Cab in the Rain

“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” -Henry David Thoreau, Walden



Doctor Who and Dalek (Art)

Doctor and Dalek; colored pencil and fine tip pen. Text adapted from Doctor Who’s “Genesis of the Daleks, Part 6”.

Admittedly, I messed up David Tennant as the Doctor in the first column. But I am proud of how the aggressive “Exterminate” turned out! For those of you unfamiliar with Doctor Who, Daleks (the golden robot) are alien creatures void of any emotion except hate who have a penchant for exterminating people.

And I may be obsessed with them. (I have a red Dalek plush toy on my car’s dashboard.)


Holy Captain America, Batman! (Art)

The Star-Spangled Man on the prowl for evil-doers. Includes one free pro-USA quip per fight.

I decided to do some drawing today. It has been on my mind since I did some window painting a month ago. But I haven’t done much proper drawing since high school.

As you can see, Captain America is my first subject! I used colored pencils but I hope to move onto pastels soon- pastels look better but are harder than colored pencils.

Next up: Batman!

Art Culture Fullerton Photography

Downtown Fullerton street photography

After touring downtown Los Angeles a few weeks ago, I was curious to try out street photography. Street photography is a National Geographic-type candid photography of people  in public places like concerts and downtown areas.

I went to downtown Fullerton in Southern California on a hot late-afternoon (around Chapman and Harbor). It has a pretty vibrant night life but it was not that busy when I was there. Here is a few of my shots. I realized it’s a lot harder than it looks! You also need a fast camera to snap pictures quickly without people thinking your’e a stalker (one guy noticed he was on camera and waved).

I can’t figure out why the guy on the left has his face painted gray and red.
Riding a bike down Harbor Blvd

Also, walking around downtown I saw the memorial to Kelly Thomas, the homeless man who was allegedly killed by Fullerton police officers a year ago. Two of the Fullerton city councilmen were just recalled last month in response to the incident. The memorial is at the Fullerton Transportation Center. The sidewalk has chalk paintings and quotes that include, “Homelessness is not a crime.”

Kelly Thomas memorial with a bus in the background.

I do want to try out more street photography, it would be better in Los Angeles where there are a variety of different people. Any suggestions to take better street photography pictures?


Painting the Placentia Library for summer

My dad and I painted the front doors to the Placentia Library, where I work at, for the library’s summer reading program! My dad is an amateur (and really good!) artist and I helped, and it took about seven hours on Friday.

The summer reading program, taking the slogan “Dream Big: Read” with a night-time and dreams theme, begins tomorrow and lasts until August 18. The library has story-time programs for kids, movie showings for adults, and children, teen and adult reading programs.

We used tempera paint, which is commonly used for window painting. We painted a white layer on each of the seven panels, and then added blue layers on the left panels and orange on the right panel. Each of the panel has a border paint as well (dark blue for the left panels, yellow for the middle panels and red for the right panel). We used rollers (pictured below) for the large strokes, and finer brushes for the smaller strokes (like lettering).

Mixing the orange paint onto the roller
Me painting

This is the first time I have painted -or done anything involving art- in a while, and I’m glad I did! I think I’ll draw some more this summer. Since I’ve been reading a lot of comic books (currently Marvel’s Deadpool and Cable), I’m inspired to draw some superheroes and X-Men characters.

My dad did all the lettering because that is the hardest thing to do in window painting (because you have to have precise strokes), but I did a lot of the stars, shading, backgrounds and faded edges. As you can see (left), I’m painting the stars in red. The adult program has a classic Hollywood theme (and the library is decorated like1940s  Holllywood with the end of the bookshelves having celebrity names and film motifs), so we drew a red carpet and red stars along with a yellow background for a simplistic yet classy look.

My dad painting

This is probably my favorite panel (my dad painted it all except I shaded the moon orange):

Art Cal State Fullerton

CSUF Alumni Inspire “Steampunk” Art Exhibit

Cal State Fullerton’s Art Department gives a tip of their top hats to embrace “Steampunk: The Beginning”

“Steampunk: The Beginning” cover design by Wendy Peng

(Originally published in Monday’s The Daily Titan)

Steampunk is odd: Mechanical humans, dirigible airships flying over London and Victorian-era Englishmen wearing monocles and fighting with futuristic contraptions.

Correction: Steampunk is awesome.

Steampunk, a speculative science-fiction subgenre, reimagines 19th century history and technology. Its presence in Hugo, Doctor Who and The Golden Compass has made it mainstream in recent years.

But not many people know that Steampunk has its origins at Cal State Fullerton.

“Steampunk: The Beginning,” at CSUF’s Begovich Gallery (located in the Visual Arts Building), examines the genre with artwork based on Steampunk novels by three Titan alumni published in the ‘80s: Homunculus by James Blaylock (B.A. in English ’72, M.A. in English ’74), Infernal Devices by K.W.Jeter (B.A. in sociology ’73) and Anubis Gates by Tim Powers (B.A. in English ’76).

Steampunk was actually coined by Jeter in a 1987 letter to Locus, a science-fiction magazine, referring to steam-powered inventions of the 19th century.

The exhibit features 91 pieces of artwork by 33 students, faculty and alumni. It opened Saturday and runs until May 10.

The clear standout is “The Paganini” (2012) by Douglas Sirois, a digital print on aluminum. It is influenced by Jeter’s Infernal Devices about a man living in Victorian England who discovers his father has created a mechanical clockwork human.

The illustration masterfully portrays a Victorian, complete with a bow tie and top hat, who is grinning while tearing apart his shirt to reveal clock pieces in a green glow. The color, detail and the character’s expression solidify it as the gallery’s masterpiece.

Cliff Cramp wore his Steampunk best, including a bowler hat and goggles, to the opening reception, and produced 13 pieces for the exhibit, including a memorable portrait of the three authors dressed as Steampunks.

“Really this show is about Fullerton illustrators celebrating Fullerton authors,” said Cramp, an art professor and coordinator for the illustration program at CSUF.

Most of the artwork are digital prints or illustrations, but one piece, in the back of the gallery, is a welcome surprise.

“Jacky ‘Hunts’ Dog Face Joe” (2012) by E.J. Reimer is a photoshop piece of a woman holding a pistol. The eerie background and digital screen give the impression that the viewer is watching a mini 3D movie.

The gallery has two rooms and a clean layout. The collection fits the Steampunk mood of futuristic cities and dirigibles flying over London by having clock motifs and gray and brown color themes. A TV screen in the back will be used to show a conversation, which took place Saturday, between Powers, Blaylock and Mike McGee, director and curator of the Begovich Gallery, about their books and the art.

“It’s great to see the creative talent that we have here (at CSUF),” said McGee, who has done over 500 exhibits since the late ‘70s.

Blaylock said he enjoys being able to see drawings based off his novel more than two decades after it was written.

“It’s wonderful. It’s actually the coolest thing I’ve done in a long time,” said Blaylock. After a long absence, he returned to writing in the Steampunk genre in 2008, and his newest Steampunk novel, The Aylesford Skull, comes out in January 2013.

But Blaylock’s literary history at CSUF goes beyond his novels. He and Powers created a fictional poet named William Ashbless to write poetry for the Daily Titan, which, of course (allegedly), had been publishing low-quality poetry at the time.

“We thought we could write poetry that was even worse but would sound better,” he said.

They got three poems published before sending in “the most monstrous and terrible poem anybody’s ever written,” and they were asked to stop, Blaylock said.

The free exhibit is open Monday to Thursday from noon to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from noon to 2 p.m. until May 10.

From left: CSUF alumni and authors Tim Powers and James Blaylock with Mike McGee (curator of the Begovich Gallery) and Cliff Cramp (art professor).