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Friday, January 27, 2017

Where Do You Come From?

An old uni friend, her sister and I enjoyed the movie "Lion," nice dinner and wonderful "gelato"! (in a very popular Italiano shop!) The theme of the movie is identity, home and belongingness, based on a true story. A story is of a lost Indian boy, Saroo adopted to Australian parents. 25 yrs later, he desperately seeks for his biological family in India. Grown up Saroo's agony and obsessive seek for the place where he once had belonged to moves audience. A young boy played little Saroo very well. Landscapes in India are beautiful. I could hear many audience sob in a theatre. Me, too, tears up.
Identity is a very private, personal and delicate issue.
...,that's why I do not ask others, "Where do you come from?" I came across several people adopted in Australia in university and some meetings. Some people ask others to introduce themselves and question, "Where do you come from?" Of course, that question has no malicious intention to hurt others. But it could be too heavy to answer for adopted people. All adopted people I met were still searching for their biological parents. Like Saroo, they were frantically tracing back and could not find answers. It is heart breaking. When I heard their self introducing, I felt that question was too much. 
Yet, identity has a public element as well as private facts. So, we search for who we are individually in any form and socio-cultural aspects. Sometimes, we publicly get together, as if we ensure our identity and the belongingness of a group or a community. A clan is a good example. On Australia Day, Sydney Sketch Club enjoyed Celtic festival that had clan bands marching and dancing. Bagpipers and drummers were particularly gorgeous and glorious. My sketches are a bagpiper, a drummer and a lady drummer with pom poms. It is lovely to see the "performance of identity" in different forms. Each person looked so happy. 
However, if a person cannot either claim or clarify her/his identity openly and publicly, it is tragedy and a great pain. I'd like to think of such voiceless people or who have lost their identities in time. What do you think about identity and that question "Where do you come from?", Friends? A bit more sensitivity and kind concerns for others is necessary, if we ask a third party's origin such a personal topic. In my experience, once, others open their hearts, they tell their whole life background. Until that day, I do not ask others and silently await it with my genuine empathy.
Friends, Happy Painting!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

How Young Are You?

Regarding "How old are you?", we might as well change ways of asking such as "How young are you?" When I play with children in a park or elsewhere, kids ask my name and "How old are you?" Quite interesting to see their parents secretly smiling or giggling around me. I feel adults want to know how old I am, too.  My answer is clear. "When I was born, I saw dinosauruses walking around my house. I'm very old. They were huge. I saw a T Rex." One day, my answer impressed a little boy. He asked me, "Were you scared?" "No, some of them were friendly and not so big." Ah, what a shame, I had to go home after exercises in a park (*the picture book illustration is waiting for me!). I wish I could have a chat with that boy! In our imaginative world, the boy and I could have played with dinosauruses. I love to do pretending with children. Why are children young?
A girl between a woman and a child
I think because children have dreams, creativity and imagination. As long as a person has a dream and strives for it, she is young, I believe. Among us, adults, I feel some people are much younger than their real ages. They have dreams, working to achieve it or enjoying their work. "How young are you?" sounds appropriate to ask such young heart people. I do not mean to deny our physical aging though, the sentence sounds nice. People enjoying their work are shining. I feel that Emma Bennison is one of them, young people. 
Emma Bennison steps down Accessible Arts Australia Chief Executive Officer and will move on to lead Blind Citizens Australia, the national consumer organisation of Australians who are blind or vision-impaired. She was the first AAA CEO with disability since 2012. Thank you very much, Emma, for your wonderful work in the arts, disability and cultural sectors. I'd express a deep gratitude for Emma's genuine empathy and huge efforts on behalf of artists with disability. She's kind and brave that she even disclosed a private life as an example in conferences to talk of the quest of equality and human rights. It was lovely to make friends with world leading peak bodies through her in Arts Activated Conference 2016 held by Accessible Arts NSW. 
Also, her attitude has become my role model. Not only being staying passively in a peak body, but also, taking initiatives in society is the beauty of a participant.  
I'll take initiatives and want to pay back what I've received from AAA and Emma to society. 
Emma, please keep up your wonderful work. I'll do my best in my own way. I wish her success, joy and a bright future. 

"How young am I?" I ask myself. I enjoy my work (*oh, I love it absolutely!!) and hope myself to keep a fresh eye to see the world like a child. 
Forever young Friends, Happy Painting! Enjoy dream and life! 


Monday, January 16, 2017

Keep It Simple

"If I create from the heart, nearly everything works; if from the head, almost nothing." -- Marc Chargall.  
Idealism though, my favourite quote. In my eyes, some works are technically not so sophisticated, but they well talk to viewers and will remain in our heart. Take examples of the paintings created by young children and people with disability. Some are striking and moving. The same is true of the opposite case. Technically, some work could be spectacular, but they perish from our memory in a few minutes. A Japanese proverb, "仏作って霊入れず," means "a sculptor forgot putting a soul into a Buddha statue."     
When I get stuck in creating work, I ask myself and go back to a very basic original motivation, "Why do I draw it?" The simpler, the stronger a motivation is. A naive desire, "I want to draw it!" bears time and will get through difficulty. I encountered the quick sketches of moving people in an art magazine in my teenage. It was sensational and very fresh. The ordinary people in sketches were spontaneous and lively. How beautiful...! I felt. I wished to describe all walks in ordinary people's ordinary life. Technically, I determined to capture moving people like those sketches. Imagine, my real drawing skills were far behind the goal at that time. 

But the thirstiness was so strong. Technical things and knowledge will follow an enthusiastic pursuer in art. After school, I diligently studied human anatomy, learned about materials and kept sketching in anywhere for years... and to the present. To gain drawing skills is a painstakingly time consuming process. My strength "love of drawing," compensated a painful practice. The zeal has filled the gap between the poor drawing skills at my starting point and a current produced/ing art level. When I closely look at my motivation, I can trace it back to a childhood. 

To keep the high ground is not easy that demands a huge energy in a longitudinal work such as big size paintings and picture book illustration. They are equal to an incessant process of personal growth. A new horizon comes up after a horizon in my art journey. I cannot rest in labour, want to move on and enjoy challenge. I want to learn lots more. Yes, I'm hungry in a healthy manner. 

I keep my way simple and be careful not to get blinded by technical things too much. I hope people will feel heart in my work. I want to depict the inner world of a person in figures. 
What do you want to do in drawing this year? Let's enjoy drawing! 
Btw, don't ask me what I was doing in church. Ahem, drawing is my prayer. 
Also, I'd express gratitude to your support of my facebook and instagram. People in publishing industry, Accessible Arts NSW, National Association for Visual Arts, fine artists, art lovers, Sydney Sketch Club, Urban Sketchers Sydney, Urban sketchers Australia visit my posts.    
Friends, Happy Painting!  


Sunday, January 8, 2017

Weaving a Life. Choice of Colours Up to Us.

I think life in a positive way, move on and keep weaving my life with joy. Living life is like weaving a fabric. I feel how to choose threads and put colours on them, is the key. Things happen in our lives. They are plain white, not sad or happy.  Or facts do not have colours. It's up to us or our value system, how we see it and what sorts of colours we put on occurrence. Always we have options how we see or feel ongoing things. It's natural to feel sad, etc, emotions about events. I enjoy my emotions in ups and downs. That's life. But I do not want matters to ride on me. I'm the boss of my life!
I will enjoy weaving my life with colourful threads. I do not want to look back. Already, the woven part is "here" in the present. It's not wise to do it again and only mess up "there" in the past. Physically, it's impossible to go backward. Rather, I appreciate mistakes, errors, called whatever and love them all. Without tumbling down, I will never learn how to dance! I will make a colourful and beautiful life story. 

I've learned the importance of the control of life from psychology at uni. I've gained positiveness in me. I read through many psychologists : V.E Frankl, Rollo May, Carl Rogers, Maslaw, Karen Horney, Judith Herman etc, etc ...and Yalom. Lots of reading has given me the insights of life. It was, indeed, my psychology lecturer's help, a second generation of Auschwitz survivors. She tried hard not to cross the boundary though, she wanted to assist me to find a future direction to go. I chose art. It was right. 
But today, I feel, "JUST DO IT! Time of reading was over!". I forgot what I had read, hahaha! 

Positiveness is the strength to make us happy. If I choose life passively in a negative way, it means that I become a loser. The person who learns from setback is always a winner. Of course, we cannot change all the elements of life, but we can change lots. Yes, we know, how to accept what happens on us is crucially important in the control of life. 
Btw, I've started Instagram. The logo is below. The Instagram will be the selection of my best art work. Look forward to it. I hope I will make a lot of quality work so to enter my own Instagram. Established Australian illustrators, Elise Hurst and Anna Walker have helped me to set it up. I, a technological wondering sheep, still do not know how to upload images at Instagram and facebook at the same time. I do not get how to answer a comment in instagram. Keep patience, please. I will learn it step by step and certainly reply for each comment. 
Thank you, all friends, for warm support!
I hope 2017 will be a creative and wonderful year for all of you and me.