Saturday, October 29, 2005

Goooo Bayside!

We had our Bayside class reunion the other day...THERE I AM in the photo top left. I was suprised to find how little everyone has changed! Afterwards, we hopped into Jesse's hybrid car and went to the Max where Zack tried to sell us into some internet scam. Funny thing too, he's still using that giant white cel phone...

Sunday, October 9, 2005

Ben Folds at Savannah, GA

I don't know a lot of Ben Folds songs but I knew this would be the kind of concert that would be fun live. Our tickets were seven rows from the stage but it didn't really matter because people were standing wherever they wanted. Great show!

Click right here to see the band sing Dr. Dre...
Click right here to see the band Rock the Suburbs...
Click right here to see Ben directing the audience...

Friday, October 7, 2005

Moving Time

Long time no entry. Returned to the Southeast where I promptly moved out of the old apartment. The new one's got an old fireplace in it that my landlord reminded was "only decorative," meaning that if I lit anything up in it I'd probably expire. Not everything is settled in, mainly because this is just a temporary residence.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

California Addictions

My time in Southern California is coming to an end. Here is a list of things that I have become addicted to while here this summer:

1. In-N-Out Burger
2. Mango-a-go-go at Jamba Juice
3. Two Spanish-speaking radio stations 97.9 and 99.7
4. Swimming laps in the hotel pool

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Grotto

When we pulled up early this morning to the Circle X Ranger Station in the Santa Monica Mountains, the sign read "off duty," which I thought was odd for a Sunday. Nonetheless, we read the bulliten board safety info,grabbed a map, and began our descent into The Grotto, a land of giant boulders set deep in the valley. The trail to the destination was blazing (to put it mildly). It felt like walking a treadmill between four opened, preheated ovens. The fact that there was very little sign of other hikers or animals made me wonder if we weren't supposed to be on this trail at this time..

The actual Grotto itself was pleasant. We had to traverse over ridiculously giant rocks that were basically balancing on one another in order to descend down into the dry river bed. Making conversation, Viki asked if there were an earthquake and she suddenly became pinned under a boulder if I would kill her even if she begged me to end her internal and external suffering...

Yeah, Debbie Downer...I know...

"Well, if it were ME, how would you put me out of my misery even if you COULD do it??" I exclaimed.

"I dunno, probably throw rocks at your head I guess..."

Though the Grotto itself was a blast, the return trip was not of equal blast quality. The problem with hiking into a dry valley is that the entire trip back is an sweltering uphill climb. The two rangers - who apparently decided to sleep in on a Sunday - were present upon our return and informed us that a heat advisory was in effect at the time and that the two of them had been recommending that hikers hit the mall. "Good to know," I thought.....

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Elaborate Silver Bowls

Yesterday after working on my secret painting for Viki, I went up north again to meet the newly-employed Susanna, her cousin George, and her friend from Taiwan Mika. We went to a Thai restaurant that of course had really elaborate-looking silver bowls and tiny servings of sweet porridge at the end, which I'm finding is very common in a Thai place...

Friday, August 26, 2005

"Just An Artist..."

Well, I'm wrapping up my time in Gum Grove Park. Still no koala sightings yet...

This location has slowly become my favorite spot because of the proximity to the hotel, abundance of free parking, scarcity of tourists, high dog-to-human ratio, and constant eucalyptic aroma. I hope this area isn't going to be crawling with a bunch of new houses next time I come...

Today, a friendly old man walking by and admiring my painting chatted with me about various topics such as how beautiful the central coast of California is and how Gum Grove Park is a nice area to stroll. Everything was cool until after a long pause he asked, "Son, are you a Christian?" I awkwardly answered with possibly the strangest reply ever given to this question in the history of the world...

"Oh, no sir...just an artist."

In the end, he gave me a pamphlet, said a few words about his changed life, and left in the white van that he rode up in. While eating his dust, I on the other hand pondered my unusual but natural response. It just seemed the way he spoke of Christianity that we were talking about professions and not affiliations...

Thursday, August 25, 2005

I Am the Chameleon

I decided today would be the last day to paint in El Dorado Park, mainly because my paintings need time to dry before I pack them into boxes. I've spent so much time at this spot I feel like I could repaint all the lines, values, and colors from memory if I had to (but hopefully that won't be the case.)

By the way, have I mentioned that I've been addicted to the Spanish-speaking radio stations since I've been here? I only like the ones that play old style Mexican music with lots of trumpets and accordians. Today on the radio a little girl requested in Spanish one of my favorite tunes of the summer. The DJ asked "Cuantos anos tienes!?" and in a tiny voice she replied, "tres." It was quite adorable. In the chorus of the song the guy is saying "I'm a chameleon." Now you too can enjoy the song by clicking here .

Monday, August 22, 2005

Coldplay at Irvine, CA

I had no idea Chris Martin was such a stand-up comic. He was cracking jokes left and right and flying all over the stage while he sung. I always imagined he would just sit there like Liam from Oasis but there was so much energy beaming from the stage. The show was well worth the hassle of getting to the doubt about that and the band kept making it perfectly clear that they appreciated the fans. I could NOT, however, believe people were actually getting drunk there off of $12 beer.

Click on any of the songs below to see a video clip. I had a really good one of "Yellow" but hastily erased it at the concert thinking it was a fuzzy still photo...

The Scientist
Johnny Cash Ring of Fire
Can't recall song title just yet...
In My Place
Fix You

Sunday, August 21, 2005


Viki and I spent about 8 hours in the The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) today. We opted out of the $25 per person, 8:00 am tickets for King Tut and went straight into general admission. The museum had artifacts from just about every major era of human civilization as well as a modest collection of early American and European paintings. We took this photo in the Contemporary Art wing where someone had recreated the complete look, feel, sound, and smell of a vintage and rural garage.

Highlights this time for me included a number of Rodin statues, a Pissarro urban street scene, a Tim Hawkinson contemporary exhibit, a fantastic Corot landscape, and a Monet lilypad piece (which I'm starting to understand the abstract qualities of.) One of my favorites today was this William Wendt landscape (seen below) done during the era of California Impressionism.

Here is last night's dinner of Japanese Shabu Shabu in Little Tokyo of downtown LA.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Beef Toungue Taco

I sure am getting used to this whole hiking thing...

Escondido Falls in Malibu required a bit of rock climbing and stream hopping but the reward was well worth it. The first mile of the trail was down the paved road of a extravagant mountain-top neighborhood, which made it a little awkward when rich people drove by wondering why two haggard Asians were mulling through their streets. After a steep climb that even a mountain goat would be proud of,we reached the second tier of the falls (as seen in the picture above.)

Afterwards Viki and I went to La Playita...a totally ghettoed-out Mexican food joint literally on the side of the road in Santa Monica. You can either take food to go or sit on side and eat it. Of course, I let Viki order in Spanish so that they knew we were on their side. Don't let the ghetto appearance fool you though because the food is so fresh, authentic, and delicious. Today I had a beef tounge taco amongst my order which I enjoyed thoroughly.

The day before Escondido Falls, I continued painting at Gum Grove Park in absolute isolation. The park is overrun by eucalyptus trees which really makes for a nice minty aroma when the wind is blowing. Unfortunately, when the wind is blowing though, my canvas turns into a damn sail. No koala sightings yet by the way...

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Norton Simon, Pasadena CA

Luckily, I found out of the existence of the Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena before I left SoCalf for the summer. Free admission and free parking for a museum are very hard to come by in this area. I'm not a huge fan of Renoir but this has always been my favorite Renoir painting in books, probably because it's less "Renoir" than his popular syle. That sure makes sense, doesn't it?

Other highlights for me included a Cezanne portrait of "Uncle Dominique," a large Daubigny landscape, some small Boudin beach scenes, a Van Gogh portrait of an old guy, and a Rubens "David vs. Goliath" which was hands down just plain ridiculous.

After learning the underrated science of artmaking, Susanna took me to a Taiwanese restaurant in San Marino. EVERYTHING about that place was so Taiwanese I completely forgot I was in California until we went back outside. Even one of the girls working there was wearing a bootleg Burberry apron. (And yes, I made Susanna do that completely fobby pose...)

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Eagle Rock

Look! There I am at the top of Eagle Rock in Topanga State Park. It was a little freaky being up there, to say the least, but quite tranquil as well. The fact that it was windy too didn't help my nerves any. There was this little hollowed out cave underneath the spot I'm sitting where people mimicked caveman drawings. It felt very primitive sitting in side the cave, eating a peach, and looking straight down the cliff to imminent doom.

Would you just look at the litter in downtown LA? Here's Viki and I standing in front of a giant piece of crumpled aluminum. Apparently, they have concerts in that thing too...

Monday, August 8, 2005

I'm Hunting Wabbits

At 8:45 am, we embarked on what turned out to be approximately a ten mile hike through El Moro Canyon in Laguna Beach.  After a series strenuous inclines and declines, we hiked for a grand total of 6 blazing hours.  Here I am about 900 feet above sea level stalking a terrified yet adorable rabbit camoflauged in the brush.  If you look closely, you'll see him.

Saturday, June 4, 2005

Bobo's Wardrobe

I went back to Jacksonville for a few days to find out that Bobo the yorkie had acquired himself some new duds. As you can see, he's stylin' now with a very extensive wardrobe.

1. Bobo has Star Wars fever! Though he has a Clonetrooper, Bobo actually prefers Chewbacca because he thinks he's a good role model for furry creatures everywhere.
2. This Hello Kitty ensemble sports a useless yet adorable pocket on the backside.
3. I call this the Burberry Priest outfit...a Burberry collar and a black shirt.
4. This is his Preppy Popeye look. And no, he probably won't eat spinach.
5. Eep! What'd you do with the potatoes? This outfit is a little more artsy than the others.
6. Lastly, I like to call this his Marty McFly Life Preserver Vest (from Back to the Future).

I also went to Atlanta for a few days this week where I fully enjoyed the company of Korean cuisine...namely Korean BBQ. This picture is funny because it fails to mention the two guys sitting on the other side of the table. I just thought it looked funnier cropped this way. It looks like one of those Japanese eating competition shows on tv.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Abstract Art

Here's an abstracted version of my "Baseball for Rocky" painting. There is actually another step in between the original and this one. You can still recognize the wine bottle to the right as well as the location of the baseball and dice from the original.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Blue Steel

Here's a panoramic picture of SCAD's Trustees Theater that I pieced together. I'm trying to be more open-minded now and become more aware of the other art forms around me. I try to find similarities in what others do and try to apply that to my way of painting.

This afternoon I went to the SCAD fashion show for the first time. What did I learn today? A good first impression on the audience will help hold their attention. In this case, a good model really made the difference in wowing or boring the audience. You definitely take the models who exude confidence more seriously than those who just awkwardly slump out there. As a result, you also unknowingly take the designs they wear more seriously than others.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Use the Force, Degas

Star Wars Episode III will probably make billions of dollars this opening's good to know that I contributed my $5.50 to the cause. When I saw the line of people outside the theater today (Thurday afternoon), I figured they probably weren't here to see Paris Hilton in "House of Wax."

Y'know, people got on George Lucas's case a couple years ago when he remastered the original Star Wars Trilogy, making some obvious visual changes here or there. Even though people said he should've kept the originals intact, I think it was justified. Degas was still making changes to paintings all the time, even long after they were "finished."

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Close Encounters

Here's a photo I took at the Savannah Wildlife Refuge, where we saw an alligator jump from the water and ALMOST catch a large heron in mid-flight. It was one of the coolest things I've ever seen and only would have been cooler had he caught it.

Saturday, May 7, 2005

Edgar Degas and The Underdog

There were a couple things happening today. First off, the Sand Arts Festival was cancelled due to "inclement weather" as you can see in the photos. Looks like they cancelled it in the morning when it was cold and cloudy but some of the students who had already started just went ahead and finished their sculptures anyway. The first sculpture looks like some kind of car...the second one is a big face...and the third one is two sumo wrestlers.

Secondly, the Illustration Senior Show began tonight with a very good turnout. I actually took this picture much later in the evening when many people had already cleared out. Good job to those who organized it...the gallery space looked much better tonight than it did a week ago. The two pieces I showed were "Edgar Degas" and "The Underdog."

Saturday, April 30, 2005

Sidewalk Arts 2005

Ah, Sidewalk Arts favorite day in Savannah. Lots of locals, tourists, and dogs come out to watch us compete for big money prizes. It started off pretty smoothly...

1. Everyone's waiting around for 11 am, the moment we can begin drawing
2. My empty square, number 76. This year I decided to draw Napoleon, who I've been wanting to draw for a long time.

1. This is about 15 minutes into the drawing. The SCAD On Demand people came to interview me so look for me later on the SCAD website looking like a nervous fool.
2. Now I'm starting to really separate colors and values and give form to certain shapes.
3. A lot of people still kept asking, "So who's that supposed to be?"

1. After 3 hours of furious drawing, Napoleon is finally complete.
2. I don't walk around until I finish. Can't get distracted by the competition.
3. Here are some squares that stood out to me for various reasons..

1. Here is a well drawn copy of a Normal Rockwell painting.
2. I thought this was funny.
3. "Famous Last Words...Trust me!"

1. A lot of people paint a more flat, graphic look.
2. Even if you think you can't draw, you can be creative. These girls turned their squares into a putting green.
3. If you live in Savannah, then you know who this guy is.

1. Out of nowhere, thunder and lighting announce a storm at about 3:00. Luckily, I got a spot under this tent.
2. The afermath of the brief but severe storm. If your drawing wasn't washed away, then it was probably under water.

1. This picture (same as above) is before the rain...
2. And this is the exact same view after the rain. You can faintly see Napoleon there at the bottom struggling to say alive.
3. Here's a close up of my rain-soaked square. I know chalk drawings don't last forever but this was a little too ephemeral for me.

Right after the first crack of thunder they announced that the event was basically over. Usually they announce winners in the afternoon but I'm not exactly sure how that's going to work this year.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Fruit For Sale I sold my first painting today to a nice visiting couple from Atlanta who happened to see it up in the hallway. It wasn't really up "for sale" so I was suprised. I was sad to part with my painting but it's good to know someone else will enjoy it in their home. I'm sure it'll look much better if they decide to frame it, but that depends on their setup at home.

Here I am back in the day painting it in the cold of winter...

Sunday, April 17, 2005

Lowly Underpainting

Working on a still life in the apartment today. Don't critique me just yet, this is just the lowly underpainting.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Buenos Dias Bonaventure

This picture was taken in Bonaventure Cemetery a few days ago. For a second there the entire property was taken over by pink azaleas but now they've wilted. Nonetheless it's still a pretty nice spot for landscape drawing. As you can see, it's been a while since I've made a new entry. I have added a new illustration to my website along with a few other minor changes.

Thursday, March 24, 2005


We'll miss you so much Rocky and we'll never forget you. I don't think you'll ever fully understand what you meant to this family and how you held us together for the past ten years...

Monday, March 21, 2005

Get Well Soon Rocky

Rocky, one of our boxers since 1995, has been having very frequent seizures lately. If you know me, then you know I'm more than just a little attached to him.

He spent the whole weekend at an animal hospital under observation which of course is making his pal Sadie very lonely at home. Ever since Sadie was a pup she's had Rocky around so she's not accustomed to his absence. These are pictures of Rocky I took over Superbowl weekend. I hope he can get well enough to at least come home and hang out with Sadie again.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

They'll Never Get Me Lucky Charms

Time for the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Savannah when thousands of non-residents come and trash the city! They leave a big mess but they also leave a lot of money, which I guess is what counts in the end.
1. An old school band marching outside the Catholic cathedral
2. Broughton Street, in front of the Jen Library
3. It's tradition for women to run up to servicemen and kiss them on the cheek...
1. Aren't these guys freezing?
2. A group of aspriring riverdancers
3. (blush) That confederate soldier is totally waving at me
1. Look kids! It's American Idol's Diana Degarmo!
2. Again, lots of servicemen
3. When I took this I didn't know that girl was going to town on those chips
If you look closely, you can see a large chip hanging out of her mouth
1. I'm not sure when this trend of painting your dogs green began
2. Now there's something you see everyday...a green goat
3. Ah, no spray painted gimmicks for this wise breed