23 November 2011

moustache for movember

When I saw that Creaturemag was putting out a call for moustachioed creatures, I couldn't resist giving it a try. I submitted my moustache tree a few days ago and was happy to see him appear in  Part 6 of the Moustache Illustration Awards along with numerous other entertaining moustache-folk.

It's all to promote Movember, a face-grown and hand-brushed charity event that makes November moustache-growing season to raise awareness of men's health issues (cancer in particular).

They've just extended the deadline to Monday, November 28th, so why not sketch a moustache critter and send it their way? All entries will be judged by: Matt Witt of Creaturemag, Lee Rubenstein of Eat Sleep Draw, Siobhan Leddy of Flamingo Magazine and Jon Cockley of Handsome Frank.

Details are here. Give it a try! It's for a good cause and it's a great excuse to let your imagination go stache-wild!

22 November 2011

may i introduce you...

to five Japanese artists that are part of a trans-Pacific collaboration with me! We are exchanging art to show and sell on each side of the ocean, with our first exhibit and sale at 2011 Claymates, coming up on December 2nd and 3rd in Fremont, California (all the details at the end of this post).

You must first meet Yuuco, who blogs at Seeds of Happiness and is on twitter as @cocotia.

Miss yuuco (illustrator)

Born in Kagawa, 1977. Studied ceramics at Osaka university of arts. Drawing and writing everyday just like sowing flower seeds. Hoping her tiny words and illustrations will bloom somewhere one day to make people who saw it smile. :) Also working on etchings in recent years. 

Here is some of her cheerful artwork:

Yuuco is the originator of our art-exchange across the ocean and she has just sent me a precious package full of art from Japan! I have the ticket from the postman and have arrange for a redelivery tomorrow ~ so if you check in again shortly, you'll see pictures of the originals that have arrived in America. These will be from Yuuco and from and each of the artists below. Personally, I can't wait to open that parcel!

Next, please meet Ikecoo...

Miss ikecoo (illustrator)

Born in 1976, Kagawa. An artist who makes people feel happiness from her drawings. Studied design at Kyoto collage of Art & Craft. Started working as an illustrator in 2006. Drawing a lot every day, her dream is to make the world full of her happy pictures.


And now, I'd like to present Kanae Nagashima ~

Miss Kanae Nagashima (painter)

Born in Kagawa, 1985, Kanae studied oil painting in the Art Department of Hiroshima City University. While in school, she studied abroad on a short term program at Kingston University, UK. After graduation, she has been working as a designer, showing her work regularly in exhibitions. She is presently working as an Art Master in Kagawa.

画家。1985年香川県生まれ。広島市立大学芸術学部油絵学科卒業。在学中にイギリス キングストン大学短期留学。卒業後、関東でイベントフライヤー制作やカフェなどで作品展示し、現在は香川県を拠点に芸術士としても活動中。芸術士≫http://geijyutsushi.archipelago.or.jp/

Our fourth artist is Pen Artist Santacc!

Miss Pen Artist Santacc (pen artist)
Born in Kagawa, 1978. Studied design at Kyoto University of Art & Design. She draws by pen with rough & swirling strokes. She is also the owner of the art shop 'Make Merry!' where she deals with arts, crafts, illustrations, and many kinds of hand made things. She's managing art events, art projects and workshops too; her shop is always full of young artists. 

1978 年 生まれ
2003 年 京都造形芸術大学 学芸学部 情報デザイン学科卒業

Last but not least, a gentleman artist! Mr. Shingo Akiyama (for whom I do not have a website), who not only has a beautiful website but is also on twitter as @akiyamashingo. I am loving this picture of one of his murals!

Mr. Shingo Akiyama (painter)
Born in Kagawa, 1983. Studied oil painting at Kanazawa University of Arts & Crafts. Has had many solo exhibitions, group exhibitions and workshops since graduation. His main style is line drawings with floating bright colors and illustrations. Recently he painted an enormous mural in the middle of town and also designed the packaging for a newly opened patisserie.



If you're in the Bay Area on December 2nd and 3rd, you're invited to come by 2011 Claymates, an annual sale of pottery, jewelry, truffles and art!

All five artists above will be featured, as well as Toni Rica (prints), Chiori Tasaki (oils) and me!

Plus, a variety of works from the original founders of the event: Akio and Terry Aochi (ceramics and handmade chocolate truffles), Yukie Nakanishi (ceramics), Margie Dickerson (glass art jewelry) and her sister Bobbi White (lampwork glass creations). There may also be some Ethiopian art from Sewasew Meaza, who paints on "sefed" ~ a large, traditional woven plate.

There will be lots to see!
You're Invited to 2011 Claymates
Date: December 2 - 3, 2011 (Friday and Saturday)
Time: 10 am - 6 pm
Location: Akio's Studio at 1901 Mandan Court, Fremont, CA 94039

Hope to see you there. ^_^

16 November 2011

my 100th post: preparing for a show

Welcome to my 100th blog post, in which I'll share some new paintings of mine and some fine artwork from Toni Rica! ^_^

Not so long ago I received a note from Yuko in Japan, asking if I'd like to collaborate with her and some artists that she knew. We had only spoken briefly on twitter before (where she is @cocotia) so I was surprised but delighted by her suggestion. She had two venues, a "box gallery" and a cafe' where art could be shown. I hoped to find a couple show locations here in the Bay Area, and we decided to trade art so that artists on both sides of the Pacific could have their works displayed on the other side of the ocean.

I can hardly wait to receive the art from Japan so I can first ooh and aah over it, and then make plans for how and where to display it. I don't yet know exactly how many pieces are coming, or which artists ultimately decided to participate, so it's really going to be a lovely surprise. I'm all fired up!

I recently finished two paintings that I'll display on the U.S. side of things (they're a little big to send afar). One I've shared with you above and the other is below this paragraph. You may not recognize them, but I actually started these one year ago when I blogged about their first layers. They actually hung in my house, unfinished, for all that time. I knew they hadn't achieved their final transformation yet, but I enjoyed them anyway. Now that they're finished, I'm appreciating them even more. (Sometimes my art takes a very slow evolution.)

I titled this one: Resilience. But I think it could be interpreted many ways.

Toni Rica is one of the artists that will participate with me here in the Bay Area and then send her art to Japan for display/sale over there. She has been absolutely wonderful! From the moment I asked if she'd like to be a part of this collaboration she has jumped in with both feet and is full of ideas, warmth and positivity. So much fun! I feel so supported by her enthusiasm and am very excited that I'll soon get to meet her in person for the first time. We met originally on twitter (where she is @tonirica) and I feel so lucky that such a talented gal lives just 15 minutes away from me. It's quite fun to find a twitter friend that is also an actual neighbor.

Rica sent me some photos of some of the art she'll bring to our first Bay Area event in December. When I receive the art from Japan (and from any other local participants) I'll make an official flier but for now you can have a preview of some of the goodies to come from Rica's hand:

I find this to be so gorgeous!

The sea and hill make me think this is the Italian Riviera (though I've never seen this sort of elephantmouse there). I'll have to ask Rica what place she thought of when she drew it.

She's so good with the details! They flow out of her pen.

We have begun talking about how to display things and about further locales where we can hang our work. It's all new for us, and we don't know what will happen, but that is the fun of it ~ not knowing exactly what to expect, but being open to anything and enjoying the simplicity of creating and sharing what we've made with others.

And so my 100th post comes to a close. Thanks for reading!

12 November 2011

mail art & rabbit


Last week I received two packages in the mail, both from across the Pacific!  The weather was pleasant this morning, so I took them out to the back garden to photograph them in the grass. If you're familiar with rabbits, you know that they're naturally curious and mine is no exception ~ she hopped around and enjoyed checking out the mail art too.

The first envelope was from my new mail art pal, Emily Orpin in Seoul who writes the Good Things* blog that is always enviably full of worldwide travels, pretty photos and cute doxies, with splashes of fashion and crafts thrown in. She asked me what I'd be interested in receiving and I asked to see a bit of daily life in Korea. I was not disappointed by the many snippets of Seoul that she sent to me!

Pages of a Korean fashion magazine.

Magazine cutouts, handmade tags & a handmade book about Seoul by Emily.

Aren't the colors pretty? I am now under the impression that Seoul is full of soft, bright colors on pale, natural backgrounds. Let's look inside the amazing accordion book she made:

This was so fun to unfold page by page to always discover another view of her neighborhood, city and landscape. She also sent along tiny envelopes in pretty patterns with paper goodies tucked inside. I am going to be challenged to return something equally inspiring and beautifully presented to her. If I look around, I wonder what I'll find will be the palette of my city? Thank you, Emily!

The other treasure I received was a large envelope from Juri Kosaka in Tokyo, who I originally met on twitter (@juriko). We've exchanged some emails and come to know each other a little more. Although we've never met, I feel close! Earlier this year, she drew my desk from a photo that I sent to her. I liked it so much that she told me she would send me a copy. However, she also included many more things in her package:

The envelope has a frame of film stars and she also included a brochure from the Tokyo film festival.

Do you also see the beautiful bookmarks with her paintings on them? The colors remind me of Gaugin... a very clever and lovely idea as they have her contact information there, rather than on a regular business card. I shall surely use them when I read.

And here is the desk drawing... I'd better go clean it up so it looks nice and neat like that again!

When she told me she would send me a copy of this work, I asked her to send me a photo too, that I could draw for her. She sent me quite a number to choose from ~ but they're all nice... I don't yet know which one I'll pick.  

As an added surprise, Juri enclosed a small set of watercolor illustrations. In her letter, she asked me to draw on them, collage them, or find some way to use them in further art so we can create a new collaboration! The drawings are so delightful ~ I'm getting many ideas of how to use them, but I hope I have the skill to do them justice. ^_^;;

Bunny likes them too.

These two packages brought me so much cheer and inspiration! After receiving them, I spent the rest of the week painting on canvases that I'll share with you soon. There's still one that I'm wrestling with and hope to conquer this weekend. It's for a friend, which is why I think I'm not quite as relaxed about it as I should be. Pressure! 

I certainly have my work cut out for me... I now owe mail art to Jeannine Saylor, Jessica Gowling, Emily and Juriko. Time to create! Let's go! :D