Saturday, September 27, 2014

Guest Posting For Lauren of Prefer 2B Demure

Happy Saturday! I'm guest blogging for Lauren of "Prefer 2B Demure" today. I'll be talking about how I got into fashion and sharing a few pictures from one of my outfit shoots earlier this year :). I met Lauren through Instagram a few months ago and we quickly became fashion buddies since we share so much in common style-wise. She is such an awesome, funny, and stylish lady and I'm super grateful for the opportunity to guest-post for her! Please check out my post here and also be sure to check out the rest of her blog!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

(Getting Back Into) Oil Painting!

Hi there, and happy Wednesday! I'm into my second week of school now. I'm taking a human anatomy course as well as working full-time so things have been crazy, but so far I think I'm managing okay. We had our first test yesterday and I think I did pretty well so I rewarded myself afterwards by none other than writing this blog post :). Instead of an outfit post, today I decided to share some of my paintings from my childhood as well as two that I have recently done (after finally motivating myself to get back into it).

So where my love for painting began. When I was a kid about 8 years old, my mom enrolled my sister and me in private art classes. My teacher was awesome; she would come over to our home for lessons and over the years she became more of a friend than a teacher. I ended up having her as my teacher until I started middle school (I hadn't seen her since then until recently, when we reconnected after more than 10 years!). She was really good with exposing us to a lot of different types of art; water colors, oil paints, sculpture, pointillism, scratchboard-- we always had something new to look forward to. She was (and still is) big on allowing kids to express themselves through art. After a few basic pointers, she would allow us to create art in the way we wanted to without too many "rules", and personally that's what made art classes so fun for us. During those years, I took a special interest in painting with oil colors, for some reason it was my favorite out of all the other art projects we did.

Here are a few of my favorite oil paintings that I painted when I was about 11 years old (with some help from my teacher too, of course!). My favorite themes have always been animals and nature, especially birds. My sister and I grew up with pet lovebirds so my fascination with drawing them might come from there :). I used photographs from the 5th volume - Animals - of the Children's Encyclopedia Series Childcraft as a reference for all three paintings. I read that volume so many times as a kid, it was my favorite one of the whole set!

May 2001
Sometime in summer of 2001, I painted this to give to my pediatric
orthopedics doctor as a thank-you gift but never got a chance to give to her :(.
February 2001... more birds!
It'd been over 10 years since I had picked up a paintbrush, until a few months ago. To be honest, I've wanted to get back into painting on my own for a long time (after I stopped art classes, I stopped painting too). I would see paintings in hallways of friends' homes or on hospital floors during my volunteer shifts and would start thinking about the details of the scene, or I would feel inspired from the painting's theme to paint something similar. However I was never motivated to get started myself and I think a part of it had to do with a sense of insecurity; I feared I wouldn't be able to paint the "right" way or my paintings wouldn't come out the way I imagined, after all it had been so long and I never took any classes as an adult.

But in the past year I started to think to myself, if not now, when? If I don't try it, I'll never know what I can come up with. When my parents got me a gift card to the local Swain's Art Store for my birthday last year, I finally got the push I needed, and one day in February I was on my way there to buy painting supplies. I had the essentials in mind and silly me thought it would be a quick trip, but when I got there I was overwhelmed! As a kid my teacher would always have all the necessary supplies ready for us, so I'd been naive to the sheer variety. Student grade vs. professional grade paints, choosing between different brands, brushes made from different types of fibers, brushes with different shapesI ended up spending a few hours at the store researching on my phone to find materials that would be both cost-effective and of good quality for a beginner like me. I walked out with around ten tubes of different colored oil paints, a variety of different sized brushes, thinner solution, disposable palate paper, an easel, and of course a canvas. 

Once I got home, I was so excited I started right away. Here is the painting from that weekend. I definitely would need to take classes or buy some books to learn actual techniques but my intentions right now are purely painting for leisure. I guess this is a start! As you can tell, I STILL love to paint nature and animals, and yes... more birds! (I painted these by looking at real photographs I found online for reference.)

This second one I painted recently, during the Labor Day Weekend a few weeks ago. I'm not too happy with it but I had fun. I learned a few things to keep in mind for next time, like adding some ripple effects in the water and maybe fixing the shadows a bit. It's funny because at first I had painted a sailboat but then I thought, nope! Need to paint those birds again! Seriously though, I need to move on to something else. Something on land maybe, like a giraffe or a cheetah.

Unfortunately I don't have too much time these days to paint often, as much as I'd love to, but when I do I'll be sure to post about it :). Thanks for reading my post! Oh and- if you live in the Southern California area, here's more information on my former art teacher's classes- she teaches all ages! Also, check out her very own paintings and sculptures, she is super talented!