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Monday, August 14, 2017

Winter Swimming, Tips to Capture Waves

I swam 800m in an icy ocean pool. It was all mine. At first, as if water were stinging me like pin needles. A few other people dabbed themselves for a minute and got out. I kept on as I wanted to make 500 m, at least. One gentleman came close to me and looked into my swimming from his curiosity for quite a while. I began to feel the fingers got white and lost sensation. Too cold to stay in the rock bath for more than an hour. Then, I got out of it. 

I saw a brave regular lady in a changing room. Yes, I learned to bring a "thermos" from her last year! We chatted. It was good that I could make a long distance. The leg rehab is not easy though, my positiveness makes others happy, too. The neurologists said, "It's a miracle!" with a big smile. Hahaha, thanks! Yes, I walk and stay in a good or best condition. I'm going to give the neurologists "My Dog Socks" signed by me.  
Yes, we tend to think waves are very hard. Try this -- simplify a topic = choose the most impressed one and focus on it = pick up the most interesting waves. Observe how they move. They repeat the movement. Understand the pattern of movement. Colours are up to you. Your colour use is different from mine. Use your own colours and show your own approach. Make lots of messes and have fun. You'll find your unique approach and the solution of waves. An artist's love towards a subject will come up in work, which will reach others hearts. 

Capturing waves is fun by wash techniques and colours. I want to apply what I've learned to depict a seascape in a bigger size paper size and other general or abstract subjects such as still life or deep human emotions in illustration. Also, I want to study other masters's work like Winslow Hormer and learn different approaches to water. A long way to go. I'm only a starter and life long learner. 
Friends, Happy Painting!   


Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Why Do You Draw?

A lady I sketched in a cafe asked me "Why do you draw?" I answered, "I like it. Joy." The lady showed a big smile and affirmed my say, "Joy!" I honestly told her, "Sometimes, artists get stuck in drawing. Not easy." She encouraged me, "Remember, why you draw and joy!" I've realised the answer is in me. After a good bye to her, I created this work and enjoyed washes. Wet-in-wet excites me!  
I feel "Seek and you'll find it," is true. Or, paradoxically, an answer is in her. Each individual will find a different answer that will respond to her uniqueness and who she is. I read through most classic psychologists' writings on personality and studied counselling psychology. In fact, a psychology lecturer assisted me to find who I have been/am/will be. The psychology lecturer recognised my artistic talent and encouraged me to be honest with myself or be an artist. I could not believe what I had and no confidence. To be honest with myself is not easy. First, a person needs to know who she is. My journey began. The kind lecturer suggested me to read some psychology books, respected my agency and let me make a decision. I read lots in uni. It took years for me to ponder about what/who I am and claimed, "I'm an artist." My seeking empowered me and liberated me. A lovely bonus is that I've started to work on what I will be most and fully. I focus on "now-and-here and future." 
I was not a good student (?!) though, lecturers have been cheering me up. Now, above, "Intercultural Communication" written by Prof Ingrid Piller is out in Australia, too (Edinburgh University Press). Nice to hear other former lecturers' celebrations. I'm looking forward to compliments books signed by Ingrid, probably, one of the most beloved linguists in the world! No kidding!! That lady has taught us and teaches around the world. Another linguist secretly calls her, "Super woman!" Yes, indeed! Hahaha, Ingrid, your ears must be burning? 

Today, I'm dead honest with myself = so happy to live an artist life, particularly, a picture book illustrator, a portraitist and a book cover designer. But I know the time when I wondered for years were very precious and important. It has made current Sadami. When I get lost or wonder in a journey of art, I will remember why I draw and joy. 
Btw, we're planning "My Socks" book launch. It will be fun in the mid October.  
Friends, Happy Painting and enjoy drawing! 


Monday, July 31, 2017

Encouraged by Someone

On a street, I saw a scattered tiny sketch book on a garbage collecting day. In it, these wonderful encouragements were written in all capitals by hand. 
How sweet they are and so true! 
Artists tend to get isolated in society because of the nature of work.  We sometimes either get stuck in creativity or suffer in technical development or experiments. We, artists are only human. Of course, we feel like crying.  In such a tough time, I hope these kind messages comfort you and encourage you. Just a little bit set back, have a cup of tea and remember these words.  

As well as the self-encouragement above, it's very important to make friends with others. Don't be alone, Friends! Group activities are lovely and essential. This is one of Sydney Sketch Club members who always encourages me. "Oh, I know this guy. He looks much better than me," he said to make us laugh in a pub. Thank you. Oh, really God bless you! How much I appreciate his smile! Last Sunday, we enjoyed sketching and had lunch together. One member would leave Australia. We chatted, hugged and had a great time. Friendship is a priceless assets in an art journey or anyone's life!   
A former owner of the sketch book, a lady seemed to study about digital design. I hope that she would endeavour to a new adventure or gained success in her area. I hang each of her hand writings in a study and a kitchen. She would never expect her graffiti encouraging me. 
Now, I'm working on other projects and preparing for the book launch of My Dog Socks in the midele of October.  
In difficulty, please remember the messages and friends. I hope everyone of us will reach at a dream. Thank you for your support! 
Friends, Happy Painting! 


Monday, July 24, 2017

Friends Win 2017 Michael Clyne Prize and Australian PhD Prize

Two friends, Alex and Shiva won amazing prizes in linguistics (Language on the Move post)! I celebrated their achievements with my fun drawings. Certainly, Prof Ingrid Piller and the LotM team are delighted. 
"Dr" Shiva Motaghi-Tabari, is the winner of the 2017 Michael Clyne Prize for her thesis about “Bidirectional Language Learning in Migrant Families”. The Michael Clyne Prize is awarded annually by the Australian Linguistics Society for the best postgraduate research thesis in immigrant bilingualism and language contact. Prof Michael Clyne is our superhero in sociolinguistics, pragmatics, multilingualism, second language learning, contact linguistics and intercultural communication. Congrats, Shiva!! Let's go to a pub! 
Another friend, Alexandra Grey is one of two joint winners of the 2017 Australian PhD Prize for Innovations in Linguistics. Alex's thesis discusses how language rights affect minority languages in China. Congrats, Alex!! Let's have champagne! Btw, Alex was in charge of social media of "Bridging Language Barriers Symposium" hosted by Prof Ingrid Piller and Language on the Move team. Almost without lunch, she worked hard to do twitting for a live coverage. Alex collected questions directly from broad audience, interpreted the point of questions and the symposium answered. Beauty of friendship! I saw other LotM team members supporting Alex behind a scene. LotM members, you did a fantastic job! 
I wrote in Chinese, "I love sociolinguistcs" at the top of Alex's thesis, below. 
It's wonderful to see the legacy of Prof Michael Clyne is alive, strong and nurturing new talents who will lead linguistics and academics. When Michael passed away, he generously funded Michael Clyne Award. I feel the importance of good mentors and pioneers. His lovely personality and enthusiasm of research and want for social justice are alive in my heart. His most famous defined concept is "monolingual mind set" which fails to either recognise or capitalise on the existing linguistic assets/potential in increasingly multilingual societies such as Australia. I was lucky enough to enjoy Michael's lecturers...and sketched him. Aw, it made my direction to a visual artist?!   
Me, too, hope to do something in a visual art, like LotM team does. 
Now, let's have a productive week! 
Friends, Happy Painting!! 

Prof Michael Clyne


Sunday, July 16, 2017

The Study of a Master, Winslow Homer

I studied a favourite watercolour painting, "Sailing a catboat," originally created by Winslow Homer. The colour use of this work interested me. It was fun to make greys in my palette. I've learned lots of different greys in colour mixing. I will use greys more and efficiently. A composition was lovely. I made a thumb nail to check values : highlight, middle and darkest. Regarding a thumb nail, the simplest one is enough. See below. The point of a thumb nail is to help understand where to make the strongest contrast and balance values in the work. 
I love a seascape, splashes and waves. Homer's colour use was very fascinating and different from mine. I arranged his colours in my own way. His work inspired me so much.

One more, Sadami, have confidence in landscape. You understand value well and can organise it from your experience/memories by heart. Don't look at a landscape too much that distracts you often. Simplified images are good and enough. Trust yourself, get on work and have fun!! (...but I love figures more, hahaha?!) 
Btw, last week, many people celebrated the news of "My Dog Socks" to be published on 1st Oct 2017) on my facebook. Thank you, Friends! Among them, Wayne Harris, a former illustration lecturer clicked Socks's post, too! Wow, I will never forget that he and Donna Rawlins taught illustration in their workshop and discovered me in Sydney uni. Also, very happy that mentor Ann James clicked it, too. Thank you!!  
Let's sail away into a bright future!!
Friends, Happy Painting! 


Monday, July 10, 2017

My Dog Socks October 1st Release

My Dog Socks, written by Robyn Osborne, will be published by Ford St Publishing on 1st October 2017.  AU$24.95 hardcover, AU$16.95 paperback. A sweet and humorous story shows the bond between a dog, Socks, and a boy’s imaginative world My Dog Socks is full of fun, life and love. I really appreciate my publishing team's hard work and support, particularly the people at Ford St Publishingespecially Paul and Meredith. I hope this front cover and the back cover will make you smile. 
The back cover. 
A flat cover is below. 
Friends, thank you for your strong support! I'll let you know the schedule of our book launch. 
Happy Painting and enjoy picture books!!


Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Australian landscape, study

I post the study of an Australian woolshed based on Harry Sowden. I found his book, "Australian Woolsheds" in a market, published by Cassell Australia Ltd in 1972. All the photos included in the book were black and white. Today, woolsheds are disappearing in Australia. They are a part of Australian culture with the unique architecture that fascinates me. I always seek for a similar architectural structure in bush or on a field. But like a last year, we have rain in June and very cold. In a studio, I study landscapes, add colours on them from "memory." It seems my memory works well to complete a landscape = I do not get distructed by other visual information. 
Only a few colours were used in this study. 
Credit on Harry Sowden
The study of a woolshed in black and white. I imagined sunshine, a wind and rusted roofs. 
Credit on Harry Sowden. 
The most outstanding impression is the very strong contrast between sunshine/highlight and a dark area in Australia (*we have many skin cancer patients, btw). Once, I sketched an all handmade house in bush, below. I will study more about landscapes in winter, now. 

The other day, I saw a little boy drawing a landscape. He once looked up a subject and got on drawing without looking at it until he finished it up. His work result looked nice, which inspired me. I thought of my landscape study above. Trust in my memory and add colours -- it could be one solution, I feel. Many colours are not needed, which confuse me at this stage. When it becomes fine, I'll enjoy sketching in sunshine! 
Friends, Happy Painting!