Generic Cityscape Sketch

Blogon February 7th, 2011No Comments

I did this painting yesterday as part of a project that I’m working on with a few people. It is done with watercolor, oil pastel and permanent marker. I did a few iterations of this same concept, and none of them thrilled me. This one was OK though, so I went with it, and I think it will work well as part of the larger project, which will be revealed soon. (Are you tired of my hints yet? Too bad.)

I’m going to make an effort to post things I’ve painted onto this blog, even if they aren’t great. I figure that it will keep me accountable and track my progress as I get better. Although to be fair, I also painted a tiny self-portrait (2×2 inches!) today as a homework assignment for my painting class, and I’m hesitating to post it because, well, it sucks. Maybe tomorrow!

It’s Hard to Make a Person Look Like a Person

Blogon February 4th, 201110 Comments

PaintbrushI started my new portrait-painting class yesterday at School of Visual Arts in New York. I’d never oil painted before, and I was really excited to learn how to do it. The class said it was open to anyone, from beginners to advanced, so I figured I’d be all set. How different can it be from acrylics, after all? (Ha.)

I e-mailed the teacher for a list of supplies and hit Blick downtown to stock up. I followed the list very carefully. I bought giant tubes of oils (they were on sale for cheap!), lovely big paintbrushes (oils are thicker than acrylics, so you need bigger brushes, right?) a smallish palette (it looked like the ones that painters on TV used), a palette knife (what in the world is THAT for?) and a canvas. I also got linseed oil and turpentine. After spending $150, I was sure I was all set.

I arrived in class with my shiny new bag of fresh supplies, and as soon as we started painting the model, I quickly realized I’d made a few giant mistakes. First, I didn’t have an apron or anything to cover my clothes — and I am a messy painter. Second, I didn’t have jars to hold my linseed oil and turpentine, nor did I have rags, towels or ANYTHING to clean my brushes. So I improvised. I dumped out my Starbucks cup and poured the turpentine into it, grabbed some paper towels to attempt to cover my dress and to clean my brushes, and sat down.

It quickly became apparent that everyone in the room was, well, more advanced than I was. As they pulled out their color-spattered normal-sized tubes of paint and unrolled used brushes from fancy brush carriers, I became a little self-conscious about my family-sized “student” paints and sparkling, unused brushes. Oh, and my tiny palette. My poor palette developed an instant inferiority complex as it took in the scene before it: Most of the other students’ palettes were several feet long, at least. He was smaller than a personal pan pizza.

Then we began to paint the model. read more

YES (You Complete the Picture)

Blogon February 1st, 2011No Comments

I’ve been subscribing to Jen Bekman’s 20×200 newsletter for a long time. Beckman is an art curator who offers prints that range from $20 to $2,000. The artists featured are amazing, usually up-and-coming, and I spend a good amount of time drooling over all their work. I finally bought the painting seen above, which is adorably titled “YES (You Complete the Picture)” by artist Trey Speegle.

I love this piece for a few reasons: First, we all know I love colors. Second, I LOVE paint-by-number. And third, I just find it to be such a happy and uplifting painting. It’s fun, cheerful and doesn’t take itself too seriously. It also goes hand-in-hand with my new motto for 2011 — positivity.


Blogon January 3rd, 2011No Comments

In the past few months, I’ve been trying to make some big changes in my life to become healthier, both inside and out. Forming new habits and making life changes — no matter how small — can be incredibly daunting, and I thought this poster was a great dose of inspiration on a day when I felt a little overwhelmed. (Image from Gala Darling.)

Charming Mural in Bushwick

Blog, New York Cityon January 1st, 20111 Comment

Happy New Year! This afternoon, the lovely Laura hosted a New Year’s brunch, where we ate incredible cupcakes and watched the horrific Michigan State bowl game. (Did I use enough adjectives for you?) As I was getting off the train, I noticed this mural featuring two deer, an owl, and a pile of skulls. Somehow, all of these elements combine to be totally charming instead of menacing.

The mural is in Bushwick, Brooklyn, off the L train’s Jefferson Street stop. The Interwebs tell me that it was created by graffiti artists Broken Crow and Over Under.

(If you’re interested, here is a map of some of the graffiti in Bushwick and East Williamsburg.)

Giant Clothespin

Blogon December 7th, 2010No Comments

I saw this on A Cup of Jo a while ago and thought of it again today. It’s such a fun art installation, isn’t it?

Metropolitan Museum Gems

Blog, New York Cityon February 8th, 2010No Comments

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is usually a must-see for any tourist. I had a membership for years, and it is definitely my favorite museum in New York. The problem with the Met? It would take days to see everything. While I’d highly recommend the popular stops, including the seasonal rooftop exhibit, the armor collection (pictured above) and the Egyptian temple, my two must-see exhibits at the Met are smaller and tucked away.

My favorite stop is in the Met’s modern art section — a set of paintings by Chuck Close that face each other. The incredibly photo-realistic Mark is comprised of a series of airbrushed layers of acrylic paint. It’s really incredible, as is Close’s Lucas (and everything else he has ever done), and more impressive in person.

My other favorite painting is more obvious and common, although no less amazing for its fame. Picasso’s The Blind Man’s Meal is one of his stunning photos from the Blue Period. It’s simple, beautiful and incredibly lonely, and it’s absolutely worth spending a good 10 minutes staring at it.

Recent Graffiti in New York

Blog, New York Cityon January 5th, 2010No Comments

Here are a few random acts of graffiti that I spotted around New York a few months ago. I think graffiti, even when it’s not professional or really artistic, is just so bright and fun. (The first image is a mural by graffiti artists Os Gêmeos, and although it is technically not “graffiti,” it is street art.)

Graffiti on truck

Chinatown graffiti

Pink raindrop

World’s Largest Finger Painting

Blogon October 4th, 2007No Comments

A few weeks ago, Mala, Mike and I went to the college in New Paltz to take part in the world’s largest finger painting. It was disgusting, sticky and slippery. I loved it, although I finally got the last of the paint out of my hair a few days ago.

Here are some of the finger painters:


Here are Mala and Mike at work:

malamike fingerpaint

And our completed section:

our square