Myndology: Tiny Collages

Tiny collages by Jean Vengua

I’m continuing to make tiny collages in my Myndology sketchbook on a ring. Each page fits in the palm of my hand. I think this particular notebook was originally made for creating DIY flashcards. Here’s what I’ve done so far, spread out on a dining table chair.  Thinking too much, and too long, about every painting is definitely a problem for me, and this helps me to just get something down without getting anxious and hung up in the details. Plus I love recycling all my excess scrap paper into art, and these make useful little studies.  Maybe someday I’ll frame a group of them (individually) and have a teeny exhibit. Actually, I’m thinking of doing that for my Open Studio in September (with larger pieces, too).

#collage #sketchbook #artist#montereyartists #salinasartists

Trickster Finds a Home

Sold two works of art, one of them (pictured) purchased through Saatchiart. So happy to see these pieces find homes! But Saatchiart has stringent policies for certification of the art as well as wrapping and shipping materials (determined by their insurers). So I’m off to find acid-free archival wrapping paper and gather a few other items. Gotta say, though, I’m very happy with Saatchiart’s quick responses, well-thought-out instructions, and artist support. Also, big thanks to those who purchased my art!

The Trickster Returns (Amanita Maki)

Wednesday is full of . . .

Sciatica pain got me out of bed way too early this morning and sent me to my easel (sometimes standing is less painful that laying down). Managed to produce some art, anyway, despite the discomfort. Did some stretching, and went on two walks (if I don’t, my back will make me pay for it); and then some unexpected freelance work came in for me to do. Life is not always a bowl of cherries, and sometimes you just grit your teeth and slog through it. And sometimes you comfort yourself with a bowl of blueberries and whipped cream.

Untitled, acrylics on paper, Jean Vengua
Untitled, acrylics on paper. Jean Vengua
Untitled work in-progress, Jean Vengua 6-13-2018
Untitled work in-progress, Jean Vengua, 6/13/2018






Getting Out the Ukes

Filipino musicians
Nick Vengua playing guitar in Mauro Ibarra’s band. Uncle Mauro (on trumpet) used to be in the Philippines Mail Blues band, named after a local Filipino newspaper.

Will playing the uke make me a better artist or writer? I don’t know. Maybe it doesn’t matter. Getting out the ukes sparks only happy memories: my father at his happiest, hearing old tunes, the good feeling of learning to play a song (even if you were a lousy player), meeting up with uke freaks on the beach. I took my dad’s ancient ukulele out of its canvas case today (had to dust the case off) and tuned it. It still has its original strings, which are decades old. The varnish is nicked and worn from years of my dad’s playing, both at home, and in various bands.

old ukulele
Dad’s old uke. No brand name; with his ukulele instruction book. Photo by Jean Vengua

Also took out my Kamaka uke, and tuned it, only to find that one of its bakelite tuning heads was cracked and needs to be replaced. Now what? Time to get the chord charts out again? While I’m at it, perhaps I should tune dad’s Gibson acoustic guitar, too. But that’s harder to re-learn. My fingers ache, just thinking about it.

Kamaka ukulele
My Kamaka ukulele. Photo by Jean Vengua

I kind of miss playing music, and it’s difficult to get back into it after a few years. But I hear that music is good for the creative process, and good for you generally. I seem to remember feeling as though tuning and playing my uke felt sort of like tuning my brain. And it made me listen better, pay closer attention to sounds, colors and shapes, and language in a different way. So maybe if I play a little bit, every day…



Death of a Friend

Death of a friend

The death of a friend — even one you haven’t seen for awhile — always brings you back to that which is frustratingly incomprehensible, the mysteries. He, the believer, died dancing, near the shore of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala; assumed the whole, gobsmacking, psychedelic thing was right there in our hands. From this side of the divide, I, the skeptic, continue to see only the parts. But often the parts are beautiful. And there is hope — which is yet another mystery. Dance in peace and joy, Brett Greider.

Two Small #Paintings on Paper

I recently did two small paintings (see below). Actually, both are older works that I didn’t like much, but I worked them over again recently and like them better. Both of them incorporate text, or at least a letter — or the absence of a letter…

Because I write as well as paint, sometimes I try to incorporate langue [oops; I meant to write “language,” but mistakenly used the French term I learned in linguistics class long ago,  often used to refer to a community’s shared linguistic system], that is, language or letters into my paintings.

“Broken Bridges.” Acrylics and collage on Khadi handmade paper. 8 x 8 inches. 4/2018

Broken Bridges04042018 (2)
“Broken Bridges”


“Night Stalking.” Acrylics, ink, and collage on Khadi handmade paper. 8 x 8 inches. 4/2018

Night stalking04052018
“Night Stalking”



Rain & Wind here in Monterey…

Preparing for a phone conference w/City Planning (Salinas) and the new consultants for the Chinatown project.

Prepping a letter to send to City Council in support of [the city’s first?] arts ordinance, and formation of an Arts Commission. About time…

Our landlord hired a landscaper, and every Tues. they come around with these hellish leaf-blowers, rain or shine. Today it’s rain. Leaf blowing and garbage collection punctuate–are the soundtrack–for my Tuesdays.

Working on an editing job today — for a book on Asian art – artists & their patrons

Painting and writing will be worked into the schedule, somehow…