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CV & work availabel at "Stylefile," "Art Access Australia," "City of Ryde."

Monday, June 29, 2015

Overwork or Stop a Brush?

Hi, Friends, we're a Hamlet at some degree in regard to decide a finishing touch of work. To stop, or not to stop ; that's the question. Btw, what is overwork? Does anyone have an idea of definition? It's vague. In my view, it depends a style and a context. So, neither a specific nor generalised answer is found. What do you think? A "context" includes a required goal for a painting and a subject's setting/mood/condition in work -- I've meant.
In my style, simple lines and a limited pallete are main. Freshness and liveliness is the most strength in my colour work. My black and white before painting is just like below. Technical criticism was "Put something more such as splashes etc," "Add more colours/paints," or "Have you finished this work?" at the beginning of my career. I accepted the critiques and worked on the suggestions, but I did not feel comfortable with corrected results. Too many brush strokes and decorated information killed the vigour in my work. Then, I've concluded that it depends on a style and the context in work. I've come back to what I am and keep on my own style. As a result, I've been more interested in a focal point in work in these years. It requires to simplify visual information as much as possible in work. 
For example, have a look of contemporary portraits at top level exhibitions such as Doug Moran and Archibald in Australia. You can often find a white or simplified background. They are all completed art work. Some people call my work sketches. But even called sketches, my work is already accomplished art work. *Of course, categorising is ambiguous and an empty thing in arts and not my job! It's up to viewers' value system. Unlike traditional portraits, postmodern portraits have gained more freedom of expression and shown variety of styles in different medium. The same is true of watercolour painting. It's changing, which very excites me. In international exhibitions, you'll feel what postmodernism encompasses in our future portrait work.
Regarding my own watercolour painting, I've decided not to touch a work in which once I stopped a brush. A newly added brush stroke will only mess up my work and worsen it than ever. I assume it's not appropriate to add a paint on an already dried work. Technically, it requires to "prewet" again (*by spray or brushes) on the dried work before a restart. I looked up the work above and I wonderd if I would add any thing more, even for a try? I, eventually, stopped it. When I become a Hamlet, I usually stop a brush and "the end." Then, I check the work. However, my general rule, "don't add more colour on a dried work," depends on a style or a goal. I add more brushes on an uncompleted work to achieve goals such as picture book illustration and a big painting.

Probably, to "find a finishing touch" is our another fun in creating work and a learning process. I'm a life long learner. Lastly, I'd dedicate Michealangelo's say for you, "I'm still learning." Hopefully, we will enjoy being Hamlets! 
Friends, Happy Painting!


Monday, June 22, 2015

"Moon" Available this Aug!

Friends, finally, Moon will be publilshed in August. Our distributor is Peribo.
Great news is a famous department store, David Jones has taken Moon! I'm getting wonderful and warm cheers from our team, a boss, many staff, author Matt, book designer Teresa, editor Helen, my mentor Ann, book launcher Libby Gleeson and other involved people. They shower me with their positive feedback, "Very beautiful!" and "Congratulations!" It amazes me, for I'm shy and nervous. (*Helen warmly smiles at me.) I'm...slowly feeling, very proud of our Moon and my illustrations. 

"Max's dad is far away on his fishing trawler and Max is missing him badly, until his dad tells him to look at the moon. 
Dad is looking at the moon too, the same one that is watching over Max." 

ISBN: 9781922081445 Author: ZURBO MATT Publication date: 01/08/2015 
RRP: $25.99 Format: Hardcover   Pages: 32  Dimension: 254mm X 230mm 
I've learned a lot and am learning more. The publication of Moon has taken two years. You've seen the process in this blog. Creating picture books is a painstaking process and absolutely, a group work! Communication skills are vital to create the best results from each person's work : a text, image, design, editing, printing, etc. I, an illustrator is only a part of the group work. If you cannot negotiate others or not respect team members and will not compromise your stance, you cannot be a picture book illustrator.

But Windy Hollow publisher respects me fully! I've experienced ups and downs in the process and found Helen, the editor is amazingly patient, tolerant and supportive. Can you imagine it? She's very much respected this emerging illustrator, listened to my feedback and used it for our discussions. I hope I will work with WH and Helen in the future! 

Helen Chamberlin

You can get these portraits I've worked on are all about Helen. I've looked at her for these years. The more, I know her, the more I admire her and really like who she is. Once, I was a bit shy and did not disclose who the model was on net. But now, it's time to tell it and also I certainly got her consent. Helen is a very lovely lady.  

Now, we're preparing for book launch at a bookshop. I'll contact local libraries and schools that have supported me for long years. Of course, my old uni lecturers and all the supporters, too! Friends, thank you for the great and longitudinal support! When we set the date for Moon book launch at a bookshop, come over and celebrate our hard work. The topnotches of Australian picture book publishing industry are coming. See you at a book launch, local libraries, school and ... David Jones?! Yey!  
Happy Painting, Friends!


Sunday, June 14, 2015

Anyone, Swimming?

Me, me! I know, some blog Friends are getting into summer and we're in the middle of winter! But I swim in an ocean pool as well as regulars. Of course, people are in overcoats with scarves (and me, too!). "You're brave," they say. I think so, too, hahaha. Saturday, only me was in the pool in the evening and at night. Water was very lovely (20'c) and warmer than a land! Ocean water was much warmer than the pool. It was a high tide and warm waves came in. Rather rough and sometimes waves pushed me away though, wonderful. Only the problem was, gee, a cleaner shut a changing room earlier than 6! I had to take a cold shower in an outside, brrrr, under beautiful falling stars. I met another old lady at the changing room. Smart! She brought a thermos for her own little shower. It was a brilliant idea and I want to do it. 
Btw, a bit heart "warming" story. I found a watch on the floor in a changing room on Saturday. It should be that lady's one, yes, with the thermos! But I was already in a swim suit without a leg embrace. It means I cannot walk well. I asked the tall lady with a dog just sitting there to chase up the old lady on the way to a car park. The kind lady said, "Ok! No worries. Do your job(=swim)!" and ran to the direction. 
Today, one old lady talked to me at the pool. She said, "Thank you. The watch came back to me!" Oh, good! The lady with the dog did it! (*when we met, it was already dark evening. I do not remember her face at all.) We enjoyed a chat after the swimming. The lady recently had lost her favorite watch and almost gave up the newly bought one. We were happy. I appreciated the tall lady's kindness. Tiny things though, I like such tiny nice things that make us happy. Water was a a bit colder than yesterday, 18'. A few challengers could not stay and got out of water at once. I hope these exercises will strengthen my legs. 

A sea is lovely. It has a magic power to make us kind and friendly. If you have a chance, go to a beach, enjoy swimming and sketch! I enjoyed washes and got thrilled in colour mixture in the uploaded sketch. Narrabeen beach is popular among surfers and we have big waves! When the sun warms water, it's not bad. All what you need is guts and challenge spirit. Once, you dive in water, swimming is a great fun!

You, too, Friends, Happy Painting!  


Monday, June 8, 2015

Bluegrass Music & how I've learned drawing

Hi, Friends, do you like music? Music is universal language. I sketched the bluegrass band at a market. While I was sketching, I began to sing together and tapped my feet. Many audience came around. We danced along the music played. We love bluegrass music. A studying methods of drawing is, in my opinion, very similar to learn music, I felt. I interviewed the fiddle player.

The lady started a violin at five years old and studied classic music. Wow! Before a primary school! She encountered bluegrass music much later in her life. It charmed the classic music violinist and turned her into a fiddle player! She went to study bluegrass in the States for a while. Her enthusiasm for music amazes me. Today, she loves to teach music at school and enjoys bluegrass for a hobby. Interesting. As far as I know, all violinists whom I've met have started from classic music and studied it well or completely for years. Then, they pick up their favorite music and will move onto a different area such as bluegrass.
I haven't studied at Art School though, it's never discouraged me. Some of us have never tried an art school and wonder how to study drawing. Me, too, started by myself. Start up with classic is a good option. "Read an old book. Take old wine," is wise advice. An artist needs both knowledge and skills. It's a chicken and egg issue. Basic knowledge and drawing skills are foundation for an artist to develop a unique style. Experience can bond knowledge and skills well. Just draw -- and that is all for me and my practice. I've started drawing from 3 or 5 yrs old and spent years in drawing. Little Sadami especially loved to copy illustrations in books and later loved copying famous works (*Mum loved to hang my paintings at home, hahaha?! Some were sold). I often made the caricatures of famous authors in literacy text books and my friends loved them at school, hahaha! I read through each classic artists' life/biography at library or book shops. Then, I studied about some theories used in visual art and went on drawing more and... to the present. Only the course I did is a "children picture book illustration workshop." Other people ask me to teach them. I want all the people to teach me! There isn't any magic, but I draw, draw, draw, while studying.
When I look back the past and think of myself, my experience has turned out good and made me humble. I always say, "Just a beginner (and truly so)" at any places. Because I haven't studied at an art school, I always ask others to teach me. Established artists are generous to mentor modest hard workers. Many people have supported me. Oh, yes, my friend's relative gave me my nice watermark (= *I still do not know how to create it). Then, I've chosen portraits and picture book illustration for favorite genres like that violinist did.   

We, learners sometimes need help, particularly, in exploring styles. If you do not have a mentor, never miss any good opportunity you have. Guts and enthusiasm touch others hearts. Look at me. I met Heesco on a street and he kindly taught me, "Heesco made a mural on Eastwood library." Fortunately, always I bump wonderful artists or teachers : lecturers at Julian Ashton Art School (*Can you believe that I joined their public freebie life drawing class on a street? I saw their ad on newspapers and popped up there!), Robin Norlin's life drawing class at NSW, Ann James, Helen Chamberlin etc, etc. Really, world leading artists have taught me and still mentor me.

So, Friends, let's enjoy drawing. Your passion will open doors. Art is universal language.
We have a long weekend. I enjoyed a long distance swim in an ocean pool in winter. Very cold! But it's my reward for a hard work for these busy weeks.
Special thanks for the violinist, for giving me the permission to post the topic. 
Friends, Happy Painting!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

May31, "Meal" EDiM for Sydney Sketch Club

Yey, Friends, Sydney Sketch Club celebrated the end of EDiM. Brave survivors enjoyed lunch and had a wonderful time at a hotel! A fantastic social occasion. A member secretly organised everyone to quietly sign a "thank you card" for our great hard working and caring organiser, Jennifer. It became a happy surprise for her! Our sketch books went around members and laugh poured on a table hours after hours. We matched each member's face, an individual avatar and work. A group activity is marvellous! Variety of interpretation of each theme and unique work has popped up everyday. They are humours cartoons, serious drawings of social issues, beautiful fine art and light sketch with watercolour, digital medium, acrylics, pastel and so ons. We laughed, thought of society and appreciated art through members' brilliant work. Our EDiM is a great success! 

The members at the lunch table said, "Invite us for your book launch and an exhibition!" Wonderful and so sweet!! It has become a great encouragement. Having the exhibition and book launch is not easy, especially in a financial aspect. But I will never give up and carry it out my dream that is almost on the way. I really, really appreciate the members warm cheers. 
A big surprise was that many members wanted to see my whole work in a binder. (*I was late to come, but they all welcomed me!). It made me shy. After the lunch, some members sketched outside in Central park. Me, too, went there. Brrrr, cold winter! The members were eager to know how to draw figures. Some said, "My humorous explanations often made others laugh well. Nice! We were very "hot" art lovers in a chill wind. 

This is my brekkie. (*I know, blog Friends say, "Wow, your "still life" work!") Sydney Sketch Club Members say, "So healthy!" Or I might be very lazy?!

This EDiM experience has given me the concrete confidence of my drawing ability and time management. I worked out a task in a very short time and used time very efficiently. Idea and subject search is the key. Inspiration and a subject are anywhere, if you have an eye. For example, the first image was a winner's husband at the City of Ryde exhibition. I added my imagination and he is holding a bank cheque. I used it for the theme, "Money." Btw, he said he was an artist. My on spot sketching excited him so much. He almost spoke loud, "I've never seen a person like you in my life! We say we should sketch all the time and we don't. BUT you do sketch anything and anywhere!" Yes, that's my only assets. Sketching is easy. All what we need is "paper, one pencil and a few minutes." It has built up current Sadami and still my skills are developing positively.  
Anyway, did you enjoy the daily sketching in May? Already Sketch Club Members look forward to a next meeting and want a next challenge. I'm very happy to be surrounded by such wonderful people. How supportive and friendly! 

Then, my blog will go back to weekly again. Thank you very much, all blog Friends. Your support has enabled me to get through this marathon task. In turn, I will keep up drawing more than ever and create good work for you! I love you all, dear Friends!  
Friends, Happy Painting! 


Saturday, May 30, 2015

May30, "Money," EDiM for Sydney Sketch Club

Oh, Friends, tomorrow will be the last day of this every day challenging. I sketched a busker for the theme. Sketching music players is fun. Often people wonder how I sketch music players, make nice portraits and even caricatures. In the last post of "Mick Jagger caricature," blogger "minniemie" asked how I make portraits and caricatures. Today, I do it "intuitively." I draw tens of millions times. No magic. I do not have guidelines to capture features. But, in figure drawing, think of this fact: we are same human beings, yet different individuals. We have commonality. What are differences in us? Observe people all the time, face expressions and how we move around, etc, even without sketch books. Then, I recommend, first, "Draw lots of portraits, tens of millions," and do even quick daily sketches of figures. Once, you get the “points/features” of an individual, even only a few lines can show who’s who. Experience is the best teacher. Please do not chase up similarity. It runs away from you, as long as you pursue it. I always do not do it. Just draw people. Look at a subject from multi angles. Choose one favourite angle, is my way. You begin to feel like telling “something” about that person/model. Then, I get on portraits.  Resenblance will follow you. My caricatures respect models and I enjoy creating them. It does not exaggerate likeliness in an ugly way. So, models love my work! I hope my answer will assist you some! 

Finally, the last theme is a "meal." Ah, we will get together at a pub and celebrate our survival with Sydney Sketch Club members! Yey!! 
Friends, Happy Painting! 

Friday, May 29, 2015

May29, "Mick Jagger," EDiM for Sydney Sketch Club

Friends, I really enjoyed to create this image for a theme, "music." But I do not listen to rock music and have no idea about it. Only Mick's body language has always interested me. I did not listen but "looked at" their music. I wanted to draw him one day. Ah, I did it!! Great fun. I admire the energy of Rolling Stones for more than a half century. Btw, people say that my caricatures look nice. Because I like each person/subject so much and work on a caricature, I have no reason to make a subject ugly. 
Have you ever tried caricatures? It's fun. I like this way. My mentor called it "fun drawing." If you can exaggerate a person's features, that'll turn out a fun portrait. It's worth trying, Friends! I love drawing any figures.  
Now, a tomorrow's theme is "money." 
Friend, Happy Painting!!