March 31, 2011

Selected Hipstamatic Photos

A relative's warehouse

Ohagi (Japanese sweet) and green tea

Shot of the ground I was standing on, pretty.

A sweet shop in town

A saki brewery

Spring was already there

A family shrine?

Love the texture of rust and decay

Dangling like a jewelry...

An old warehouse, black and white

Pieces of old roof tiles

Lovely leaves

 the End


In addition to Danny Gregory books (this & this) that I highly highly recommend, I have been reading many art and drawing related books these days.
It's like when I was a consultant - we usually start with reading a pile of books in the related industry and subjects.  I need this much passion for my work too.  I know.

Now I probably own more than 100 knitting books and magazines, which I collected in the past 3 years.  I hope the same thing won't happen with drawing...

Drawing for Pleasure
Drawing for Pleasure
This turned out to be too basic for me, I didn't find much new in this book.

Victorian Goods and Merchandise: 2,300 Illustrations (Dover Pictorial Archive Series)
Victorian Goods and Merchandise: 2,300 Illustrations (Dover Pictorial Archive Series)
A great resource for design and art journaling!

Heraldic Designs for Artists and Craftspeople (Pictorial Archive Series)
Heraldic Designs for Artists and Craftspeople (Pictorial Archive Series)
A really intense archive of every possible heraldic design you can imagine.  A "wow" book.

The Bible of Illuminated Letters: A Treasury of Decorative Calligraphy (Quarto Book)
The Bible of Illuminated Letters

And the last one, below, found at a bookstore today.  Although you find a lot of books on how to practice sketching, I found this one exceptionally helpful for me.  Like he describes how you "look".  Look at the subject very very closely, look down on your blank sheet of paper, visualize the contour on the blank surface without actually moving your hand, then finally start drawing.  He suggest to repeat looking and visualizing as many time as necessary, until the "memory" is stored in your side like a hard drive.
This kind of advice worth more than common instructions on how to draw apples or dogs.

There are some more, but I don't want to scare you too much. Besides, I shouldn't buy books until I move...

March 29, 2011

King's Speech

Not sure why I waited until last Sunday to watch it.  I knew it would be a wonderful film, and yes it was, but it was beyond my expectation.    Actors were all very charming, I am a big fan of all of them - Colin Firth, Jefery Rush, Helena Bonham Carter (except for her role in Harry Potter series - too good that she's too scary).

I discovered that I love drawing people.  People as a subject is very tricky.  Harder than landscape or flowers, in which you really don't have to draw exactly as they are. You can add a petal or two, a house or 10 houses, and no one will notice.   It's easy to notice the difference between the picture and the model in case of portraits.   But I still like it.  I want to be able to do it relaxed and effortless.  I succeeded a little bit with Helena on the right.  Not with Colin.

I also realized that I love drawing on dark backgrounds with white pencils.  I used to do that a lot while in highschool or in college, unintentionally.  I used to draw the full moon on black piece of paper.

March 28, 2011

Hot and Cold

I wrote last Friday that I would post more photos from the last trip, but I have been suffering from heavy headache since then, and have not had an energy to edit more images.
I seem to have caught a cold, for I felt hot and cold and hot, repeatedly throughout today, and now again cold. Slight fever. It's been unusually cold in Japan this year, so my mental (feeling spring) and physique (still feeling cold) are in a hard debate whether this is almost April or not.

But, some images of my drawings I can post. I can't stop to draw these days. Knitting projects in a basket are screaming for more attention...

 I watched the Untouchables for the second time, the first time being when I was 10 or something.
True elegance.
It felt like the movie was one of the last works done in Hollywood's Golden Age.  I love everything about it.

When I was a little girl, I used to say that "one day, I want to marry someone who would look like Sean Connery when he gets old."  Never imagined back then that nobody would look like Sean Connery except for Sean Connery himself!  Wished I had a chance to see him in person while he is still genki.

March 25, 2011

Spring in a Village 村の春

Some photos from my last trip to my mother's hometown.

I wanted to stay there longer...much, much longer. Spring was a perfect time of the year to walk around the houses, out of the village, into the mountain.

The wildness of weeds, vines, tall grasses, branches - intoxicating. I need a better lens.

More narratives and photos to come, perhaps in the next few days.



We are all in the gutter,
but some of us are looking at the stars.
Oscar Wilde

I must start all over again. I must go down into the earth, naked, once more.
Somewhere, beneath an open sky, I must find at last what I am seeking.
Vincent Van Gogh

I wish there was an English version of this book. The book on Aphorism, written by a Japanese writer / radio personality, Robert Harris(half Japanese by birth, and I don't know where the other half he belongs to).
He spent most of his life as sort of an outcast, traveled all over the world, and experienced everything from (a lot of ) bad to good. His view is full of whit, cynicism, yet warm.
A great, great book, keeping me company while I rock between anxiety and responsibility, optimism and abandonment.

Keep Calm

I never imagined we would be facing this kind of situation in Tokyo while the disaster happened elsewhere. Also, I didn't imagine what I was researching in school, ecological city planning, becomes so relevant in this country so soon, like we should not build anything on the 100 year flood plains.
Hard to keep calm, hard to keep quiet, but I'm trying hard.
The atmosphere in Japan is that you would look like a traitor if you run away, but don't you think it's wiser to escape when you sense some danger? I don't know.
But I want to declare here, clearly, that I am not afraid to be a traitor or a coward. I value my family and my life than my job, nor the imaginary concept of "our country".
Anyway, I'm still drawing. These days I want to draw all the time, even while I'm sleeping.

March 14, 2011

insomnia, uncertainty, drawing

I have been drawing. Maybe this book is helping me a lot.
Somehow, drawing comes easy in the midnight hours, when I feel scared and cannot sleep.

The Creative License: Giving Yourself Permission to Be The Artist You Truly Are

They are not so good yet, which is why I am using Instagram to take photos with.