Thursday, February 24, 2011

I am a sucker for vintage romance.

Meet me in the spring time.  Scanner collage.  8.5"X11". 2011.  Uban.

I like to collect old things, and new things that look like they're old.  I'm printing this image on cotton fabric for my Mixed Media Printing class.  The old photo is from my favorite used bookstore/antiques shop in Old City... I've used the imagery before in a sepia pen drawing in this post.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

"flesh-pleasing is a sin."

Mhmmmm, so yummy...  Oil on canvas.  6"X12".  2010.  Uban.
I've lately been a complete bum in my art life...  Ugh.  Really need to get my shit together and stop being so damn lazy.  

For a guide to purity check out this Puritan Sermon by Richard Baxter thing... it may save your soul, and remember all, "flesh-pleasing is a sin."

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Wanna make out?

Mouth.  Oil on canvas panel.  6"X6".  2010.  Uban
Was this the worst call ever?  I hate catching feelings.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

If you can tell me what's wrong with this picture, then I will give you a dollar...

Monster Carnival.  Pencil on Bristol board.  22"X30".  2010.  Uban.
Ohmygod.  I just realized that I really screwed something up with this... but, can you guess what?  I'm such an idiot...  Lucky, it's in pencil, huh?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Me heart dumplings.

Got hit on by an Asian guy in Chinatown today.  I said I wasn't interested...  BUT this still calls for a dumpling celebration!  I almost NEVER get hit on by Asian guys... ahahah.  I made these dumplings from scratch, dough and all in December.  Freakin' 6 hours of dumpling making a.k.a. Asian housewife training, (I've already once agreed to be Ashley's mail-order-bride, since her fiancĂ©e doesn't seem to mind ;P )...  I was inspired by this Working Class Foodies Youtube video, and then I followed this recipe...  It's funny though, because traditionally Filipinos don't make dumplings.  Guess I am ahead of the curve!

Chili paste and sesame oil in the sauce.  You know it's legit.

They're so cute, no?

Graffiti and hearts.

"I love you ___ from ___ ".  2010. Uban.

"___ + ___".  2010.  Uban.

I took these pictures about this time last year.  Someone had graffiti'd the side of the house when I used to live at 6th and Norris, where the scary drug dealers used to sell rocks on our porch from 12am-5am.  After the main dealer got busted, I felt a little better about living in the ghetto for cheap rent...  There's love in the ghetto too, ya know.  

Monday, February 14, 2011

Who wants to spoon?

"A spoonful of eyeball makes the medicine go down."  2009.  Acrylic on canvas.  6"X12".  Uban.

My love is as a fever longing still,
For that which longer nurseth the disease;
Feeding on that which doth preserve the ill,
The uncertain sickly appetite to please.
My reason, the physician to my love,
Angry that his prescriptions are not kept,
Hath left me, and I desperate now approve
Desire is death, which physic did except.
Past cure I am, now Reason is past care,
And frantic-mad with evermore unrest;
My thoughts and my discourse as madmen's are,
At random from the truth vainly expressed;
   For I have sworn thee fair, and thought thee bright,
   Who art as black as hell, as dark as night.

--Shakespeare, Sonnet 147

I remember practicing this for the Shakespeare Monologue Competition in high school.  The moderator ended up quitting...  I think reciting Shakespeare was making us all emo.  Happy Valentine's Day?

Friday, February 11, 2011

Collages. For my mother.

These was made for my Mixed Media Printing class.  I'll be printing the images on to silk and cotton next week.  The magazine images in the collages are from Art in America's October 2010 issue.

Making art about women/feminism/gender makes me think about my mother.  She's probably the most complex person, in her thought and behavior, that I've ever known...  I'm pretty sure that I'll never completely know or understand her.  She's a contradiction of many things...  She believes in my education very strongly, and yet, she's told me before that I'll never be as smart as a man because I am a woman.  She's told me that she has always wanted to be a housewife, but she will not hesitate to work a 60 hour work week.  She tells me to focus on my studies, and less on amorous love affairs, but whenever her friends' sons are home from law school, she elbow nudges me to go over and say hello after Sunday mass.  She doesn't believe women should do what she thinks are men tasks, but she will whip out her power drill or solder iron like its an episode of "This Old House."  She didn't have her first kiss until her wedding day, but she will make the most obscene and inappropriate sexual innuendos.  Her favorite dirty joke to tell is the one that compares a woman to a car... like seriously, mom?  When I was eighteen, she cried when she caught me kissing a boy good night and did not make eye contact or talk to me for three days... but once, I called her upset at three in the morning after a really hard night and she talked to me like I wasn't a bumbling moron, then the next day, called and didn't mention it at all.  When we moved to a new neighborhood, she didn't let me into the house, because she said I was a female and it was bad luck, and told my brother that he should go in first.  She has told me many times that men were superior to women, and that it is the woman's role to be inferior to men... but she's attended every honors convocation/award ceremony/art exhibit I've ever been invited to.

Bitch, please.  Mixed media collage.  8.5"X11."  2011.  Uban.
 My mother has been one of the greatest sources of support, (the other being my father), in my life... but she has also been the most obstinate obstructer of the reality that I want for myself someday.  Both my parents have been very generous in supporting me through my education, but also, ask the question, What are you going to do?  ...But my dad has his own prejudices, but has never told me as directly that being a woman makes me inherently inferior as my mom has and will continue to.

My mother confided in me, that she had wept profusely when I was a child because she thought I had a learning disability, and that she had bullied me in an attempt to motivate me to make up for my lack of mental prowess.  I remember when I was helping her with laundry.  I think I must've been four years old at the time, and she had said very sternly, "Boys like girls to be smart.  You can't just be dumb, even if you're pretty.  No one likes dumb people, Charlene."  I was very confused, and did not understand why she was saying this when all I wanted to do was fold the laundry because it was clean and warm right out of the dryer.  Later, I went to my kindergarten interview, and was found to be without learning disability, but with adequate intelligence.  It was through the complexity of my drawings that the education specialists assessed my learning capacity at the time to be on a fourth grade level.  My mother felt relieved, but she was still skeptical.  She had been my first teacher, and had seen me stumble through her homemade flashcards.  I'm still skeptical over the education specialists's assessment, but I was more than glad someone interfered with my mother and I was saved a bit of her harassment and managed to scrounge up enough self-esteem to make it into grade school honor roll.  Very early on, my drawings had already saved my life, but I also started having to question, Why is being pretty the opposite of being smart?  and Why do I have to be anything for boys to like me? and What is all this hub-bub about what boys and girls are supposed to be doing?

Lady Godiva/Peeping Tom.  Mixed media collage.  2011.  Uban.
It wasn't until years later, when I confronted my mother as a rebellious teenager, and I screamed at her, "Maybe you're not good enough because you are a woman, but I am.  I am!"  I said it over and over again until I started to cry, and she didn't have anything to say except to turn away from me.  I didn't quite believe that for awhile.  I was an insecure teenager at the time, with most of my thoughts concerned with going to the mall with my friends and buying more Hello Kitty brand paraphernalia, but when I got older and understood it, it was a great feeling to really know.  However, that statement haunts me all the time, and I feel both shame and pride in it.  Especially now, when I'm consciously making art about gender/women/sexuality, and I think a lot about my mother and the influence she has had on me.  I just... feel bad for her.  She is the strongest woman I know, and she will never believe it to be a true statement, or that a woman could ever be strong.  She is so fierce in her beliefs, and she has such courage for her family.  I feel like she's in a way all of the women I have in mind when I make these things.  She's the one who has been convinced of a separate domestic sphere and the inadequacy of her gender, and finally adopted these ideas as complete and whole truth.  We're different people, with different beliefs.  I feel blessed for the opportunities I've been given, and for having such a wonderful mother.  She'll never understand some of the art that I am making, but I'll still be doing it with her in mind.

Also, I have an inkling of suspicion that she was completely wrong telling me that "boys like girls to be smart."  In my experience, "the boys" definitely like the very beautiful girls who will just agree with them and put up with all of their shit.  But I guess, my mom has screwed around with my brain enough, that I honestly just can't bring myself to change my mind about this one thing at least...

Thursday, February 10, 2011


I'm planning on seeing PAFA's Anatomy/Academy exhibit tomorrow since the earliest I'm done class all week is on Tues/Thurs at 3pm, which isn't exactly early, but early enough to check out artsy things.  I think it will be pretty awesome since I get to see Eakins's The Gross Clinic (1875) finally.  AND, Tyler students get free admission with ID.  Weeeeeee-o!

"not now."  mixed media.  carved out rubber stamp, found letter stamps, ink, and watercolor.  3.5"X5.5".  2009.  Uban.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

"Once upon a time..."/Please don't sue, Walt Disney.

Front cover detail.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Title page.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Princesses, from left to right: Belle, Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Snow White, Jasmine, Cinderella.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Belle and the Beast getting dirty on the dance floor detail.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Decapitated Aladdin on a magic carpet ride detail.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Jasmine taking a bite out of the Beast detail.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Cinderella flaying Ariel detail.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Snow White with one of the seven dwarves detail.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

Sleeping Beauty surprising her prince detail.  India ink and pencil on paper.  6"X9".  2010. Uban.

And the zombie Disney princesses were all happily well-fed ever after... The End!

These images are from a book I made for a class last semester.  We had to appropriate work by another artist... naturally, I chose to illustrate Zombie Disney Princesses.  I've heard that Banksy is also quite fond of Disney.

(im way too tired to try to find a clever way to tie this post into my mythical-beast-themed blog)

White lingerie.   Oil on canvas.  4"X4" ea.  2011.  Uban.

Not the best picture in the world granted, but I finished tonight, so I wanted that instant gratification feeling.

Told you H&M had an awesome Black Friday sale... here's the post of the first one.

Geese and the Japanese hand saw-- a fable.

Gawbill saved me the trouble of hating my life and gave me a ride to Lowe's so I didn't have to take two buses getting there and back, and hauling ply wood for my panel-making that I'm doing in my "painting: materials and techniques" class in roughly 7 hours.  I'm sure he didn't know what he was getting himself into when he agreed to be my friend, because we ended up having to use the Japanese hand saw I had bought (Its pretty awesome...  I happen to enjoy hardware stores and buying tools a lot.)  to cut the white pine in the parking lot so it would fit in his car...  I'm almost intolerable with the demands I make of my amigos.

After that fiasco, we saw this random building on the way, and thought we needed to find out what it was.  It turned out to be the Please Touch Museum... to which Gawbill said, "You're going to go home and Wikipedia that, right?"  Yes.  That's why there's a link there.

We got out of the car, so I could take more random pictures. But we got distracted by the geese... Don't they fly south for the winter? I need to find out more about geese, apparently. But now, I know that geese foot prints look like stars in the snow, and that made me smile. :)
And this picture is of a cage looking thing, and I just liked the way it looked, so there.

I hope you liked this post, Gawbill. I promise to buy you those melon ice cream bars as soon as we find an h-mart.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


"i like your body."  Illustration.  2009.  Uban.
I was accused of being a purveyor of soft-core porno after I figured out the cheap thrill of drawing underwear...

"i like your body."  Illustration.  2009. Uban. (damaged?)

I had people over at my apartment a year ago, and someone got sloppy and spilled a drink all over my desk.  This illustration took on a new meaning afterwards... foul play?

Red lingerie.  Oil on canvas. 4"X4" ea.  2011.  Uban.


 H&M had an amazing Black Friday sale...  But seriously, underwear has a really interesting texture with lace and that satin blend that holds light well so it was challenging for me to render accurately.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Jameson is an old man drink.


My dad with the roasted pig.

My mom, brother, and I decided to throw my dad a surprise party for his 60th birthday last month.  It was a pain, but totally worth it in the end.  He refused to leave the house when my brother tried to take him out to the casino for a guys night out, so we had to sneak everyone into the house while he was upstairs sleeping.  I have never cooked so much food in my entire life.  I thought it would never end.  My mom's absolutely terrified of the kitchen, but she really tried to help.

My dad's 60th b-day invitations.  GIMP. 2011.  Uban.

I made and sent out these invitations to all of our family and friends.  They had the party info on the back.  We bought a matching cake too!

We pulled my dad aside to celebrate... 
My dad's face is awesome in this picture.  yesss!
-- Jameson is so gross. haha
My dad's portrait:

My father with his eyes closed. 2010.  Oil on canvas.  8"x8".
 I painted this portrait of my father fairly quickly, something like 3 hours.  I even surprised myself.  I knew he'd be iffy about having his eyes closed...  But seriously, he actually stayed asleep while we got everyone in the house and the cooking done.  Sleeps like a rock, this guy.

My dad on romantic love:

My dad doesn't ever have much to say about having problems, except give it to God to handle.  The man decorates his home like the Vatican and prays the rosary like a cloistered nun, so I guess, that advice is good enough for him.  However, once he saw his only daughter upset over men, and didn't give me the God talk.  He says to me, but in Tagalog of course, "Do you know what love is?  Love is like a ball.  Take that ball and throw it.  Wait, and be patient.  If it bounces back to you, then that's what love is...  And, if it doesn't, then it was just a ball."  I don't know what to make of this, but he believes in this kind of love just as much as he believes in the saints and holy angels... and just like he believes in creationism and that dinosaurs were never real.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

... But I want this anyway.

Ear Study.  2010.  6"x6."  Oil on canvas panel.  Uban.
I must be really procrastinating painting my still life for tonight, if I'm still uploading stuff from last semester...

"Well, I don't know if I love you... but I want this anyway."  Pen on paper.  ©  2010 Uban. 
I signed this series "Char" last year.  Haven't done that in awhile.

But Hermes had wings on his feet...

Light Feet.  2010.  Oil on canvas.  18"x24."  Uban.
I did this for my painting class last semester...  It never got completely finished because I was torn between the impressionism of the one leg and the more solid looking style of the other.  I'm planning to paint the finished version on a canvas about three or four times bigger.

Listening to Rolling Stones -- "Wild Horses."

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Marriage of Good and Evil

The Marriage of Good and Evil.  Xerox collage on foam-core board.  30x30".  © 2010 Uban.

This was a piece I made for a class last semester.  I used a lot of source material, including a painting by Joshua Petker, illustrations by Julia Pott, Brand New's Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me album cover, and Robert DeNiro from Taxi Driver, as well as other source material from Google images, like the flowers, sky and clouds, the lower half of DeNiro's body.  I have some of my own images in the mix.  (Aren't those prairie dogs on the lower right corner, the cutest?  I took the picture of them at the Philadelphia Zoo two summers ago.)  I also used one of my mother's wedding photos.  My grandmother and uncle are there as well.  It's strange that I never plan on my family seeing this one, just because my dad would probably be p.o.'d that he isn't in it, and I'm not trying to deal with that.  It's weird to think someone might've used a picture of me for something else?  I remember sitting out on First Friday last year and having random people take pictures of me with my work.  It was super weird/awkward/flattering.

Listening to M.I.A.-- Bucky Done Gun.  I hope someone in Egypt is blasting this on their old-skool boom box...  "A Revolution without dancing is a revolution not worth having"...?  Oy, wishful thinking.