This week I interviewed Janelle Reyes. She is currently a freshman and studying Accounting. Before she settled on Accounting, she was a nursing major. As a fellow Filipino, its almost characteristic for us to consider the nursing profession. It is an honorable profession where lives can be saved directly, but also is very difficult and not everyone can or is willing to do it. She switched to Accounting because she no longer saw herself becoming a nurse. This is understandable, i think the nursing profession requires a certain amount of time being sacrificed, so her making the decision not to continue is very commendable and i respect it. Janelle is from Norcal, Fremont specifically. She chose to go to CSULB because of the nursing program. Although she is no longer majoring in nursing, she does not regret coming down to Long Beach because she absolutely loves it here.
Janelle is a grad from Fremont high school. She was in the marching band for her four years in high school and played the trombone. For me personally, i had the opportunity to play the saxophone, but didn’t pursue it outside of elementary school. Aside from the marching band, she was also in the History club. She loves history, but prefers majoring in Accounting. Asking Janelle about dorming, she said that it has been a great experience for her. She made lots of friends and a boyfriend. She also love it because people down here are much more outgoing then up in north California. Personally, i think that is just the circumstance. Everyone will become even more outgoing after moving out of the house, kind of like growing up and becoming more mature.
Janelle is a huge fan of travelling, when she was in her history club, her group was able to fund raise around 2,000 dollars to go to France, Italy, and Switzerland. It was and 11 day trip, 12 people from her school went, while around 30 people joined them, who were from New York, which sounded like it was an awesome experience.
Today, i got the opportunity to experience a very unique art gallery. There was an abundance of impressive and intricate artwork on display. One particular art piece stood out and by some luck the artist was there to share her ideas with us. Elaine Kwak is one of the fifteen artists who had artwork in the gallery. The name of the art exhibit was Liminal. The word is an adjective and it describes a transition. For Kwak herself and the rest of her classmates, this is their last gallery as undergrads at CSULB, so for them, it is a bittersweet transition.
They have known each other for three years and in turn have experienced alot together as friends and colleagues in the art major. Other students, as well as myself, understand this feeling also. Since I am about to graduate this semester, i think of all the experiences and friends that i made at CSULB in the civil engineering department. My classmates and I see each other every other day at least and take the same classes; we all shared the same experiences and struggles.
This is parallel to Elaine Kwak and her peers. Their artistic style has been influenced by each other and they all grew together in an artistic sense as well as people. They would work on their pieces and critique each other, sharing different perspectives and without question that has had an effect on their style.
Regarding Kwak’s show piece, she did an oil painting of a landscape. It includes multiple colors and has an untamed garden in the foreground as well as a mountain landscape in the background, which gives it a nice contrast. Another thing that i liked was a secondary layer of the foreground; which includes a staircase and a walking path, producing another contrast of colors between the garden and the rest of the painting.
As far as the process goes in creating her art piece and just for her work in general, she likes to first look at a landscape that is fitting and then proceed to sketch it through direct observation. She takes the canvas on site and draws it out. She keeps her drawing loose, the charcoal lines and shading is suggestive because she will then take it to the studio to paint it. This is important because then she will paint the piece using her memory and add in what she likes. In this regard, she feels that she can create a landscape but still give it that abstract perspective. She likes doing this part by memory because she feels memory is a powerful tool to help create and inspire ideas.
This week i got the privilege to view Michael’s art gallery. The first thing i noticed about his gallery was just how abstract his art was. It seems that he painted on canvas, some of his art pieces were around 3×3 feet, but he had other pieces that were just huge, around 5×5 feet. The great thing about paint is that you can add chemicals to it to make it smoother and give it either a shiny or matte finish. This contrast is specifically what i picked up on soon after viewing a couple paintings. The paint is laid thick and has no additives, giving a very apparent texture and roughness to his pieces.
Asking Michael about this, he describes the thick paint as physicality and experimentation. I mentioned that it seemed rough, raw, and messy. To Michael, it is contrasting and something that he likes to use to show change and different. He uses the contrast with buttery strokes like with a paint brush stroke and then have areas with gnarly textures.
When asked about how long it takes for him to do his work, he mentioned that he will work on a few paintings at the same time. This is really cool to me because we started talking about multi tasking. We both had a mutual understanding about how it can be easy to tunnel vision on certain things or tasks in life. Sometimes it is better to step away from something for a certain amount of time, whether it is 15 minutes or 15 hours. It happens where we can focus on something too much and then the energy just becomes almost negative and we lose sight of what we originally intended to do. It’s a surprising relief when you can sometimes just walk back to a task that you were having trouble with for whatever reason and then you just have the answer, solution, or breakthrough as soon as you come back to the task. Problem solving!
Continuing on breaks and having multiple tasks to work on, Michael talked about trusting instincts, going with the flow when it came to working on several pieces of art at once. Art is one of those things where there isn’t a direct answer. When he does his art, he found it much easier to trust his instincts as the painting develops over a few months. He doesn’t have a very clear idea at the start because in his experience, the idea that he begins with and tried to stick to conveying through the whole art, does not come out the way he ever intends it, so he embraced going with the flow.
Another important thing that he mentioned that stood out to me was the fact that ‘painting was still around’. Looking at this idea in the small notecard where i jotted down notes is helping to jog my memory a bit. Even in the modern world today, people are still finding time to appreciate art. I mentioned how Glenn does a great job of promoting the art exhibits. I didn’t even know we had exhibits until the semester began and it is truly a shame because i am about to graduate! Nonetheless, having grown up and matured a bit, looking at art has become more of a feeling and experience that i do enjoy alot. Michael says there is a very apparent reason that it still exists, it’s not always about money, it is something truly abstract that keeps art today in modern times.