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In May of this year, while on the highway commuting to Wednesday classes I was teaching then, I was in a car accident.
Following the sickening impact, and after the car finally came to a complete stop, (time feels so different during events like that), I was grateful to be alive – I still am!
It could have been so much worse, but that said it hasn't been easy.
Our lovely red car has now been replaced. I had no broken bones and neither did the other driver, who was up and out of his car much more quickly than I was. I experienced whiplash and learned a lot about concussion and how complex brain injuries are and subsequently PTSD as well.
In addition to learning a lot about my brain, I've been working on patience with myself, adapting to changed abilities (a moving target) and learning to pace myself better, possibly for the first time in my life.
In the past I've always been either full-on or off. I functioned as a flip-style switch, not a volume control knob or dial.
And while I think immoderacy is a character trait that will continue to affect how I do things, I think I am shepherding that energy more and more so that I can manage better not only under my present circumstances, but once all the accident's after-effects are behind me, to work at a more sustainable pace in the future.
There will still be crazy (read therefore exciting and inspiring) projects, intensive work periods and so on, but it's all a question of degree, pacing, rest periods and what supports do I have in place.
This past summer I hosted two interns for the first time in my studio. I have had volunteers (including many friends and students!) help me with big projects in the past, for which I am very grateful, and imagine will have again in future, but the interns were a way to build up to delegating and working with other people on a more regular basis, so I can spread the load more!
So this past Thanksgiving weekend (almost two weeks ago now, as I publish this) I had a lot to be thankful for: my husband Kal Honey, who's helped and supported me through everything, my family and friends, my work and students, and looking back to see how much I've recovered since the accident.
Do you use Thanksgiving as an opportunity to focus on gratitude, or maybe for you it is a daily practice? Please share your thoughts in the comments.
If you would like a free and easy-to-use gratitude journalling page as a pdf you can print, just contact me via this website with the subject "Gratitude Journal" and I will email it to you.
OK Go is a band that does extraordinarily creative, innovative and powerful visual music videos like no one else – they are art forms in and of themselves. They pull off incredible feats without relying on the magic of digital effects, what you see always happened in real life and in real time.
Seriously, you need to check these videos out, no matter what your musical preferences are, those won't matter at all. Here are some I recommend (titles are links):
What these videos show is that these guys are masters at finding ideas. Extraordinary ideas. They also obviously have an amazing team and a considerable budget to pull them off, but plenty of uninteresting ideas have that and get made.
Below is a TED Talk they gave on "How to Find a Wonderful Idea". They point out that the usual approach of sitting in your chair (or other favourite thinking spot) and dreaming up an idea, then planning and polishing it before executing it is missing a vital step: the "sandbox" – that place where you play and discover or unearth your real idea, the wonderful one that the preliminary idea (which leads you to where the sandbox is) was just the seed for.
Have you unearthed some of your own wonderful ideas in a sandbox of some type? What's your favourite sandbox? If you haven't tried it, where could you start? Let me know in the comments below!
Introducing “My Favourite Tool”, a new regular feature (roughly one per month). In Episode 1 I look at the basic, traditional Chinese brushes I've been using a lot of lately.
Do you have a favourite tool, or one you would like to try? Let me know in the comments.
Happy Valentine's Day!
Whether you have a long-dormant love of model railroads or can't resist dollhouses and their tiny furnishings, you're far from alone in loving miniatures. I grew up with my own dollhouse made of printed steel, but rather jealous of my cousin who had a big table in his basement devoted to his model railroad, set in a landscape he'd made and populated by exquisitely detailed buildings and street scenes.
A couple of years ago in pursuit of materials for some miniature projects (still on the drawing board) I visited, on my friend Fred's recommendation, The Credit Valley Railway Company, a truly amazing place with aisle upon aisle of trains, other vehicles, and buildings of different eras, human figures, street furniture, vegetation – even different kinds of grasses! Investigating those aisles was such an engrossing way to spend a couple of afternoons.
Plenty of artists love miniatures, miniature painting is quite a tradition, particularly in south Asia and Iran to my knowledge, but some artists either create dimensional miniatures or use the kind I drooled over at the store as their raw material.
Sculptor Kim Adams, 2014 winner of a Governor General's Award in Visual Art (click to view his award page), is one such artist whose work I particularly admire. His elaborate installations a few years ago at the Art Gallery of Ontario (click to view a slideshow from that work) were fascinating.
What got me thinking about this topic recently was an article in The Guardian about sculptor/miniature artist Randy Hage who has done a whole series in which he has re-created old New York City storefronts with amazing detail, right down to the litter, the papered-over windows and the inevitable graffiti.
On his site (click to link to it) you can see side-by-side comparison photos of the shot he took of the actual storefront and his 1/12 scale miniature. Beautiful work! Below is a time-lapse as he makes one storefront “Ideal Hosiery”.
Finally there's an epic miniature museum project in Mississauga/Oakville called Our Home & Miniature Land where they are painstakingly re-creating Canada in miniature, starting with Toronto and Hamilton. Click here or on their name to check out their site. The project is not complete yet, though they have had a public open house, but the videos of their progress are amazing! Below are a couple of samples to whet your appetite. I can't wait to see it all in person!
How about you? Are you a miniatures geek whether secretly or proudly? Did you have a dollhouse or model railroad when you were growing up, or make other kinds of models?
If so, please tell me about them in the comments below!
We had an enthusiastic group at Saturday's painting demonstration at Otto Art gallery in Toronto. I showed how I approach painting two series: my 'Aroundeds' and the 'Radiants' series that gave the show its title. I will continue to work on the 'Radiant' demo painting and post photo updates here when ready.
Sandra Otto, the gallerist, shot video of most of the event, which you can watch below in two parts.
As for the 'Arounded' painting, here are progress shots of the drying process so you can see how the painting reveals itself over time as it dries. I will continue to post more until it is pretty much 100% clear.
Please check back for even more updates/photos and links!
And if you found this at all interesting, please give this post a like or a tweet – it helps a lot, thanks!
Last week I gave a talk with a demonstration component to members of the Oshawa Art Association. My main demo was of the process I use to make my 'Arounded' acrylic paintings. A magical part of the process is watching the painting emerge as the paint dries.
At the talk I promised that I would share photos of the drying process because the changes are so dramatic as the gel portion dries, due to the nature of acrylics: when wet, the gel or mediums are milky white; they dry clear (more or less, depending on medium and other factors).
Spots with the very thickest applications can take a considerable time to dry fully. Extremely thick applications done all at once may never truly clarify.
Although there are small remaining gel "peaks" that are not yet clear, this sequence gives you a good look at the drying effects over time.
Kim Lee Kho
As a visual artist I like nothing more than getting up to my elbows in paint or little plastic toys, or wading in at the deep end in pursuit of an idea. When I am not teaching others in a similar vein, you can find me researching, writing and noodling around in my studio, seeing where my latest lines of inquiry lead me.
All images and content on this website © Kim-Lee Kho 2005–2018 except as indicated. All rights reserved. No reproduction without express, written permission.