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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!