Senior Exhibiton

Woo~ Being a senior is a lot of work!

Currently I am working with a group of my fellow peers on our senior exhibition, Momentum!

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Which opens early in March, very exciting!

Here is a little sneak peek of another project I am working on, it’s a book about all of the strange daydreams I’ve had, while I was supposed to be paying attention in school.

IMAG0583-1My book will be made entirely out of cut paper, with maybe a smidgen of ink! I am excited to use all of my fancy patterned origami paper!

I really enjoy making collages, have any of you worked this way?

Doing the Senior Thing

I am down to my last semester at University, and even though school has only been in session a few weeks, I have been running like crazy!

The prospect of graduating from college and joining the work force is rather terrifying, especially since I am not entirely sure what I am going to do with myself XDDD

But the biggest thing I have on my plate right now is my senior exhibition. It’s scary because my exhibition is what all of my schooling has been leading up to, but I feel like I am already cramped for time. Hopefully I can keep it together until the opening day!!

On another note, I was able to take another life drawing class this semester, and I have really been enjoying it!

Here is some of the work I’ve done so far ūüôā

Bones Reclining pose Unfinished

Karen Katz’s Beautiful Baby Books

Back in the day, I used to chill with babies a lot. I worked as a daycare teacher for five years, it was a both¬†traumatizing¬†and gratifying experience ūüėĄ

One of the things I hated about the daycare was all of the stupid, pointless,¬†plot-less¬† ugly, cardboard backed, dollar bin books I had to read to my class. Granted there are a ton of beautiful,¬†intricate¬†children’s books out there, that can entertain, not only children but the adults reading them, as well (like Jan Brett or Jon J Muth)….unfortunately most of them are not terror-toddler-army proof and are eaten or ripped to pieces in a matter of minutes.

But I did love one series in particular, Karen Katz’s books like these:counting-kisses-karen-katz-hardcover-cover-artMy First Chinese New Year

 

The stories are sweet and simple. The text is short enough to keep the attention span of a toddler and the poor teacher who is reading it for the fifty-thousandth time. But it’s the art I love.¬†Karen’s love of fabrics, folk art and Matisse come together as a winning¬†combination¬†in her beautiful illustrations.¬†Her work is full of vibrant colors and patterns, and Katz’s way of depicting the figures is charming, inviting and drop dead adorable.

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So, if you have young children…or just happen to be browsing the kid’s section at Barnes & Noble, you should take a look at these adorable little books!

Christmas Cards~

I absolutely love getting mail, greeting cards, letters, postcards..especially packages!

I also love writing letters and making cards, unfortunately I am horrible at getting it sent out. Right now I am actually staring at a sealed, addressed letter to my friend who is on exchange in Romania right now. I wrote the letter weeks ago, I am so bad!

I did get a chance to make and send out a few Christmas cards this year!

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I really like to make my own cards when, at all, possible. These are a lot simpler than the ones I usually make, but they get the job done :3 (the oddball one with the cat and airplane is for my uncle, who is a orange cat loving pilot!)

Usually my cards look more like this: Corrin's Birthday Michelle's Birthday

They are a lot of fun to make, I try to craft the card into the likeness of the person it is for and I use any paper I can find! Kids construction paper, shiny candy wrappers, magazines, origami paper even bits of my homework >_> ~ (I do sell them and take commissions here, if you are interested! :D)

Do any of you make your own greeting cards? What sort of materials do you use? Is anyone else as bad at mailing them as I am? haha!

Parrots in Arizona?

I keep a bird feeder on my porch (as well as a few pine cones rolled in peanut butter and seeds that my little cousin and I made) and when I looked outside this morning there was a plump little peach-faced lovebird chowing down at the feeder!

I wasn’t able to capture a picture but this is what they look like:

Peach faced love bird!

It was funny seeing a colorful tropic bird alighting on the feeder along with all my typical customers-  mottled brown and grey desert birds.

I had also remembered seeing a small flock of these beauties at Arizona State Uni a few times. So, I did a little bit of research and I found out that in the late 1990’s the owners of an¬†aviary¬†decided to free the birds. This is not the first time this has happened either, flocks of cockatiels and parakeets have been mistakenly released in the past but the birds were never able to adapt and died out. The peach-faced lovebirds, however, have gone mad in our dry dessert heat and there are now hundreds of them in the greater Phoenix metro area. (and luckily they don’t seem to be hurting the native bird populations either)

Read more about the birds here

Those of you residing in AZ have you seen any of these little guys? report seeing one here and aid the Arizona Game and Fish department in tracking the location and numbers of the peach faced lovebirds!

I googled a bunch of photos people have taken of the birds here in the valley… Seeing parrots in Saguaro cacti is so cool!

 

https://i2.wp.com/www.mirror-pole.com/collpage/pf_loveb/81luvbrd_3.jpg

https://i1.wp.com/www.birdchannel.com/images/articles/bird-news/lovebirds-cactus.jpg

 

Plein air painting and Evgeni Gordiets

I recently stumbled across an artist that has really inspired me Evgeni Gordiets.

His work is beautiful, isn’t it?

I really like this quote from him, that I found on his website;¬†“Today, for me, life and painting are one. I have no desire to follow fashion; it has no value to me. In my art, the sea, the sky, woman and child are subjects of importance, eternity. I have no passion for politics. I often use in my work, stone carved forms and water– these are symbols of eternity. I love sculpture, and I try to unite it with painting. Women, the symbol of love, mother-hood and eternity, have great importance in my art. In life, there are some things that last forever; in my work, I communicate this with the sky, water and stones.”

His paintings feel relevant¬†to where I stand right now. I normally stick to drawing and painting cute things, portraits and more cute things but lately I have been experiencing one of those oh-so-wonderful artist’s blocks. In other words, all my cute drawings look like poo. >_>

However, one of my class assignments has been to go out to the local lake…thing (it is a fake “lake” because this IS the desert) and paint plein air¬†(or outdoors onsite.) I’ve never really bothered with buildings or landscapes before so this was a new challenge….and it turned out surprisingly well! In fact, I am thrilled with it…..which doesn’t happen to often, ahah!

Here is the first day:

 and a few days later:

And finished!

I think this is one of my best pieces of late, and after discovering Evgeni Gordiets work and seeing how landscapes and cityscapes can have just as much ¬†magic to them as fairies, I started wondering if I shouldn’t try painting something besides cute people.

So, I guess, stay tuned for more paintings of buildings?

I’M EXPANDING MY HORIZONS.

and until then……here is a picture of my newest USB drive (I collect cute ones XD) His name is Ozzie

Autumn Nostalgia Smells of Kinmokusei

Ahhhh cool autumn weather has finally hit Phoenix, and with it blows in that ever elusive feeling of nostalgia. My fall nostalgia is always accompanied by a sweet whiff of Kinmokusei.

When I was living in Kagoshima I had the¬†privilege¬†to attend several large Rotary¬†conferences¬† one of which was located in Nobeoka. (Nobeoka is one of my favorite places in the world, it’s a lovely, lovely town!)

The¬†conference took place in a prestigious hotel and was¬†attended by a great number of people and was very busy and crowded. I, being that I am very uncomfortable in large crowds, was somewhat worse for the wear by the end of the first night. ¬†Someone, I’m not sure who ¬†(being confused is 91% of being an exchange student) ¬†took pity on me and the other two exchange students and arranged to have a family with several kids whisk us off into the country side to stay with a friend of theirs for the night. (it seemed very random at the time, mind you, after an¬†exhausting¬†day I was stuffed in a car with strangers and driven out of the city. Luckily, I am well adapted at being happily confused)

The man whose house we were graciously put up in was named Yamamoto, and he lived unusually close to the mountains in a big, beautiful traditional Japanese home.One room housed a giant loom that encompassed the entire room from wall to wall, I was told that Mr. Yamamoto wove kimono on it.

The family, myself and Sebastian and Sunni, the other two¬†exchange¬†students slept there that night (on nice soft futons oooohh :D). We woke up early the next morning to hike into the forest, so we could drink the sweetest water in Kyushu (or at least that is what I derived from Mr. Yamamoto) I wasn’t not prepared for hiking since I had expected to be sitting and bored with a polite expression on my face in the conferences, so I had to borrow a pair of one of the little girl’s shoes (good thing I am child sized, even in Asia XD).

Japanese forests are some of the most beautiful that I have ever seen…and the water from a pool at the end of the trail was indeed the sweetest I have ever tasted.

We returned to Mr. Yamamoto’s home and packed to leave and during the chaos of cramming kids and suitcases into tiny, Japanese, tupperware-cars Mr. Yamamoto pulled me aside and broke a twig off a bush and handed it to me “This is what autumn in Japan smells like, we, Japanese, always wait for it” he said.

Now, whenever autumn decides to show up, I always return to the sweet smell of Kinmokusei and the sweet memories I have of Mr. Yamamoto and the kind family that took us to him.

(could this photo be any more chaotic? I love it!)

Now in case this post doesn’t seem sufficiently random, I thought to include this (it was for the parking lot of the fancy,¬†conference¬†hotel. )

Happy Finally-a-Nice-Day-In-Arizona Day, Everybody!