Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Venice Beach Alleyway

"Venice Beach Alleyway"
5"x7" Oil on Gessoboard
Click Here to Purchase
It is the burning season here in Singapore. That basically means that somewhere in Indonesia or Malaysia the farmers are slash and burning the palm plantations (usually) for the Palm Oil harvest. It creates this horrific smog that just turns the sky to a weird smoky gray, and generates more thunderstorms than normal. I have a really tough time with it because so little light gets in. This month of smoggy gray had taught me I probably wouldn't do so well in China, where it is like this year round. In any case, because of the awful smog, I needed to paint a blue sky. This is just down the street from my cousin's house, which is right by Venice Beach and the Santa Monica Pier. I had just had a week of cloudy gray in SoCal, and this last morning in the LA area broke with beautiful blue sky and no clouds. It was so uplifting.

And as for my husband and I, we'll be traveling back to the US first thing tomorrow morning. I wish the circumstances were better, but we are so grateful for the family and friends that we have. We have been blessed with close, happy relationships with all of our family, and I for one am eternally grateful that both of us have enjoyed relationships with our grandparents well into our adulthood. Not many people can say they have had that opportunity. 

It is times like these that make being on the other side of the world much harder. Luckily, we can get back, and see everyone. And, in the meantime, in addition to seeing all of our loved ones, it looks like it will be sunny in Kansas, so we'll be able to also enjoy some Mexican food and BBQ!

And as a side note - all you Gulf Coast people, make sure you are tied down and have extra ice for the drinks in case power goes out!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Duxton Hill Club - SOLD

"Duxton Hill Club"
Oil on Gessoboard
SOLD - Click Here to see other available work
I delivered this painting over the weekend to one of my best collectors. Being able to connect and catch up with one of my collectors was such a wonderful way to start off the week. I just love having people come visit me at the studio, it definitely breaks up the monotony of being in a room by yourself and painting! This collector has a favorite haunt here in Singapore, and he wanted to remember it for when he repatriates back to the US. Such a fantastic idea, in my opinion.

Also, while he was there, he decided to take a couple other painting with him. I couldn't be happier the home that these will have!
"Club Street Chic"
Oil on Gessoboard

"Morning View"
Oil on Gessoboard

Thursday, August 23, 2012


6"x6" Oil on Panel
$95 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase
You better watch your potato chips, he's conducting some surveillance. Don't be fooled by this relaxed, one-legged pose, he's watching your picnic basket!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Santa Monica Tower

"Santa Monica Tower"
6x6 Oil on Gessoboard
Click Here to Purchase
This was from my last morning in Southern California. I had just endured an awful week of the June Gloom (it was April). Not exactly inspiring, and pretty impossible to paint when you can't see across the street. But I woke up the last morning at my cousin's house, and the sky was a beautiful California blue. So I walked down to the beach and just enjoyed the solitude. There is something about the ocean that just renews my soul.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

SOLD - Joo Chiat Icing

"Joo Chiat Icing"
Click Here to view available Paintings
This wonderful guy from the Joo Chiat area sold to a collector who came over for a studio visit on Friday. It was a fantastic way to start the weekend! This will eventually be traveling to Houston as a gift for her mother. I'm still hunkered down in the studio this week, painting away. I have a super busy fall coming up, so I'm just trying to get as much painted now as I can! Happy Hari Raya, if you are in the Sling!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


6x16 Oil on Gessoboard
$395 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase
I love, love, love this one. It really just reminds me of a circus or carnival. I'm especially happy with how the yellows turned out. This shophouse is in Chinatown, although in real life, the colors on the house have faded significantly in the two years since I took the original reference photo. In any case, until this one finds a good home, I'm really enjoying it on my drying shelf in the studio.

Speaking of my studio, I've been working on really making it my own, "feathering my nest" as Dreama Tolle Perry puts it. One of my biggest struggles has been lighting. I have a full wall of giant windows that face mostly East South East, so I get fantastic morning light, but they're tinted. Also, by the time the afternoon comes around, I have indirect light from outside (which is not enough) and a warm (very warm) flourescent overhead light. So, by the time the afternoon rolls around, I've really been struggling to see, which has been heightened by the fact I'm now seeing colors so much more clearly. 

Well, today I finally got fed up. I've been looking for a decent lighting solution since we moved here, but so much is flourescent, which I can't stand. Too cold or too orange. Ideally, I would like to find a 3 bulb halogen floor lamp like the one I had in the US, but so far I've had no luck. As per usual when I'm in doubt and don't know where to go, I wound up at Ikea. Ikea winds up being like the closest thing to Walmart or Target here, when you don't know the exact widget store for what you need at home. 

In any case, all I did was take one of their track lights and sit it upside down on top of my book case. Viola! With three halogen lights, I can almost work at night (not quite, but almost). With another track of 3 lights, I could totally take over the world. In case you want to use this solution, make sure you get the wall plug-in attachment. It is ugly, but makes the whole thing totally transportable to the next apartment/studio situation. Yay!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Behind Club Street

"Behind Club Street"
6"x6" Oil on Gessoboard
$120 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase
This little guy is on the street just behind Club Street, Gemmill Lane. I'm really starting to see colors in shadows, which is really exciting. Right now it is really only when looking at photos, but I've been going out to get photo references and sketching more right now than I have been, so hopefully I'll start seeing in person soon too. It feels like a paradigm shift. At the edge of a lot of shadows there is either an acidy yellow-brown color, or like a crazy pthalo blue. This seems to happen mostly with white (or light colored) buildings and super strong sunlight, when the shadow takes on almost a blue hue.

A great example of an artist that over-exaggerates those colors is Wayne Thiebaud.

Here's another great example of how he exaggerates the shadows. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Emerald Sunset Study

"Emerald Sunset Study"
6"x6" Oil on Gessoboard
$120 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase
I had a really tough time with this one. The shophouse is pretty much silhouetted, but I didn't want it to be flat. I really wanted to get the correct shadow colors. In the end I really feel like I did a good job with it, and I love how realistic it looks. One of the toughest parts of it was getting the dark red color correct. Until I used the Photoshop color dropper to make a swatch, I kept making it a dirty dark red. In fact it was a really beautiful fuschia. All by itself it was a crazy pink purple, but in the context of the whole painting it reads as a dark red, which is just fascinating. 

The other color that was giving me a run for my money was the reflection of the sky. Initially it seemed like since the sun was setting, the window should reflect a yellow color as well. But since the sun is coming from behind, the window is reflecting the sky in the opposite direction of the views, which is the blue you find towards the top of the sky during a sunset. Even that blue kept on coming out more muddy - until I used the color picker again. This is a fantastic tool to have in the arsenal! I like to use it to get a truer idea of the color, and then I push or pull it in the way that I whichever way I want to empasize it. In the meantime, it gives me a great jumping off point.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Jade Dreams

"Jade Dreams"
5"x7" Oil on Gessoboard
$95 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase
Here is another shophouse, this one is from the backside of Little India, close to the Lavendar MRT station. There are a couple streets of some really cool ornately decorate and painted shophouses back there. I've been experimenting a bit with the 5x7 format. It is totally different and a bit of a challenge. Stephen Masgsig, who does Postcards From Detroit, works quite a bit in the 5x7 format, so I've been looking to his work for some composition ideas.

Yesterday was National Day here in Singapore, so we had a few people over to grill and watch the fireworks. It is especially cool because all of the aircraft pretty much buzz right over our apartment. I think one of the coolest parts of the whole show is when the choppers come in with a giant Singapore flag. It passes almost literally over our heads. I've found a video someone uploaded that shows you the choppers and flag bits...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Spottiswood Coral

"Spottiswod Coral"
5"x7" Oil on Gessoboard
$95 Unframed
Click Here to Purchase

This lovely house is down in the Spottiswood Park area, which is just south of Chinatown. There is a neat little enclave of shophouses in this area, about two streets spread over two or three blocks. And this coral guy is one of the ones that faces the main road and is in a strip of bars and restaurants.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow, which is National Day here in Singapore. It is similar to our 4th of July. We're having a few people over to watch the F-16s do fly-bys of the down town area. They literally weave in and out of the skyscrapers. It is pretty wild. 

As an aside, one of our acquaintances was on the team that did this Mentos ad, which does double duty in addressing Singapore's low birth rate. Quite the creative way of addressing a national health issue...

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tanjong Pagar Palms

"Tanjong Pagar Palms I"
$995 Framed
Click Here to Purchase

Happy Monday! I'm so glad I get to be back in the studio tomorrow morning. This past week has been very productive - just not in the studio. I now have at least a year's supply of art supplies. Paint, panels, and even rags. So exciting! We finally have some of our things that have been in storage for over three years. A lot of the things were our wedding gifts. It was kind of like Christmas all over again! For the first time in three years, our apartment feels like a home, not a temporary residence. Nevertheless, time to get back to the studio!
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