15 August 2015

afternoon watercolors

I made some sketches earlier this summer from a trip to Japan. Now I'm playing with them - adding watercolor, mostly. These were statues on the steps leading to a temple in Kyoto. They're still just in pencil, but I'd like to ink them in. 

I liked this statue of Izumo no Okuni that stands near the Kamogawa River in Kyoto. The plaque nearby said she used to perform a "Kabuki Dance" in 1603 there on the riverbank. Later, only men played parts in kabuki theater (to protect social morals) so I suppose she didn't get to dance anymore? I haven't yet captured how cute her face is. Will have to work on that. 

I added colored pencil in blues and greens and we'll see where we go from here...

There was a huge, beautiful tree. I sketched its branches and added watercolor today. Still need to paint in all the tiny leaves and sunlight.

Adding watercolor and colored pencil to the beer mugs. Now to figure out how to make them more frosty.

Not really working on finishing anything. Just jumping between pages in my sketchbook. Relaxing Saturday!

11 August 2015

Sketchbook Project Tour 2015

In San Francisco, with Seattle, Chicago, Oakville and Toronto to go!

The Sketchbook Project is touring the U.S. and Canada now ~ and they say it's the final tour. So sad! After this, all the sketchbooks will stay permanently in the Brooklyn Art Library apart from a few small excursions in the local Brooklyn neighborhood.

This past weekend, the mobile library came to the Bay Area, so I dashed up to The Yard at Mission Rock to reunite one more time with my 2014 book, 23 Haiku, and to check out some new books too. I decided to send 23 Haiku on tour again, in honor of my dad. We are coming up on the second anniversary of his passing, so revisiting our artistic 'collaboration' left me thoughtful but happy.

I really like the sketchbooks that have art on the covers. About half of the ones I received were elaborately designed and the other half just had blank cardboard covers. I was surprised! I think the cover tells a lot about what might be awaiting in the interior pages and pulls the reader in, making them want to open the book.

This one by Anita Stewart was interesting because she also attached a fine net onto the cover and then (probably) applied modpodge or other glue so that it became firmly a part of the cardboard and art.

Another cool cover on a sketchbook titled Astronaut. This one is by Jeannine Ortiz, who digitized her book so you can see the entire sketchbook here. The story inside was very much like the cover, with ink, Sharpie, bold lines and fluorescent colors.

Inside cover was nice, too!

Loved this book by Marta Selusi, Winter Dreams, about two friends who live in different dimensions who can only meet briefly each winter. The stitching of felt and paper on the cover added a softness and texture to the book, and the story inside was beautifully done.

I don't think she digitized her book, so I really want to share some of her interior illustrations.

Some elements of the story reminded me of my first sketchbook, Lights in the Distance, but Marta's drawings and the flow of her book are more sophisticated than mine. Still, the story of another world, friends crossing and connecting between them, a little animal companion... there were some similarities.

Another book with a comic strip theme was this one by Danny Ryba. The Penguin Bros. was funny and cute, but I had camera issues ~ mainly fighting the strong breeze that began to blow all the pages ~ and I didn't get a clear shot of his artwork. He does have some other sketchbooks digitized, however, such as this one here.  I liked his explanation of the origins of the Penguin Brothers.

Susan da Sie is an artist from Montreal and she made some beautiful pencil drawings. See her full book here.

And finally, we looked at this book, which I enjoyed for its spicy peanut sauce recipe and the stream-of-consciousness musings about the environment.

Only problem is that I could not find the artist's name in my notes, which is very disappointing. If anyone recognizes this book, please let me know ~ thank you! That will conclude our tour today...

10 August 2015

handmade ceramics summer sale

Yukie and Akio are having a summer clearance sale! It's true. Usually they have a spring sale and a winter sale, but this year is special. They want to clear a lot of inventory and they're adding in some not-entirely-perfect "seconds" and giving a surprise summer discount.

I popped in early to get a sneak peek and picked up a beautiful tray, a cute vase and even a big, covered casserole that will be perfect for bringing a hot dish to a potluck. There was a really gorgeous, dark, subtly textured black vase that I strongly considered getting... but I had to leave it for another lucky person because I am running out of storage for all these useful works of art.

Come by and find something wonderful!