Argentine Odalisque

So this past week hasn't been easy, per say. Albert's been on a business trip and I've kinda had to fend for myself. No worries! I'm just fine! But I'd kinda like to be able to order different foods and not eat at the same places everyday. :P Work is a little stressful right now since it's the end of the semester and the usual dramas. Oh well. Can't wait till it's hot and sunny again! I really wanted to go out dancing but a lot of stuff got in the way so I ended up spending my weekend as a crazy artist. (I did check out the one argentine tango place in Taipei...maybe Taiwan)

I finished an acryllic painting I started the last time Albert was away. It's of hyacinths at the flower market. I tell ya, it was pretty tough getting back into acryllics and I had a hard time getting the flowers the right shade of pink (it's like a faded, purply pink). It's really hard for me to blend in this medium for some reason. So I impressionized it a little bit. I like bold colors anyways. It's crazy, I can't just randomly pick up a brush and spend five minutes painting... I spend HOURS.. Can't stop myself. I just keep wanting to fix things because everytime a do a new layer it goes from looking crappy to better and better. It's addicting. Then after I did that one.. I had to start something else. Took a break from painting and did some oil pastels. I don't remember how I got reminded of Ingre's Odalisque, but I did and had to do my own version. Albeit, it could never be as great as Ingre's... and I used a stock photo from So it really seems unoriginal. I found this great picture of a small-chested, overweight (like Botticelli overweight) woman who's posing in a headscarf and I just had to do it. The folds on her body from the extra body fat looked really cool to me, since I always draw girls who have more of my body type (since I see mostly myself everyday). I started with a pencil sketch and it looked so good I was afraid I would ruin it with the pastels (since I'm still a beginner with them). I made the elbows, knees, hands, and feet really bony and grotesque and it contrasted well with her voluptuosity-ness. And the pastels did ruin the detail a bit but I'm overall happy with it. I used purple colored pencil to define the sharp wrinkles and it's not easy to use pencil over pastel so I don't recommend it. Something's really off with the face- I didn't want it to look cartoony and I didn't want it to take away from the body, but I just can't get it right. I don't think I can do anything more to it because I went over it many times with pastel and colored pencil. The hair's also rough and chunky.... doesn't fit the rest of the style of her body... ick. So now I have a mostly ruined painting, except for her skin. Better luck next time I guess. I got it propped up on my desk so I can live with it for a bit and figure out what I need to change.

And that's my artist's process! ;) Hopefully I've entertained you with some of that mania. Sometimes I really wish I took that opportunity to go to art school instead of getting a regular degree. It probably wouldn't have been a setback in the long run because BA's don't matter anymore. Can't believe I was so naive to think they did. I was too scared to get an art degree because I thought it would ruin my chances of getting a good job someday. MAN!!!! I would do this all day everyday if I could!

I just finished watching dvds of the last season of DTWS and I'm super pumped about that! This year my goal was to get serious about ballroom again and compete in at least one competition. So I'm hoping I can stick to it even though it's the most frustrating thing in the world! You see people dance and you can tell who has good technique and who doesn't .. you even know the concepts of what you should do and shouldn't... but to get your body to do it and remember ten bajillion in things at the same time is URGHHHH!!!!! Really hope I don't give up!

So that's my rant for this week. Nothing new except work. My kids are really impressing me lately- because I force them to not speak Chinese in class (try to) they're coming up with new things to say in English and they listen more with the intent to learn. One of them said, "Teacher Rachel, give to (name)" when he wanted me to give him something. It's something he's picked up from what I say.. So yayy!!!By the way, Mom, Dad, Grandma Genny-- they LOVED the videos I took to show them. The 2 year olds keep asking me to show it to them. "Teacher Rachel Mommy" (We want to see your Mom) They also keep asking to sing Jingle Bells in class.

Okay! Peace out! (PS- I still remember a lot of Italian :) )Next post I'll talk about going to a hot spring in Beitou- I wanna wait till Tuesday when I get my new computer and can put my photos on there. (Yeah, mine is permanently broken :-\ )


  1. so so cool! i love your passion for dance, art, and languages Rach!
    and i like the new blog look :)
    love you and miss you and Kat and James-o and everyone else.


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