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Belle Yang: Words and Images

Belle Yang

Visual artist and Red Room author Belle Yang blends her talents, wit, and sensitivity by posting blog entries that combine words and images she creates in her Carmel, California, studio. From personal stories of her childhood journey from Taiwan to Japan to California, to insights for would-be graphic novelists demonstrating her process, Belle exemplifies perfectly through her blog, videos, and image galleries (and even her comments on other Author Pages) the opportunities Red Room offers for multimedia expression.

What follows is a retrospective of the some of the memorable content Belle has shared with Red Room. (Original homepage content by other Red Room authors and members can be seen here.)



A Dash of M.S.G. (Macho Sino Girl), January 8, 2008

"When I lived in Beijing in the bad ol' 80's, a bunch of us Chinese-American women expats called ourselves ... "

Tiananmen cartoon



Eureka! I've Been Discovered by the Graphic Novel!, January 11, 2008 (right)

"My adult books contain images I've painted, but the pictures suffer because they are submerged in the sea of words ... "


Love and Be Silent

Dear Mr. Shakespeare, January 17, 2008

"Last night, I finished reading every last iambic meter of your plays, sonnets and longer poems. The Phoenix and Turtle was the perfect song ... "


Famine and the Chinese New Year



Famine and the Chinese New Year, February 2, 2008

"Last Wednesday was the twenty-third day of the Twelfth Moon and for the Chinese, the beginning of New Year celebrations ... "


A boy and his crustacean


Doodles, February 3, 2008

"Jessica Inclán, fellow redroom.com author, bakes muffins when not writing. I paint or doodle ... "


Dr. King


I've Shaken the Hand That Has Shaken the Hand of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., February 6, 2008

I was inspired to paint this piece ... because of a story my friend and art patron, George Ow, Jr., wrote for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. ...


Spring Fever


Spring Fever, February 13, 2008

"These are the days when my fingers itch to pick up a black Sharpie and make squiggles, stipples, hatches, dots and dashes on a blank page ... "


Kids playing


My Rite of Passage, February 6, 2008

"I need to sleep but images of the children I met this morning haunt me ... "




Baba sketching


An Entire Birthday Month, March 5, 2008

"Not a cloud. A lone dog I thought was a log, awaits his boy with the boogie board. Crows' and seagulls' cries scratch the air. A father scolds his toddler. Heat of the sun-toasted bench seeps up and loosens my back while I let my Sharpie roam the page."


Belle Self-Portrait


#1 Graphic Novel in Progress: Notes from Alane Salierno Mason, March 11, 2008

"I was like a kid looking forward to Christmas presents as I waited for my editor ... "

Belle draws 1st panel

#2 Graphic Novel in Progress: A Good Day, March 13, 2008

"It is probably 2 A.M. and I am at work on my graphic novel ... "


Belle in progress


#3 Graphic Novel in Progress: Stitching, March 18, 2008

"My father has been telling me stories about old China for nearly two decades. It took me eleven years to write my third nonfiction manuscript, and now ... "

Chinatown Uncles



Chinatown Uncles, March 27, 2008

"Switching from my computer to my painting table helps to keep my attitude about writing fresh. I have to relearn how to write once I return to the keyboard. The same for my painting ... "


Turtle spits out Foo

Gasp!, April 5, 2008

"We had not seen one another in nearly thirty years, not since we frisbee'd our red mortar boards into the wind and scooted off like newly-hatched sea turtles, scrambling for the Pacific Ocean."





Guilt Manifesto, April 24, 2008 (right)

"I no longer look for thrills of the heart in books but desire facts I can use to puzzle together a vision of the world. I want clarity."





Amos Oz and Lies, May 15, 2008 (left)

"This entry was not to say that Belle Yang does not lie. Of course I do. But I try to minimalize lies ... "


Belle with A


Drop Drop Dropping Out, June 8, 2008

"Beginning from sixth grade and ending in twelfth grade, I would not allow myself anything less than an A. My classmates may be surprised to learn that I was competing with myself ... "




#4 Graphic Novel in Progress: Flying Out the Window, June 10, 2008

"In this panel, I directed the dialog bubble to the man in the window, one of my great uncles, in conversation with my grandfather on how to make peace with the patriarch ... "


Baba haircut

Baba's Day is Sunday, June 14, 2008

"With each segment of the journey, he would set me on his shoulders and step into a spreading landscape that in the foreground was composed of intimate, human scenes ... "

Dogs with ball


What I Love to Chase, June 19, 2008

"I don’t love running for running sake, but I find it irresistible to chase a black and white ball, dodging the defense or stealing from the attacker and scurrying in the opposite direction ..."


Fortune cookie

A Cookie for Katherine McWilliams, June 25, 2008

"China imported the fortune cookie
from America in nineteen ninety-two.
Who knew!"


Lotus in Rain


Red Room Discussion: What is Poetry?, July 16, 2008

"I am a painter and I can best use the language of art to compare and discuss poetry. I am NOT a fan of Abstract art (or Realism). The perfect place for me is Expressionism. In Expressionism, you have the powerful play of imagination and reality. For me, Expressionism equals poetry."



Nightmare and Poetry, July 19, 2008

"In the dreams, I am always angry at myself: why the hell have I returned to the L.A. house I shared with a violent boyfriend? I rush to gather my things, and think only to get away ..."



Jeffers fence



This Morning With Robinson Jeffers, July 27, 2008

I want to share my morning sketch at poet Robinson Jeffers' Tor House, which he built for his beloved Una out of local rocks hauled up from the beach.




Ching Chong Chinaman




Steinbeck: Ching Chong Chinaman, August 6, 2008

"'The old man stopped and turned. Andy stopped. The deep—brown eyes looked at Andy and the thin, corded lips moved. What happen then Andy was never able either to explain or to forget. For the eyes spread out until there was no Chinaman.'"

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I am blow away by this retrospective, Belle. I simply cannot process the idea that one single person could have that much talent within her. Seriously. When seeing your individual blog entries, I wasn't exactly sure what is was that you did. Boy, do I now. The fact that you can depict your wise thoughts and warm heart both with images and words leaves you in a league all your own. The fact that you take so much time to be generous with your feedback with the rest of us -- when you clearly have an abundance of ideas to translate into works of art -- speaks volumes about your character. I declare you the official treasure of the Redroom! Again, wow!

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Thanks, Shana.  When I saw this, I had to make sure I still had feeling in my body--that I was not dead.  Only the deceased get retrospectives.  And so over the moon happy to have my 8 months of participation shown this way.

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Congratulations Belle


You really deserve this as someone who has contributed so much to Red Room.

Thomas Dotson, redroom.com

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Belle Yang's Art Missing from her Blogs

comcast.net server which hosts her images of her paintings is down.  8/14/08

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Doffing my hat ...

... in respect for the talented, and charming, and kind Belle Yang.

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Wowza Belle

Your work is exquisite, your voice authentic.  What is poetry?  You.

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this is a lovely catalogue. Now I can go back and see what I missed.

Cheryl Snell www.shivasarms.blogspot.com

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Living the poem

What a wonderful collection, Belle. Such clarity and originality, a unique composite of striking influences. Your rain-ripples on the lotus pond are so wet I can feel it. How can you think for a moment that you're not a poet? Sorrow is the spur of creativity and 'forgetting' it, in the sense of re-channelling its energies and looking to the future, is truly living. It's why we're here, I suspect, to strive to turn the dross into gold. Your life is gradually becoming a well-crafted masterpiece. Thanks for sharing so much with us.

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Thomas, Cheryl, Rosie, Susan, Daniel

Thank you so much for your kind words :)

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My computer screen is so

My computer screen is so small and I am clearly in such a hurry, that I missed this!  How could I have not seen your hat?

Anyway, all along, I've loved, loved, loved seeing your work posted along with your words.  To have it all here at once just turns me into a fangirl.  So that's it:  I'm a Belle Yaw-ng fangirl.


Jessica Barksdale Inclan www.jessicabarksdaleinclan.com