Tuesday, September 29, 2009



I did this little 6" by 8" wood panel painting tonight. Here is the sketch from a week ago; I changed the face a little bit.

Waiting Sketch

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Artist: Ingela P Arrhenius and Her Book "142 Actors"

If you look carefully at the studio photo in my previous post, you will find a wonderful little book sitting on the shelf. It's a book titled "142 Actors" by Swedish illustrator Ingela P Arrhenius. I got the book from Ingela in April this year after reading about it on her blog. It's a beautiful book with pages after pages of colorful portraits which Ingela captured from a black/white German talent catalogue back in 1933. On each spread, Ingela arranged to have a male and a female facing each other, and some of them look like they are actually having a conversation. For me personally, this book is not only a feast for the eyes, it's a great book to learn about painting techniques as I've never took real painting lessons at school. It is so inspiring to see how she applied strokes, colors, as well as her own interpretation on all the characters and made each of them so unique.

I've planned to blog about the book earlier, but the timing is actually better now, because Ingela told me that she had set up a PayPal account, which should make it easier for her to take orders from international buyers. If you'd like to get a copy for yourself (highly recommend), please contact Ingela.

(All photos taken by Ingela P Arrhenius)

Ingela P Arrhenius is a freelance illustrator based in Stockholm. In addition to her advertising and magazine commissions, she has illustrated children's books, designed several stamp editions and patterns for products such as children's clothing, fabrics and stationery. Ingela lives just south of Stockholm with her husband, two boys and their puppy.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Celebrating 3x3 with artist Gustavo Aimar

Invitación 3 x3, originally uploaded by Gustavo Aimar.

One of my favorite artist Gustavo Aimar is celebrating the 3rd anniversary of his blog. Gustavo has created a special blog called 3x3, and you are all invited to create a tiny piece of artwork of your own, 3 cm x 3 cm (not inches), if you'd like to participate. He stressed the importance to do the actual artwork on a 3cm by 3cm scale, instead of scanning an existing artwork and scale it down. With that in mind, you can use any materials and there is no limit on the topic. This is not a contest and there's no prize, just simply sharing a creative space. If you'd like to contribute, email Gustavo at aimargus@gmail.com with your 300 dpi / 3 cm x 3 cm JPG file of your artwork with your name, your link and the technique or materials you used to make your art.

My tiny painting for 3x3

3x3: Girl in Blue

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Today's Sketch Book Doodles

Today's Sketchbook Doodles

Doodles during lunch break and a boring meeting...

So excited about tomorrow's Plaza Art Fair, my favorite event every year. Hope the weather is nice.

Yie Yie | 爺爺

Yie Yie | 爺爺

On 8" x 8" wood panel

I painted my grandpa tonight; he is the best cook ever! Also I think it might be fun to show you my working area. Today I got an awesome vintage Luxo lamp from work for only $20 (they are getting rid of the old Luxo lamps), such a steal! I am thinking about getting another one before they run out.

Painting Area

Love the lamp! It's sturdy and provides really great natural lighting.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Nai Nai | 奶奶

Nai Nai | 奶奶

"Nai Nai" is how I call my grandma in Chinese. I was painting from this photo. I should paint grandpa next. : )

on 8"x 8" wood panel

Nai Nai | 奶奶

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Miss Sketchy

Miss Sketchy Sketch Book

Continuing testing paint effect tonight... At the end, I painted the cover of my sketch book. Why not?

Miss Sketchy

Sunday, September 20, 2009

La Artista


On 3" x 5" wood panel

Saturday, September 19, 2009



Playing with textures and effect on paper this afternoon.
Feeling like a real artist right now because as I wipe dirty hand on my pants, I realize I've been wearing my shirt inside out the whole day.... nice.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Recipe: Chicken Spinach Mushroom Quesadilla

Dinner Recipe: Chicken Spinach Quesadilla

Ever since my dude showed me how to make quesadillas 2 weeks ago, we've been eating this yummy treats a lot (what a smart man by showing me how to make what he wants to eat... ha!) When he is here, I make a more traditional version with salsa, cheddar cheese, chicken, banana pepper, and MORE cheese. But since tonight I am by myself and I just bought bunch of goodies from the fabulous Costco, I tried a different version (perhaps a "girlier" version, too?) and boy it is so good!

Here is what I use:
* Small Corn Tortillas
* Garlic & Herbs Spread
* Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
* Canned Chicken Breast (flavored and ready to eat)
* Baby Spinach
* Baby Bella Mushrooms

Since the corn tortillas I use are so small, instead of folding them, I just use two and sandwich the stuff in between. As for the baby bella mushrooms, I bought them in a bag, already cleaned and sliced, and sautee them all at once in advance, so they are ready to use throughout the week.

How to make one:
(I put together all the quesadillas before they hit the pan.)

1. First heat up the tortillas a little bit. I do this by turn on the electric burner, hold the tortilla and quickly "slap" it against the heated coil back and forth, until little brown grill marks show up. Be careful not to burn it.

2. Spread a layer of garlic & herbs spread on one side of both tortillas.

3. On one tortilla, sprinkle cheese, then lay one layer of baby spinach on top, then chicken breast, sliced/sauteed baby bella mushroom, more cheese (this helps glue down the tortilla on top), and lay the other piece of tortilla on top.

4. Send the whole thing into a heated non-stick pan, no cooking oil needed. Grill about 2 minutes each side, until all the cheese is melted and hot. Use a pizza cutter (works better than knife) to cut it in half, and enjoy! :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

I Am A Lover

I am a lover

I turned the skull man sketch into a little 4"x6" painting.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Mexican Skull Man

Mexican Skull Man

I have to.

Skull Man Doodle

Skull Man

Just a quick one from my sketchbook today... Am I already thinking about Halloween? Where did the summer go?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009



I did this one last night digitally and painted it on a wood panel tonight just to practice.

Rain Painted

Sunday, September 13, 2009

El León

El León

Mr. Fluffy

Mr. Fluffy

Friday, September 11, 2009

Come and play at the Letter Playground!

Do you love hand lettering? I know I do! At work I do a lot of hand lettering, but I don't get so many opportunities to do it once I get home. But now I have no more excuses because one of my favorite artist, Nate Williams, just launched a brand new website called Letter Playground, a place to explore and play with letter forms. It's so new that Nate is still working on adding more impressive features, but it's already working very smoothly. You can get a jump start before the site is officially launched simply by registering. You will get a confirmation email after your registration and then you are good to go! Now go create and share it with the world. The sky is the limit!

Note: Nate has already created a whole page of super fun letters on his website. Check it out!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

La Cabra

La Cabra

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

El Caballo

El Caballo

Sunday, September 6, 2009

El Buey

El Buey

El Mono

El Mono

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mixies is now on my Flickr

1956 Mixies

As I mentioned in my previous post, I got lucky and found this amazing set of Mixies cards in a local antique shop for $3. The illustrations in this deck are absolutely stunning. It took me a couple of hours scanning and cleaning the images, and now the Mixies set is on my Flickr. I tried to track down any information regarding the illustrator but couldn't find anything. If you know anything about it, please let me know!

Also, while I researched online, I found this blog posted by The Jacky Winter Group, an Australian agency for illustrators, and how they put together a set of promo piece using Mixies as their inspiration. Check it out.

Mixies® is a product by Ed-U-Cards, ©1956

Friday, September 4, 2009

Lucky Find + Super Cute Music Videos

1956 Mixies

I got lucky today! I found a box of "Mixies" in a local antique shop for only $3! Here's just a teaser. It will take me a little bit of time to scan everything, so stay put. (Mixies ©1956 Ed-U-Cards Mfg. Corp. L.I.C. N.Y. Prid. in U.S.A.)

Also to kick start the long weekend, here are two super dooper cute music videos by U900, a Japanese Ukulele Duo. They will for sure put you in a good mood!

El Ratón

El Ratón

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Best birthday card EVER!!!

I should have shared this one long long time ago (my B-day was in June)... My friend Steph (also the guitarist in Softee), knowing how much I love Javier Bardem and luchadors, made this card just for me. Better yet, she fashioned this from a GIGANTIC Hallmark recordable sound card (11" by 11" to be exact and has awesome sound effect; when the music plays, the whole card shakes), and the theme song is "Mexican Hat Dance"... Isn't it perfect? It's so great to have creative friends! :D

Want to see the details of the card? Click the photos and then after you are in the Flickr page, click "all sizes" above the image.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009