Wednesday, November 30, 2011
I have a set of new crayons that will be in a group show at GGibson Gallery in Seattle! I'll be at the reception tomorrow, please stop by if you're in town.
GALA BENT, DIEM CHAU, MAIJA FIEBIG, HEIDI KIRKPATRICK,
RACHEL MAXI + SAYA MORIYASU
December 1 - January 7
Artist Reception: Thursday, December 1 from 6-8pm
I've been getting back into carving crayons, this time with a different twist. I remember growing up with a lot of Chinese art and it's many themes. One of the quintessential theme is of the Four Seasons. They mark change, progress through life and the beauty of nature. This is my own interpretation of the Four Seasons.
Winter - Bamboo
Spring - Cherry Blossom
Summer - Lotus
Autumn - Chrysanthemum with bamboo fence
Thursday, October 6, 2011
I was driving with a friend yesterday when the news of Steve Job's death hit the news. I was instantly floored and saddened, what a great loss. I've never personally met Mr. Jobs, but his innovations have changed my life. Apple products have allowed someone like me, a laymen, to navigate, explore and take advantage of all the resources the tech world has to offer. I've been able to keep up and grow as technology advances. Thank you Steve Jobs.
When a family member dies in Chinese culture we wear a patch of black fabric on our sleeve to mourn the loss. I thought it would be a nice symbolic gesture to put black tape over my Apple as a sign of respect and gratitude for what Steve Jobs has given us. Please feel free to repost this.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I have some new works available on my website. Please go check it out.
I've also received a lot of emails inquiring about the carved crayons. I make them on a commissioned bases. Each crayon is $250USD and the turn around is about one week for 1-3 crayons, this is not including shipping time. It may take longer depending on what is requested. I usually work from the Crayola 64 pack and the bright "fruity" colors work best. I like to have a good face pic and an overall body shot of my subjects for proportion and clothing reference. I love special or unusual requests, I see them as a good challenge. Feel free to contact me if you have any inquiries.
Monday, September 12, 2011
I have a current show at SHOWstudio Shop in London.
1-9 Bruton Place
London, W1J 6LT
September 8th - November 5th, 2011
"The Cafe," an exhibition centered around coffee culture and cafe society in fine art, fashion and film. The show examines our enduring fascination with the culture of café. The SHOWstudio Shop has transformed their gallery into an actual coffee shop for the duration of the exhibition. They will also include artworks that intrinsically take up the subject of the café at their core as they set out to both present a slice of history as well as examine coffee culture today. Curated by Carrie Scott.
Featuring work by:
Mother Of Pearl
Rebecca & Mike
You can see a preview of the show at SHOWstudio.
Thank you for including my work in the show Carrie! It's wonderful finally getting to work with you.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Hello everyone, I'm sooooo sorry for the lapse in posting. Hopefully I'm back on the blogging horse again. I'm very excited to be a part of Push Stitchery, curated by Jamie Chalmers (a.k.a. Mr. X Stitch). The book is packed full of great art and insightful interviews from 30 embroidery artists from around the world. Lark Crafts is doing a giveaway, you can win your very own copy! Follow the link and just leave a comment :)
There I am! There are 6-8 images from each artist along with bio's and a Q&A section. The print quality is great and I love how it's bound. I have a thing for books that open flat.
I want to see these in person... there is so much intricate detail.
I'm a BIG fan of her work!
I love her colors and the playfulness in her imagery.
Andrea Vander Kooij
Thank you Jamie and everyone at Lark Books, great job!
Monday, June 6, 2011
This is Bellen Drake's family portrait, she was one of 2 winners from my Japan charity raffle. I had a lot of fun doing this. I would like to thank everyone who participated and helped promote the raffle. I was amazed we raised so much money! I hope you like your family portrait Bellen :)
I got quite a few emails about how I did the raffle. I actually got in some trouble with Paypal for doing it. I would not recommend doing what I did... It's sad there's really no alternative. If you're raising funds through Paypal, they require you to be a certified non-profit or you formally represent the organization you're raising funds for. I was neither, I just wanted to do something and I couldn't think of any other way. They also strictly prohibit raffles and lotteries... but hey I'm a monkey wrench. I thought they would let me slide for charity sake, but I was wrong.
Paypal contacted me 2 days after the raffle was over and suspended my account. They asked me to prove that I was either a non-profit (401C) or a representative of the non-profit. The alternative was to refund all the money! I had already wired the money to the Japan Red Cross so a refund is out of the question. All I could do was email them my wire transfer paperwork and hope they'll accept it. In the end they restored my account, but gave me a stern warning against doing something like this.
*warning heard guys!*
A few other artists and friends were not so lucky. Paypal suspended their account right in the middle of their charity fundraisers. It was a big nightmare for them! I'm so sorry I sent them down that path. If only there was a way to donate directly to a charity via Paypal and have Paypal notify me that someone has donated on my behalf. Am I making sense??? There's no way to do that now. I think a lot of good can be done that way... it's almost like a micro-loan situation. We're more likely to make donations through a friend's request than marathon drives and TV commercials. Being able to raise funds as an individual gives it a personal touch, it's grassroots and I feel it can really pull a community together. With that being said I'm not a professional fundraiser and I don't do this a lot.
Paypal is a wonderful way to do business online. The only other option is Google Checkout, but they're still relatively new. I know their policy is just to protect the consumer against scammers and frauds. I think the market is big enough we need a few more alternatives to Paypal.
If I ever do this again I'll probably sell E-cards (along with the chance to win a set of crayons :P). It'll have to be a "sales" type exchange instead of "gift". That just means Paypal takes 3%, but in the scheme of things 3% isn't bad.
Now back to Bellen's crayons! This is Bellen, she's a photographer in Seattle. She requested that I carve her with a camera. I modeled her camera after the Canon 1D & 5D series.
Charles the father. I tried to capture his wonderful mustache/goatee thing. I also really like his shirt.
Eben the son. He's a soccer player! I think I've had a lot of practice with soccer players by now :P
Delphi the daughter. She has a cat that she loves. This was my first time putting an animal into the mix. It was a good challenge, I'll do doing more combos like this.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I'm in the summer issue of Textile Plus. Thank you Coco, Dorothé and everyone at Textiel Plus!
I'm so honored to be in the same issue as Nick Cave! I recently saw his work at the Seattle Art Museum. Sadly today was the last day to go see these amazing suits. He's my new art crush.
Click on the image to view large. Sorry folks it's only in Dutch.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
I'm so excited about how this project turned out! I was approached by Matt Senga on behalf of Gescha to create the cover art for his new album "Crayon Politics". This is Gescha's first solo album and I'm so honored they chose my work.
For more info about Gescha go here:
We wanted to make something simple that would be eye-catching as well. We went with his name spelled out sitting on chess pieces. I'm a big fan of the rainbow!
G - sits on the king
E - sits on the pawn
S - sits on the rook
C - sits on the bishop
H - sits on the queen
A - sits on the knight
CD album cover
Vinyl album cover
Back/insert & interior
The black & white image is artist, Christian Faur's work. He stacks crayons to make an image, each crayon acts like a pixel.
I just wanted to give a great big THANKS to Matt and Geordie! I hope you guys are as thrilled as I am about this. Good luck with the new release! We'll have to grab some beers if I'm ever in Saskatoon Saskatchewan ;)
Check out his lead single "Love Pirate"!
Friday, June 3, 2011
A few months ago Yasmine Tashk contacted me about KSAT, a Paris based zine focused on the idea of collaboration and artistic games. In this latest issue artists are paired up with musicians. Each artist chooses a song from a list of musicians and makes a piece inspired by that song. It was a fun idea and when I heard "Farewell" by Biggles Flys Again I was immediately on board! It's such a beautiful and melancholy song, I felt my work resonates perfectly with his music. Biggles Flys Again is Dublin based musician Conor Deasy, he makes quiet bedroom folk pop.
KSAT Issue n°4 - MUSICAL ISSUE :
What inspire the musicians while composing music ?
What do their music inspire to other visual artists?
Release Party/Exhibition & Concert:
Saturday, June 18 at 4:00pm - June 19 at 7:00pm
Biggles Flys Again
The Debutante Hour
The New Spring
Boom Boom du Terre
La Boutique Fantastique
Lizer Van Hattem
Thursday, June 2, 2011
A recent commission for John & Jessica who got married on May 27th! Congrats guys, wishing you many happy years!
Another shot from the side. I really like how the flower in her hair turned out. The white and grey combo was chosen by John.
The groom's crayon. He had wonderful long curly hair, but decided to cut it for the wedding. I was looking forward to making a long haired groom.
The bride's crayon. This was a wedding gift for Jessica. John had a hard time sneaking a shot of her in the dress. I hope she likes them! The color turned out very well. I had to ad lib on what the back of the dress looks like. We decided to keep her glasses on, it gave her that lovely geek factor. ;)
Sunday, May 29, 2011
This was commissioned by Femke as gift to her friend who recently lost her dog Tom.
Click on the picture above to see a larger image.
Tom is missed. Sweet boy.
If you can read Dutch here's Joyce's blog about the crayon and Tome:
Saturday, May 28, 2011
I'm so excited to be in the Rijswijk Museum's 2011 Textile Biennale! I'm honored to have my work featured on the poster. It's a wonderful line-up of artists, if you happen to be in the Netherlands please go see the show! Embarrassingly I had to Google the name to learn its pronunciation ... it's Ris Vik. I bet you can get some high scores playing Scrabble in Dutch.
RIJSWIJK TEXTILE BIENNALE
June 7th - September 11, 2011
2282 BR Rijswijk
Porcelain plate, organza, cotton fabric & thread
Artists in the Show
Mariëlle van den Bergh (Netherlands)
Dorothée Van Biesen (Belgium)
Diem Chau (USA) - you know where to find me ;)
Orly Cogan (USA)
Andrea Donnelly (USA)
Erin Endicott (USA)
Wen-Ying Huang (Taiwan ROC)
Gaby Kleindienst (Germany)
Valerie van Leersum (Netherlands)
Janice Lessman-Moss (USA)
Sanae Mimori (Japan)
Barbara Polderman (Netherlands)
Astrid Polman (Netherlands)
Jacquelyn Royal (USA)
Elisa van Schie (Netherlands)
Johanna Schweizer (Netherlands)
Adrienne Sloane (USA)
Sue Stone (England)
Anna Torma (Canada)
Michel Wieggers (Netherlands)
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
I had a wonderful interview with artist and writer Lien Truong on Diacritcs.
DiaCritics is an online blog started by DVAN which stands for Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. DVAN’s aim is to promote artists from the Vietnamese Diaspora whose work in literature, visual art, film and performance art enriches our communities and strengthens ties between Vietnamese across the globe. We undertake to support this body of work through cultural events, exhibits and publications that explore connections between art and society.
DVAN is international in scope. It provides resources and promotes the work of Vietnamese artists in the United States, France, Canada and Australia, as these countries host the largest Vietnamese communities overseas. It also supports artists who have returned to Viet Nam and produce from that location.
It's a wonderful resource for Vietnamese artist or for those who are interested in Vietnamese art. I never knew they existed until a few months ago! Go check out them out, just click on the screen capture for the link.
Sorry for the long belated post on this interview! Thank you for introducing my to DVAN Lien. :)
Saturday, April 30, 2011
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Day 5 and I'm finished!
I spent 3 hours yesterday (Day 4) redoing the newspaper bed. I removed the frame, took out all of the newspaper I had laid down and double dug the bed. Then I reinstalled the frame. I was tired by the end of that 3 hours and called it a day.
Today (Day 5) I filled all of the beds with soil. I'm surprised it took almost 5 hours to do! I also cleaned up the work site a bit. I found that it was faster to mix the soil directly in the beds. I started by mixing in the wheelbarrow and that wasn't very efficient. I'm planning to make a summery post so that all of the important information is in one place.
All-in-all this project took 5 days (about 22 hours not including travel time to the many stores). I was able to do most of this myself, but you definitely need a second person to lift the raised bed frames and set them in place. The cost was about $250 with soil.
And so we start! We went to a few nurseries and bought some starter plants. I was surprised to really like the plant selection (and price) at Fred Meyer. I went to the one in the Ballard/Fremont area. Their plants were healthy and well watered with the exception of a few cucumber flats.
I'm also starting a few things from seed like spinach, lettuce, radishes and peas. I've found with plants like tomatoes and peppers I get better results from buying gallon pots. It'll be my first time growing broccoli and cabbages. I never had enough space before, they're such HUGE plants. Fingers crossed!
As I was finishing off with the beds I looked over to the gate and began to wonder what I can do there... maybe a row of raspberries or asparagus? This will be the never ending project.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Another day of digging. I ended yesterday with my 1st bed finished and my 2nd half dug. I picked up the work today around 3pm and finished all 3 beds around 7:30pm. I decided to make the 3 beds with 3 different soil preparation methods:
The 1st bed was done with single digging and the sod removed. It took about 3 hours. (right)
The 2nd bed done with double digging, the sod (top layer) was buried underneath another layer of soil. This was the more laborious of all 3. It also took about 3 hours, but more heavy lifting was involved. (center)
The 3rd bed was done by just placing layers of newspaper on top of the sod and piling new soil in the frame. It took about 30 minutes, but I have my doubts about the effectiveness and benefits of this method. (left)
My feeling on all 3 is that the double digging is best when cultivating a bed for the first time. It was the hardest one to do, but well worth the work. There's always weeds, grass or something growing on the top of your soil that you want to take out before planting. Single digging just rotates the soil from one section to the next, what's on top of the soil still stays (relatively) on top. You have to manually pick out any weeds or plant matter that you don't want growing back. It's not so bad if you have a few plants here or there, but when there's a dense carpet of sod that's another story. You can't effectively till sod with just a single dig.
Double digging is hard for me to explain. It's basically like a single dig, but instead of rotating the soil from section to section you also rotate it from top to bottom. You start by removing 2 shovel's depth worth of soil and place it aside (each shovel's depth is a layer) Then you put the top layer of soil in the next section into the bottom layer of your first section. After that you cover that top layer with the bottom layer of that next section... Top layer becomes bottom layer, each section at a time. I was very confused by the instructions I read, even the illustration was no help, but once I got started digging it all made sense. I'll try to do a demo tomorrow. The plant matter in the top layer is buried so deep that it won't regrow. Not only is it covered with 12" of soil, but I'm putting on another 12" after the raised bed frame gets installed. No way is grass going to poke out of 24" worth of soil. Another benefit to this method is how fluffy it gets the soil! Because the soil takes up more volume I need to buy less soil to fill up the bed and I don't have to compost the sod, it gets composted in the ground. The only drawback is how laborious it is, but honestly it's not that bad.
*This is the method I'll use from now on when cultivating new beds.
The 3rd method I used was placing newspaper onto of the soil to act as a barrier and kill the sod under it. This is very simple, unless you're in a very wind situation. I don't know if I was doing it right, but I don't like this method. I'll illustrate below:
So I'll just call this the "Newspaper" method. It's as easy as it looks, lay down newspaper and pile soil onto of it. My issue with this is drainage. At my old home the previous owners had made a sidewalk garden using this method. I didn't know this at first, but noticed that when I was watering the water would run off fairly quickly and the soil also got dry quickly. It was mostly filled with drought tolerant plants like euphorbias, lavenders and sedums. I thought that I had let the soil dry out to much and it lost some of it's water retention qualities. After I started digging into the ground I found a layer of partially decomposed newspaper about 8" down. It was effective in blocking out plants/weed under it, but it also formed a barrier for water and accelerated topsoil evaporation. I noticed roots had a hard time penetrating the newspaper as well.
This is an image of all 3 beds in place. I don't know if I'm doing the "newspaper" method right, but if so it seems like a perfect waste of top soil buring it under newspaper, inaccessible to the plants above it. Then have to go buy a lot more soil to fill the bed. There's also the drainage and evaporation issue and I don't know what kind of chemicals are in the paper and ink. I wouldn't mind so much if I'm not eating the plants I grow. I guess you can do the same with a weed blocker fabric, but you lose soil depth. If I have a 12" raised bed and I dig another 12"-24" I'll have lots of room for roots to grow. I couldn't hurt to give those roots more space right?
Yes it's easy and quick, but it's no good, unless you're planting a parking strip and don't really care. You know one of the "set it and forget it" moments. I feel so strongly against this that I'm redoing this bed tomorrow with the double dig method. It'll add another day's work, but I'd rather do it now then regret it a month from now. At least it has no soil in it! So my conclusion is to double dig when cultivating new land. Heck I might go back and do it to the 1st bed too... maybe... I'll see how my aches are by then :P
Another photo of Guy being helpful. Notice how high the mound of soil it. This is from double digging, no soil has been added, it's just what was there fluffed up. Guy approves. :)
So tomorrow I redo my 3rd bed and fill the beds with soil. I'm hoping I'll be ready for planting on Wednesday or Thursday.