Tuesday, 22 December 2009

It's a Comic Strip

Hey Tamales,

I don't mean to rain on anybody's art parade, but I love Dilbert (nerd!) and they rarely make art references. (you may need to click on it to read it)

-S.F. Chronicle, 12. 21.09.
Happy viewing,
Leslie Ann
P.S. Apologies for possibly lowering the self-esteem of noncommercial artists :D

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Hello fellow tamales monsters! Happy Holidays! I can't believe we've shown this amount of interest for art, intellectual conversations, and new additions to the group in such a short period of time. I hope you are all having a grand time being part of this community and hope we all grow from each other like we are now. So I guess what I'm trying to say is thanks, and I love you guys! Except you! You are nasty.

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Epoxy Crisis!

Ok, it’s not a crisis, but I could use any help or advice about epoxy.
I have 307 pills and capsules I made out of clay and wood and I recently coated them in enamel paint. I will attach them to a canvas painted with enamel paint as well. Enamel creates a plastic-like effect once dry. The pills and capsules fit easily in the palm of one’s hand.
I know that I will need to use epoxy to attach the pills to the canvas, but when I went to the store, I didn’t know what epoxy to purchase. There are three types: instant drying epoxy, epoxy plastic, and epoxy gel (there may have been an all-purpose one too, but I can't remember since there were so many brands available). What is the difference? I want to use whatever will keep the pills on the best and not something that will snap off too easily. Any advice would really help.
Some pictures of the pills:

(I just added colors to the pills today. Once they're dry, I'll remove the blue tape.)

Leslie Ann

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Recent Works

Hi Tamales,
These are my most recent paintings. The fish on the cloth is 36x36 inches, and the other two are 11x14 inches (painted on small canvases just for fun). There were a few comments during the last BFA critique about whether my series should be more about the decorative paintings of koi or the smaller, more ambiguous koi paintings (or "fish portraits" as they were called). Personally, I enjoyed painting the bathtub and fish cloth works more so than the smaller ones, but if the smaller fish paintings have potential, then maybe they're the better route to take. Any suggestions?
Happy holidays everyone! :)

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Christmas Stuff

Here are some projects I've been working on over the holidays... making ornaments!
Note that the fruits actually have 2 faces each, but you can't see them because of the tree branches. I bought a buncha fake fruit, clear glass balls, and wooden fish (pre cut).

Sunday, 29 November 2009


Here's a pic of one of my latest works. It's pens and sharpies but I'm using a different style and making it seem more painterly. I think it looks hardcore. I'm painting this way because I have been under a lot of pressure and I have deadlines and in some way I feel like my world is melting. Everything is caving in and I"m inside a huge void! Help me!!!! Don't worry I'm ok lol :)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Update on current work

Hello Tamales,
I just wanted to show you my most recent painting in my koi series. It may need to be glazed, but I'm calling it done for now. I've been working on it for about a month (I'm a very slow painter). The ducks and fish are a little out of proportion, but I wanted them to be larger in scale. If you can't tell from the picture, the purple object at the top, right-hand corner is an ashtray with two cigarette butts inside. The water was the most difficult part of this painting, since I'm still trying to learn the realistic effects of light and ripples. Trapped and disoriented, the fish is trying to escape the rubber ducks and becoming entangled by the cloth's extensions. Feel free to suggestion anything you might think would enhance this work. :)

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Brazilian Opening Reception

On Wednesday I attended an opening reception at YBCA for a show called, When Lives Become Form: Contemporary Brazilian Art, 1960s to the Present. It was a lot of fun and totally worth getting a mild sore throat over the next day.

There were live Brazilian bands (both traditional and contemporary), Brazilian cocktails, ladies dressed in pink feathers and half naked, and there was art too. It was a show that could only be fully experienced at the reception because it really transformed the atmosphere from a museum to a party.

Purpose of the Show: The art show was about using cultural, historical, traditional, and societal influences that were deeply rooted in Brazil in order to create a movement of contemporary artistic statements using modern American and European inspirations, such as Dadaism and Deconstructionism to name a couple. Made up of Brazilian, Japanese-Brazilian, Jewish-Brazilian, and Afro-Brazilian artists, the show consisted of visual art, music, fashion design, sculpture, film, and architecture. The central theme revolved around Tropicália.


Tropicália was an art movement in Brazil from 1967 to 1972 that focused on how art was shifting from what was considered "high brow" to commercial art. The idea originated from Hélico Oiticica -who was also the central figure of the art show. In 1967, Oiticica used clichés and tropical tropes, such as palm trees and tropical birds, to show how the culture had been consumed by commercialistic art. It was a form of expression that protested what society was becoming.

By 1972, a military dictatorship emerged in Brazil, which established censorships on art and freedom of speech. Many of the artists who led and followed the ideas and beliefs of Tropicália were incarcerated, exiled, or executed. Despite years of having a military dictatorship, Brazil returned to its democratic government in 1985 and the spirit and ideas of Tropicália flourish once again, but with a modern twist.

Enough with the History: I will show some artists that I really enjoyed at the show and briefly discuss their work. Some work may relate to other issues and themes depending on the artist’s ethnic background.

Fashion Design:
Jum Nakao. Sewing the Invisible.

This is a modified version of the video at the museum -the one at the museum is better. Fashion designer Jum Nakao created all of these clothing articles out of paper. Yes, paper. The featured fashion show was based on traditional Japanese dresses. Nakao wanted to show the rigidness of the past and how people tried so hard to conform to these ideals and to obey governmental authority. By busting out of the delicate dresses, the models were breaking away from the rigid past and governmental restrictions and becoming free to the modern ways of self-expression and freedom. It was stated that some people who saw the fashion show had cried because they could not picture a life without the strict traditions.

To Learn More Information: If you would like to see more pictures and to learn more about the show, visit my blog: http://www.leslieannart.blogspot.com/

Happy reading,

Leslie Ann


Online Survey

Hey Tamales and Viewers,

I’m taking a statistics class and we have to create online surveys. I wanted to incorporate a measurement that somehow combined art with psychology, so I created this survey about hemispheric thinking processes. If you wouldn’t mind clicking on the link to fill it out, I would really appreciate it (it's completely anonymous). More surveys = more data. :) Where it asks you to give a subject ID number, just put 9999 (it’s also stated on the survey).


By the end of the week I’ll explain what the survey measured in a little more detail.

Thank you!!!!!!!

Leslie Ann


Comic Strip

Hey Tamales,

I wanted to post this earlier, but I haven't had the chance. It's a comic strip from the Fusco Brothers (you might need to click on it). I like its creepiness...

-San Francisco Chronicle, 10.28.09.
Leslie Ann

Friday, 6 November 2009

Painting Tech 101

ok, for all u ACRYLIC PAINT users out there...like in oil painting can you glaze with acrylics? Do I just use water or is there a certain medium I have to use?

Wednesday, 4 November 2009


Heres pic of the piece ive been working on, slowly...

I think there needs to be more of a connect between them, so im thinking of doing more in the middle to tie the two works together better. Im not finished, (the squid and other parts need more detailed work) but i just wanted to let you guys know what was happening.

On another note, here is an updated version of the koi mural on my door. Im going to adjust his face a bit and finnish the water around him. Then i'll work on the body details more. Any suggestions on how to make the fish really pop? Ive really been struggling with ideas.

Monday, 26 October 2009

Yesterday, I went to see a performance art piece by the Na Lei Hulu I Ka Wekiu class and Dance Company at the Palace of Fine Arts (my friend Kailani was one of the 260 dancers). They combine traditional polynesian/Hawaiian dance with comtemporary themes, music, and costume. It was quite a visual and audible experience.

Check out their webpage:

Friday, 23 October 2009

I finished it!

Here's the finished painting! It's actually 94% finished there's some things I might change about the color. I think I'll be doing one more of these portraits and then collect objects to assemble into a surface to paint on. I was thinking of going to yard sales and seeing if there's any furniture worth reusing. It would be awesome if I found a blackboard :) I'm not sure when I'll be done with this series but it will take quite sometime. If you were wondering, the bigger paintings will have more narrative than these portraits.

Friday, 16 October 2009

Hello Fellow Tamales


I'm Elizabeth (or Liz) Zunino and I just join Hot Tamales U Can't Afford. For those of you who don't know me, I've been a long time resident of the East Bay and I'm currently a Traditional Arts major in my final year at CSUEB. I work with both oil paints and ink, though right now I'm working on a series of oil paintings of Koi. In my work, I focus on organic patterns, texture, vibrant coloration, and the fluidity of water and identity. The oil paintings on the far left and center are the first koi paintings in my series based on drawings I did a number of years ago. You may or may not be able to tell in the images, but I added texture (a mixture of Liquin, Stand Oil, oil paint, and talcum powder) to the scales to make the fish emerge from the surface.
The last work isn't a painting but a textile/needlepoint fish pond I've been designing for the past three months. Needlepoint is a combination of counted cross stitch and embroidery and I've been practicing needlepoint techniques for about ten years (since my grandma taught me when I was 12). The image (far right) features nine sheets of 10''x 12'' plastic canvases, the skeleton holding the yarn and stitches in place. It's still a working progress and will eventually be composed of 25 sheets (54''x 60''). I'm hoping to complete this project in time for my senior show.
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy! :)
~Liz Zunino~

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Salazar Update!

Here's a little montage of the pictures I've been taking of the latest painting I'm working on. There's actually more on it now but I'll post it when it's done. I'm not sure what I'll do for the next painting but I'm thinking of using more materials to have these characters in a different light. I think I might go back to the abstract drawings for now because I miss them and I think they miss me. They are like plants you forget to water then they get mad at you.

I also did this sketch of Courtney Love in my break from working at Togonon Gallery. I'm an intern there. I love Courtney I tried to emphasize the plastic surgery and complex personality this woman has.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Leslie Becerra Telling Those M***f***rs Off!

It is clear that tamales are innately hot with creative intent. However, when they get released in the real world tension usually arises. In the pic above we see Leslie Becerra telling one of the bikers off at the Dirty Bird Lounge in Hayward. The reception which occurred at the same time of the incident was a success and lots of booze and pool play ensued.
Ok let me be a little more real with you all :D This experience was actually good. The work was hanging and I know it was the Verses series but it was fun to see them all together again on the wall.
In a way I felt like I was having a flashback and I was 21 again. It's so different now that I'm 23 (Most people are thinking "no it's not, it's only been 2 years" but it feels different explanation follows...) When I create art a lot more background comes into a brushstroke I choose to use or imagery I choose to use. It can be the same look but it means something more complex now. I also catch myself repeating parts of systems I often see in my work and it's not that I ran out of ideas but putting it in different contexts creates different content.
I'm probably not making much sense for most people so to sum it up I'm just going to say that having this show has opened my eyes on how far down the road I am now and how much further I can walk knowing that I've been walking in the right direction.
has anyone felt anything like this? please share in the comment section I'd love to hear and discuss :)

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Hidden Art in my Closet

Earlier this week, I had to show pictures of some of my artwork that I have done in the past and I thought that I would share some of those photos with you. It was kind of interesting because I forgot about some of these pieces and I think they show a little of my versatility. These are all things I did a long time ago, so the quality may not necessarily be great, but I think they represent where I have come from as an artist as well as some of my interests and my personality.

I created this chair in 2003. The wings are made from plexiglass, and they can move side-to-side. The stinger was created from a broom stick. This is actually the chair that I use when I’m working and doing art in my studio.

Bumble Bee Chair



With a model to emphasize the stinger.
With the exception of the Bumble Bee Chair, all of my other pieces have been and continue to be archived in my closet. Sometimes you have to show the old stuff so people can see where you come from and how you’ve developed.
If you would like to see more pictures of some of my other old pieces, check out my blog: http://www.leslieannart.blogspot.com/.
Update: I’ll post pictures of my current pieces very soon. I’m still working on making objects for one of my paintings and it’s taking me a long time. The process is long, but I hope it will all work out.
Happy viewing,
Leslie Ann

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Comic Strip

Hey Tamales,

I was reading the paper this morning and I thought I would share a comic strip from Pearls Before Swine (you might need to click on it in order to read it).

-San Francisco Chronicle 9.30.09.

Happy reading,

Leslie Ann


Monday, 21 September 2009

Transfer Techniques on Paper and Mo' New Pain'ings!

This is another work form the narrative series. It's done on duralar and I wanted to create something that caused fear. Like fear as we see it when we are younger. It's a feeling that's very unclear but I've always feared people more than anything else when growing up.
This portrait was made with acrylics on paper. That's right I went there. I made an acrylic painting on paper. First I used a light sheet of acrylic matte medium in top of the paper then waited until it dried to apply another layer, and another layer. The point is to have something solid to paint on so it doesn't crumple up when you are painting. After that I laid down two colors: blue and beige. Then I got a xerox and transferred the black and whiteness of it with Acetone. Xerox transfers well on acrylics. You could also do it another way if you don't have acetone. You can paint the image with matte medium then glue it to the paint. Once it dries you can grab a soaked scrub and scrub away the paper. It might take a couple of scrubs but the results are amazing. Lastly I added white to the eye :P

If you can't tell I was going for a Warhol like look with the transfer.


here's the recent work i've done on the piece. i think i'll take Victor's advice and put more sheets together to make a really huge one, but i feel i should finnish this page completely before i move on.

Monday, 14 September 2009


Ok this is really quick post before I have to leave for work!

I'm trying to fill up this whole 18x24 inch space with drawings, all in black and white. It has taken many hours to reach this point, and I still have many to go, but its been a rewarding and fun experience. I hope that I can to several "fill the whole page" pieces. Tell me what you think, does it need to pop more, be bolder in certain areas or what. DO NOT CENSOR YOURSELF, I'm really curious to see if it's working as a piece or not. Thanks!

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The Unfortunate Reality...

Hey Tamales,

I just wanted to share a comic strip I read on Monday from Non Sequitor (you might need to click on it in order to read it)...

-San Francisco Chronicle, 9.7.09.

Leslie Ann

Monday, 7 September 2009

I finished it

I just finished (not really there are little details i need to attend to) the painting I previously posted.  I've been writing a lot in my journal and I tried to figure out moments in my life where I was more off the earth than others.  It was kind of a journey and I if I could I'd split myself into different people.  I'm still deciding whether to go anywhere with this or not but it seems like something I personally would want.  Like a catharsis of some sort.  How do you guys feel about this painting?

Friday, 4 September 2009

A Trip to the Cow Palace

Lesson I: TAT-TOO: Tattoo comes from the Tahitian word tatau. Tattooing involves injecting colored ink beneath the epidermis with tiny punctures through the skin’s surface.The word “tattoo” was first introduced into Europe in the 1770s by Captain James Cook in his journal that described the Tahitian natives:
Both sexes paint their bodies, Tattow as it is called in their language, this is done by inlaying the colour of black under their skins in such a manner as to be indelible. -Cook, July 1769.

Where is this Going?: Last Friday, I went to the famous Cow Palace to check out the Tattoo Expo. Although I’m still considered a “virgin” in the Tattoo World, I find tattoos fascinating and I wanted to learn more about this fashionable form of art. I thought that the best way to experience and learn about this type of body decoration was to go to the Expo and to see first hand how one goes about getting a tattoo as well as how the tattooists work with this medium. I originally wanted to dive right into discussing my experience at the Expo, but after talking to people about my experience, I realized that a lot of people don't know how historical and cultural the art of tattooing has been worldwide. I decided that I would try to inform people of its long history and then I'll share the pictures and a few things I learned from the Expo. I will only focus on the highlights and attempt to make it as brief as possible, but you can skip the history and go to the Tattoo Expo section if you like.

Cliff Notes Version of the History: Before tattooing even began, body painting was considered the earliest form of body art. Popular pigments of the Paleolithic time were: red (commonly representing blood, vitality, mortality, and fertility); white (often associated with rituals, mourning, purification, and the supernatural); and black (typically representing impurity and evil). Depictions of such body paintings can be found on cave paintings illustrating hunters, men, women, and shamans. Different body painting patterns, geometrical shapes, and colors often represented ceremonies, rituals, tribes, gender, and shamanic experiences. With time, tattooing became the new fad.

Sahara rock painting, Tassili N'Ajjer, Algeria. Dots and lines represent
tattooing and body paint used in ceremonies, as identification,
and for shamanic experiences.

The Tattoo Expo: I didn’t realize before coming to the Expo that there seems to be two types of tattoo groups:

1. the “I only get sentimental and meaningful tattoos” group
2. the “I just get souvenirs and whatever” group

I respect both groups because I see the beauty, passion, and appreciation that each group has about their tattoos and about creating those tattoos for others. Each tattoo is unique and it tells you a little about the person based on their interests, beliefs, and artistic appreciations.

For More Information: If you would like to see more pictures or to learn more about the history of the tattoo, cultural influences, the controversies, and some of the things I learned from the Tattoo Expo, visit my blog: http://www.leslieannart.blogspot.com/.
Happy reading,

Leslie Ann


Thursday, 3 September 2009

New Paintings

I started this one this week. It's not finished.  I want to paint a lot on it because I want to know how it feels to have a lot of layers on top of your work.  Anyways this is the first one.  It's going to become a lot quieter once I add the dark blue overtones over 90% of the area.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

A Glimpse Inside the Studio

I just finished my third painting yesterday. I went down to my studio this morning to get something and I realized that it looked almost like a crime scene down there. I thought I would show you a picture. When it dries, I'll post another picture -it doesn't look as murderous up close (it actually looks more like something from an anatomy book).

The Scene. (click on it to get its full effect)

My Shoes.

Happy viewing,

Leslie Ann


Sunday, 30 August 2009


Me and Tony went to Autobody today and got offered another show for next year.  Mine is going to happen June/ July.  I'll have lots of new pieces by then hopefully it will all connect :)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

An Art Exhibition Opportunity

Hey Hot Tamales,

I was trying to find a library around me so I could do research and I found an announcement for an art exhibition opportunity -talk about serendipity. I know it's not a "hot spot" location, but it's publicity and it gets your names around the Bay Area. I'm copying and pasting it for you guys if you're interested.

-Leslie Ann

San Mateo Public Library invites local artists to exhibit their
work at the San Mateo Main Library and at City Hall.
In October, the Art Exhibit Selection Committee will be reviewing art and
photography for inclusion in hanging exhibits in the galleries and artwork
for display in cases. The Committee is seeking art that represents the diversity
of our community, varied artistic styles and mediums. The jury process will
be for exhibitor bookings from January 2010 through December 2010.
Potential 2-dimensional exhibitors must have a minimum of fifteen (15)
pieces available to hang for the duration of the six-week exhibit period.
The Library has one display case on the 2nd floor for 3-dimensional artwork
and two locked glass cases are available at City Hall. Art pieces may be
available for sale, but that is not a requirement for exhibiting. Artists
interested in exhibiting are required to submit a CD with 5 to 10 examples
of their work and a completed Exhibitor Request Form (attached). In lieu
of submitting a CD, you may provide your website address with the specific
works you want the committee to view. Complete art galleries exhibition
details can be found in the Application Guidelines (attached).
SUBMISSION DEADLINE: Friday, October 16, 2009 at 5:00 PM.
Additional copies of the Application Guidelines and the Request Form can
be picked up at the San Mateo Public Library, 55 West Third Avenue or
downloaded from the Library’s website: http://www.smplibrary.org/.

Friday, 28 August 2009

A Painting -Only a Close-Up

I had to get some business cards prepared since I will be going to an event. As I was working on them, I took a picture of a close-up of one of my paintings. I thought that I would share a couple of the close-ups with you guys so you can see what I’ve been up to lately. I greatly apologize that what you are about to see will be of great disappointment when compared to the other Tamale works that have been posted. I guess that’s why I should just stick to writing. Anyways…

I couldn’t get a full shot of my painting, because my studio is a little cramped right now since I’m stretching a bunch of canvases (I’m working on a series using mixed-media. Each painting is 36”X36” –yes, I'm working with squares). When I get more room in there, I’ll attempt to get standard-sized pictures of some of my completed pieces.

And now, let the criticizing begin.

A Close-Up

An Even Closer Close-Up

Happy viewing,

Leslie Ann


Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Mariah Carey Subliminal Interest in Us Tamales

It's true. Check it out at 0:31 and witness how she already pretends to be one us!

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Zeitgeist Opening Featuring Victor, Tony, and Apryl

We had a show including a couple of us tamales and it was no joke.  The work was seriously very interesting and I would go as far to say it was BETTER than most Oakland art murmur openings.  If you get a chance you should totally check it out, more details at autobodyfineart.com.  In this post: some tamales art in the show.  (By the way, Tony's new piece blew me away, very sophisticated)