Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday #19: Writing

Derwent and Ticonderoga graphite pencils on Strathmore drawing paper.

Happy Sunday, y'all!  How has your weekend been?  I've taken a more leisurely one than usual.  I borrowed an Amazon Kindle from my university's library and have been glued to it all weekend.  This afternoon, I shifted to more academic reading for my presentation this Thursday (the lab I work in has three meetings of presentations a week)!

CINDERELLA.  The Kindles from my university store books on the Cloud so anything that was downloaded by others is retained on the device.  Whilst perusing my options, I rediscovered an old childhood favorite, Chinese Cinderella, by Adeline Yen Mah.  It's a heart-wrenching memoir, a companion story to Fallen Leaves.  Lately, I've taken great interest in writing that pertains to my culture, particularly the voices of Chinese women, real or fictional.  If you have any recommendations, please do leave them here!

GRAPHITE.  I dug up an old sketchbook and found this drawing I had started more than a year ago.  I've since lost the references I was using for the shading, but decided to add a little bit more and call it a day.  My favorite part is the left in this drawing.  I quite enjoyed doing the shading.  Something to work on?  Making subjects appear more realistic; there are portions of this portrait that look almost like a cartoon.

CHAPTERS.  I started creative writing again this week to make more productive use of my free time.  Okay, I still keep Netflix on because I enjoy background noise, but I'm trying to not be relaxing like a vegetable.  Here is what I have noticed: as an adult, I have a far harder time committing words to the page that I did as a teenager.  I'm more self critical so I agonize over my sentences.  My future writing task: get the words out without worrying about getting it done perfectly the first time. 


• I am blown away by Bon Iver's Holocene every time I listen to it.
•  Ever think about the different types of friendships?

Wednesday, August 17, 2016


bokeh, flowers, nifty fifty, 50mm, canon, dslr

Yesterday, we took a walk around the surrounding neighborhood.  The last time we did this 3-mile loop, I lamented not bringing my camera so I made sure to grab my DSLR before we left the house.  I don't have many words today so I will tell you that I really like symmetry.  I also like gardens and landscaping because I think of how we've taken the materials nature has given us to build inorganic formations.  It reminds me of that time a friend took me to James Turrell's Skyspace piece to watch the sunrise and I thought it was a brilliant juxtaposition of the inorganic and natural world.  Then my other friends teased me for repeatedly saying "juxtaposition."  But, shh, it's still one of my favorite words.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday #18: Creative Flow

Nails of the week.

Hello!  Hope y'all are having a lovely Sunday so far.  It's a bit past noon here and I'm writing this while watching The Originals on Netflix with a bowl of Nongshim ramen.  Shhh, I don't care how bad ramen is for me - I love it!  

LAB.  I've been doing more computer and literature work for lab in recent weeks.  I've gotten back into doing more wet chemistry.  For some reason, reading seems unproductive to me, even though it's a necessary part of graduate school and learning.  It doesn't always feel like tangible productivity.  However, it really paid off this week when it came to collaborative discussion.  As part of my quest to learn new techniques, I  imaged cancer cells this past week and that was pretty cool.

WEEKEND.  I think self care is really important, but that tends to get neglected when I'm busy and stressed.  Sometimes, I really need some time to myself to decompress, paint my nails, and do a sheet mask.  Saturday was a bit of a self care afternoon and the evening was topped off by a campus theater production of Much Ado About Nothing.  The Shakespeare play is a comedy, but it sure got dark at some parts!

Self-portrait with a #2 pencil.

CREATING.  Drawing and writing fiction used to be my mainstay hobbies, especially when I was a teenager.  I'm ashamed to admit, I haven't really drawn in over a year.  This self portrait was sketched quickly on a whim this past Friday.  Self portraits have always been a challenge for me.  While this one is done with many flaws, it is the best one I've ever done in terms of (some) likeness.  I haven't written seriously since I was fifteen so I started up a little again this week.  Since we're on the subject of creativity, I shared my photography kit this week!  Aims for this week: use my downtime to write/draw/photograph instead of Netflixing.