Julia Kwon

Sketchbook on Art, Inspiration, and Creative Process

One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

—Henry Miller

Karen E. Kitchel, American Grasslands: Crop, Lawn, Pasture, and Prairie, 1996-98, Oil on wood, Denver Art Museum in Denver, Colorado. 

Along with seeing amazing art and beautiful scenery, one of the best parts about traveling across the country is that I get to visit historical sites that are meaningful not only for the time of the actual events, but also for their powerful implications and lasting impact. All in all, this trip is making me appreciate the things that I often take for granted!

Along with seeing amazing art and beautiful scenery, one of the best parts about traveling across the country is that I get to visit historical sites that are meaningful not only for the time of the actual events, but also for their powerful implications and lasting impact. All in all, this trip is making me appreciate the things that I often take for granted!

We can’t forget the poetic part of art.

—Lalla Essaydi

Lalla Essaydi, Les Femmes du Maroc: La Grand Odalisque, 2008, Chromogenic color print on aluminum, edition 8 of 10, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

Lalla Essaydi, the Moroccan born photographer, incorporates layers of Islamic calligraphy applied by hand with henna, along with poses directly inspired by 19th Century Orientalist painting.  In this particular image, she is parodying Jean August-Dominique Ingres’s iconic painting The Great Odalisque — both challenging the “standards” of beauty and exploring the exotic to consider and critique exoticism.

Helen Frankenthaler, Warming Trend, 2002, Acrylic on canvas, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Missouri.

Painting must have content and emotion.

—Grace Hartigan

Grace Hartigan, Stone and Star, 1960, oil on canvas, Saint Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

Tom Friedman, Untitled (Seascape), 2012, paper, Saint Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.
          Saint Louis Art Museum
The museum is full of great artworks. I also thoroughly enjoyed the museum’s special exhibitions such as the Tragic and Timeless: The Art of Mark Rothko exhibit (May 24–Sept 14, 2014) and the simple yet powerful Anything but Civil: Kara Walker’s Vision of the Old South exhibit (Feb 26–Aug 10, 2014). 
The above artwork is one of my favorites from the museum: Tom Friedman’s elegant white paper seascape was created by folding the horizon line and adding smaller creases to imitate the appearance of rippling water!

Tom Friedman, Untitled (Seascape), 2012, paper, Saint Louis Art Museum in St. Louis, Missouri.

          Saint Louis Art Museum

The museum is full of great artworks. I also thoroughly enjoyed the museum’s special exhibitions such as the Tragic and Timeless: The Art of Mark Rothko exhibit (May 24–Sept 14, 2014) and the simple yet powerful Anything but Civil: Kara Walker’s Vision of the Old South exhibit (Feb 26–Aug 10, 2014). 

The above artwork is one of my favorites from the museum: Tom Friedman’s elegant white paper seascape was created by folding the horizon line and adding smaller creases to imitate the appearance of rippling water!