29 January 2011

mailbox: from jessica gowling

The collage queen is delicious & the deer print divine!

Print artist and creative mind Jessica Gowling invited me into her mail art circle and sent me these beauteous items last month. With the Sketchbook Project completed, the time has come for me to send her something in return. I made one item already and have the easy part of the next one done. Can't wait to finish and mail my art to my Canadian pal up north! Thanks for the awesome art, @jessicagowling!

27 January 2011

sketchbook project progress {part 5}

Flying deer

The sketchbooks have been mailed in. Artists are posting images of their sketchbook contents on the art house site (like Jessica Gowling) and on flickr, twitter, etc.

As for me, I'm running behind. After spending so much time making the sketchbook, I didn't have so much time afterward for sharing it! In fact, it's now 3:00 a.m. ~ the only time I've found so far to do this sort of thing.

Since it's late, I'll share just some random pages from my Lights in the Distance themed sketchbook that you haven't seen before. One day I'll make a page for them all to go in sequence, cover to cover, hopefully some time soon.

The colors on this one made me happy. The forest looked just as I remembered it.

Deer turned out to be an unexpectedly big theme in my book ~ specifically, the white fallow deer from Mt. Madonna.

More deer as well as two sisters that remind me of a lot of sister sets I know.

This one was just fun. Deer camouflage.

Deer, a cute piggy lament and two sisters with awesome hair.

20 January 2011

cluck cluck!

Here is my contribution to Jannie Ho's Chicken Week! She's made of clay, single-fired and painted with acrylics.

As you can see, she's laid a little yellow egg. (What do you expect from a yellow chicken?)

The two of us follow Jannie (aka Chicken Girl) on twitter @JannieHo and loved her chicken-themed Sketchbook Project comic "If You Lived Here"

Cluck! Cluck!

16 January 2011

mailbox: from gizem vural

I bought this simple but sweet calendar from Gizem Vural, (aka my twitter friend @ponchikk), off of her Etsy site. I was very happy to receive it in the mail, all the way from Istanbul! I love her cute and thoughtful illustrations.

As a little gift, she also sent me this darling bookmark and printed drawing. Thank you!

09 January 2011

asian inspiration

Took a large group of students to the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco last week. We saw Beyond Golden Clouds a special exhibit of Japanese screens that was exquisite and simply inspirational.

One of my favorites was a dual set of screens by Tosa Mitsuoki: Autumn Maples with Poem Slips (above) was displayed on the left, and on the right, Flowering Cherry with Poem Slips (below).

See them together to get the full effect here on the Art Institute of Chicago site. (Click on View Enlargement ~ it's worth it!)

There were so many incredible paintings and the docent told us some of the wonderful stories behind them. I came away with many new ideas for my Sketchbook Project.

After our tour, we also visited the Japanese wing on the second floor. I was allowed to use my camera there, since the items are part of the permanent collection. These are some of the things I really liked:

 Ceramic flower

 Two six-panel screens
(even though they're not as amazing
as the ones in the special exhibit).
Still, I like the idea of "reading" their story from left to right.

 Classic Lion / Dog statues ~ always fun.
If I'd had time to enter the Asian Heritage Festival poster contest,
I might have proposed one of these guys. Maybe next year...

The flames are awesome.
There are actually two birds in them.

 Head of a Haniwa figure

Love these guys! My dad had these types of primitive statues (Haniwa) on our mantel when I was growing up. It was like seeing old friends to find them in the museum. And look at this huge one with the wonderfully large pantaloons!

We went through the Korean wing on the way out and there were these enormous and gorgeous embroidered textiles hanging there. The photo doesn't even do it justice. I think they're giant chrysanthemums. You'll have to take my word for it that they're much more ethereal in person.

Final favorite are these cute wire hats. How charming it would be to live in a place where people went around wearing these all the time.

Outside the museum, there's a lot to take in. The security guard suggested I make this photo of the museum banner with City Hall in the background.

And I love the building around the corner with its grand proclamation. Since I had students with me, I didn't get to walk over there and see if there really was truth to be found.

Right now, there's also a colossal statue Three Heads Six Arms on display in the Civic Center Plaza. The photos I took of it all have students in them, so I refer you instead to artist Zhang Huan's site in the link above for multiple views of its massive glory. It really does have three heads and six arms.

06 January 2011

sketchbook project progress ~ {part 4}

My sketchbook is starting to have its own personality, which is exciting, but also belated since it's due in less than two weeks. I've so many ideas for the direction it's taking me ~ just need more time to spend in its company! Here are some snapshots of the pages I've finished (wish I could show you their true, bright colors):

And one page-spread that is still in progress... I must still deepen the water, add a school of fish, more sea creatures, and lights sparkling on the water.

Every other double-page spread will follow a story that has inked lines and color. In between those there is pencil work with notes and sketches of the day or thoughts about the overall progress of the book. The reason for this layout is because the ink shows through the back of the page, so I can't really keep inking in sequence. It annoyed me at first, but now I think it's more interesting.

I need to keep pushing along... some of my Sketchbook Project friends have already submitted their books, like @juriko in Japan. @jessicagowling is also very close to being done. I'm motivated ~ I know I can do it!

01 January 2011

happy new year!

A new year feels like fresh starts and new beginnings. I've been cleaning out my closets and making plans for good things to come. My wish for me and you is to have a creative and wonderful 2011!

As it happens, my pet rabbit turns one today, on 1-1-11, and it's going to be the Year of the Rabbit. I don't know what it means exactly, but it seems auspicious and I'm pretty sure it's a sign of many beautiful things in the new year.

あけましておめでとう! Felice Anno Nuovo! Happy New Year!