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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Drawing is the Best Teacher

A theory is not almighty, whereas an action is the answer. Seeing and drawing is believing. My favorite joke is, "A man believed he had understood what Niagara fall was, by a bucket full of water." All of us laugh and say, "How silly he is!" but, in fact, we tend to do the same in a daily life. The joke tells the importance of experience. I trust in my eyes and hands most, not a camera. My experienced subjects assist my drawings from photo references and imagination. 

I enjoy landscapes. Did anyone go for sketching water and a bridge? When we have a heavy rain, Parramatta river will make a fall. I love watching moving water. Its smell and sounds are life. I saw it. Exciting! My motto is "Never miss out an opportunity for drawing." I really wanted to sketch a dynamic water fall! The heavy mud water was rushing through the river, while it was splashing and making bubbles. They made a strong contrast and the colours. It so fascinated me. What a lucky day I had! I worked on sketching nearly in the evening.
The technical point is, really, the amount of water and timing of putting paints, before paper gets too wet or dry. My experience of "waves" at Narrabeen helped to create these sketches (all A4). Creating "washes" and "high light" was a great fun and the pleasure of watercolour! I love them all! I played with paints. Wash, wash, wash and splash, splash, splash! (*Not laundry). The colour of the river water intrigued me most. It was more green with raw sienna than an ocean. The sea shows more blue and the variation of colours such as a mint green/blue, very dark green/blue, grey etc. 

You may wonder what about a calm river. I just sketched it a few days before it became wild. It is a fun to sketch a same spot on a different weather. Colour and value are dramatically changing. You cannot imagine a fall and it's colours from this peaceful and quiet river. 
Then, yet exciting, sketching is my richest and the most calm time in an outside. It was really lovely to feel water and wind constantly tapping on my own cheeks. 
People talk to me, while I was sketching. "I can draw cartoons, but I can't draw like this," they say. I gently smile and listen to them, but I feel it's "upside down." What do you think, Friends? For me, without concrete drawing experiences, it's difficult to either simplify visual information, interpret imagination or exaggerate images. Look at Picaso. His drawings were astonishingly "traditional" at an early stage. I hope myself to use my drawing skills to interpret a person's inner world, emotion and imagination. Not easy for me, but I want to go one step further to develop my art world.  
Water always reminds me of life. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" is one of my favorite songs. If you have a tough time in life, I'd send you this song. 
Drawing of landscapes is fun. A very simple truth in experience is that the more, we draw, the better we do. I'd believe a hard working donkey does more job than a lazy full-blooded horse. It's my comfort and hope in art, for, a word, talent has ambiguity in it. 

**Can you believe this? We had four seasons in yesterday : sunshine, roaring thunderstorm, hail and snow pelt us!

Please take care and Happy Painting, Friends! 




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Sunday, April 19, 2015

ANZAC Centenary, Peace Forver

This whole post was included in "ANZAC Illustrated" exhibition at Clunes International Booktown Festival. All works were created by Australian picture book illustrators. I was included into them. A great honour. It is the Australia's largest book trading event and the only booktown in a southern hemisphere. Thank you very much for the strong support. 

I sketched a veteran's monochrome photos, watches and a uniform that are dedicated for ANZAC and displayed in a public library like a museum. ANZAC day, 25th April is the remembrance day of soldiers and served people in Australia. ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. Originally it was to honour the ANZAC members who fought in Gallipoli against Turkey in WWI. 100 years have passed. 
Casualty : Over 80,000 Arab and Turkish soldiers were killed. Their wounded number was doubled Australian soldiers. Nearly 9,000 Australian soldiers lost their lives. About 140,000 allied troops were killed or wounded. Totall : Estimated causalty was nearly 400,000 on both sides. 
What's the meaning of ANZAC, our respect and mourning today? In my view, the message of died soldiers is simple, "Never repeat war. Remember our sacrifices for peace. Pass on a better world to a next generation." I'm certain that none of killed or served people wants us to make war. How much died people wanted to come home safely to see us, family, loves and friends!  What do you think, Friends? In your own country, you have a similar remembrance day. Today, sadly, there are still wars on the earth. (*NOTE : A soldier's ID is changed.)
In sociology, ANZAC was discussed in regard to a national identity. Our country, Australia always has been seeking for identity. In a critical analysis, this fight, in fact, the invasion of Turkey, has differentiated Australia from "mother" Britain in a socio-political aspect. As a result, it has formed nationalism. Subsequently, the social position and the rights of veterans might be publicly recognised. 
However, the position of Indigenous soldiers, served women such as nurses and non-English speaking background people were invisible in respect of human rights and equality. The official recognition of their work has been delayed. Research is more needed to clarify the issues. Btw, please get surprised. When a tutor asked us, "Does anyone know about ANZAC?" in a tut, only me, this made-in-Japan Australian knew it. It shocked the tutor (... or we're having a peaceful society than ever? = It seems young people do not know about ANZAC).  
Apart from the heavy topics above, I enjoyed the sketchingAll exhibited things belong to a librarian's father, who already passed away. (She happily permitted my sketch and always encourages my art activities.) The photo was framed in a cracked glass.
"Did your father talk of war?" I asked the librarian.
"No. I think it was from post war trauma."
As far as I know few veterans speak of war experiences and keep a heavy silence. The two librarans' sons are serving right now. They are worried about precious sons' lives and safety. All of us agreed, "Against any war." My sketches made the librarians very happy. She added in a cheerful tone, "Great honour. My father should be very happy with your sketches. Blog it!" Thank you for your cooperation and warm cheers.
Technically, I chose a "realistic" and "calm/quiet" approach for the images. The sketches gave me confidence how to colour the images created from monochrome photos. I added colours on figures from my own imagination.
Also, a blog friend says, "How interesting you can take something as static as a watch and still give it life in some way - how do you do that? It doesn't look dull and static when you paint it but has a vibrancy and life to it - you do that with everything, not just people so it must just be your personal style :)." 
Thank you. I actually do not know well how I did it. Yes, it's my style much like from my instinct. "Colour" is my most favorite area and tool. None of theories explains it. I can tell a story in colour rather than black and white. 
I compare my drawing to language speaking and bird singing. Think of your language production. We've learned how to speak in an early stage of life. When we are grown up, we can speak only in a "moment" and unconsciously. Linguists still scratch their heads about a human speech production process. It's an enigma. Or think of a bird. I'm sure birds cannot tell you why/how they sing. My drawing, too. I've learned drawing like speaking. I draw quickly without any thought. Drawing is my language like kids and birds do. I do not know well about my drawing process. 
While sketching, my sketches interested people and they talked to me. 
If I dare to explain my drawing theoretically, "value" is the key. In narrative, small settings are crucial, too. Did you realise that I changed the soldier's eye contact in colour from the black and white drawing? I made him more facing us straightly. Really a slight change though, it has made a mood. I always weigh on eyes in portraits. Or Friends, can you explain my painting features for me?? That'll be great and fun. I really appreciate your kind help! 
Parramatta library calls for post cards for women and men currently serving for Australian army (Wednesday 8 April to Friday 24 April 2015). I wrote 2 and added the sketches of Parramatta landscapes in them. Wow, what an honour, the library displays my submitted post cards on a board as samples. "Your sketches are so beautiful!" says a librarian about why they put my postcards (*thank u!). Collected postcards will be sent to Department of Defence to forward to our military personnel all around the world. I hope our little bit compassion will comfort people in army. 
Back to the topic. I hope we will bequeath a better world to a next generation from the precious experience of ANZAC. I also hope, we, illustrators and artists will work on sending the important message, the want for peace in art. 
Friends, Happy Painting! 

BIBLIOGRAPHY
“Anzac Day” Wikipedia Online Edition 2015http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anzac_Day>
Australian Army (ed.) (2015) "Anzac Day"
<http://www.army.gov.au/our-history/traditions/anzac-day
Australian War Memorial (ed.) (2015) "Great War Nurses" 
<https://www.awm.gov.au/exhibitions/nurses/ww1/
Flanagan, M (2010) "One-sided thinking on Gallipoli injustice," Sydney Morning Herald<http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/onesided-thinking-on-gallipoli-an-injustice-20100423-tj50.html
Florek, S (2015) "Our Global Neighbours : Australia and Turkey at War."<http://australianmuseum.net.au/blogpost/science/our-global-neighbours-australia-and-turkey-at-war>Australian National Museum.  
Londey, P (2015) "Indigenous Australian servicemen" <https://www.awm.gov.au/encyclopedia/aborigines/indigenous/> Australian War Memorial. 
New Zealand History (2014) "Gallipoli casualties by countries."
<http://www.nzhistory.net.nz/media/interactive/gallipoli-casualties-country>





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Saturday, April 18, 2015

Versatile bloggger award, 10 awarded bloggers!

I've been awarded for the Versatile Blogger award by Catharina EngbergeThank you, Catharina! Very happy. What a wonderful surprise and a great honour! Catharina has been enjoying watercolour painting in Sweden. Her colour use and landscapes are very eye pleasant. Also, her challenge spirit is adorable and humour is nice! Her writing is heart warming. However, we all have ups and downs in life, don't we? At ups and downs, Catharina and I have encouraged each other by comments. She's a lovely, lovely and caring lady. (I hope I could see her in person in Sweden one day.)  Friends, mutual support is a wonderful treasure in the world.  
Once, another blog award came to me. I could not pass on it to others, because it was too hard to choose friends. BUT this time, I'd think it in a positive and light way like Catherina says, "It is up to each person to continue or stop the "game."" Wow, it's a game! Yes, it's a fun game for blog friends. If so, why not? Let's have fun with friends. 
Tadadada~~~! Look, this is shining through! Can you see my big smile ear to ear? 


The rule for this award is as following:
It is the decision of each person to continue or stop the game.
You say a few words about the person who sent you the award and a little about yourself. And... 
  •  Thank the person who gave you this award. 
  •  Include a link to the peron's blog. 
  •  Tell 7 things about yourself.
  •  Select 10 blogs and tell a bit about each blogger. 
  •  Nominate those 10 bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award.
Regarding myself, Sadami, 1) I've loved drawing since childhood, surrounded by wonderful people in Sydney and in the world by blogging. 2) Right now, my debut children picture book "Moon" is on the way, this Aug. 3) I created a book cover for "Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice" written by Prof Ingrid Piller. It will be published by Oxford University. 4) I suddenly got difficulty in walking on the way to uni. 5) Although #4 sounds serious,  I walk again with an embrace. I'm living "jokes" like Bart Simpson/Papa Homie. Quite optimistic and positive. I love making others laugh and happy. I love laughing loud together!! Indeed, I analysed "jokes" and did presentation of it in linguistics, hahahaha?! 6) Anyone, swimming? As well as drawing, I love swimming with fishes and prawns in a rock bath. I swim 1km in an ocean pool. 7) Writing picture book stories as well as illustration under the supervision of mentor Ann James. Already one work has got her "yes." Yey! I'm enjoying roughs in black and white and colour. Exciting. In the future, my own picture books will be published. Yes, I'm an author and illustrator. 

Ok, I have to admit that it was too painful to select 10 bloggers or blog friends. I thought seriously, "All of my followers deserve this awards." (Who started this award? Can't we change a rule such as an "unlimited number" ?!) Regarding the selection of friends, statistically, a scale is the frequency of comments and visits. Bloggers who have already been awarded are excluded. 

So sorry and forgive me, if I did not include you. Of course, I know, many shy readers silently visit my blog. I always appreciate your visits. My blog readers are very royal and come back to me repeatedly and regularly. I'm so proud of wonderful and supportive visitors. I always think of all the visitors and greatly thank for you. Without your visits, my blog will not go on. So, I visit other blog frinds as many as possible. 

Now, the announcement of 10 awarded people are... 

1) Rhonda,http://rhcarpenter.blogspot.com.au/ 
Rhoda loves watercolour with all her love and life. At the same time, she's a guardian angel for us, bloggers. She cares for others all the time. Please visit her charming blog. 
Joshemari is so fond of watercolour. He's been enjoying watercolour, particularly, landscapes, architectures, old toys and ships! Thank you for your kind support and visit for years! 
Tina always encourages me and creates beautiful washes. What a lovely artist and woman!! I appreciate her support for ages. 
Like Tina, Onera and I encourage each other for ages. Thank you for your visiting for such long years. His another passion is for writing. 
Blaga is so modest, but creates lovely watercolour and explores techniques. Her work gets better and better! We cheer up each other at our ups and downs. Oh, Blaga, you'll never know how much your comments have lifted me up. 
6) Anna http://annaquarelles.blogspot.com.au/
Anna's enthusiasm for watercolour is like a fire! We have been good friends for years. Now, her work is gaining big entitlements (No surprise. Her work is brilliant that also has a social message!). I admire her as an experienced watercolourist.  
7) Isabelle http://isabelle-gaillardon.blogspot.com.au/
Thank you, Isabelle, for your long years support. How much your work also has cheered me up at the tough time for illustration!   
8) Lydie http://lydie-pieplu.blogspot.com.au/
Her watercolour is lovely. Very interesting to see how she approaches subjects. Thank you for your strong support for a long time! 
9) Agnieszka Grzelak, http://agnieszkagrzelakart.blogspot.com.au/
Agnieszka does not only watercolour painting, but also does wonderful crafts such as a quilt. They are really amazing! Her love creates them for four daughters.
10) Katherine  http://katherinejft.blogspot.com.au/ 
Katherine, a retired teacher, enjoys colour pencil drawing with philosophical thoughts. Her sensitive, meticulous, yet imaginative colour pencil work tells her personality and inner world. It is fun to exchange thoughts with her. 

Other people I've been thinking of are Martine PaquetCeleste Bergin, Hilda Muxo, Meera Rao, Carol Blackburn, Carol KingPat EliottCathy Gatland, Ann (studio hyde), AKOlivia Quentin, Floriana Quaini, Dora, J.Pazkieselsteine TrickfilmstudiosDosanko-Debbie, Orega-me Orega-me, Renate(you've already got it!) etc, etc. (*I've respected that some people have claimed, "Award Free Zone" and others are in a hectic time.) Aaahhh! I want to list up all the friends! Please pardon me. Special thanks for Jane Minter, too. (you once awarded me!) http://janeminterssketchbook.blogspot.com.au/

Already, "blogging" has formed a big internet community. It's good to get acknowledged by others about my blog and acknowledge other friends. Thank you again for Catharina who gave me a wonderful joy and a lovely opportunity to share joy. It's wonderful. Really my frineds are in all over the world. My former linguistics lecturer got surprised, when she secretly visited my blog and found my friends's number. But I know a number is not a matter. All of you have given me support and friendship. That's the most important and priceless. I hope we will enjoy friendship more than ever.

Friends, Happy Painting! I hope I can see you them all one day!!










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Monday, April 13, 2015

Good Textless Dummy Book Tells Story : Check Dummy!

Author Matt ZurboEditor Helen Chamberlin and Mentor Ann James say, "We love the submitted illustrations!" Very good feedback makes me so happy. Our team is working on layout and book designing. Soon, I'll check "binded" images called, "proofs" from Windy Hollow publisher. Very exciting. What sort of book will come up? Illustration must tell a story and be narrative. Btw, here's a simple test to check if your organised images are successful or not as a real picture book. Show others a wordless dummy book and ask them to create a story. If a dummy is successful, others can tell your expected story. If not, examine where readers cannot get a message. That's a fun experiment.
I asked a family to have a look of my textless dummy and to make up a story (Gulp. Huge pressure! Phtew, heart attack!?). Our target aged girl "carefully" looked at the small book and correctly told the story. Her understanding was quite close to the real text! It was interesting to observe the family, although a mother and an older sibling did not care for the tiny dummy seriously. My mentor and I celebrated our achievement. She says, "The resulting book will be a strong melding of text and visual narrative and marks the beginning of Sadami’s career as a picture book illustrator - your long-held dream." The submitted illustration tells a story well. It means that the art work does not need big changes. "Moon" has a short text like a poem that consists of very selected words. I greatly thank for Matt's beautiful writing. The very evocative text has stimulated my imagination. Now, I enjoy this experiment and check people's responses. I love young children's imagination and admire it. 

In a picture book, if illustration works properly, kids effortlessly get a plot even only by pictures without a word. Images weigh heavily "picture" books. I've been looking at my dummies from time to time. What's a dummy? It's a small and mock-up book made by an illustrator to check information flow, composition, balance and so ons. I've already made several dummies at each stage of the project --- in black & white and colour. Once, I wrote about it, "New Storyboard & Creating Dummy Books!" Although an illustrator decides the position of a text in a real book size dummy, I love a textless tiny dummy. It sits on my palm. Can you see it in the photo? This is the real size.
Behind my hand, what you see there, are all dummies and story boards, my babies. What size/sort of dummy do you like? I love a replica. My favorite is just a palm size like. These dummies have so much intrigued Marrickville Council staff. You can enjoy them at my solo exhibition in Chrissie Cotter Gallery (map) from 20th Oct to 2nd Nov 2015. Big names are guests. Mentor Ann, Editor Helen, Libby Gleeson AM (our book launcher) and other top notches are coming. Yes, you can see super stars, too!   
Do you like wordless picture books? I love them all. To some extent, a wordless picture book is a very subtle genre in children picture books. Mentor Ann James has often brought me good wordless picture books from all over the world. I've been closely studying about them for these years. A wordless picture book fascinates me most, because technically, it's the most required and refined. An illustrator's drawing skills are really stunning. Often I come across very wise and remarkable wordless picture books. For example, Anno Mitsumasa is my favorite wordless picture book illustrator. His very sensitive, beautiful, humorous and witty pictures capture readers from young and old. Also, a very well organised story never bores readers, shows a drama and leads to an end. Anyone can understand wordless picture books. It can also become very powerful to send a universal message. Picture books are certainly brilliant and sophisticated literature.  
I hope our Moon publishing team will smoothly move onto a next stage along a schedule, publication is set in August. Already I've been working on roughs for a "new project" under the supervision of Ann. I'll enjoy ( or "suffer"?!) illustration! Yes, we, picture book industry people are perfectionists to create quality picture books for children and any readers. A big name said to me, "You'll suffer and suffer (in illustration)! After that, you think you will never do it again. And... you will be addicted to it!" Ahahahaha, true, so true. Nothing different from delivering a baby. That's our joy. I really appreciate our team, experienced illustrators and famous authors great and warm support. Moon is nearly ready. 
Wow, really amazing. Step by step, our picture book is being created...! Thank you for encouragements for nearly 3 years to come to this stage. How lovely to finally see my work all the way through a book! When a publishing date comes up, I'll certainly inform you. 
Friends, Happy Painting! 
*The first image is a colour rough that explored techniques as well as composition. These are the study of a whale. "Moon" shows the beauty of nature, too. Many black and white and colour roughs were developed to create final images. 





















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Monday, April 6, 2015

Back Streets in Parramatta

I sketched "back streets" in Parramatta. What sort of architectural drawings and landscapes do you want to create? I want the sense of life such as sounds, smells etc to come up in work. I also want to keep a unique point of view to the world. Finding subjects is the key element. My most fun is to have a look around little known spots or places disregarded such as back streets. Subjects are just in front of us. Each has unique beauty. If an artist can disclose the beauty of an overlooked subject, it would be a great honour.
Have you ever tried back streets for your subjects? In back allies, you see people working at restaurants. Frustrated or stressful people come up and throw away dirty stuff and unnecessary things into bins. Or tired people come out for a cigarette for a few minutes break. Or a truck driver delivers something for shops. Each person's small stories show "dramas" -- tragedies and comedies, yet humanistic stories go on. Soon, working people realise me and silently let me sketch (*thank you!).
Technically, I enjoyed to capture the perspective and played with the colours in these drawings. Artists may move mountains or create them in drawings. The changing is the important element of the composition of work. It's "balance" in a drawing. My balancing sense really owes to instinct, although this sounds strange and vague. I changed the colours, values and positions of bins. There are many signs and bins in back allies. They are so colourful and powerful to stimulate us, passer-bys' inner world. I met a photographer, while sketching these streets. "Colour!" he yelled at a first sight of my work. The nice photographer smiled at my say, "I can cheat it. I moved some and changed value."  Yes, he had known it and turned a blind eye to the changing in my work. That's the the creativity and pleasure in drawing.
Regarding the sense of life in back streets at night, I love a picture book "Way Home," illustrated by Gregory Rogers. The story is about a young homeless boy who picked up a kitten, showing city's night world. I feel sounds, smell and conversations in a back street in that book. Like Gregory, I hope my work will send you some mood, although I need more experience of drawings. I hope ultimately, my architectural work will show people's life and send the "sense of life." I'd explore them in my architectural drawing and landscapes. So, my work will not always be neat and beautiful, but they will be dirty, stinky and strong -- I'm working on them at the same time. They are similar to illustration or drawings with narrative stories.
Now, I have no fear of landscape or architecture. I'm really enjoying them daily. The more, we draw, the better we do.
Friends,  Happy Painting! Thank you for warm cheers.













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