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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Merry Xmas & Happy New Year!

Are you enjoying a festive season, Friends? With all my heart, I wish you a Merry Christmas, a very Happy New Year and a safe festive season. 
My sketches of Christmas scenes. First, Santa! Oh, so popular among kids and even us, adults. A good queue to sit with him. Kids and parents were looking at my drawing with curiosity. Hahaha! Or I should say, "Hohoho!"

Second, a festive mood in a town.
Banners have decorated around Town Hall and the big Christmas tree has been set up. (*Australia is in a HOT summer!)  
Friends, I made a landscape in a loose style naturally for the first time! This would be a breakthrough for my landscape. (*I've been doing experiments on landscapes for the picture book project. I saw the "light"!) The mentor says, "Gorgeous vertical image!" 
Third, music. you'll hear Christmas music here there, everywehre. Once, our manager told us that she was fed up with radio programs that would repeat same music all day long. I love any music related to Christmas. Particularly, quiet and sweet,  "Dreams are more precious than gold" (by Enya) is my favorite these days. What do you listen? 

And Christmas shopping! Have you done them all?
This poor artist, Sadami is a good customer for Vinnie and Salvo. Ehem! Friends, this is no joke. Do you know most picture books are out of print in two years? Yes, not avilable on book shops unless it keeps selling well. So, I go to second hand shops to hunt printed out and nice picture books. Over the counter, the staff and I talk over our dreams for the future. We have become nice friends!    

It's lovely to see people's good will for "giving" in this festive season. Indeed, I always find people in need. 
Christmas is a good time to think of love and giving each other.  

Friends, thank you for your great friendship and so caring support all through the year. It has encouraged me to move on and I challenged many things. I achieved many big prizes and met wonderful people in 2012. Moreover, I've got the picture book porject. I'll focus on it in 2013. 
Take care and enjoy this season. May God bless you all.
Happy Painting, Friends.  
See you next year, soon!!

With Love, Smile and Prayer, Sadami 


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Review Life Drawing Class 2012

Hi, Friends, oh, yes, I have to upload the post on a life drawing class! Have you ever joined any workshops or life drawing classes? If you have, let us share the experience.
Our life drawing class was over two weeks ago. We promised to see next year! Nice!! Group work is wonderful that we could get mutual help, encourage each other and foster friendship. (of course, party! We had a teppan-yaki party!)

I developed the background for this work in the studio (A2). The mood came up. But real reason was that the thin paper could not respond to what I want to do in watercolour. So, I used charcoal for the  background. 

 This work is really the last work in the class. A4, Arche, 300 allowed me to enjoy washes. Colour came up beautifully and as I like. 

This year, I tried to caputure a mood in a model. Also, I've been exploring watercolour, paper, paper use, other medium such as charcoal, crayon, etc, etc.  A2 challenge was good. (*An outlet of emotions and a stress buster!!) It's so nice to move around arms and swing a body to draw! I know other members smile at me.
Positive feedback has come to especially these drawings. Me, too, like them and really enjoyed drawing!  

Through the drawing, I felt "speed" is an important element for me to make lively work.  When I had slowly drawn lines, they came up dull and stiff. Not alive at all. The same is true of brush strokes. 
Bang, bang, bang! Splash, splash, splash! -- gives me a good result. 
But what about drawbacks? 
First, a dilemma between paper and paint. As I've started playing with paints more and more, thin papers cannot hold my plenty of paints or "water." I wanted for thick ones. Although when I used favorite thick papers, it took much time to get dry in a limited time in a class. Mmmm.... how I find a solution? Second, avoid mannerism. Find more challenges -- it's a matter of my creativity. Like a hunter, I always keep an eye on interesting and new approaches for watercolour.  So, third, "Forget making a good or nicely beautiful work. Make a mess! Go experiment!"    

Finally, we'll run workshops from each member's favorite area. Wow, it will be fun and exciting! I'm asked to run a "watercolour painting for figures" workshop ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. I hope we will have a good time! 
Friends, Happy, Happy Painting in 2013!!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

1)Decide to Be Happy 2) For Ameican Friends

Hi, Friends, Christmas is just around the corner. Have you finished up shopping? 

The news from Connecticut tore my heart, too. I lost word. Language is too cheap to say something ..., but I keep praying for you with all my heart. I'd send my condolences and prayers for all American friends and involved people.
These days, I'm sending cards. In cards or emails, I quote the favorite poem "Decide to Be Happy" written by Robert Muller (1923-2010, Assistant Secretary General to UN). 
I'd live like this poem.
Decide to be happy
Render others happy
Proclaim your joy
Love passionately your miraculous life
Do not listen to promises
Do not wait for a better world
Be grateful for every moment of life
Switch on and keep on the positive buttons in yourself, 
those marked
positive thinking,
Pray and thank God every day
Meditate - smile - laugh
whistle - sing - dance
Look with fascination at everything
Fill your lungs and heart with liberty
Be yourself fully and immensely
Act like a King or Queen unto Death
Feel God in your body, mind, heart, and soul
and be convinced of eternal life and resurrection.
A dear friend gave me this poem ages ago. The poem always stayed with me at a tough time.
Today, people often call me, "a happy person" on streets.
Yes, I always laugh, smile, dance, sing, whistle, while sketching, even though I have the difficulty in moving and an ongoing medical treatment. I always sketch anyone. Oh, in my eyes, everyone is so precious and beautiful. 
I heartily hope 2013 will be a wonderful year for you, readers. 

... and lastly, Friends, Happy Painting!


Monday, December 10, 2012

Work Floats In Washes

Hi, Friends, how have you been? Thank you for your many encouragements. The Immigrant Women Speakout, too, appreciates your warm cheers.
This week, I'll chat over watercolour washes or wet in wet.
Now, I've got on a publishing project, doing many experiments on washes in order to create a "mood" for the illustration. I've decided to use lots of washes for the project. As if my colour roughs were floating in washes. Does it make sense? (NOTE: "Colour rough" is the part of the process of picture book illustration.)

Washes and wet in wet are very the beauty of watercolour, I believe. Below, a salt technique.
In order to enjoy washes, it's vital to be bald and brave in watercolour. These tips are from my experiences. They sound simple and look like common sense or old cliches. But sometimes, it's not easy to carry them out.

>>> "Mental" elements 
1) Do it today, right now!
If inspiration comes up, it's time to take an action.
Never make it later. Darrrling, just do it, now!
2) The Fates loves the brave & bald.
Forget everything.
Particularly, leave high expectations behind you.
3) Enjoy any result.
Paradox. Plan well, but have fun in an unexpected process and an interesting outcome.

For example, a salt wash gave me an image of snow. On the same day, I made this Japanese new years card (*a next year is a snake year according to Japanese "eto," zodiac animal calender.)  The process thrilled me so much. I wonder what if sugarʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ? Has anyone tried it?

>>> "Physical" elements
1) Make rich, thick, plenty of paint like your favorite soup!
Not wise to add paint once started a job. 
Remember, also always watercolour paint goes 1 or 2 "tones back" when it gets dried.
2) Bigger, Longer, Stronger.
... I mean a size of brushesʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ. Find your favorite sizes.
My round brushes are #16, #20. #12 is the smallest one.
I have another bigger round brush and a flat, hake, --- it looks like a wall paint brush!
3) Papers are as above. 
Find your favourite papers. The thicker, the better. At least, 300 lb.
Know well about paper.
eg) When does it get dry? How does it get dry -- weather, humidity, hand-dryer? When does it hold paints fully? ( = does not accept paint any more).

>>>"Technical" elements
1) Control of water!
2) Do quick job!
Learn "timing," "amount of water/paint," "balance of colours" in composition. 
3) Don't tamper it too much!
Once, touch it or put colour, that's all. Full stop.
(*Partially, technically possible to do "step backward." However, most cases come up ugly or lose lively images. I'll start it again. Actually a fresh start saves time and stress free. So, plan well and enjoy "happy accidents.") 
4) Try any idea and have fun.
All outcome is precious work. It's never a mess nor a mistake. I keep all paintings for references and learn lots. In addition, without drawing skills, any attempt will never be achieved even in washes. I keep sketching anything interests me.

Friends, please, never get drawn in the ocean of watercolour. Let us fearlessly swim across the sea and have fun together in an upcoming 2013! 
Happy Painting!!
Romeo & Juliet 


Monday, December 3, 2012

Book Launch, Immigrant Women Speakout

I illustrated 30 Non English speaking women's success stories in Australia. Immigrant Women Speakout Association celebrated 30th anniversary and did the book launch of "Speak Out" at a party last Friday.
BTW, do you have a dream? Yes, I have. Friends, I've always wished I could use my uni study and art skills for welfare. Now, I've begun to make my dream come true step by step.  "Dream is unrealized reality," is my belief.

In the book, the women have overcome many difficulties. The obstacles are, such as, isolation, discrimination, inequalities, language incompetence, cultural differences, lack of information, fall-short-of-certification, domestic violence and so ons. But the women have strength and dream and get help from the IWSA. The IWSA has assisted those women to achieve their goals in life. All stories end up a happy ending and imply a bright future! Actually this is a part of "ongoing" Australian society. The stories are so touching, full of tears, laugh and ... hope!! 

Really wonderful to meet "real authors" or the women in person at the party. Wow, some women's second generations came to the ceremony and met me. One lady almost shed tears when she looked at my illustration...

The purposes of the anniversary book is to advocate women, empower them and show where to get help at an appendix. To some extent, the goal is to support non English speakers in Australia. IWSA will distribute "freebie" books to libraries, public organizations and for anyone wants to get. So, if you would like to get a copy, please contact them. 

I'd say special thanks for the models and the team. When I explained about the project, all the women happily cooperated with me. The great team physically and mentally supported each woman to write up the story, whistle discussing about illustrations with me. 30 Illustrations had to be done in ONE month. Honest, the time frame was too tight. What was worse, I had to slow down from the hand's trouble. But the team backed up me and my daily sketches helped this project! The book includes many of my best sketches. Also, "Thank you, blog Friends," your cheers really encouraged me to handle my hand's trouble. Then, the team edited the stories and the pictures. I admire IWSA's incredible enthusiasm for this project.  

The team and I celebrated the book. Oh, our feeling was beyond language. Next year, IWSA plans to print a book in a big copy run. Onward, IWSA and I will work on projects to help women with language difficulty. With my illustration, women will easily understand the important info necessary for an Australian daily life. I'm very happy that my art work will assist Non Englsih speaking women. Yey! 

But did this project simply come to me like luck? No.
As I'm a practical dreamer --- If I want to reach a star, I'll check a distance and examine a methods to get there. Friends, I make my dream happen on my own abilities. Don’t wait for it. Find it or define it. Also, I'm the dreamer who always takes an action. On net, I saw IWSA's ad and applied to it. I became the successful candidate. ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ
In my experience, often preparation meets opportunity.
When I'm not ready, it's time for training. Practice, practice, practice! My daily sketching is both training and genuine art work. Now, I'm working on another project.

Friends, let us enjoy making dream come true. In a big dream, I hope, one day, we do not have any "filter" to discriminate other people such as border line, nationality, race, culture, language etc.
Friends, Happy Painting!