Sunday, July 12, 2009

I've just realized I've been abandoning the blog, especially with posting my favorite sketchbook pages, etc. Most of the people in my group probably know this by now, but coming back was pretty tough for me; even now that it's been almost two weeks since our return, the trip is still fresh in my mind, and to be completely honest, I've probably not felt this way since leaving home. The big city atmosphere was more than a nice change, it was like reliving childhood, in a sense, or having to learn to ride a car after the bike: a familiar thrill. It's weird, but the smallest things are the biggest reminders, like still making typos when I write (Qs and As the most), looking at some of the photos, and even the sketchbook... And as for the sketchbook, my expectations were, for the most part, totally different from the outcome: I remember even before planning to go to Paris, I thought the sketchbook I'd bring back would be a kind of masterpiece, each page overbrimming with architecture and famous places and people, and would be something so unforgettably beautiful, I'd pass it on as a family heirloom. Realistically ...while there, I was sometimes thrown off by the assignments, sometimes took too long on one page, but 99% of the time just walked around, sometimes aimlessly and other times hopelessly lost! (I still remember having to run through Chatelet or running around looking for the nearest bus station when the metro shut down; now - some of my fondest memories). By that time I expected an artistic miracle to happen by the end of my sketchbook (which by that time got to be too heavy to carry around, so I wasn't feeling too friendly toward it anyway), but in the end nothing impressive happened. I tried to cheer myself up, and bought a nice little compact book at Sennelier, a good investment that could handle pencil and marker and watercolor and industrial strength acrylics, pretty much all you could think of (but in the end was strong enough for light washes and not much else). I decided to leave it for later, but started it on the plane to Dublin anyway; it's still the one I use right now. And what a difference! I guess the change I was expecting all this time ended up happening only after Paris. Can't say I'm disappointed: after all, it's better than nothing; and I suppose there had to be a "sinking in" period to properly sprout the necessary creativity. All it proves is that Paris won't leave us for much longer than we expected! 

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Mission accomplished!

Looking back at the pics, I thought this is worth mentioning. Kira and I visited Pere Lachaise Cemetery on June 22, and...

...we kissed Oscar Wilde's grave!
I cannot find the cable to connect my camera to my laptop!!! ARGGHH. I will post the pages soon... I may have to borrow someone's equipment. I recently shared my sketchbook and photos with my Mom and bro and I have found things that I like about my sketchbook that I didn't notice before. I can see a shift... in thinking. Although it happened right at the end so there isn't as much evidence as I'd like there to be. Damn I miss Paris already!!

Kim A

Saturday, July 4, 2009


finally got around to getting images of 5 sketchbook pages i thought are cool. I am sorry they are photographs, and kinda blurry at times, i don't have my scanner yet..

this is the page on which i took notes for the entire class. maybe the notes are not as useful anymore but i think it looks pretty neat.

here is the hot potato spread in my sketchbook. it may have been explained, but if you don't know, its basically a game of tag where people swap sketchbooks and draw in each others. the only thing i actually drew on this spread is the red bull on the right side of the spread.

This was a 4 hr drawing early one Sunday morning watching the sun rise. not really that creative but i like it anyway.

Funny story, a few of us were laying around the gardens outside the Louvre when i saw this guy in a full suit with brief case charging across the grass like a man on a mission. He then finds a spot in the sun and in record time takes off all his clothes and knocks out. he is the one in the square frames.

One of the 15 pages, i like this one because its kinda silly. The brownish haze is a burn mark i made by putting my sketch book over a toaster for a bit. The heat toasted the intended page but went through a few more pages though i did not intend it to. kinda neat haze though.

There are still plenty of things i want to try in my Paris sketchbook so i think i will keep adding to it as i have a number of empty pages left. Maybe ill post some more.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Is this the end?

I am back home and trying to adapt to my regular life again. I had such a wonderful time on this trip, not only seeing Paris, but also getting to know such wonderful people. I have so many memories from our adventures that I will treasure forever and I loved getting to know you all better.

Thank you to John, Kim K, Kim A, Nikita, Corwin, Clam, Gus, Kira, Yung-Han, Tiffany, Priscilla, Sarah, Mark, and Lain for making this a great experience.

Here's some of my favorite sketchbook pages from the trip.
See you all again soon.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Favorite Pages and last assignment

So now that I am back in the comfort of my own home and have a computer that doesn't freak out on my (I'm looking at you computer lab) here are some of my favorite pages from my sketch book.

and last but not least this is my answer for the final assignment John

"Ok, so this is how it happened."

more post to come


Lost Chronicles: Gus, I, and Versailles

A post about a story not documented by photos or other witnesses

(photo by Leann)

This is a first hand account of an adventure Gus and I had visiting Versailles. We got there early in the morning to avoid huge crowds of tourist. I was impressed when I first saw the gardens. The fact that it was empty of tourist and lit with cool morning sun made the view a grand spectacle. But man, these gardens were HUGE!!!! HUGE!!!! It's possible to see from the photo, but starring out to the Versailles gardens, the horizon line is not even the end of the gardens. Although we came in a group of four, Kira and Leann were separated from Gus and I when an old man jogger gave us two a little tour of the gardens. It was about 9:30am and Gus and I could not find Kira or Leann. We decided to meet them at Marie Antoinette's house since we were all planning to go there. We didn't grab a map because we figured it was easy to find. And it should have been, but little did we know that Gus and I would spend the next few hours lost walking the gardens. We passed the main gardens of Versailles which contained many impressive statues and fountains and ended up walking to the outskirts of the garden. The outskirts of the garden is like a giant man-made forest. There were no maps, and no people except for the occassional joggers. Gus and I figured we weren't lost because it was still early in the morning and the tourist hadn't showed up yet. We found a snail and made marks in the grounds as indicaters of our guesses to where it would be in a few hours. As we continued to walk further into the gardens, our search for Marie's house became less confident. The paths in the forest were long, and we couldn't really see past the trees so we were searching for the house aimlessly with no idea to where the house could be. We walked and walked. After a couple hours we stumbled into a supermarket. I thought it was odd to put a supermarket in the middle of the Versailles gardens but we used it to gather refreshments and we asked a lady if she knew where the house was located. She looked at us confusingly and then told us that we were not in the gardens anymore. It so happened that Gus and I walked so far we had accidentally exited the gardens!!! She told us to go back and turn left as soon as we reentered the gardens but she lied!!! We went left but we couldn't find it!!! So again we walked aimlesslyin search for the house. We were tired and we were lost and we were slowly going insane because we had no food! I was about to crack when we stumbled into the marking we made hours ago (mr. snail was nowhere to be seen). The markings saved us, and we finally started recognizing our surroundings. We didn't care about the house, we just wanted to get back to main gardens, to where people were. But eventually found the house and finally got something to eat. The gardens were now packed with tourist and the sunlight was hot. I checked the time and it was about 1:30pm meaning we were lost for nearly 4 hours! I think Gus and I got to see a part of Versailles that not many get to see. It wasn't the coolest thing ever, but it sure was an adventure!

Paris Chronicles: Best Memory

Fete de la Musique has got to be it. The day we finished the official class happened to be the day of the Parisian annual festival. During the day, various musical artists and bands come out to the streets of Paris and perform for the public. By the evening, every street in central Paris was occupied by musicians. You could literally watch a free concert by children with guitars and walk 100 feet to a brass band performing familiar tunes. Music was everywhere!

(Above are photos I stole from Leann and are two examples of event)

What made this evening my best memory of Paris was the atmosphere of the festival and how our crew of 14 contributed towards its hype. After dinner, our group met outside a cafe that happened to be hosting a DJ. There were giant speakers blasting electronica dance music and lasers were shooting into the streets. Some of us began to sway to the music, and by the time all 14 of us met outside the cafe, we formed a dance circle with all our backpacks and purses in the middle so no one could steal them. The funny thing was that everyone around us weren't dancing but watching us in amusement. The DJ himself was amused and took pictures of our group dancing without a care in the world. When he handed us fliers we screamed for no reason... haha! Our circle got wilder and wilder and tourist around us were filming us and taking pictures. Soon three french girls asked to enter our circle and they danced with us a bit. After they left I noticed that more people watching us were beginning to let loose and dance. As more and more people began to join the festivity, our circle was engulfed with dancing tourist and parisians alike. We ended our dance circle with a Shrunkenheadman clap (which inspired others to do the same haha) and then we left the dancing barricade of people that we created. Look what a bunch of kids from California can start. That was truly a night I will never forget!

le famille

At Houston's flight back to SFO.
You all rock; thanks for the best Paris trip ever.

Monday, June 29, 2009

i'm not ready yet...

to say "good-bye" to Paris...

Well what can I say? The days are done, the time has come. We will be on a plane heading home in a few hours. Living in Paris for a month has been by far the most useful event in my life. I've learned some life lessons and learned a lot about how I learn and think. It was a very cool growing up kind of transition. When I get a chance I'll post an entry with some pictures, but here's to Paris, good night folks.

Come fly with me, lets fly lets fly away
If you can use, some exotic booze
Theres a bar in far bombay
Come fly with me, well fly well fly away

Come fly with me, lets float down to peru
In lama land, theres a one man band
And hell toot his flute for you
Come fly with me, well float down in the blue

Once I get you up there, where the air is rarefied
Well just glide, starry eyed
Once I get you up there, Ill be holding you so near
You may here, angels cheer - because were together

Weather wise its such a lovely day
You just say the words, and well beat the birds
Down to acapulco bay
Its perfect, for a flying honeymoon - they say
Come fly with me, well fly well fly away

Its done. Tomorrow morning we leave this amazing city. I am looking forward to tonight because it is the last evening out with everyone. We are all going to dinner at a restaurant that John recommended and it is the final expense I can afford. This journey has been completely worth every cent, even with the exchange rate. I hope our little Paris family stays together... I told everyone we should have potluck dinners together in the states like we did here. Yung-Han called it PASTA HELL!!! The name stuck. We might not serve pasta because we are all sick of it, but I will definitely be missing everyone when we get back home.

Kim A

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Night Adventures

It is Saturday and I am so sad. Our flight leaves on Tuesday morning. The first week we were here it felt like two, but this last week flew by. I feel like there is still so much to do. it's probably a good thing we're coming home though, since I'm just about out of money.
Yesterday I went to the catacombs and touched dead people. (hehehe) then later that night a few of us went up the Eiffel Tower. The city looks really beautiful at night. We were on it when it started twinkling at 11pm.
But the best thing EVER was on thursday night there was a lightning storm. It was around 2am and everyone was going to bed when I saw the sky light up outside my window. It had been raining earlier with a bit of lightning, but not too much. So I grabbed a jacket and went outside to watch. It wasn't raining so I just layed in this big empty field behind the main building. The sky was purply-black and the clouds were orange from the light polution. I layed out there for 45 minutes to an hour and just watched it. I've never seen so much lightning in my life. A bit of the sky lit up every few seconds and I never had to wait longer then a minute for the next lightning bolt. After every lightning flash there would be a few seconds of silence, then the thunder!- The thunder was so loud it sounded like someone was dropping boulders down the stairs to heaven, or huge waves crushing ships against clifs in the sky. Some of the lightning happened above the clouds so that they lit up white for a second, but others happened right before my eyes so I could still see them when I blinked. Some were quick little flashes and others were frighteningly monsterous. It was so great! I kept telling myself, "ok, just one more then I'll go in and go to bed." But then I'd see one and want to stay more. When I finally went inside I was walking up the stairs to my room when a big one lit up the sky right outside the window; followed imediatly by thunder. Then I heard people on the street screech and saw them start to run from the fat rain drops. I left the window in my room open so I could listen to it as i fell asleep. I didnt know it could storm like that. I wish we had stoms like that in California. (i mean if it weren't for the brush fires)
sad to be leaving

Tiffany's Sketchbook spreads

Forgive my double-posting...

Today Sarah and I went shopping around Paris because everything's on sale around this time :) Beautiful weather. My last few days will be hunting for souvenirs and one last attempt to Giverny (I took that day off as I was sick).

Here I exit with camera-shots scans of some spreads I did during Paris. Though the trip is coming to an end, it's only the beginning of a new journey in art. The class has helped me mature a lot in how to approach creating art and become more intelligent, and I'm extremely thankful for John for selecting us all for it. (edited on 7/1)

(Collaboration with Gus)

(Ahem, the last one is actually an Ireland page...)

Au revoir!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Small trip to Ireland

Non-Paris post WUT!

Nikita, Mark, Kira, and I spent four of the free Paris days in Dublin, Ireland; it was a nice contrast from Paris, and I enjoyed experiencing the Irish culture, especially being curious about everything (what I learned to do from the class). Pubs, Irish music, and green everywhere! Two major sites we visited were the Guinness Storehouse and the Malahide Castle. Here are few pictures from the trip.


Left -> Right
(1) Christchurch Cathedral; our apartment was adjacent to it.
(2) Abbey St., I believe...
(3) Part of St. Stephens Green
(4) Malahide Castle outside of Dublin
(5) There is almost always live Irish music in the pubs!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Results of Paris 2009

blogspot always puts images out of order! Keep sketching guys, we still got 8 more days in Paris!

Yung-Han's Sketchbook Page

I cannot believe that the class is over...

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers day

Even though we are all on the other side of the globe I and the rest of the class like to say Happy Fathers day dads of the group.

Nikita and I also took what little time we had on the Normandy trip to shoot a little something something for our dads back in the states enjoy.

Nikita's Video

My Video

Thats it for now, time for some food and another adventure.


Saddly, we're done.

Wow, the class is done and it all went by way too fast. I'm leaving Paris tomorrow for Germany and Switzerland, but then coming back a few days before we take off. I'm looking forward to traveling, but there is so much to see in Paris, and 3 weeks alone doesn't cover everything. However, this city is addictive and it is proposterous to say I'm never coming back. I told John that coming here is like hitting the jackpot with all the top of the line artwork in museums, architecture, and even live performances. I'm about to leave for the fete de la musique, where there is supposed to be bands and steet performers on every corner in the center of the city! I'm anxious to see the musical variety Paris has to offer. I gotta wrap this up, but here are some spreads I did in my sketchbook during the class:

They aren't the best quality, but I will re-scan them in as soon as I get back to San Jose.
1: The gang likes to gather everynight and do homework in the dorm "game room". We work on sketchbook assignments, talk about life, and play taiwanese card games that Yung Han teaches us. Oh the memories....
2: The famous Shakespeare and Company book store that has a view of Notre Dame out their second story window.
3: The Quai Branly Museum has a lot of awesome masks and was the place where Picasso found inspiration.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bon appétit... damn right!

Gosh... it did not feel like 20 days. Tomorrow marks the end of the class, and the fact that we're gonna be back in 10 days just totally dawned me. Anyhow, tonight Chris, Gus, Lain, Yunghan, and I went to Les Fêtes Galantes, a restaurant that John tried by accident and then highly recommended it for its traditional French cuisine in a reasonable price. Priscilla and José were there too! :) The restaurant itself is rather small and nothing extremely fancy, but it feels very homey and welcoming. We all ordered something different from the menu set so that we can try each other's dishes.

I decided on the higher priced end of the menu and ordered the meal set of onion soup (appetizer), duck confit topped with honey and almonds (main dish), and home made apple tart with calvados (dessert). And my God...... it's the best meal I've had on the whole trip (and this is a mutual statement among us all). The names of the dishes and any words I say here canNOT do justice to describe how delicious they were. All I can say is, "Now THIS is true French cuisine." Here are the pics of my meal set (courtesy of Lain because my camera died before the dishes came...):

Authentic French onion soup with a piece of lamb meat.

This dish was GODLY....the skin crisped just right and the meat cooked so tenderly and flavored with the right amount of saltiness and sweetness. This itself was well worth the 25 Euros (the price for the whole set).

Warm and sweet. Topped with a unique flavored ice cream and fruits. WOW. Such a grand way to end the meal with.

We even left a footprint of Shrunkenheadmen in the restaurant buwahaha!