Monday, December 16, 2013

Helen Frankenthaler's Message from Degas

Ipad Rendering  of Helen Frankenthaler's Message from Degas
A painting by the wonderful Helen Frankenthaler. She was an Abstract Expressionist who specialized in Color Field painting. Her work is so beautiful and thoughtful. My attraction to her work is in it's similarities to watercolor paintings. She uses oil paint in a very fluid way. She began a new technique where she would stain the unprimed canvas by pouring paint on it, allowing the canvas to soak it in. What a fun way to paint!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Children Recreating Robert Ryman's Untitled 1961

The boys with their Ryman paintings
This is a great project for particularly little people. It's all about creating different textures and experimenting. Eamon (2) really liked it and Gio (4) loved the experimenting part. It was hard to get them to stop!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Living in Robert Ryman's Untitled 1961

Living in Robert Ryman's Untitled 1961

Flower light, $65 / European bed linen / Fake fur throw / Nikko dinnerware / Jamie Young map globe / Wall mount mirror / Home decor / Jo Malone eucalyptus candle / Hand carved furniture / Round cocktail table

Ryman uses only white but varies supports and textures to communicate different thoughts and emotions. A room can do the same. Color is emotive, but texture can be too. The hardness of the marble coffee table evokes a different feeling than the softness of the knitted throw. Though all these objects are white, they reference different places and things and alter the mood. 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dressing in Robert Ryman's Untitled 1961

Dressing in Robert Ryman's Untitled 1961

Cooper Ella white blouse, $120 / Alexander McQueen white coat / Michael Kors highwaisted pants / Chloé brown flat / 3 1 Phillip Lim satchel purse / Irene Neuwirth 18k gold bracelet / Marc Jacobs daisy perfume / Illamasqua matte nail polish

Even though Ryman uses a lot of white, he is purposeful in his choice of support. In the case of Untitled 1961, he chose brown paper. I did the same here. I chose a brown support and covered it with white. This is inspired not just by Ryman, but also the beautiful film White by Krzysztof Kieslowski. The film really does utilize a lot of the color white. It's a sad film, but the visuals make it so worth it!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Robert Ryman's Untitled 1961

Ipad Rendering of Robert Ryman's Untitled 1961

I've always loved Robert Ryman. One must see his work in person to really get it. There is so much texture and depth in his paintings. He may only use one color, white, but there's enough in it to make it interesting. In his painting, Untitled 1961, he uses thick oil paint on paper. His choice of support and media make each painting very different. I like that he has limited himself to one color and one format. It's forced him to be more creative and to explore further.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Interpretations of Uyghur Artist Abdukadir Dilmurat

Dark Gestures, ink and watercolor on watercolor paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
This is about as expressive as I get. It's so hard for me to be wild and gestural. I like it neat. While working on these pieces I was thinking of my experience there, in Xinjiang province, the people, the colors, old town Kashgar, and imagined the shapes and lines I saw. The painting above is not so literal, but the two below are.
Karakul, oil pastel and watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
Fig Cross Section, oil pastel and watercolor, copyright Nina Leung 2013
The two paintings above are my literal paintings. I took a view of Karakul Lake and simplified and stylized it. The fig painting is a remembrance of the amazing yellow figs we ate there. They had yellow skin and the meat was an orange/pink color, really beautiful, and really delicious.

Eamon's Uyghur Painting, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
Here's Eamon's try at doing a painting like Abdukadir Dilmurat. He received a lot of color and mixed them in his own way. One year olds can be quite expressive!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Children Recreating Uyghur Artist Abdukadir Dilmurat

Eamon all set for some good finger painting inspired by the Uyghur artist, Abdukadir Dilmurat. Dilmurat's paintings are very expressive and use a lot of color. So that was the plan with Eamon, give him a lot of color and let him express. This is a good, easy project for an almost 2 year old with pretty nice results.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Dressing with the Uyghur Artist Abdukadir Dilmurat

Dressing with the Uyghur Artist Abdukadir Dilmurat

Kenzo print dress / Mulberry / Loeffler Randall black high heel boots / Givenchy red tote bag / Bezel necklace / SCP handcrafted earrings, $19 / Cream nail polish / Dior Hypnotic Poison

I put together something a little exotic, using a richly patterned dress as the starting point and finding thick, warm textures to surround it. The area is known for textiles, particularly silk and wool felt. Animal hide is also prevalent, particularly in the mountain areas. I added a little jade as a reminder that we're in China.

Would you believe that the film The Kite Runner was actually filmed in Kashgar, China? It's a stand-in for Afghanistan. It makes sense since they are so close to each other geographically and the area is much the same. The borders don't make that much of a difference. Great film to watch for inspiration and to see what Kashgar is like.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Monday, November 18, 2013

Uyghur Week: The paintings of Abdukadir Dilmurat

Ipad rendering of a painting by Abdukadir Dilmurat
This New York Times article in the Sunday paper inspired me to choose a Uyghur (wee-ger) artist from the Xinjiang province of China. I've never heard of Abdukadir Dilmurat until now, but I am quite impressed with his paintings, especially after trying to copy one of them on the ipad, as you see above. It wasn't easy! He used every color imaginable and placed those colors in very particular places. He obviously enjoys the act of painting and the feel of the paint.

Learn a bit about the Uyghur people and I think it's pretty easy to find the symbolism of the colors. Being of Turkish decent, the Uyghurs are pretty different than the Han Chinese living in the rest of China. They look different, the culture is different, they speak a different language. They even use their own time, Xinjiang time, separate from the rest of China. These differences create a lot of political unrest in the region of which one can find resonating in the abstract paintings of Abdukadir Dilmurat.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Interpretations of Henry Moore's Drawing, Reclining Figure

Brownie, charcoal on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 This is what happens when I haven't drawn from life in a long time. It's all a little off! But, it was fun doing it and especially fun using charcoal. I forgot how nice it feels to smear the charcoal and and how dark it applies.
Cup and Bowl, sharpie on card stock, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 This week was pretty busy so I didn't have a lot of time to draw, unfortunately. One afternoon, while Eamon was eating his snack, I drew a few dirty dishes on the table. Using a sharpie, there's not much room for error, which made it a little more challenging and exciting. Even though I only had a few minutes, I was able to get in the zone. Drawing is like meditating, really.

Eamon's First Still Life, charcoal on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 This is Eamon's first charcoal. His favorite part seemed to be the smearing. It's certainly fun giving them different art materials to work with. They obviously love it!

Gio's First Still Life, charcoal on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
Gio's charcoal does have some shapes similar to the Brownie camera. The circle with the lines radiating is the winding knob, the large circle is the lens, and the long curved line on the right is the square shape of the camera. I will challenge him with a still life again. He understood the concept, so why not?

Children Recreating Henry Moore's Drawing, Reclining Figure

Believe it or not, I asked a 4 year old and an almost 2 year old to draw a still life. I set up an object, an old Brownie camera, and told them to draw it. I did a demonstrate on how to do it by making a drawing of my own. Eamon kept touching the camera, but after he got bored of it, he began drawing.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Dressing in Henry Moore's Drawing, Reclining Figure

Dressing in Henry Moore's Drawing, Reclining Figure

Rebecca Taylor crop top / Burberry coat / Fenn Wright Manson black skirt, $190 / Church's eric church boots / Satchel handbag / Blue Nile earrings / Tiffany Co ring / Deborah Lippmann nail polish / John Varvatos home decor

Layers and warm, cozy tweeds are quintessential British and perfect for Henry Moore. There's a scene in the film, Atonement that reminds me so much of Mr. Moore. Of course, the time frame is about the same as his lifetime, but, also, specifically, the scene in the underground subway tunnels reminded me of his work the most. These drawings are so spooky and scary and beg to be explored. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Henry Moore's Drawing, Reclining Figure

Ipad rendering of Henry Moore's Reclining Figure
Henry Moore is known for his sculpture, but his drawings are pretty amazing as well. I might actually like his drawings more than I do his sculpture. He has a very distinct drawing style and method. The crosshatching curves along with the form making it look more sculptural. Check out this excellent slide show from the Tate Museum that shows Henry Moore's progression through his career; many drawings are included.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Interpretations of Louise Bourgeois's Les Fleurs

Louise's Flowers, ink on watercolor paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 This week was fun! Automatic drawing/ painting is so exciting and can be such a challenge. I had no plan, I just grabbed the material and let go. What a wonderful way to learn to quickly solve problems on the fly. Challenges arise and, with ink, there's no room for correction making it particularly exciting. Painting like this should be a requirement for everyone. It's a great way to relieve stress and concentrate the mind on one thing. Maybe I'll start doing this every day! Thank you, Louise Bourgeois!

Bouquet of Flowers, ink, sanguine powder, and watercolor on watercolor paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Les Fleurs, Again, Slick Sticks by Crayola, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
This last one is done with Slick Sticks, these wonderful, super smooth crayons made by Crayola. I LOVE them! It feels like you're drawing with lipstick, so smooth and thick and brilliant.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Living in Louise Bourgeois's Les Fleurs

Living in Louise Bourgeois's Les Fleurs

Arteriors blue light / Rug, $1,270 / 1882 Ltd. white dinner plate / Serveware / Adrienne Landau colorful throw pillow / Red home decor, $310

Cozy, textured, dark, and sculptural.....all of these pieces are so Louise Bourgeois. Imagine touching each of them. They all have a specific feel and they're not just different textures, but they're also interesting forms. Not only do I want to sit in that chair, but I want to feel it. It has a great sculptural form. A room with these objects in it would feel very cozy and comfortable. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Dressing in Louise Bourgeois's Les Fleurs

Dressing in Louise Bourgeois's Les Fleurs

Valentino fuchsia dress / Cropped blazer / Valentino leather pumps / Victoria Beckham red leather handbag / Black jewelry, $32 / MUGLER spray perfume, $70 / Jin Soon nail polish

Louise Bourgeois would likely wear something sophisticated, mysterious, and a little dark, particularly when she was painting like Les Fleurs. The dress reminds me of this sculpture; the organic shape, the undulating lines. And, of course, this all reminds me of film Paris Je T'aime. It features Paris and lots of personal stories told in vignettes. It's all so Louise Bourgeois!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Travelling with Louise Bourgeois's Les Fleurs

Louise Bourgeois grew up in Paris and in a suburb of Paris. Her parents owned an antique tapestry shop where they sold and repaired old tapestries so she was surrounded by history and textiles and probably some great old smells. These memories of her childhood, including her time in Paris of course, informed her work for the rest of her life. She was a very sensitive child who took in everything and made it a part of her.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Louise Bourgeois's Les Fleurs

Ipad Rendering of Les Fleurs by Louise Bourgeois
Why Louise Bourgeois is so exciting and so personal is because she created work based on memories and diary entries of her childhood traumas. All of those documentations made a life of their own in her work; they became something new and fresh outside of her and held strong symbolic meanings. All of us have memories that have informed us somehow and I think that's why Louise Bourgeois makes work that is so relate-able. Her sculptures and drawings are so raw and real. They have specific gestures that only the artist herself could create. Though we share memories with other's, our own are specific only to ourselves and are likely different than those of other's. That is what is so unique about Louise Bourgeois. She put her own memories in sculpture and on paper and made them recognizable.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Interpretations of Wang Hui's Scrolls

Shadow Mountains, litho crayon and ink on watercolor paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 The most attractive element of Wang Hui's scroll painting is the way he created the mountains. They're so dreamy and stylized. It's obvious he wasn't there because mountains don't really look like that. But, that's why they look so great in the painting. They're from his own imagination and what he remembers mountains to look like.

I just took those repeating, craggy, curvy lines and did them my own way. First a little bit like him, then less and less. The boys did a project with them as well their interpretations are a bit further away from the original, but still have the same, basic idea of repeating lines and shapes.

Warble Lines, graphite, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Lined Egg, pastel, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Eamon's Wang Hui, crayon and tempera on watercolor paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Gio's Wang Hui, crayon and tempera on watercolor paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Children Recreating Wang Hui's Scrolls

As in Eva Hesse's paintings, it is possible to get a 4 year old and a 1 year old to emulate an artists style, sort of. I began by showing the kids this painting by Wang Hui. First asking them what it looked like then asking them to find things like the people, the buildings, and the trees. I explained what the artist was trying to accomplish and then demonstrated how to draw a line and then make a similar line underneath, over and over.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dressing in Wang Hui's Scrolls

Dressing in Wang Hui's Scrolls

Zadig & Voltaire long sleeve top / Haider Ackermann sleeveless turtleneck top / St. John tweed pencil skirt, $465 / Balenciaga wedge heel boots / Vanessa Bruno oversized handbag / Kate Spade pearl jewellery / Fragrance / Dolce & Gabbana nail polish

It was probably pretty cold during some of the trip from Beijing to Shanghai taken by the Kangxi Emperor. His party would have had to dress warm and well, especially considering status. Their status must be obvious to the locals so they receive their due respect.

I chose warm wools, thick textures, and drapey silhouettes for the modern version of a woman who would have been in the Emperor's party. The greys reflect Wang Hui's color palette, as well as the green nail lacquer. Notice the white flower earrings that are very similar to the rhododendrons I saw on Emei Shan. The look reminds me of the film, Balzac and the Little Chinese Mistress. There are lots of great scenes with beautiful mountains. 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Travelling in Wang Hui's Scroll

Mount Emei in the Sichuan Province of China is one of the Sacred Buddhist Mountains. Many people make pilgrimages here to see the various temples that ascend the mountain. The day I was there, it was quite foggy, but that only added to the beauty. Mount Tai is likely similar in that there is a steep climb from temple and temple and the mountain is rocky and covered in trees and flowers. Wang Hui may have been similarly inspired by this sacred mountain.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Wang Hui's Scroll

Ipad rendering of Scroll Three, Ji'nan to Mount Tai by Wang Hui

Yes! I'm finally branching out of Western Art and examining some Chinese painting. This painting, by Wang Hui, is only part of a 45 foot long scroll depicting a trip taken by the Kangxi Emperor in 1689 from Beijing down to the Yangze River Delta (currently the Shanghai region). What I find so fascinating about Chinese landscape painting is that the artist does not paint in the setting. Wang Hui was commissioned to make scroll paintings depicting the entire journey, but he wasn't there. He never saw any of the things he painted. He used maps and journal entries with other people's descriptions to create them. So, really, much of what we see is from his imagination. 

In the painting that I did a rendering of above, titled Ji'nan to Mount Tai, Wang Hui shows the Emperor's travelling party climbing to the top of Mount Tai, a spiritual place in Eastern China. In total, he created 12 scrolls depicting the Emperor's journey, some measuring as long as 80 feet! Can you imagine!? He did have assistants, but still, that's a pretty large undertaking, especially considering the delicacy of paper. Learn a few more details on the MET Museum site if you want to learn more. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

Interpretations of Eva Hesse's Drawing

Two Circles, charcoal on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 This was so hard for me to do!! I'm not a minimalist at all! It took so much to keep myself from filling in details. I had to force myself to stop. Eva Hesse's ideas were in my head as much as possible. My favorite  is that of disintegration and allowing things to change. I just think that's so beautiful.

Spiked Seashell, acrylic on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Woven Circles, ink and pencil on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Worm Circles, block print, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Gio's Original Eva Hesse Painting, tempera on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 The boys did a painting using only black and white and then they took another paper to create a mono print. The first painting is the original and the second is the print. When the white mixed with black they made a grey-blue. They must have used blue for the black base. It turned out great, so I'm glad! Sometimes the cheap art materials surprise you!

Gio's Eva Hesse Mono Print, termpera on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Eamon's Original Eva Hesse Painting, tempera on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
Eamon's Eva Hesse Mono Print, termpera on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013