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Monday, January 16, 2017

Keep It Simple

"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing." -- Marc Chargall.  
Idealism though, my favourite quote. In my eyes, some works are technically not so sophisticated, but they well talk to viewers and will remain in our heart. Take examples of the paintings created by young children and people with disability. Some are striking and moving. The same is true of the opposite case. Technically, some work could be spectacular, but they perish from our memory in a few minutes. A Japanese proverb, "仏作って霊入れず," means "a sculptor forgot putting a soul into a Buddha statue."     
When I get stuck in creating work, I ask myself and go back to a very basic original motivation, "Why do I draw it?" The simpler, the stronger a motivation is. A naive desire, "I want to draw it!" bears time and will get through difficulty. I encountered the quick sketches of moving people in an art magazine in my teenage. It was sensational and very fresh. The ordinary people in sketches were spontaneous and lively. How beautiful...! I felt. I wished to describe all walks in ordinary people's ordinary life. Technically, I determined to capture moving people like those sketches. Imagine, my real drawing skills were far behind the goal at that time. 

But the thirstiness was so strong. Technical things and knowledge will follow an enthusiastic pursuer in art. After school, I diligently studied human anatomy, learned about materials and kept sketching in anywhere for years... and to the present. To gain drawing skills is a painstakingly time consuming process. My strength "love of drawing," compensated a painful practice. The zeal has filled the gap between the poor drawing skills at my starting point and a current produced/ing art level. When I closely look at my motivation, I can trace it back to a childhood. 

To keep the high ground is not easy that demands a huge energy in a longitudinal work such as big size paintings and picture book illustration. They are equal to an incessant process of personal growth. A new horizon comes up after a horizon in my art journey. I cannot rest in labour, want to move on and enjoy challenge. I want to learn lots more. Yes, I'm hungry in a healthy manner. 

I keep my way simple and be careful not to get blinded by technical things too much. I hope people will feel heart in my work. I want to depict the inner world of a person in figures. 
What do you want to do in drawing this year? Let's enjoy drawing! 
Btw, don't ask me what I was doing in church. Ahem, drawing is my prayer. 
Also, I'd express gratitude to your support of my facebook and instagram. People in publishing industry, Accessible Arts NSW, National Association for Visual Arts, fine artists, art lovers, Sydney Sketch Club, Urban Sketchers Sydney, Urban sketchers Australia visit my posts.    
Friends, Happy Painting!  


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Weaving a Life. Choice of Colours Up to Us.

I think life in a positive way, move on and keep weaving my life with joy. Living life is like weaving a fabric. I feel how to choose threads and put colours on them, is the key. Things happen in our lives. They are plain white, not sad or happy.  Or facts do not have colours. It's up to us or our value system, how we see it and what sorts of colours we put on occurrence. Always we have options how we see or feel ongoing things. It's natural to feel sad, etc, emotions about events. I enjoy my emotions in ups and downs. That's life. But I do not want matters to ride on me. I'm the boss of my life!
I will enjoy weaving my life with colourful threads. I do not want to look back. Already, the woven part is "here" in the present. It's not wise to do it again and only mess up "there" in the past. Physically, it's impossible to go backward. Rather, I appreciate mistakes, errors, called whatever and love them all. Without tumbling down, I will never learn how to dance! I will make a colourful and beautiful life story. 

I've learned the importance of the control of life from psychology at uni. I've gained positiveness in me. I read through many psychologists : V.E Frankl, Rollo May, Carl Rogers, Maslaw, Karen Horney, Judith Herman etc, etc ...and Yalom. Lots of reading has given me the insights of life. It was, indeed, my psychology lecturer's help, a second generation of Auschwitz survivors. She tried hard not to cross the boundary though, she wanted to assist me to find a future direction to go. I chose art. It was right. 
But today, I feel, "JUST DO IT! Time of reading was over!". I forgot what I had read, hahaha! 

Positiveness is the strength to make us happy. If I choose life passively in a negative way, it means that I become a loser. The person who learns from setback is always a winner. Of course, we cannot change all the elements of life, but we can change lots. Yes, we know, how to accept what happens on us is crucially important in the control of life. 
Btw, I've started Instagram. The logo is below. The Instagram will be the selection of my best art work. Look forward to it. I hope I will make a lot of quality work so to enter my own Instagram. Established Australian illustrators, Elise Hurst and Anna Walker have helped me to set it up. I, a technological wondering sheep, still do not know how to upload images at Instagram and facebook at the same time. I do not get how to answer a comment in instagram. Keep patience, please. I will learn it step by step and certainly reply for each comment. 
Thank you, all friends, for warm support!
I hope 2017 will be a creative and wonderful year for all of you and me. 


Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year!

May 2017 be a wonderful year for each of you, Friends! I'd explore watercolour, particularly, washes more. 
On 30th Dec, "Young Organists Day," Sydney Sketch Club enjoyed an organ recital in Sydney Town Hall, which was annually open and free to the public. It was challenging to capture a majestic grand organ installed in 1890. The world largest organ is 11.5 m tall and nearly 6 m deep! The width is nearly equal to the theatre hall. I could imagine how exciting for young selected organists to play such a significant and complicated instrument in front of a big audience. 
The lovely interaction was seen between an assistance and a young organist. I could not help but seek for human element all the time at anywhere in any context. Each promising organist played a wonderful piece. The audience, we were in a heaven. 
After the recital, we enjoyed sketching more. This model's eyebrows interested me. At once, I got on a job. When I finished the work, other members said, "The eyes are impressive." If so, it's successful, hahaha?!   
New members and old regular members began to exchange the information on techniques and art supplies etc at a lunch time. One member said, "Sadami, speak up. You already published some books etc." I would not. "You're modest," she said with a smile. I clearly told, "I do not mean to show off. There is a new member. Our levels of techniques are different (and totally fine!). If someone shows off, new members get awkward." Each members deeply nodded at the table. I believe that mutual help and friendship is the beauty and the legacy in our Sydney Sketch Club. I also believe I'm a life long learner.   

Another member sitting next to me became a model in a restaurant. "Don't say, "this is the end of our friendship!"" I asked the model. Her very soft and gentle smile caught my heart and I started to draw. The lady glanced at the drawing and winked at me, "You're a good friend!" I had a laugh. We revelled in every meeting. 
A wonderful organiser, Jennifer has already planned other fascinating sketch meetings. Look forward to my posts.  
What do you plan for 2017? 
I will work on the picture book illustration and finish it up. Wesley Mission and I are planning to run a watercolour painting workshop for people with disability. I'd challenge any subjects, especially, portraits. I want to try competitions. I hope I will live each moment fully and you, too, Friends! 
Happy Painting!!   


Monday, December 26, 2016

Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas! So sorry, I've kept you waiting. (*A telephone company finally fixed up a connection in a residential area.) I sketched the waves today. 
Not a so high tide though, it was lovely to play with paints on a beach. Of course, I swam a long distance and had fun. 
Our picture book project, "My dog Socks" is ongoing. Aw, is this an illustrator's obsession?! When I see even clouds, they look like my central character, a doggy. Ford St publishing is so kind. Paul Collins recommends me to take off days. Thank you. We're a good team!  I hope we'll make a quality picture book. A happy surprise! I've got an unexpected Christmas card from my medical team! Wow, what a big encouragement for me!  

Btw, I've prayed for the disadvantaged today, particularly, people suffering in hospital who cannot come home in this festive season. I saw hard working medical care staff without holidays and had a glance at patients in a ward. How much they wanted to go home in a Christmas time...!  

I have a dream that I will make picture books on behalf of the disadvantaged and hard working medical staff in the future. 
A bit short post though, I'd upload it. Friends, you, too, please take care and safe trip. 
If you have a spare time, Happy Painting! 
Lots of love, Sadami 


Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sydney Sketch Club, Christmas Meeting

We, Sydney Sketch Club enjoyed sketching in World Square from 10:30 to 12:30. Ouch! I got there at nearly 12:30. I was in a dead hurry and sketched a member in fifteen minutes or so. Mutual help is the beauty of a group work. Thank you for members' cheers.  A bit embarrassing, only me sketched a person and others sketched a Christmas tree. But any subject will do. Our club does not restrict a subject at all.  
After a show and tell, we strolled down to a pub and celebrated our activities in 2016. Some members brought their sketches that amused us and amazed us. 
All members want to say special thanks to an organiser, Jennifer. Her hard work for all of us is priceless and precious. Jennifer, a so humble and wonderful lady says, "I thoroughly enjoy my involvement with the sketch club and it is all the friendly and talented members who make the times so enjoyable." Oh, you're so nice! I always learn from Jennifer how a leader leads members and cares for others. She's a legend!! 

In a pub, I sketched one more, an overseas visitor and artist. His mustache and beard interested me. I do not miss an opportunity to grab a moment. Although it was quite dark, I enjoyed this work. I always want to capture an individual mood in work.  I hope I will more develop "mood" or "something" in my portrait work in 2017. 
Thank you very much for Jennifer and all members, for your wonderful friendship! In a tough time, how much this club has lifted me up. Friends, it's wonderful to belong to a same minded group. At the end of the celebration lunch, each of us hugged and said, "Have a wonderful holiday season. See you next year!" 

I'm becoming very busy with a picture book illustration, "My Dog Socks". It occupies my head and hands. Before Christmas, I want to achieve a small goal set in a year plan. Gulp. Sadami, go for it! 
How is your holiday season? Do you have any plan? I hope you will have a wonderful time. 
Friends, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and Happy Painting! 


Monday, December 5, 2016

Musical CHICAGO @ Australian Institute of Music

I'll take you to a musical, “CHICAGO” performed by the final year students of Australian Institute of Music! The story is based on a real fact in 1920s. Satirically, it shows murder favoured by mass media, adultery, corruption, greed for money and fame, sexism, a contradicted or unfair justice system in society. Those are "old and new topics" and relevant to a post modern society. So, "CHICAGO" is great and classic. 
Greedy Mamma
The story goes like this....  
A chorus girl Roxie Hart shoots her lover. Roxie and a cell block rival Velma who shot both husband and a sister in bed compete to get a smooth talking and extremely expensive lawyer, Billy’s help. Otherwise, they would be hung like a Hungarian woman. Gulp!  
Cell Block Tango 
Con Lawyer Billy
Very interesting to see the musical. A stage show has many common factors with (picture book) illustration and movies. Picture book illustrators are compared to film directors. The show demonstrates how to handle character setting, colours, a space and light in a limited place, a stage. For example, the stage has two main colours : black and red. 
Puppet Roxie on Billy's lap surrounded by mass media
Black is the most dominant in the show. What does black mean? It implies something negative, unknown, secret, dishonest and dirty, whilst women in black represent strength, power, authority, seduction and so ons. Red symbolises female, sexiness and passion etc. What else? Only one person, "Mary Sunshine," a crime reporter, putting on a very thick "white" fur coat caught my attention. She was out of tune in black women. What's in her thick coat? Is she really pure and innocent, I wondered.  A great pity is Roxie's honest husband Amos who has been neglected in society.   
Mary Sunshine crime reporter
Pity Husband Amos
Like colours and costume, body language conveys lots of meanings. I admire a creative team led by a director, Barry Quin and their subtle options and creativity. The lawyer, Billy’s body language is full of confidence (* “over confident,” is the point!). Women dance with widely and shamelessly opened legs, as if they were challenging audience and social norms. If feminism examines this musical, it would be interesting. Here, this is "Mary Sunshine" at the end of the story, which comes up like a punch line. She is nothing different from other characters, a bitter and shocking ending. A finale was Velma and Roxie's singing. 
The stage show "CHICAGO" has many typical entertainment elements as well as serious messages. Billy is surrounded by women with white feather fans. Billy, Roxie and Verlma use red sticks for singing and dancing. The classic and popular techniques amuse audience. They overlap the familiar scenes in American popular culture. It is no surprise why this musical holds the longest running record on Broadway. I really enjoyed the show and learned a lot for illustration. 
Friends, do you know? The students study so hard for two years and perform an annual freebie show as their result. Look at each performer's great muscles and sweat! As I have knowledge from life drawing, well-developed muscles show how hard they have worked for ages! I really appreciate their enormous efforts and generosity. Fortunately, I sat next to ladies who had a close relative in the musical. “Since so little, he’s loved singing. Yes, we’re so proud of him,” they said and kindly introduced me to their grandson after the presentation. Through him, I made friends with actors, actresses, a director, back scene players and even, their families, friends.  

I’ve certainly felt the enthusiasm of people at Australian Institute of Music and their dedication for music. They love my sketches and await my blog post. One student remembered me, "You came last year!" Yes, I sketched, "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Try."  Thank you for remembering me. I courteously said thank you for each of them, particularly, back scene workers. They are real heroes! Please put hands together for all the involved people.  
CHICAGO Opening 
I challenged a "mission impossible," sketching a musical in almost darkness! Yet, I sketched a lot. Friends, if you have time, come over this performance next year. You can see a wonderful show and will meet hard working students. They are shining! We chatted over our dreams together. I heartily hope we will make our dreams come true in a competitive industry!  

Btw, my picture book project "My dog Socks" is ongoing steadily. I worked on a commissioned portrait and delivered it to a client. The portrait made the client so happy and excited. Me, too, happy to see her smile. That's the artist's reward. I hope I will make others happy with my art work! 
Friends, Happy Painting and Singing!


Monday, November 28, 2016

Watercolour Workshop for Day of People with Disability

Wesley Mission and I will run a watercolour workshop for a community event to celebrate International Day of People with Disability at Kingsgrove Community Aid Centre on 30 Nov. 
11 am to 2 pm, 2 sessions (1 hour each). Free. Materials are provided. Simple designs and easy steps. Anyone can make cards! A watercolour artist Sadami Konchi and Wesley staff will assist you. All welcome, particularly, people with disability. Some of my former clients of Building Dreams project are coming. One client, who could hardly move his body, is coming. I gave him my watercolour painting of his dream, "riding a horse." Wesley staff said, "A client looks very happy to see you again." I look forward to seeing them! 
I'm very happy and grateful that Wesley has brought me this opportunity to contribute to society. Friends, see you there this Wed!