27 December 2011

final painting - fall 2011

my final painting after these ones. i showed all three at my final critique with Jinny Yu.
'tarpaulin cliffs'
42"x42" oil on canvas

i also made some alterations to this one since my last post
'chicken oasis'
42"x42" oil on canvas

15 December 2011

a thing

a scene overheard while recovering from tooth surgery

28 November 2011

good critique

42"x42" oil on canvas (WIP)

48"x48" oil on canvas (WIP)

the critique for these was generally positive. i felt slightly 'high' after. the terms 'hilarious', 'unapologetic' and 'mildly psychedelic' were used. i gave a convoluted statement about several 'over-arching themes' which might have been my content/concept. this probably sounded 'insane' to everyone present. my prof told me that it needed to be 'closer to me' and less about trying to tackle grand, general themes.

22 November 2011

November studio update

still working on 'why' i paint what i paint re my last critique. i postponed starting this second one for a long time due to that problem.

seems like 'theoreticism.' a term from a reading my prof (jinny yu) gave my class called 'Resisting Blackmail' by Yve-Alain Bois. the obligation to be theoretical, to the point where it becomes almost more important than practice. in the reading he references Roland Barthes, saying that "one does not 'apply' a theory; that concepts must be forged from the objects of one's inquiry or imported according to that object's specific exigency; and that the main theoretical act is to define this object, not the other way around." (Bois, Yve-Alain. Painting as Model. MIT Press, 1990. pg xii)

09 November 2011

Couch Canopy

The Fashion Press magazine featured one of my paintings, titled 'Couch Canopy' in their third issue.

copies can be purchased or downloaded here.

17 October 2011


Oil on Canvas

i feel good about this one. someone in my class said that the figures looked alienated or detached from the landscape. I like that idea i think. I tried to merge abstraction and representation into the same space, to create something new or break down their binary nature and cause a conflation between the two. i'm not sure if i was successful, but i like that the outcome reflects that missed connection.

also, i have a tumblr now http://sarahtuefee.tumblr.com/

13 October 2011

A Dog Barks Three Times

Lying awake on his bed in the dark, Dan listens to the noises coming in through his half opened window. They are subdued, suburban noises that carry with them an anxious resonance. He hears, muffled in the distance, a rapid and irregular hammering. A man frustrated with his shoddy roof, kills his wife with a hammer. Rapid, irregular trauma to the head, the autopsy would read. Dan smiles at this thought and continues to vaguely concentrate on the murderous tempo. A bird calls, a different kind of bird answers, and a dog barks three times. He hears wind move the overgrown bush that covers his second story window, moments later, he feels it, warm and muggy, smelling of day old grass clippings. There are loud teenagers next door who have made their way outside to the patio. They are yelping and laughing too often and at nothing, in a way that that seems to be unsure of what else to do. They list off the fags and sluts in their class and the faggy and slutty things they do. Dan does not look, but imagines them as the kids from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, minus Charlie; Charlie is a fag. Dan turns over slightly and stares at the sliver of light at the edge of his heavy, closed curtain. It gets slightly bigger as the grassy draft moves it, breathing a kind of stale life into the room before noticing Dan and hastily retreating, almost sucking the curtain out with it. Dan listens to his sister downstairs walk to the computer room, then to the kitchen, then to the living room, then up the stairs. He sees the shadow of her feet move past the crack under his door. He hears her go into their parents empty room and stay there, quietly. He wonders if she walks into his room and stays there quietly when he's not home. He hears her turn on their parent's TV. It's a daytime talkshow, the audience is laughing.

10 October 2011


Pilgrimage (WIP?)
Oil on Canvas


05 October 2011


haven't drawn in a while.
drew a figure from an old issue of nylon.
think it's probably mary kate olson.

01 October 2011

03 September 2011


...is a messed up film.

A study of the Eraserhead baby in colour.

My scanner washed out the reds a lot and I'm too lazy to colour correct, so I took a picture with my macbook for a more accurate colour reference.

31 August 2011

cup (excerpt from my autobiography)

I have a plastic cup that I always use that has small cracks in the bottom that let out small amounts of water.

There are three hairline cracks radiating from the center.

One crack cuts through the e in 'made in china'.

At first it let out one or two drops an hour. Lately it has been dripping more.

I drink things faster now.

It seems like it lets out too much water to be used as a cup anymore, but I don't want to stop using it.

It has sentimental value or something. I am comfortable with it.

It seems like it would be more 'worth it' to just keep the cup with its overt flaws, than to throw it away and find another one that matches or exceeds its meaning and level of familiarity in my life.

Some days I wish it would just completely break in half, dramatically as I'm drinking from it, forcing me to move on and stop using it.

So that I'm not the bad guy.

26 August 2011

final summer studio update

Here are the nearly finished, small fort pieces. I ran out of time in the studio so I'll have to wait until school starts to finish them.

4'x5' Oil on Canvas (also not finished)

Detail of above

..I'll take better pictures later.

17 August 2011

Re-watching "Fear (1996)" 15 years later

Warning: There are many 'spoilers' in this 'review'. I you haven't seen Fear. I suggest watching it before reading this, especially if you are a 7 year old. If you have seen Fear, I suggest re-watching it as you read this as a kind of live commentary.

I remember watching Fear when I was around 6 or 7 years old. I have fragmented but distinct memories of watching it in my living room with my family on our old 20 inch TV. We were either watching it on TV or we had picked it out from Blockbuster, but my brother kept mentioning how it was new. He would have been about 13 or 14 at the time. My parents were always pretty good about letting us watch R rated films as small children. This was probably due to my dad's open animosity towards "childish cartoons", and so I ended up watching movies like Fear and Con Air before I could read (I only learned to read in grade 2, my parents were worried).

08 August 2011

Fort Paintings (WIP)

Here are two more work in progress 'fort' paintings to go with the one in previous post. They are hopefully going to go in a group show I will be doing in the fall.

04 August 2011

Big Painting Work in Progress

Starting a big painting with a week left of summer studio...

I'm posing like a presenter on a game show. It seemed cute at the time.

delayed studio post

I haven't posted in about two weeks. I feel bad about this even though probably no one cares except me and maybe two other people.

I drank coffee out of a novelty sized 'Asterix et Obelix' mug. It holds about three times a normal mug.

I felt 'insane' and tired after drinking it.

There is about a week left of summer studio time before fourth year starts.

I feel like I only just started to take it 'seriously'.

I feel worried often about the inconsistencies between my desire to be productive and my lack of self motivation.

I think I like people more who work really hard and make stuff, and I want to be more like that so people will like me.

I feel like my life up until now has been extremely static and will change drastically in the next year. I imagine it as a squirrel staying very still and alert, pretending not to see me approaching, holding my hand out like I have food for it even though I clearly do not. It observes me warily, shivers slightly, flinches, then bolts up a tree.

I feel like I have had too much caffeine today.

17 July 2011

Profound Elephant

i had a dream about an elephant once

the elephant swayed from side to side and rotated in place slowly

it seemed content

i thought, "that elephant is profound"

right now i feel shitty

i have lost the will to do anything

i feel like a zombie sitting at its computer looking at pictures of people it wishes it talked to more in high school

i was at a science fair

my science project seemed misguided and poorly constructed

i was nervous about this, i felt like this was not my fault

outside i saw an elephant with a big, red "15" on it's side

it moved without purpose

i was mesmerized by its movement

i lay on my bed with wide open eyes trying to think of something good

i cannot form a thought

i need to snap out of it/ not be like this

when I snapped out of it, my project was broken

it had fallen over due to its own poor construction

i pointed at it and said "it's looking for a better life"

my teacher gave me a D+

i need to get ready for a thing with friends soon

i don't feel like seeing people right now or moving or putting pants on

but i also don't want to let people down or make them feel like i don't want to see them or make them worry that i'm not ok

so i'll go

i looked outside again

the elephant was lying on the ground

the kids from my class were kicking it

it seemed content

12 July 2011

Floor Snacks

The child picked something off the floor and put it in her mouth.

I felt nervous about this, but not enough to say anything.

A lady waiting in line said "Your kid is eating stuff off the floor!" to another lady who replied, "That's not my kid!"

A tired looking woman came in through the store entrance and scolded the little girl and dragged her off.

The little girl had a fit and didn't spit out whatever was in her mouth.

An elderly black woman with gray hair, which had been poorly dyed red in some areas, gave me a knowing look and spoke to me as if I were her childhood friend.

"They don't listen to their parents like we did, do they? When we were their age we had to listen or we got smacked."

She smiled and nudged me with her elbow and laughed in a way that suggested I had grown up in the same era and shared her same fond experiences of corporal punishment.

I smiled back and paid for my coke zero.

06 July 2011

Things are happening

Woke up in my bed.

Thought about painting eight paintings in eight hours.

Thought about writing a novel.

Thought about writing and directing a short film.

Thought seriously about just not getting up.

Got up, ate cereal, took my time.

Watched one and a half episodes of Arrested Development.

Thought about Micheal Cera.

Checked the weather. 29 degrees, feels like 36.

Thought about not wanting to get dressed or go outside.

Finished watching the second episode of Arrested Development.

Got dressed.

Talked on the phone with my friend about our plans for tomorrow.

Read an email from the girl who runs The Fashion Press about featuring my art on her blog.

Went to studio.

Felt better.

30 June 2011

Let's bring back the nametag.

We go to a house party that turns out to be 4 people sitting at a table. Awkward introductions are made in which the one common friend introduces me and my friend to the people already there. I forget everyone's names almost immediately after hearing them. A blond guy starts to talk to me. I feel relieved that I'm not standing there not doing anything anymore.

"So you're in art school? What do you do, paint?"


"What do you paint?"

I don't answer for a noticeable amount of seconds and then I say, "I don't know, anything". He looks uncomfortable and amused.

"So you're going to be an art teacher or something?"

"Not necessarily, but maybe I guess."

"So you're going to be a professional artist?"

"I guess, maybe." He doesn't look amused anymore. I feel bad, like I'm being difficult, like I should try harder to converse normally even if it means saying things I don't really mean. I feel like I should just start making up disingenuous answers that are satisfying and exciting in order to entertain the blond guy, and keep him comfortable with talking to me. But the conversation has already ended somehow and he is off somewhere, presumably in the kitchen getting another drink.

I go back over to my friend who is standing there not doing anything. I tell her I think I failed that conversation and she tells me that she heard the whole thing and that yeah I did. There is loud laughter coming from the table where everyone is. There are a few more people now who have pulled up chairs from other rooms and are starting a card game. I move slightly closer to the table and a girl with big earrings gives me an evil look for no reason. I think, "Fuck that" and "I'm scared" and quickly move away to another room.

In the other room there is a bed with coats and bags on it. I stare at it for a while trying to match them to the people I've seen. I decide the blue-gray military style jacket belongs to blond guy and the big sliver bag belongs to earrings girl. I think about blond guy wearing the jacket outside and looking cold because it is snowing and the jacket is not warm enough. I think, "He'll freeze in that. I should buy him a sweater". I imagine myself going out that night and buying him a sweater and coming back and giving it to him. I spend enough time doing this that I finish my drink. I then notice there is someone in the room on the computer to my immediate left. I say "Oh, Sorry" and quickly leave. He says something like "What? It's Ok" but I don't hear it fully.

I see my friend in the hall; she says she's bored and that she has to work tomorrow so she's leaving soon. I say, "Ok" and walk towards the kitchen to get another drink. Blond guy is there talking to a guy that has a beard. The beard really suits his face. Blond guy notices me and introduces me to beard man. I don't register his name because I'm too busy thinking of something interesting to say to redeem myself for our first conversation. I say "hi!.." in a weird, high-pitched valley girl tone. They continue talking, as I mix myself a strong vodka and coke, mostly to each other but with body orientations that imply I am also vaguely included. Blond guy smiles at me every so often and I feel comforted. Beard man looks sad but interested in what blond guy is saying. He rarely looks at me and never smiles. A few more people join the kitchen group. They start talking about school and professors. They are all in the same program and I have no idea what they are talking about. I have nothing to add to this conversation and I don't really know anyone there. I start to feel as though everyone there is as aware of this as I am. I finish my drink quickly but the feeling doesn't go away.

I leave the kitchen and see that earrings girl and two of her friends are getting ready to leave. They announce loudly that they are going to meet some other people at a bar. I see her leave with the big silver bag that I had guessed was her's. I feel good about being right about this. A lot of people decide to go with them and the place is nearly emptied in five minutes. I look for blond guy and I don't find him. I look for my friend and find her chatting with the computer kid in the coatroom. She grabs our stuff and tells me we're leaving. She is in a rush for some reason. We start walking to the bus stop with two beers we stole from the fridge 'for the road'. I think about blond guy as I drink and walk.

"He'll freeze!" I think aloud by accident.



We walk for a few minutes and I half listen to her complain about how she has to work tomorrow. As we near the bus stop we see two figures way down the adjacent street, walking toward the student residences. It's blond guy and beard man. Beard man splits off in another direction and blond guy turns sideways a little to wave goodbye to him. He is wearing a warm looking black parka with a fuzzy hood.

28 June 2011

Paintings and a story I thought of while hungover in an uncomfortably warm room.

Party Story

As Lana sat in the room, she somewhat consciously rated the people in the conversation out of 10, based on her perception of their level of intellectualism. 9, who unintentionally made her feel extremely inferior, was listening intently to 3's story about his problems with his landlord. The two 4's both had good hair and shared a private joke. They tried to suppress their laughter unsuccessfully and they knocked heads, in a slapstick fashion, messing up their hair in a way that made them look better. Lana felt mildly jealous of the exclusivity of their joke, which quickly switched to a feeling of paranoia that the joke was about her. She went back to rating people to distract herself from this unnerving thought. There were two people sitting slightly off to the side of the main group, a guy and a girl. They were not a couple. The guy was a 6 and the girl seemed like a 7 or 8, though Lana did not know her too well. 6 seemed to be entirely uninterested in the other people there, but managed a slight smile or nod when spoken to by 7 or 8. He would probably have rated himself higher if he had done this himself. After doing this for an unknown amount of time, Lana realized she was being addressed by 3. Something about her opinion on the landlord situation. 9 was also awaiting her response intently. Not wanting to appear dumb in front of 9, she tried, slightly panicked, to think of something insightful to say that would not reveal the fact that she was not listening. To her relief, a noise near the front door distracted everyone including 9. Two people whom Lana had never seen before walked in and greeted the host, who was a 7.5 and whom Lana quite liked. She assigned them both 5's as placeholders. As she ran out of people to rate and started thinking of what to rate herself, she realized she was being an asshole. Even though no one knew what she was doing, she was still being an asshole; a secret asshole. 7.5 approached Lana with the two tentative 5's and introduced Lana as "kind of quiet". Lana wanted to yell "I'm an asshole!" and storm out, but instead she said "yeah.." and meekly waved at them.

Just thought I'd try writing something.
-sarah xoxo

09 June 2011

Summer Studio!

I've rented the school's shared studio space for the summer and I've gotten off to a slow start. Mainly because I was lazy in May and barely came in at all. But I'm finally starting to get going and I have 3 small studies on the go.

This summer I need to get work done for two shows that i will hopefully be participating in next school year in the student gallery. That, and I need to work out what direction I will be going in for the grad show next year... my style has been a little scattered lately.

So basically I have a lot to do and very little self discipline to do it. Wish me luck.

sarah xoxo

02 June 2011

Video Feature at Centre A!

My "Of Hybrids and Horror" video is being shown along side Howie Tsui's "Celestials of Saltwater City" exhibit at Centre A in Vancouver! They've also featured it on their blog!


sarah xoxo

20 April 2011

Of Hybrids & Horror: Interview with Howie Tsui

This is my final project from the "Video1" course I took this semester as part of my Film Studies minor. It was a great experience working on it, endless hours of editing and re-shoots included :P, and it was especially awesome getting to meet Howie Tsui, an artist that I really admire.

Of Hybrids & Horror: Interview with Howie Tsui from Sarah Tue-Fee on Vimeo.

sarah xoxo

18 April 2011

3rd Year Painting Final: Damsels in Ambivalence

So I'm at the end of my third year (only one year to go! I'm freaking out a little!) and I have a bunch of stuff to post in the next few weeks, including some stuff from last semester that I never got around to posting..

I chose the title "Damsels in Ambivalence" partially because I had to name the files on my computer in order to easily find them in the future, and partially because I am somewhat ambivalent towards these paintings at the moment. I like the way they turned out formally (I've been experimenting with Liquin and Galkyd mediums and i loooove them!) but I have mixed feelings about how I treated the subject matter. I was aiming for something that looked almost tacky in its overly saturated ornamentation and patterning; a kind of self-orientalist spectacle. But my class critique left me with the feeling that they don't read that way without knowing the context of my intent. I want my paintings to speak for themselves, but I think these ones are sending mixed messages.

I guess my main concern for next year is dealing with figurative content in my paintings, whether it's being less illustrative, using less loaded symbols, or just less figuration overall..

Sarah Tue-Fee
"Damsels in Ambivalence"
Three 19"x36" panels, oil on canvas, 2011

1st panel detail

also 1st panel detail

sarah xoxo

28 January 2011

In the mood

Here's my first project from this semester's painting class "Narrative and Series" with Martin Golland. We were to emulate another artist's style and study their technique to further our own. I chose contemporary Romanian painter Adrian Ghenie.

It's rather small due to a crazy one week deadline..

Mood for Love, 18"x 24", Oil on Canvas, 2011

sarah xoxo