September 07, 2013

Moved to Tea Journey

Today is the mark of something very special to me. My work for tea and art, has got so blurred that it was time to put them together.
    As of now all my future posts will be at
                I hope to see you there and that we can continue this friendship.

February 04, 2013

20% Operations and 80% sales in Retail AND how it applies to art


 "Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead " Gene Fowler (1890-1960)
 I have been working in retail for almost 3 years now. With the new company and my new position as Manager, we are urged to have a 20% operations and 80% sales mind set. This deeply applies to any art practice. Especially if you don't have any work to show, HOW can you work on showing it?
   It really has taken these 3 years for me to realize how important this is. The show I was just part of , Toronto Tea Festival, I did not have that much work to show. Even still I made sure the quality was up to par for the event.  I could have maximized the space if I had ordered 3-4 grid panels more in advance and finished the other two works that are on the back burner currently (and still are...).
      I have been reading a booklet I got from a workshop last year, "Self-Mentoring and Creativity in the Arts" by Adam Lodzinski, PhD.  By going over the section on motivation there are many different areas I can apply his points. I can apply it to my pile of receipts that need to be sorted for incom tax, cleanning my room after the "huricane" of getting things done for the festival, getting new works done etc. I can even apply this to work, I may not be in the "mood" to sell something but its part of my job and I need to go do it. The same for my art, I am the only one who can do what I am doing in my style and progression. No one else can replace me.
     As humans we tend to leave time to be lazy for ourselves very often. We may be fatigued but the work is worth it in the end.
     "Writing is easy: all you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead " Gene Fowler (1890-1960)

Toronto Tea Festival!

Tea Guild Board members conversing
by our Fabulous banners I threw together
With images we got permission to use.
Art section!
   Everything went well this past weekend at the FIRST Toronto Tea Festival. As I am on the Board of Directors and friends with Tao of Tao Tea Leaf, I was running around most of the day helping out where I could. I stayed up late the night before to finish my "Tea Grid" finally. It was very rewarding to see it displayed after the long hours doing each section till finish. The only thing I wish I did was have the ability to bring more work. I had a gut feeling at Deserres while getting frames that I should have grabbed one for "Dream Gate" (A large work I finished late last year) and perhaps had room for "Monkey King" which currently is in my brothers room back home (it was a birthday present for when I had no money to spare... I had a bit for paper then attacked it instead).I am planning to feature larger and/or more diverse works. I did not hear if anyone liked my pot watercolour tea work , Guwan yin or the charcoal drawing. I got great feed back for "Tea Grid", the two  fashion girls and a bit for "Song Tea Tools".  Currently from this feedback I have decided to start working on more "Tea Grids". I am deciding if I should do a small edition of prints from this "Tea Grid". I would love to have 15-20 on hand.Anyhow, from the experience of finishing "Tea Grid" I am wondering if I should combine the India ink with Sumi-e ink... Perhaps "Mini- Tea Grid 2.0" will be the test.

Anyhow, from the experience of finishing "Tea Grid" I am wondering if I should combine the india ink with Sumi-e ink... Perhaps "Mini- Tea Grid 2.0" will be the test. 

August 19, 2012

A little "performance" art

The Demon who stole my face. 2006
   About 5 years ago as part of a first year project I created a kimono ensemble which reflected my deep interest in the Japanese spiritual world. Now I have been blessed with a job that gives me enough income to purchase a few pieces (more than a few actually).
    Fan Con is coming up and I am going in kimono. The one I decided to wear will be this beautiful wool blend hand made piece. The ensemble hopefully will come together this week as Saturday creeps closer. I have been praying that my new zori get here before then so that I can  wear them out.
         I just got my hair cut this weekend and my wig is not on hand. So I am not entirely sure what kind of character I will come up with or if I will change my kimono entirely for a different look.
   Bellow I have included a few pieces I am hoping to work with. Not all together but just pieces that made me think " I should wear that to the Con!".  Anyhow back to the sketch book to think some more. Id love to hear what you think!

July 11, 2012

Sumi-E- Part 1: Intro

            It has been over two years since I graduated from OCAD U and crated “Reclaiming the Body”. I used Sumi-e ink to create my series which became my thesis. Each work is detailed; it seems more like a watercolour than an ink painting. Since finishing and continuing my research on my materials I have begun to teach myself Sumi-E.
                Sumi-e, means ink picture in the most simple translation.  The painting style embodies the Japanese Zen ideal of simplicity.  The materials are even simplistic. All you need is a brush, ink, ink stone and some paper (preferably absorbent rice paper). Another portion of this art form is Shodo which is calligraphy. Small stories, poems, or even a short saying are added to works occasionally.
                The main part of this art form is the Ink and ink stone, as any brush can be used (I prefer Chinese brushes or sable though because of their ability to hold alot of paint/ink).  The ink is in the form of a stick which is ground on the ink stone with a touch of water. Both come in various forms from very ornate to basic stick and stone form.
                The paper can cause some headaches; it’s fragile and super absorbent. You have to let go of control when painting on rice paper or else you will be setting yourself up for failure. Of course this medium can be used on any surface if you desire.  Watercolour paper is just as absorbent but acts differently.  Even contemporary Sumi-E artists utilize alternative papers for the different feel and look which the paper allows for. 

July 08, 2012

Watercolour paper Part: 1 Cold , Hot or Rough

           Chooseing watercolour paper for a work will depend on what you want it to do for you.
This post will be a small mini series of different components of picking paper. Lately I have been either A- useing a paper I have used before from a pack or B- picking paper by how it feels on my hand. After much debate it is time to go back to my roots in watercolour and have a mini refresher course on the dynamics behind these papers.

 Cold Press: Textured surface which is in between rough and hot-pressed papers. Most often used to benefit from the texture that shows up when painted on.
Hot Press: Fine grain, smooth surface with almost no tooth. Paint dries quickly. Ideal for large even colour washes. Great for detail and do not wish to use granulation.
Rough: a rough surface. It was pressed between the felts on the paper machine and the roughness of the felt (blanket) is embossed in to the wet surface.

            I have a collection of paper right not consisting of mostly Hot pressed paper. Majority of those are on a watercolour block. The block is very handy to have around as it is already “stretched” which I will try to address in another post. Alternatively since university I have been buying individual sheets. I generally cut them down to a more manageable size but I have used it on occasion to create larger works. A great example is “Sun Wukong” I did  in January for my brother who loves the story “Journey to the West”. 

July 03, 2012

Sketch Easel- Windsor & Newton Dart

      Today I finally purchased an easel I was eyeing last weekend in Markham. This portable easel folds up easily and is sturdy once you get used to all of it's nobs.  Last year my Alvin sketch easel died on me completely, it was about time to get a new one. Better yet, a HUGE upgrade! I could not wait to show everyone. I have a new work in progress already on it and hope to finish it tomorrow after work. I am slowly working on the articles for the Studio Research component of this blog. Stay tuned for more!

June 24, 2012

"Shen Nong"- In process

      After applying a few layers of rice paper I decided to sand part of it away and even get it wet to help with the process. I wore a mask as I had an asthma attack a few days earlier, it helped to an extent. Once I got really into sanding parts of it away I got a little winded.

I left it propped up against the wall over night, and came back after work... the cats had used it as a scratching post!!! I have been cleaning up the studio today and will take some pictures of the result they created.

       Pride is just around the corner I can't wait to see some old friends who have been away for a while. I will be posting about different aspects which relate to my practice and have them linked to the "Studio Research" page which is on the right. I hope to have a collection so I have a better understanding of what I do and like. I have posted a list of ones I want to do at this point in time, but I hope this list will grow. Many of them may help others and I hope they do. This is the second part of my reason for doing this.  Please look forward to these posts~