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

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Children Recreating Eva Hesse's Drawing

For a minimalist, Eva Hesse-inspired project for the kids, I decided on a mono print project. It's simple, it's fun, and both boys were pleased with the results. Before we began, I showed them some examples of Eva Hesse's drawings and paintings, told them about minimalism, organic shapes, and how Eva Hesse loved change and disintegration. Sure, some of these ideas are quite complex, but they listened intently and it's often surprising what they remember. Try it!

Living in Eva Hesse's Drawings

Living in Eva Hesse's Drawings

Flexible lighting / Silver home accessory / Fossil Tape Dispenser / Sketch Book Postcard Size / Pottery Barn farmhouse desk / Orange22 minimalist furniture

The things Eva Hesse lived with were likely utilitarian, simply designed, and of mostly natural materials. She probably had a great work table and simple seating, nothing pretentious. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dressing in Eva Hesse's Drawings

Dressing in Eva Hesse's Drawings

Mango knit tee / Velvet lightweight jacket / Topshop boyfriend jeans / Frye ankle booties / Marc by Marc Jacobs locket necklace, $97 / Marc by Marc Jacobs stud earrings / Square glasses / Butter London nail polish / Home decor / Le Labo Vetiver 46

Imagine it........ New York City in the sixties. A young woman (Eva Hesse) just starting out, studying, working, finding her way, living in a great big city full of new ideas. She's a little like Patty Duke in the odd 1969 movie Me, Natalie. She's reinventing herself, figuring out who she is and what she is capable of. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Eva Hesse's Drawings

Ipad rendering of drawing by Eva Hesse (No title)
Eva Hesse has always been a favorite of mine. She is known for her sculpture which is organic and flexible with a lot of movement. She loved impermanence and change, welcoming the disintegration of her work. Those sculptural tendencies are in evidence in her drawings, like the one above, which show a great understanding of space. Her career began as a painter, but with the introduction of papier-mâché in her work, she began an interest and love for sculpture.

SFMOMA has a great interactive web feature on Eva Hesse that's really fun to browse through. It explains her work in simple terms and can help the novice understand her complex thinking. 

Travelling in Eva Hesse's Drawings

If this Eva Hesse drawing were a place, it would be.......

New York City!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Interpretations of A Bright View of a Dark Time

Floating, watercolor and crayon, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
 I love the stark lines and colors in A Bright View of a Dark Time and attempted to do the same here. Klee's work is so playful and optimistic, even the title spells it out. It was definitely fun using so many colors and simple lines.

The boys did their own interpretations using black crayon with watercolor on top. I did the same above. They definitely liked the painting part more than the crayon part. If you've been watching carefully, you may have noticed Gio's great interest in the spiral. It's a recurring motif in his work.

Klee's Birds, acrylic on canvas board, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Gio's Klee Interpretation, crayon and watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Eamon's Klee Interpretation, crayon and watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Living in A Bright View of a Dark Time

Living in A Bright View of a Dark Time

Vintage Fondue Set, 2 Quart, Avocado Green, Imperial International,... / Stacking mug / Wooden cradle, $380 / LINLEY traditional home decor, $240 / Throw pillow / Orange home decor / Jonathan Adler round cocktail table

Okay, so this is not just inspired by the Paul Klee painting, but I at least took the palette and what I imagine growing up in Switzerland was like for Mr. Klee. He had to have eaten lots of fondue on low tables next to a warm fire with lots of cozy, furry pillows. Am I right? 

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Dressing in A Bright View of a Dark Time

Dressing in A Bright View of a Dark Time

J.W. Anderson polo neck sweater, $990 / Vivienne Westwood Anglomania long sleeve jacket / Valentino light weight pants / Pierre Hardy black suede bootie / Michael Kors tote / Jamie Joseph turquoise earrings / Vince Camuto gold tone ring / NARS Cosmetics / Donna Karan fragrance / Nail lacquer / Dolce & Gabbana Aviator | Piperlime

The Alps, the colors, all reminded me of the movie Downhill Racer. Not a great movie, but it does have great style. Color blocking, jumpsuits, stark colors, white aviator sunglasses, it's perfect. That's enough of a reason to see it.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Paul Klee's A Bright View of a Dark Time

Ipad Rendering of A Bright View of a Dark Time by Paul Klee

Paul Klee is the underdog. Almost completely eclipsed by Picasso, he did not have the opportunity to fully shine. He was as productive and prolific as any of his peers producing more than 10,000 works in a multitude of styles.
The Tate Modern Museum in London is about to open a retrospective of his work and give him some overdue respect. So this week we'll celebrate the underdog!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Interpretations of Vasarely's Vonal Period

Circle Rhythm, pip squeak markers on paper, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
The Proenza Schouler purse from the dressing post helped me with the work above. I love the changing colors and the circles. It was fun using the boy's crayola pip squeak markers. They come with a surprisingly good palette. The best part of it was the limited nature of markers. I had to stay within the palette given and could really only create one, flat texture. Restrictions can make art-making more challenging and fun.

Blue Anxiety, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
As in the title, I took this from the movie High Anxiety that inspired the dressing post. Concentric circles have always been a favorite of mine. They're present here and above. My love for circles comes from my Grandmother who uses them often in her compositions. I think of her as the master of the circle. She uses them in ingenious ways and they always bring everything together so beautifully in her paintings.

Eamon's Pinwheel, pip squeak marker on paper with pencil and push pin, copyright Nina Leung, 2013
The boys made pinwheels for their Op Art project. Yes, it's pretty literal, but with preschool age projects, that's what I have to do! They chose the colors and did the drawing while I constructed the pinwheel. We made them on Wednesday and they're still playing with them! It was a hit!

Gio's Pinwheel, pip squeak marker on paper with pencil and push pin, copyright Nina Leung, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Dressing in Vasarely's Vonal Period

Dressing in Vasarely's Vonal Period

Halston Heritage blouse, $500 / Simone Rocha layered black skirt / Yves Saint Laurent ankle booties / Proenza Schouler shoulder bag, $1,565 / Butter London blue nail polish, $38 / JewelMint / Brit Rhythm - Burberry | Sephora

Yes, it's silly, but true. The Mel Brook's film High Anxiety partly inspired this post. It's a hilarious movie (it is Mel Brooks after all) and it has a great optical illusion scene. It was the first one I ever saw. I was about 10 years old and it totally blew my mind. I wanted to see it over and over again, it was fascinating. How could lines and color look like their moving? It just seemed completely strange, but also completely intriguing. And, to top it off, Madeline Kahn in the Louis Vuitton jumpsuit standing next to a Louis Vuitton car is unforgettable (see it here, scroll down a bit).

Travelling in Vasarely's Vonal Period

Victor Vasarely was from Budapest and he MUST have been inspired by the architecture. As you can see here, there is a lot of repetition and rhythm in the architecture of Budapest. It's everywhere! There's more than in other cities I've visited. There were blocks and blocks of repetitive patterns.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Vasarely's Vonal Period

Ipad rendering of Vasarely's Vonal Period

The father of Op-Art, Victor Vasarely is my inspiration this week. I love his Vonal period, where he experimented with straight lines and colors to create the perception of movement. This example in particular is so great, the colors are beautiful and what a surprise to see those light yellow-beige stripes near the center. Aren't those great? It's those colors that create the illusion of movement.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Interpretations of Vermeer's A Girl Reading a Letter.....

Interior after Vermeer, graphite and colored pencil, copyright Nina Leung 2013
 Vermeer's work is all about the interior. Women working, reading, pouring milk, conversing with others, all in a room. Usually it's the same room over and over, just slight adjustments to each. I did my own, slightly Surreal version in graphite. The light is so important in Vermeer's paintings, so I tried to do something similar. Of course, he painted right there in the very room, setting up the scene. Mine was taken from the imagination.

Abstract Interior, watercolor, copyright Nina Leung 2013
 Since I'm more an abstract artist and I enjoy finding the fundamentals of something, abstracting the interior was an obvious choice. The grid on the window, the yellow bowl, and a strange, kind of difficult composition. I actually asked Gio for advice as to what to do with the upper right corner. He told me to make squares with fireworks in them. So, that's what I did. I think it worked!

Gio's After Vermeer, watercolor, crayon, collage, copyright Nina Leung 2013
 The boys did their own Vermeer interpretation. We studied a few of Vermeer's paintings looking at a slideshow, then we followed this lesson. Gio did his completely on his own. Eamon needed a little help on his, but most of it is his own. The key with doing artwork with children is separating the project into chunks and then limiting the materials. I only allowed 2 different colored markers for the background, 3 colors of crayon for the window, and only blue for the watercolor.

Eamon's After Vermeer, watercolor, crayon, collage, copyright Nina Leung 2013

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Living in A Girl Reading a Letter.....

Living in A Girl Reading a Letter.....

Cream pitcher / West Elm gold flatware / Elegant Gold, Silver Wood Chess Set

The rooms Vermeer created were so detailed and so natural, it wasn't too difficult to find modern items to emulate the look. Many of his paintings feature a red woven rug like the one here. In The Girl Reading a Letter By an Open Window, the rug is on a table with a bowl of fruit on top. I like that he brought the rug up off the floor to add some red to the bottom of the painting. Without it, the red curtain would look out of place.

The chess board is a reminder of the checkerboard floors he has in many of his paintings. He often set up his paintings in the same room, with a checkered floor and the same iron window. Look through these paintings and see for yourself how often he used the same light, the same room, and many of the same objects.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Dressing in A Girl Reading a Letter.....

Dressing in A Girl Reading a Letter.....

Dolce & Gabbana short red cocktail dress / Charlotte Olympia ankle booties / ALDO clutch / Bracelet / Vintage enamel brooch, $270 / Brooks Brothers 14k stud earrings / Christian Dior fragrance / JINsoon nail polish

Rich fabrics and textures and a Vermeer color palette: red, green, blue, and gold. The more Vermeer paintings I look at, the more I recognize the same textiles, the same room (of course), and the same objects. He obviously loved these objects and colors. I do wonder if the actual object was this exact color or if he altered it a little bit.

The modern Vermeer woman would wear something like this. It's the same richness of texture and color, just modernized. The film A Girl with a Pearl Earring was a bit of an inspiration as well. The color palette, the costumes,and the atmosphere were all inspiring.