Friday, August 26, 2011

Upcoming Group Exhibition: Get the Lead Out III in Seattle

I just mailed a box of four brand-spanking-new pieces to Echo Echo Gallery in Seattle. The group exhibition (curated by Swoon Gallery in LA) will feature TONS of artwork from a big list of artists including Stella Im Hultberg. Yaylers. The exhibition opens Sept 9th during the artwalk, so be sure to pop in to Echo Gallery if you are in the area! And of course, you can get on the preview list by emailing hello (at)

"Asa -Morning-" | 11x17 | Oil, colored pencil, and collage on wood

"Truth -Shinri-" | 9x12 | Watercolor & graphite pencil on paper

"Past -Kako-" | 9x12 | Watercolor & graphite pencil on paper [SOLD]

"Hiding -Kumogakushi-" | 9x12 | Oil, colored pencil, and collage on wood

Antony Micallef's Crazy and Splendid Work

Sometimes I notice the big gap between the work that I must produce to fulfill my soul as an artist, and the work I like, or would like to purchase. They aren't the same. It's interesting to explore the disconnect. Today I was reminded by Arrested Motion about UK artist ANTONY MICALLEF. His work is the type that I LOVE. I'd love to fill my house with his work. He seems to be an artist from the depths of his being, sort of like the way David Choe is. This shot of him working in his wonderfully messy studio inspires me to no ends. I wish I could be like that. So messy, stuff everywhere, nothing in the way of one's creativity and spontaneity. Someday, someday, I will work like this when my studio isn't part of my day job's office. :P

So here's his work that makes me lose my mind and loosen my purse-strings.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nathan Presley's Haunting Photography

I found someone amazing on Ben Trovato today. His name is Nathan Presley, and he is a photographer and videographer. I look at LOTS of excellent fashion photography every day, but his photographs shone like jewels in the darkness! (Not that everything else I see is darkness, but his work was just that good.) Haunting, mysterious, historically military-themed girls will melt my heart every time.

He is a world-traveler, deep thinker, and writes such poignant poetry too! Check it yo

And do you know what the most astounding thing of all is? It's that he's from Tulsa. OKLAHOMA. My current state. I am seriously so pleased, because it's very rare that I find anyone local who truly amazes me. And it may be the first time ever that an Oklahoman artist has truly rocked my socks off and blew my brain up. (Sorry if that didn't make any sense or sounded excessively violent... my words are getting excited and confused.)

Nathan is planning to move to LA soon. And I can totally understand. His career will probably explode there! Oklahoma, you've got to try harder if you want to keep the good ones...

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Charlotte Carey, My Love

Here's my girl Charlotte Carey. She's half Indonesian, half Caucasian. I'm totally crazy about her! She gives me an extra power to paint the most beautiful girls possible.

The long way home. from andrew kuykendall on Vimeo.

It's interesting that the girls who inspire me the most do not often look like the girls in my paintings. Even the faces that I personally think are the prettiest are not always the ones that inspire me to draw. That discrepancy is something I'm continually discovering. It's like my girls have a mind of their own and they decide how they want to look. I like following them to see where they lead.

However something I always wish for is my perfect model to be HERE. IN TOWN. But since there is a shortage of Japanese (or other Asians) where I live, I currently do not have a fave live model. :*(. I know you might think "Just use a Caucasian girl and make her eyes skinnier." But alas, that doesn't work so well. Something always looks wonky when you do that.

In college, my best model was my best friend in the whole world. That was suuuper convenient! But now, she lives in Tokyo so I can't take photos of her whenever I wish. I hope I can find another model sometime sooooon!

Oh yes I told Charlotte of my admiration of her features and she said

"thank you!!!! xxx"

Ah! My crazy Japanese propensity to be a nutso fan girl is stirring! >_<

Monday, August 22, 2011

Flower Faced-Obsession

Lately I have an obsession with faces piled 'round with loads of flowers. Proof:

Yoskay Yamamoto's wonderful season series.

Marco Mazzoni's madly gorgeous faces with flora + fauna

Photograph by Mario Pena

I can't remember the name of this Japanese artist. Someone please enlighten me!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Masako Ando's Surreal Paintings

Masako Ando is a Japanese artist whom I discovered today via Supersonic Electronic. I LOVE the way she clusters surreal-ish objects around her pretty subjects. I especially love the child with the carnations (are they? I am so bad with flower breeds) piled around his face.

Unfortunately all the images I could find of Ando-san's work are rather small and hard to see. Does anyone know her kanji? That could help me find better results. Alas, the people I like are often so hard to find information about!

What theeee? Blogger is acting insane. I'll transfer my thought to a new post then.

Monday, August 15, 2011

And the Winner is... Crayola?! O_o

I'm sorry if you momentarily mistook me for a 3rd grader when you read this title. Let me explain. A long long time ago, when I was about 12 or so, my dad purchased a Crayola 12-color watercolor set for me. However I didn't realize their true powers until JUST recently. Oh, the saturation! The brilliance! The mixing ease! I like them better than my Academy tubed paints, which is what I used in college. Here is my fantastic vintage set:

But after a few months of furious Crayola use, my colors inevitably started to run out. I was in utter dismay! I went to Hobby Lobby and dropped the cash to buy the Windsor & Newton equivalents, since I thought I’d better move up to the professional brand.

BUT! What do you think happened? Dullness. Muddiness. Weird textures in the paint. I was sorely disappointed in their performance. Not to mention, they are something like $13 a tube… and my purse was crying for about a month.
So, I resorted to buying the first (and only) Crayola 12-color set I could find. This one:

I tried them out excitedly, but alas and alas... they were thin, and the colors dried with this weird ugly sheen on top. Le sigh.

In my despair, I contacted Crayloa customer service. They told me that my original beloved set is no longer being manufactured (booo!) but that I should try this one, which I FINALLY found on Dick Blick for $8 (with $9 shipping Y.Y)

And just like that, my life returned to me. THEY ARE THE SAME AS MY VINTAGE SET! Yeah! I was so excited that I tried out every single color in one painting like an excited kindergartener. The painting/study turned out pretty awesome if I do say so myself.

So to summarize, let me repeat to you to wonders of Crayola semi-most oval pan watercolors.

They are BRILLIANT. I mean not just good=brilliant, but the hues are unbelievably bright. W&N colors seem very dull and muted to me.

They MIX WELL. They don't get muddy (W&N, I'm looking straight at you.) Each color retains its beauty no matter what other color is mixed with it.

They are SATURATED. They are very rich in pigment, and you can get the saturation levels of a very thick paint. They almost look like acrylics, except prettier.

They are INEXPENSIVE. Once again, W&N, I can buy 2 of the Crayola sets with the money it takes to buy your single Cadmium Yellow.
So I guess the moral of the story is that $ doesn’t necessarily equal better. I hope you’ll also try out some unconventional mediums. I’d love to know what you discover!

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Sudden Burst of New Work

These days, sooo many people ask me if I would like to hang work in their space/cafe/gallery/show. I do appreciate all the offers, but it's becoming impossible for me to agree to everybody. I hope no-one is offended. I simply don't have enough time to make brand-new pieces for everybody, since I'm not yet a 100% full-time artist, and I keep selling away all my inventory (a wonderful problem, of course.) There's also a big difference between hanging stuff a million places and actually selling anything from those places. I guess it's just something you have to try and see if it's working. I'd like to hear some sage advice about this topic, if anyone has any. And it's hard to know when it's time to take the big leap from being part-time to full-time. I have a feeling *Galadriel voice* the time... has now come.

Here are a few new pieces that seemed to have tumbled out of my paintbrush all at the same time!

The first two original 9x12 pieces will soon be available to buy in an online show by Swoon Gallery. Email them if you'd like to be on the preview list to snatch them up before anyone else does!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Meeting the Ambassador

On Friday, I was invited to a special reception at the Oklahoma State Capitol (and later at the Southern Hills Country Club in Tulsa... posh to the max) honoring the current ambassador of Japan to the US, Ichiro Fujisaki. It was an interesting event... there were suddenly a flurry of Japanese obachan (older ladies) chattering away all around me. It was surreal, considering that I know of hardly any other Japanese people here in OK. I felt like I was in Japan just for one tiny moment. I guess I was invited because someone Googled "Oklahoma" and "Japanese artist." In any case, after many speeches and hullabaloo, we got to meet the ambassador and shake hands very quickly. I gave him my newest painting "Moment -Setsuna-".

This little work was acrylic, collage, and gold leaf on a slab of wood with the bark still on the sides. Woops, I hope it's not banned at Narita airport because it's an agricultural product. O_o

I hope he liked it... I couldn't tell because we were rushed through so quickly. The chrysanthemum surrounding the girl is the traditional Japanese motif for the Emperor, so I thought it fitting to give it to a government official. Here we all are... and I'm looking so awesome with my shiny camera eyes that I am too lazy to fix in Photoshop. I hope the official photographer posts the photos soon so I can get a more decent shot.

Speaking of decent shots, the bathroom at the country club was gorgeous. It was like a dream bedroom, except it was the BATHROOM. My friend and I went a little too wild in there, as you can see.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Yokai Girl: "Torn Tail -Osaki-"

OK, I mentioned before that I wanted to start exploring the world of female yokai. Yokai are traditional Japanese monsters in folklore. They are very interesting because each one is different and has different characteristics. I am also still under the influence of my childhood obsession with Ninjasentai Kakuranger, which featured a new badguy yokai each episode! So enthralling!

Haha, here's their version of the fox woman with nine tails, kyuubi no kitsune!

And here is a ukiyo-e depicting one. It makes more sense than the Kakuranger version, for sure. XD

Here's a Chinese version.

Haha. And now, here's my version of the infamous fox-girl below. This was actually a commission piece for a lovely fellow in Texas. I can't wait to portray some other female yokai!