Monday, January 25, 2016

My Senior Art Show: The Simple Life Behind the Smile

About 2 months ago I had the privilege of displaying my senior art
show in Gallery 303 at the Harris Fine Arts Building on Campus.
There were many who couldn't make it and so I thought I better
share this experience for those who weren't able to come to Provo.

This project started back in 2011 when I first arrived in the
Philippines (in a sense).  I arrived in a country that was SO different
than where I had been living for 21 years.  I remember being in shock
that not every family had a washing machine.  I thought it was crazy
that microwaves, ovens and sometimes refrigerators were missing
in most families homes.  Then when getting the assignment to go to the
island of Palawan I was in even bigger shock to find out some filipinos
had to go "fetch" their own water.  It wasn't uncommon to see families
living by candle light each night.  There were just so many scenes
I experiences each day of my mission that truly changed my life.
I think the biggest thing that changed my life was even though
these humble filipinos were living with so little worldly
possessions they are some of the happiest people I had ever met.
And in return they made me happier than I have ever been.

This was kind of the inspiration to my senior project.  I got home in 2013
and started back in with my illustration degree at BYU.  Even though
I was miles and countries away from my beloved filipinos I thought of them
often.  In 2014 I received an ORCA grant to visit the Philippines and gather
photo references and sketches for my ideas to illustrate the Filipino lifestyle.

One of my favorite quotes that I like to relate to my art is:

"Find the story that needs to be told in your heart, and tell it."

Ok enough talking... I would now like to share with you my show :)

first here is a video
(to get the whole gallery effect)

Here are some pictures
(click on them to make them big)

When coordinating with my gallery director I found out
I was going to have more room than originally planned, for my show.  
I then was given the opportunity to ask one of my dearest
friends, Sarah Westover, to include some of her amazing
photographs she had taken last summer of some Filipinos.  
Here are some of here Photos that I thought added so much to my show!

And that kind of sums up my show.  These pictures aren't the greatest, but
it's all I got before the show was taken down.  I was so happy for the
experience I was given to share a little about why these filipinos
had such a big impact on my life.  This was definitely THE hardest
art project I've ever tried to take on and I think mainly because it
had so much emotion behind it.  Each scene I wanted to come out just
right because I really wanted to depict what I saw in the Philippines and the 
effect it had on me.  I've been working on this project for years and it came and went so 
quickly.  During it all I just had hopes that at least ONE person would gain perspective 
into the day and life of a Filipino.  I feel so fortunate that I was blessed with the
opportunity to travel to the other side of the world and see things that are so different
than every day life here in America.  The reason had the desire for this show was for those
who maybe won't have that same opportunity to travel around the world and realize
how other children of God are living their day to day lives.  

My hopes are to make all these quotes, stories, and paintings into
a book one day (hopefully soon).  So at the end of my show I displayed
what I'm wanting this book to look like.  Here is an example:

If any of you would be interested in buying this book,
or helping with a kickstarter to help me fund the
makings of this book please feel free to email me at

Thanks for taking the time to read this long post:)
(sorry it was SO long)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Painting the Human Head: A Humbling Experience

To celebrate the first day of school today (my LAST first day of school)... I decided to post my work from LAST semester! whoops.  I'm a little late.  But the reason I even want to post them still is not just to show you what I worked on for 3 month but I learned a very valuable lesson!

I would suggest to everyone that sometime in their life/schooling career they should take a class at something that is really hard for them or they really struggle at.  That's exactly what I decided to do last semester.  In all aspects of art the hardest thing for me is drawing a realistic rendering of the human head that has a likeness to the model or intended head.  it's HARD!  And I've always struggled and really just don't enjoy drawing/painting heads because of that.  Well there is a class at BYU that's entitled, "Painting the Human Head."  And yes since the first time hearing about that class I thought it would be such a hard class.  So this last semester I was all done with my art classes and wasn't required to take any more art classes.  But I knew that class would help me a lot in the area I struggled most with.  So I let go of my pride and registered for this class which I knew would have a bunch of brilliant artists also taking the class that I knew were very talented at drawing human heads.

I struggled!!  It was hard!!  Some of the heads I painted looked like aliens and had very deformed features. BUT some actually looked pretty good!  I learned in a very real sense the truthfulness of the scripture, "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness.  I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me;  for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."  As we have a desire to improve our weaknesses the Lord will help us!  I know he helped me a lot in this class (along with my amazing professor Brother Barrett) and I wouldn't quite say heads are my "strength" yet, but if I keep working I know they can become that way.

So enough talking... here's the good, the bad, and the ugly;)

This was the painting I did the very first day of class

This was the painting I did the very last day of class!

And here are all the paintings in between 
(in no particular order)

This was painted with a palette knife only (just an experiment)

and there you have it:)