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Monday, April 25, 2016

USK Australia SketchMeet @ Cockatoo Island

Urban sketchers Australia had a great fun for 3 days in an ANZAC long weekend. USK Sydney hosted other USK groups across Australia such as Canberra, Newcastle and Brisbane and met each other in person! I joined Cockatoo Island and China Town. Cockatoo Island is UNESCO World Heritage in Sydney. The shipyards operated between 1857 and 1991. It has artistic architecture, rusted huge heavy machines, a camping place in beautiful landscapes. Special thanks to the hard working and caring leader Chris, team members and each group leader -- they did mothering and teachers of school excursion.  

This very eye catchy greenish building once was a "drawing office" in Cockatoo Island. I came there before and sketched it. Unfortunately, it rained on the day, very cold and windy, brrrrrr. But brave members created wonderful art works! I went to a heavy machine shop.   
This member was from Brisbane! It was wonderful we had wanted to see in person and our wishes came true! All of us enjoyed a chat and meals together. 
In the heavy machine shop, you can see these sorts of machines that stayed with dignity and beauty. Quiet... I imagined how they worked and working people around a system in a sentimental feeling. 
The inside of the room
This smiling gentleman had a walking stick that motivated me to sketch him at lunch time. 
Cockatoo Island, the wharf 
We chatted on the grass next to the wharf.   
Ta, da ~~, easy going Sadami popped up the second day in China Town and sketched members at dinner. These gangs (?!) were from Canberra. My serious question, hey, when we stopped laughing at a dinner table?! Yes, we kept chatting, sketching across the table and enjoyed food. 
We've made a wonderful bond! 
Group work is lovely and fun. Particularly, I love to know other branch members. We can foster friendship, promise "See you next time!" and give a mutual sincere hug. Oh, that's the beauty of group work! 
I deeply thank for the USK Australia team who have organised this wonderful event. 
Friends, Happy Painting and Enjoy Group activities in art! 



Monday, April 18, 2016

Botanic Garden, Best Students' Exhibition @ NSW Art Gallery

Sydney sketch club visited Royal Botanic Garden and enjoyed outstanding High School students’ annual art exhibition at NSW ArtGallery! My three sketches are a fountain, a water dragon (*looks like an iguana) and the student's work, plus the photo of water dragon. Each student's work responds to our social issues and phenomena : environmental issue, identity, racism, gender, faith, mental problem, health issue etc, etc. Their powerful messages have reached my heart. It's fantastic!  

First, the sketch of a fountain. This work could be overworked though, it's a good lesson. I enjoyed challenge. I always learn something. All experiments become precious experiences = there's no word, a "mistake" in my dictionary. I’m positive! Some members asked me about how to put colours. Mutual help is our group's beauty. I explained a total value, which made others happy. Your smile always helps us be happy! We had fun around the ornate gate. 
Second, a special guest, a water dragon, a handsome guy or a gorgeous lady!  A member commented, "You have really captured the dragon's facial expression, strong but a bit wary! Full of character." Thank you for a compliment. S/he silently stayed with me until I finished the work. I felt we had a bond. The eyes were very graceful and seductive. Garden visitors respected us and quietly passed by the bridge.  Or, we, humans should be humble guests for these wild lives in the rich and beautiful nature of the Botanical Garden
This is the model. We met on a bridge. How romantic, Daaarling!
Regarding the Art Express 2016, the level of every art work is so high, strong and striking. The art forms include drawing, painting, ceramics, sculpture, textiles and fibre, graphic design etc. It's really a privilege to get into young people's inner world directly in their art works. I read each student's statement with care and respect. Many works are sending the cry of a polluted nature, warning a future generation and calling for taking an immediate action to protect environment. I felt young students' serious concern of their own near future. One of the works, Uzma Sirguroh's "Epilepsy: a stitch in time" (textile and fiber) moved me so much. At first, I almost overlooked her work, but I wondered why these tiny clothes are displayed on the wall of the "State" Gallery. Each small textile has a powerful message such as "wishing I could disappear." How much this student has been suffering! She has got hurt, discriminated and stigmatised by society. But she has sublimated pains into art and fights against unfairness! Uzma, you're a brave winner!! I admire all these students. Their art works are fabulous. 

Talking of my taste, I like Rebecca Rego's work most. I coloured it in a studio from my memory and more freely. I like Rebecca's work, because she loved reading books in her childhood, which motivated her to create the sculptures. "Quentin Blake" illustrated Matilda was on the top of the piled books. Me, too, was a bookworm and great to know there are young people still love books, not digitalised ones. It was so nice to see familiar children picture book characters or literature. I hope printed books will survive! Thank you for a security who allowed me to sketch it. 
Sydney Sketch Club is terrific! Thank you, Jennifer and lovely members. They took me to such lovely places. Friends, the exhibition is worth visiting. It has given me energy and inspiration to tackle my own art work. Australia, we have such talented young people. I sincerely hope they will keep enjoying their art activities and society will support youngish talents. 
Friends, Happy Painting and Be Creative!  


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Day Trip to Old Brewery in Mittagong, Sydney Sketch Club

Sydney Sketch Club made a wonderful day trip to the abandoned Tooth and Co. Brewery known as the Mittagong Maltings, a popular spot among photographers. My sketches are of the inside and outside of architectures and members. I sketched even a driving couple in a car, which amused other members. The tonal value handling of a dark forsaken building is successful. The effect of the light shining through the holes in the roof got good feedback. Also, I sketched a member and a guest. Which image do you like? 

In the Maltings, there are many old architectures with graffiti. All the buildings had artistic magnetism that seduced us, sketchers. Each sketcher started drawing a favourite subject. I started this architecture in a bright sunshine. A roof was damaged very badly, which sent "charm" to artists. The company trademark "horse" was on the right side of the architecture, Tooth and Co. You can see some graffiti on walls in this sketch. Btw, it was cooler than Sydney in Mittagong. If you go, bring a jacket!
The dark inside of an architecture fascinated me most. Ghosts might come up?! Left machines, disowned rail ways and scattered chains etc were on the ground. A member teased at me, "You imagine lot!" Yes, te, he! I simplified tonal values and emphasised light. I depicted the light coming through the roof holes. Members liked it. Thanks!  
Our special guest was a photographer. He and us had a nice chat over photos and technical topics at lunch. Many of members are interested in photography as well as drawing. Oh, the organiser Jennifer said, "He got the Sadami treatment!" Thank you, Jennifer. Here we go! He said with a smile, "You do the same thing in drawing as we do in photography." I have to confess that I joined a camera club ages ago and gave it up because I could not take photos like I wanted. Drawing is much quicker and easier for me than a camera!  
Now, animals and insects have taken over an abandoned place instead of people. We enjoyed to find little creatures whilst sketching -- cute ducks, singing frogs, beautiful butterflies, rabbits, kookaburras, grasshoppers and ... awww, too many mosquitoes in dark places! 
We stayed Mittagong for a whole day long and hard to leave there. Mittagong was full of fun and artistic treasures and appeal. Lots more to draw! I'd like to visit there again. 

This lovely couple gave me a lift, 1.5 hour drive to Mittagong and return. Most parts of highways are 110 km. Zooom, zooom! Our organiser Jennifer comments on my sketch, "You never a moment to waste!" Hahaha, thank you. Car pool is better than each person driving alone, regarding petrol/pollution/carbon footprint, etc. Besides, traveling with friends with the same mind strengthens a group bond. It was my first time to have a long chat with this new member. We've become friends. Nice! 
Whoa, Sydney Sketch Club is so great that takes members to different lovely spots and discover beauty. I really appreciate the organise Jennifer's hard work. (*do you know, she has been organising everything by herself!!) If you like, come and join us. Already, our members are over 2,000 and increasing.
Friends, Happy Painting! 


Monday, April 4, 2016

I Love Figures

Friends, this post shows a whole process from a black and white to the finished work, in all four and a colour chart. I like Helen Chamberlin's soft and gentle mood in her eyes -- that's what I wanted to show. 
"Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter... It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself." ― Oscar Wilde 

I played with colours in a background. But the background is a simply, a background. Only a sub actor in the work (A3). 
At the second stage of colour, I darkened eyes and enhanced a value. I wondered which background would be better, coloured or nearly blank. I decided to add a warm colour background and her shadow. 
This is the start of colour. It was a doodle. In my mind, bright colours came up for a background, but I was not sure how to organise it. 
This is a black and white. I felt a mistake in the drawing though, I always correct them in colour. So, I did not mind it and moved on.   
Colour layering is fun. "See through a bottom colour" is another beauty and trick of transparent watercolour. (I hope it does make sense to you!). I'll enjoy that technique more than ever. I look up my own colour chart on the wall. The chart shows transparency and opacity of 16 colours I have. 
Btw, how many colours do you have and use? Once, lecturers, Donna Rawlins and Wayne Harris said, "You do not use many colours," when they looked at my paint box. Although I have these colours in the box, I usually use limited colours only. I might as well use more colours?!   
I'm partially satisfied with the work and partially unsatisfied. It means I will try it again. I'm wondering what about changing a composition of colours or loosening up a subject and background etc, etc. Above all, I'm enjoying/learning how to handle a bigger paper for portraits.  
I repeat a same model or a same subject. It helps to study about people. Figures will never bore me. I hope I will enjoy figures more in watercolour painting. Wise Oscar Wild knew the subjectivity and the objectivity of portraiture. I just wonder what sort of Sadami revealed in the work. 
Friends, Happy Painting and Enjoy Portraits!