East West Connect

If I Could Hide In Your Dreams. 18" x 24".  Acrylic & Colored Pencils on Panel. ©2011.
If I Could Hide In Your Dreams. 18"x24". Acrylic & Colored Pencil on Wood. ©2011.

above is my piece for the Arrested Motion-curated group show, East West Connect,
which opens this Friday, November 25th at Above Second Gallery in Hong Kong.
there are 13 artists working in the US showing in this group show.

check out the great line up on their flyer here :


Opens Nov 25, 6-10pm
31 Eastern Street
Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong

here are some detailed views of the piece (since it's kind of large-ish) :

If I Could Hide In Your Dreams. Detail 1. © 2011.

If I Could Hide In Your Dreams. Detail 2. © 2011.

If I Could Hide In Your Dreams. Detail 3. © 2011.

i'm so excited - this is my first piece to be shown in asia, and in Hong Kong, no less!!
HK being one of my old home towns and one of my favorite places in the world.
and i'm also really glad to see Arrested Motion grow and grow into one of the best art
blogs out there. thanks again, Tanley & Hung-hei!

please please go check it out this friday if you're in Hong Kong!
i wish i could be there just to see Akino Kondoh's work in person.
(and if you're not in HK, please stop by my web shop for the small originals sale!)

more info here at Above Second.
coverage here & here.

some progress shots :

Another beginning.
Working upside down... Trying to fight the tedium.
Finally done & framed! (for @arrestedmotion's Hong Kong show)

Love Conquers All : Art for Equality

Magic Mountain. 9"x12". Mixed Media on Wood. © 2010.
Magic Mountain. 9"x12". Mixed Media on Wood. © 2010.

Love Conquers All : Art for Equality
Thinkspace Gallery
Opens Saturday, August 7th, 2010 7-10 pm
6009 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 558-3375

preview the pieces here!

20% of the proceeds from the show gets donated to Equality California,
an organization that work to make equal marriage rights for all people.
luckily for all their efforts, there was a really good news this week!


the show opens tomorrow, and above is my piece for it.
it's probably a little different than my other pieces, although these days,
i'm not even positive what that means.
it's been a great summer to be cooped up experimenting, in lieu of the summer fun.
seems like i've been much more focused on faces lately.


the colors of the stripeyness came from reading about "saek dong",
a traditional korea color combination of 5 or more colors, possibly meant to keep the evils at bay.
also seen in bojagi art which i find amazing...
(i will post more about this some time).


i titled the piece above Magic Mountain, but i just wanted to clarify it has nothing to do with the six flags in california. >_<
i was listening to blonde redhead's song of the same title,
and thought of titling the piece after it...

here are the lyrics :

At magic mountain
Nobody sings today
Nobody speaks today
Close my eyes
And hope to see
Weeks go by like a day
In a lowland

I live up on magic mountain
No one leaves magic mountain

At magic mountain
Nothing changes
Everything stays the same
Cross my heart
And hope to live
All the time
With a little fever

I stay here on magic mountain
No one leaves magic…

My heart hears you sing
My heart hears you speak
But I never make it in the flatlands
I must stay on magic mountain

studio miscellany

studio today
throwing paint around. figuring some things out.
experimenting. drawing a lot.

some things...

► working on a couple group shows that's coming up fast...
Love Conquers All (anti prop 8 show) at Thinkspace Gallery next month,
and Sweet Streets 2 at Gallery Nucleus in September.

► finishing my blue sketchbook, which i only had for a little over a month.
i must've been starved for sketchbooks - will dump soon.

► always a conundrum to figure out how to transfer the raw energy
into a larger surface and turn them into a finished piece...
the reconciliation never happens well for me.

► 10% of the sales from the shop will be donated to charity.
( Gulf Restoration Network & Save the Children for now ).

► pondering a studio cleaning painting/drawing sale of some originals i have...

Mathilda : Crazy 4 Cult Group Show

Mathilda. 6&quot;x12&quot;. Mixed Media on Wood. © 2010.
Mathilda. 6"x12". Mixed Media on Wood. © 2010. Stella Im Hultberg.

Crazy 4 Cult show opened in LA at Gallery 1988 this past Friday,
and above is my contribution for the film-themed show - as i've mentioned before,
it's Mathilda (Natalie Portman) from The Professional (1994).
(here's my last contribution to the show -Marla from Fight Club in 2007).

the show runs till July 30th, 2010, so please check it out if you're near.
otherwise you can view (& purchase if you'd like) all the pieces HERE online.
(mine here).

here's a framed view :

and some earlier stages :

i've always been inspired by the character (i made a painting based on her back in 2006).
the face changed the most as i harshened and softened the expression
back and forth... i debated whether or not to make it more of an accurate
portraiture and decided against it and to go with the feel for her instead.

it was hard to capture a young girl with a bruised innocence that still
held on to her vulnerability as a child.
i got a little tighter at the end than i'd liked but that is okay.
i learn with each painting.

Equinox : Process Animation

Equinox : process gif

a process animation finally got around to making for this 12x12 piece
for the Next Generation group show opening in London this friday!

The Next Generation (curated by Thinkspace Gallery)
Opening June 11th, 2010
London Miles Gallery
242 Acklam Road
W10 5JJ. London. U.K.


painting a diptych was an interesting process for me.
and it occurred to me midway to reverse the face image, though i painted it
the "right" way the whole time through.
i guess whoever ends up with the piece can switch it back and forth!
like lego of paintings.

i went through some experimentation & detours of different formats of diptychs,
until i just went with the result above.
next time i'll definitely try some asymmetrical diptych/triptych for sure!


and now this is what i've been doing lately between paintings :

sketchbook ménage-à-trois & drawathon.
except it's more like painting between these sketch sessions.
boy do i know how to party!

12x12 Group Show at London Miles Gallery

this friday is the opening of The Next Generation group show,
curated by Thinkspace Gallery, at London Miles Gallery, in London, UK.

The Next Generation (curated by Thinkspace Gallery)
Opening June 11th, 2010
London Miles Gallery
242 Acklam Road
W10 5JJ. London. U.K.

artists were asked to create pieces that were 12"x12",
and because i'm a big wuss for a square format, i just cut it in half.
so here's a diptych piece i sent in for it :

Equinox. 12"x12". Mixed Media on 2 Panels. © 2010.

and the framed view (panels are floated inside the frame) :

this is the alternate view of the rearranged diptych.
actually the way i originally painted it :

Equinox. the alternate view

+ online preview of all the pieces here.
+ and exhibition catalog in which i'm included here.
(other two here & here)
+ also a mini interview (that i answered in a rush, you can tell) here as well!

+ see the animation of the painting process/stages here!


i'm all for efficiency in life, but i definitely am not an efficient artist.
i take all sorts of detours, because i never have a clear plan in mind.
sometimes things come naturally so the detour is very short (or none, if i'm super lucky).
but most times, especially when dealing with more abstract patterns,
as i've been drawn to do lately, it takes forever and ever.
(e.g, see the last image/animation here).

above is a 12"x12" diptych piece i'd sent off a couple weeks ago for this show
at London Miles Gallery, curated by Thinkspace Gallery.
even till the end, i wasn't sure what the position of each panel would be.
i ended up opting for the second image.

below are some other even further detours i'd taken.
it's my first time dealing with a diptych piece, which i chose to do,
because i'm not very comfortable with a square format.
these didn't really work out well for me, but i'd like to give it another try some time :

even with occasional frustration, i actually do enjoy detours.
i like not knowing exactly what my end product will look like.
for me, it's more about the journey of the piece rather than the end product
that i enjoy so much about painting, that i really try to ride the waves
as they come...
most of the time, i don't have the luxury of mulling over stages due to time constraints.
this year really turned out to be perfect for these long detours.

+ sorry about the belated opening of my shop! some prints are not quite ready yet
at my printer's... but hopefully it'll be running by early june!
and yes, there will be framed options. :)

Alter Ego for Thinkspace Opening

Alter Ego. 20"x24". Mixed Media on Canvas. © 2010.

click image to view larger

my new piece for the Vision group show (alongside Anthony Pontius Solo and Hunter & Gather group show),
opening this friday, April 9th, at Thinkspace Gallery's new location in Culver City.

New Opening, April 9th.
Opening Reception 7-10pm
Thinkspace Gallery
6009 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
(310) 558-3375

please contact the gallery for more information, or browse the preview
of the Vision group show,here.

(also check out their main solo exhibit preview by Anthony Pontius
as well as Hunter Gather Group show preview!)


here are a couple detail images of the piece.

Alter Ego, Detail. (Left)
Alter Ego, Detail. (Upper Right)

this painting took so much detour (i'm not an efficient painter)
and took me on many versions of adventures, i should say.

here are about 28 stages of incarnation during the process :

AlterEgo, the process.

just like these sculpture jibibut pieces i worked on side by side,
i was in an unknown territory, somewhat.
painting is more familiar to me, but i was experimenting with abstraction,
so it took so many turns... some i'm sad that i didn't stay there.

i'll know better next time!

Sneak Peek for the new Thinkspace Gallery.

this weekend is the grand opening (with 3 exhibits!) of Thinkspace Gallery
at their new location in Culver City.
Congratulations, guys!!

i will have a new painting in their group show, Vision, alongside
Anthony Pontius solo show and Hung & Gather group show.

here's a little peek of the piece :

i'm a bit nervous because it's kind of a different painting and this one started sort of
as an experiment (not really intended to show). i've been meaning for to juxtapose
figurative elements with abstract/expressionistic qualities.
i often end up over-refining (to my standards that is), and rue that i didn't leave them all rawer.
still got a lot of work to do to get where i want, but this is a start for me...
full piece with process pictures to come soon!

+ here's a new great interview with the co-owners of Thinkspace Gallery.

dirty faces

(click to view larger)

progress shot of an unfinished experiment based on a dream about painting a large face a while back.
black and white like the above but with more color layers of abstract patterns later on. i'll see how it goes...

although i've always been generally obsessed with faces and hands out of all body parts,
the obsession has gotten much more intensified and focused as of late.
something about the faces that try to hide and lie (or maybe not),
and the hands and the eyes that betray the face that's trying hard not to reveal
what's really beyond the surface.
hands, if not the eyes first, almost always seem to tell the truth.

i have some more ideas for sculpture than painting for this somehow,
so i'll be exploring that for a while.
my first real sculpted pieces will be updated soon!

Snaky Snaky...

Ouroboros. 7"x11.5". Ink, Acrylic & Pastel on Paper. © 2010.
Ouroboros. 7"x11.5". Ink, Acrylic & Pastel on Paper. ©2010.

above is a piece i have in the group show opening tomorrow!!

New Moon : Interpretations of the Chinese Zodiac 2010
Opening Reception: Friday Feb 5th 2010 6 - 9pm

Exhibition runs through Mar 6th 2010

for press inquiries please contact

to sign up for our preview list contact

each artist chose a chinese zodiac symbol, and did an interpretation of it.
i chose the snake ('41'53 '65 '77, '89' 01' so on).

you can read more about each artist's choice in this mini interview on their site.
please come by and say hello if you're in the area!


some behind-story of the piece...
i normally don't really explain my work, but somehow, this year,
something shifted within me, and i kind of want to create with a little more lucidity & direction in mind...
whether i or my work will across as lucid, i'm not quite sure, we'll see.

i watched the film Thirst while drawing in my sketchbook, which got me thinking
about the concepts of the whole creation myth, adam & eve, existence of being neither here nor there, dark vs light, etc...
which lead me to re-read the 2nd chapter in joseph cambell(my hero)'s
The Power of Myth, (strongly recommended) and ouroboros came to mind,
something i've always been fascinated with the concept of.
so much great symbolism contained within!!

either way, i had a great fun with this small piece,
because i did in the kind of way i want my work to grow toward.
a lot more raw looseness, and some tight details, & a little less prettiness.
just like the way the world seems to me.

anyway, enough rambles from me - if you find yourself tomorrow evening
in the lower east side in NYC, please drop by and say hello!


+ thanks so much for all the kind & amazing responses to my sketchbook pages!
i will post them more often this year - i'm also thinking of selling some sketches
some day when i have a studio sale on my shop site...
prints are coming soon too!

+ also, i have a facebook page now.
a little while ago i realized someone else had created it,
and just recently got the admin rights from them,
so i can post on it & have at least some kind of control over how my work is represented... (though it's just a facebook page.)
please join the page or you can probably read the same stuff here & on my twitter.

Multi-plane group shot at Corey Helford Gallery

a special group show of 50 artists who painted on layers of glass sheets and a wood panel, opens this saturday, december 12th, at corey helford gallery in culver city, ca (los angeles).

The Multi-Plane Group Show
Opening December 12th, 7-10PM
(on the main floor till 12/17, in the loft til 1/9)
Corey Helford Gallery
8522 Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232
310. 287. 2340
please inquire with the gallery for more info.
you can see some initial ingredients given by the gallery to each artist
and some pieces submitted by participating artists over here on

here's a glimpse of my piece :

i'll post a better image when i get one from the gallery...
among many challenges of painting on glass was photographing it.

this is a photo of miniatures i made out of acetate i had laying around
as studies before even attempting messing with glass pieces :

it was still a fun piece to work on so many physical layers,
and i am sure the show will be full of interesting things to see.
i'm bummed i'm not there to see them all in person.

but i'm definitely excited for audrey's debut solo in NYC opening this weekend!
it's gonna be an amazing show - you can see glimpses here and here.

Penumbra : Works on Paper. Solo show, Copro Gallery.

{ Paintings }
Broken(Secrets). 18"x25". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009
Broken (Secrets). 18"x25". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

Unwillingly Mine. 10"x17". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009.
Unwillingly Mine. 10"x17". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

All in A Whisper. 10"x17". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009.
All in A Whisper. 10"x17". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

Restless Silence. 12"x17.5". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009.
Restless Silence. 12"x17". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

{ Tea-stained Drawings }

Reminiscence. 6"x9". Mixed Media (Graphite, Ink, Watercolor & Acrylic) on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009
Reminiscence. 6"x9". Mixed Media on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

Chie. 6"x8". Mixed Media (Graphite, Watercolor & Acrylic) on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009.
Chie. 6"x8". Mixed Media on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

Selene. 6"x8". Mixed Media (Graphite, Watercolor & Acrylic) on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009.
Selene. 6"x8". Mixed Media on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

Chandra. 6"x8". Mixed Media (Graphite, Watercolor & Acrylic) on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009.
Chandra. 6"x8". Mixed Media on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

Ina. 6"x8". Mixed Media (Graphite, Watercolor & Acrylic) on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009.
Ina. 6"x8". Mixed Media on Tea-stained Paper. ©2009. Stella Im Hultberg.

all works are on the gallery website.
please contact the gallery for availability and other info.

also amy's and nicoletta's amazing shows i was lucky to share the gallery with.

+ the prints from the show that i've mentioned here are now sold out - thank you!

below are some photos from the show.
most of them, except the top two are from amy and arrested motion :

bryan, audrey & leah at dinner.

amy & me.

more photos of the opening here, here and also over here on amy's blog.

the food version of my trip is here and here.

i didn't get to take many photos, the whole trip was 3 days and too short.
it was so nice to see our sweet friends though!!
thank you so much, sandamal, dana,audrey, bryan, amy, dylan, leah, matt,
danny, lauren, monica (nice meeting you finally souther!),
& the arrested motion gang again for making our trip so great again.
thanks so much to all the people that came out on the opening night
and for all the kindness!!

Solo Show this weekend : Penumbra

3 Solo Shows : Amy Sol, Stella Im Hultberg & Nicoletta Ceccoli

i have an upcoming (mini) solo show opening this weekend at Copro Gallery in Santa Monica, CA,
alongside two amazing artists - amy sol & nicoletta ceccoli!

Amy Sol "Wilderness Buffet"/ Stella Im Hultberg "Penumbra" / Nicoletta Ceccoli "Babes in Toyland"
Opening November 7th, 8-11:30PM
Copro Gallery
2525 Michigan Avenue T5 (Bergamot Station)
Santa Monica, CA 90404
(310) 829-2156

please contact the gallery for previews, inquiries, and purchases.

all pieces in the show are on paper this time.
oil & acrylic paintings on paper, and some tea-stained drawings as well.

i have shown numerous times with amy until last year,
so i'm glad to have another show with her this year.
i think we have solos paired up next year as well!

here's a piece i have in the flyer above :
All In A Whisper. 10"x17". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. © 2009.
All in a Whisper. 10"x17". Oil & Acrylic on Paper. ©2009.

here's my animated gif of the process (most of which was documented on my twitter).
alas, i always feel like i like somewhere in the earlier part of the process the most than the finished.
(my very first animated gif - tada!)


on a side note...

this was definitely the toughest show so far to prepare for.
not because of the show itself or anything else but just the circumstances leading up to finalizing it...
a couple tragic things that have happened
in the recent months have kind of derailed my mental state from calmly
conducting my usual business of painting for an upcoming show.

for the first time in my life, i was nearly late for the show...
i didn't find it easy to try and get my shit together and paint
when all i wanted to do was either be with the family
and/or just cry all day and stare at a wall.

the paintings definitely made a darker turn in the process than initially planned.
nor was i able to include as many as i had planned either.
i hope it's still somewhat enjoyable...

i'm glad i somehow did pull it through, but in some ways,
i feel a little heartless for it.

painting in progress

painting in progress...
for my next show at copro gallery in november.

+ sorry i've been quiet around here.
it's been a difficult week - my dear brother-in-law passed away in a motorcycle accident...
between my bike accident last month and now this, it's been a very slow progress preparing for this show.

+ more updates are on my twitter.