** We're asking for patience & kindness from our community and wishing our 121 Vance Street project partners much luck with the start of demolition soon. **
Around 7am this morning, Ken took this photo on his way to work. By itself, it's a photo of a dumpster in a vacant parking lot, a quiet moment in downtown Clinton, NC. For me, seeing this photo, I'm hopeful for a brighter future.
I'm also feeling nervous, scared, sad and praying for the safety and health of everyone.
I'm saddened by the many lives lost and impacted by Covid19 and SARS-CoV-2.
I'm relying on experiences of past critical public health events that Ken and I have shared, working together in medicine and health care. And this reminds us, we're a couple of science geeks.
I'm trying to stay positive during this global pandemic.
I'm holding onto small & big sources of joy.
I'm making art.
I'm feeling lucky to have another day.
And I'm happy to see Ken come home at the end of each day. Our kids make me laugh and smile, always.
** We are grateful to have the love and support of family, friends, and a wonderful community. We miss seeing everyone. We're here, if there's anything we can possibly do for you. **
Please continue to take care of one another and stay well ❤️
** Grace & Ken **
Since 2003, I’ve been a “stay at home” parent. I decided to take a leave from the best job I ever had in order to spend more time with my kids. And being well aware of having privileges at the time, I’m most grateful for the unexpected moments... like when our 18-month old daughter said, “delicious” (not “yum” or “good”) to describe how lunch tasted.
My privileges (being married, being a parent, having a home, not being paid for working at home, etc.) included having had a job working 100+ hours/week, side by side with my friend, Ken to pay off school loans & a mortgage, save up when we could, and spend on extra things that nobody actually needs.
Of the extra things I thought I didn’t need, turns out “staying at home” has been the most important work I have ever known. Of the privileges, having extra time with my kids wasn’t extra. It was simply time. And if I’m lucky, what remains at the end of each day is another tomorrow.
This is dedicated to Kayla, our high school senior: oh my goodness, what a privilege it has been to be your mother! My love to you and your peers of today and tomorrow, may your days be filled with priceless “delicious” little moments.
To all the naysayers in my past...
I have dreamed, prepared, and set real life goals to get here.
I work hard, earn my keep
and I'm careful with what I earn.
I'm a bit exhausted, sometimes frustrated,
often times filled with joy and extremely grateful
for each person who knows.
As I look to the future, I'm taking this moment
to celebrate my love affair with art.
Happy Valentine's Day.
I love what I do.
It hasn't been easy.
But it has been fun, exciting, and deeply exhilarating
to defy all the naysayers who don't believe.
I am an artist ...because art matters ❤️
I'll be using these flowers, collected and dried over the last few years.
They reflect life events: births, weddings, anniversaries, friendships and deaths.
Dear young(er) artist,
At mid-life, I teeter on a blurry line between my youthful past and the golden years ahead. In this moment I'd like to pass on a simple mantra, artists make art. I heard it uttered by an art teacher as a kid, but didn't really get it until recently. In 2010 when I decided to make art my work, stepping outside the daily lines of work wasn't easy. After taking an intense sketchbook studio course in 2014, I learned to value the work of sketching as a productive art-making process.
No matter where you are between young and old, begin with a good hardcover sketchbook. Gather basic art supplies: pencils, pens, markers, pastels, paints, etc. ...and tape, glue, whatever else you'd like to experiment with. Then, consider these starting tips:
For viewing and learning, browse examples of my work available online:
With kind regards,
Thirty years ago, I laid eyes on him for the first time. I was too busy working, he kept going, and so we met only in my mind. A few years later in the spring of 1990, I remembered his face as he took the seat next to mine in Asian American Lit. He whispered that he forgot his copy of our class novel and asked to share mine. Days later when he forgot his book again, he was more interested in the scribbles on my notepad than the conversations happening in class. So when he started to write in the space beside my random sketch, I looked beyond his audacious reach and saw the words of a beautiful stranger who somehow knew my best-kept, best-friend secret of leaving marks on paper.
Those were the days when 'private messaging' came with the face-to-face thrill of meeting a new friend. As technology delivers bite-sized texts and character-limited tweets, I'm holding tight to one word that's slowly fading on my yellow paper: artist. Making art allows my hands to leave deliberate and purposeful marks on different surfaces to connect with another human. And when that one human becomes the person of my life, I hope the marks I leave will also keep our children connected. To this day, wherever he makes a point of sitting next to me -- in a restaurant, at the movies, on the soccer field bleachers -- I feel the luck of our twice-upon-a-lifetime first meeting in a classroom. So with him by my side, I'm working on a new series to feature hand-written messages that I'd like to keep from fading.
#breadcrumbs, FAMILY series
I am Chinese American.
I was a child immigrant and grew up to be a naturalized United States citizen.
Refugees and immigrants are people.
And bans on groups of people for the sake of fighting terrorism ...how?
People survive on love, kindness, understanding and compassion.
Terrorism feeds on fear and hatred; it preys on people globally.
No matter how you voted, if you voted
"We the people" includes you, me, and people who came
and will continue to come from different places.
I am American and a world citizen
who advocates for people-kind.
I will not be terrified into supporting hatred.
Oh yes, can't forget to wish everyone a happy *2017*
#chooselove #endhate #findpeace ...peacefully
My father has dementia. On good days when Dad has the energy to engage in conversations, he is pleasantly confused as to who, what, where, how, and most of all, why. And when flashes of his past seem to meet up with our present, I'm most happy he's here with me.
A few nights ago, while eating dinner, images of the last debate filled the TV screen and caught Dad's eye. We talked for a long time about the election, which reminded me of how we used to banter about politics. He could not name our current President, but he let me know how Hillary was married to Bill some time ago. I explained that voting would take place next month and making sense of the two candidates led to more-than-usual levels of confusion for both of us. Over and over, he circled back to pieces of his past to analyze "who" and "why." Of her, Dad said (in Chinese), "She's smart and powerful," and of him, "He's the shoe king, right?" Was he remembering 'Ivanka' brand shoes? I'm not sure. Regardless, Dad cracked a smile and my kids laughed a lot. So I asked Dad who he'd like to vote for? He said (in English), "Hillary Clinton, very smart. Not Trump," to which he added (in Chinese), "...he sells shoes." This made sense to him and me - in that moment, little else mattered.
Ironically, if we had been faced with two new-to-him candidates on TV, Dad may have had little or perhaps nothing with which to connect the dots. By the end of the night, more meaningful than his preference for the next President, my father finished eating his entire dinner and willingly smiled for several selfies with my kids and me. That was a good day.
This goes out to my kids as a reminder to listen a little deeper and try a little harder to make sense of life's confusing moments. Always #chooselove, especially in the years to come when I'm incorrigibly more forgetful than ever. xoxooooxox ❤️
view more pages in my #TrippingThisLife sketchbook
In November 2014, I posted my first blog to celebrate the completion of my masters in art education and capstone project, Color, Vision, and Art... Since then, I have had kind opportunities to extend my UF research and share my art-work with our community: Exhibition Summer 2015 (No Strings Attached) and Color Vision Awareness (a collaborative project, working with Clinton City Schools).
The tricky thing with any sort of "ISM" is that by defining (and otherwise labeling to encapsulate notions, concepts, ideas, etc.), we are also confining. Take "feminISM" for example: movements, actions, speeches take place to support, challenge, and ultimately shape it as something that our current President seems to know something about. So then, what about the stuff that happens outside the idea of that "ism" - would it be considered "anti-ism" when it better fits the (stereotypical) mold of another kind? When we look at "isms" (and anti-isms), how do we find equality (and freedom) if defining for one person is viewed as confining by another? At minimum, it's complicated.
Simply put, here are a few moments, decisions I have made as an independent human:
* go to college.
* be with one partner, Ken ...to grow my life.
* work several jobs to pay for my education, twice.
* put my medical career on hold ...to dedicate more time with family.
...and yes, Ken supported my decision to work at home.
* stay at home to do the kind of work survived by love.
...and staying at home has been anything but and everywhere in between.
* go back to school.
* pay for my education, again.
* work for myself and others.
And through it all, I make art as a choice of voice. I still make art and work at home, in my studio, and on paths to different places. Most fortunately, I live with the loving support of family and friends along the way. I don't see my life, work, and actions as that of a feminist, but then, how else would I define my other-than-presidential look at feminism?
This blog goes out to girls, women, and people who look beyond glamour to define self.
"still, forever" ...in my sketchbook, Japan, summer 2016
I like this article from The New York Times...
Our Feel-Good War on Breast Cancer - The battle to raise awareness has been won. So why aren’t more lives being saved?
But truly, if facts show 1 in 8 women and 1 in 1,000 men... then, the battle continues.
National Breast Cancer Foundation - Breast Cancer Facts
Awareness is staying informed (facts and stats DO change) and then, caring enough to take action ...do something good to show you care.
Owner of HYFA. Original art-work signed GYang. Artist, educator, and advocate ...because art matters. Retired Family Physician (MD)