Monday, May 16, 2011

Off to see the sloths. BYE!!

Beginning today, I'll be away in Costa Rica volunteering at the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary for four weeks!

I know this is me being extremely repetitive, but I thought it'd be appropriate to make an official "away from blog" post to excuse my lack of postings during the month of May and June. I will try to post a few images of my future sketches (and maybe some of the sloths!) since I'll be sketching alotalotalotalotalot!

The image above is my now completed sketchbook I made for the trip (I'll post finished photos of the sketchbook later) and the rest of the dookie I've been trying to put together before I left this morning.

Ok, so, goodbye!! ;DD

ps, If you have the chance, go on an awesome adventure this summer, ok?!

Sloth apron!

"~*Oh my goodness, these little baby avocados are just beeaaaauuuutifuul!*~"

I'm on an apron kick, and I found some awesome remnant pieces of fabric to make this SASSY SLOTHY APRON!

I think I'll be sewing aprons. A lot more. In the future. They're just so fun to sew! Look forward to seeing aprons like this for sale. I would like to make some more sloth printed items and donate some of the money I make from them to the Sanctuary. We'll see how things go!

Sloth screenprint!!

I'm going to Costa Rica soon! I'm going to Costa Rica now, actually. (Blogging from the airport cause there ain't much to doodoo) So in the spirit of my upcoming/present adventure to the Aviarios Sloth Sanctuary of Costa Rica, I decided to print a sloth to take with me on my trip! I'll be volunteering at the Sanctuary for 4 weeks, so don't expect much more posts after this. I'll have my hands filled...with slothhhss!

The design was a bit spontaneous, in that the femur I decided to include in the image wasn't so much thought out and more so just a visual solution to not wanting to draw a tree. Why not a bone?! It was probably inspired by all the bones I have behind my bed. Any-who, I later came to a symbolic conclusion about my subconsciously conceptual inclusion of the femur!

The femur is often a representation of strength and support, and I feel the connection between the sloth and femur is representative of my relationship with the sloth, as well as my future interaction with the sloth. As much as they are a support for myself, I hope to be a support for them. They've sort of become my "power animal" in the sense that I find myself and my work relating to various attributions of the sloth. The best way to describe this image, is for me to imagine that if I was to be a member of a gang, the gang would be called The Tough Sloths, and this image would be on our flag. Watch out, I'm a tough sloth!

(I'll have more images of the prints later! Sorry, underwhelming post)

Miso and spinach soup and Korean style rice cakes!

A usual combination of foods for me. Both are quick and easy to throw together. Enough said!!

What! A self portrait?

A while ago my friend Mel and I decided to throw up some news print, set up some mirrors and draw ourselves in charcoal. I don't remember what inspired the act, but I need to admit that I don't think I've drawn a realistic human figure since 11th grade in High School, let alone a self portrait. It was intimidating!

However, I was really pleased with what I did, and considering all opposing factors (never liked drawing people, never very good at drawing people, not used to drawing so large, and this was larger than life sized) it was really fun! I think I'll try to get into the habit of drawing for life a bit more. I miss it.

The head is large, ain't got no hand...but whhhaaatevvva!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Bronze twin crystals; (nearly) finished!

Penetration Twins

Contact Twins

Ta-daaaa! My bronze sculptures of the twin crystals have reached the near end of this journey, with the exception of some extra polishing in the near future. The gates were cut, their bodies were filed and grinded and polished, and here they are! A little rough, but I like crystalline/mineral-like textures that arise in the casually filed appearance.

I didn't paint the faces on, because I thought adding the other medium to the bronze would feel disconnected. They don't really need faces either; I like considering them as creatures in the past who are now solidified in this crystal-like material and are more so objects or minerals rather than organisms. I'm considering carving little wooden masks for them, but that won't be any time soon if I choose to do so.

Detail of contact twins, best friends.

Pho Monster in the graffiti tunnel!

I got bored Monday night, because I had just finished my last class of the year and everyone else was studying for shit and I just wanted to go out and do something fun to celebrate!

So I decided to do my first paint job in the graffiti tunnel on campus that night. I've never really painted with spray paint before, except for a little practice run when I first got my set of paints, so this is definitely a new and unfamiliar medium for me. It was really fun, and I was painting next to a guy who was tagging the tunnel, and he was pretty neeaaaattt. We ended up talking quite a bit, so now I have a graffiti friend I guess, lolololol.

I painted the pho monster, blue, just because I had a lot of blue.

It took longer than I think it should have, but for a first go, I think it was pretty good! Next time I'll understand layering better, and what should come first in terms of colors and the overlapping of features. The nose was a good moment for me.

Next time, I'm throwin' up a sloth. Slothz 4 lyfe!!

Sweet potato noodles with shiitake and tofu!

AHH, I wish I took note of this recipe, wrote down how much I used of each ingredient, because it was SO GOOD! I love Dangmyeon, or sweet potato noodles (or cellophane noodles, or glass noodles), because they're clear and fun to eat and so delicious. I made this dish pretty quickly, and I'll try to replicate it later and post a recipe.

I haven't posted recipes in the past because I think of my food posts to be more along the lines of food inspirations..rather than recipes. Meaning that I hope whatever it is I cook and post more so inspires the mixing of flavors, techniques in how to cook an ingredient and what order to cook it in, etc. Rather than saying this is what I made and this is how you can make it!

Oh man, don't get me wrong, I love to follow a good recipe, but more recently I've been looking at recipes just for the sake of getting inspiration. I'll look at a pad thai recipe and see what's used and in what amounts for the sauce, and what's cooked in what order, but aside from that I eye ball it and use only what I have on hand instead of going out to buy a certain rice wine or whatever the recipe calls for. But if I'm looking to make something traditional, such as kimchi or tom yum goong (veganized), then I'll definitely follow a recipe.


Ok, so the sauce base for this was soy sauce, miso paste, rice wine vinegar, and some shiitake broth that I gathered after soaking dried shiitakes, and a little drop of hoisin, I think. I first fried the tofu in oil till golden brown, then added the shiitake mushrooms and onions, fried it a bit more, and then added some sauce to simmer a bit. I cooked the noodles, threw em' in the pan, some more sauce, simmer doowwnnnn, and DONE.

A very light, sweet and seaweedy salty flavor, but the shiitake definitely plays a big role in this dish.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Brown rice cakes and Sweet Potato; so easy, so good!

My Korean friend had me and some other friends over for dinner one night to show us some Korean cooking. It was really awesome, because not only was the food mega delicious, but it was also all very easy to make! She made one dish using rice cakes and chili paste, which I've been making on my own very frequently. When she made the dish, she used a sweet rice drink as the base fluid, then let it simmer with some chili paste to form a thick sauce, and then cooked the rice cakes in it.

I've been kind of experimenting with this format; using other ingredients such as spinach and hoisin (mainly because I don't have the rice drink she used to sweeten the sauce), but the other day I decided the try yo throw in a few small cubes of sweet potato, thinking the extra sweetness would work well in an already sweet and spicy dish. It was AWESOME! So I'm going to try to wing it and remember how the recipe went:

Brown rice cakes and sweet potato in chili paste

1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon hoisin
4 tablespoons chili paste
1/2 cup sweet potato, cubed
1 and 1/2 cups of rice cakes (any shape)

So you just mix the water, hoisin, and chili paste in a sauce pan and let that simmer a bit on medium/high heat.

Add the sweet potato cubes so they soften and absorb some moisture from the sauce. If it looks like the sauce is getting too thick, add maybe 2 tablespoons more water. The sweet potato will soak up some moisture, and you'll need to reconstitute that moisture for the rice cakes to suck upppp.

When the potatoes seem soft enough, to your likings of course, add the rice cakes, brown or white, and cook just a bit longer, until they become soft. Rice cakes cook really fast, so probably no more than 5-8 minutes.


Szechuan inspired potato and eggplant dish!

Somewhat loosely inspired by Szechuan flavors, the sauce is chili paste based and thick, with a hint of sweetness. Eggplant, Yukon golden potatoes, carrots and Shiitake mushrooms. On the side are some udon noodles with chili powder and dried seaweed. The two items actually went together very well! Successful dinner!!