavender and rosemary between my palms in the herb garden and leaving a lingering scent. I spotted mandarin ducks, herons and a bluejay!

Opening presents under the Christmas Tree- Again, all-too-familiar for some, but a new experience for me. I received a lovely pair of flats from my aunt and uncle.

Visiting the Norton-Simon Museum- Great to see artworks that I know in person. This museum has an especially expansive collection of Degas' drawings, paintings and sculptures.

Riding the train on my own- It felt so relaxing just to read a magazine, watch the scenery flash past my window and observe fellow travellers. Even better when I opened the lunchbox that my aunt packed for me.

Having delicious food- An essential element of any holiday. Highlights include assam laksa, Ipoh hor fun, dumplings and radish cake. The taste of Chinese home-cooked food is so endearing to me.

The best part of the holiday for me? Realizing that there are people out there who are always ready to open their hearts and doors to someone they barely know. Since arriving here, there have been many occasions which made me feel how large the world really is, and how small and insignificant I am in comparison. I'd really been living a sheltered and privileged life. It's amazing to say that here, in the sprawling expanse of the U.S., I've found another family. The thought of having a place always welcome to me is immeasurably comforting. It sounds cliche, but now I think it is true that it all comes down to love. There is plenty of love in the world to go around.

The Castle House

I passed by this amazing house while walking to the Rose Parade. Doesn't the front gate (which is really tall) seem like something out of a fairytale? It feels like a modern version of Wemmick's Castle in Great Expectations. Utterly surreal.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Some events I went to: the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year's Day, and 'Kooza' by Cirque du Soleil in Santa Monica a while back.


Top: my little cousin's version of 'Mona Lisa',
Below: Degas' 'Little Ballet Dancer' in the Norton-Simon Museum in Pasadena