Interested in purchasing artwork? Please leave comment with your email address. I'll contact you.
CV & work availabel at "Stylefile," "Art Access Australia," "City of Ryde."

Monday, August 3, 2015

Wesley Mission Building Dreams Project for people with disability

Hi, Friends, I'd talk of our unlimited ability and the potential in each person. I've worked with Wesley Mission again to carry out Building Dreams projectIt has three purposes : respite for carers burnt out, inclusion of people with disability, public awareness of issues related to carers and clients.The first year attempt resulted in a great success. So, it comes back! A great honour, I'm appointed to be their mentor!! This program will go on for the future. Yey! Thank you for big cheers last year.  
Prof Stephen Hawking
We had the final day of the watercolour workshop last week. It was wonderful. Clients really enjoyed watercolour and took initiatives. They gave me a huge "thank you card" with a big chocolate box. Oh, sweet! Really sweet. I asked them, "Let's share it?" But they would not. 
Then, each of clients stood up and told me thanks with their own words. One client with the impairment in eye sights, firstly stood up. It was very unexpected for me. "Sadami is different. She dedicated. We learned different techniques, salt, crayons, blowing etc, for watercolour.... Thank you very much." I shed tears, tears of joy. She had been very quiet, but today, she often burst into a big laugh and enjoyed drawing! Each of the clients told me wonderful says. 

In the card, I found, 
"Dear Sadami 
For all your efforts teaching us and sharing your artistic gifts 
and sunny smile!" 
I sobbed again.... 
I assisted a client who could hardly move on a wheel chair. I had given him my watercolour painting of his dream, "riding a horse" before. Today, that work impressed the carers and they asked "Could we keep it at his home?" Yes, my pleasure! I sketched that client. He was very shy and could hardly smile. But in my eyes, his smiling was so beautiful and shining. 

The clients and carers really look forward to coming to my solo exhibition "Over the moon with watercolour!". Chrissie Cotter Gallery has a wheel chair access. I want all of them to come and have fun together in workshops there. A carer and I said, "How nice they are! We feel as if they were our own children," we nodded together with a big smile. 
This year's clients were more difficult for me, a tutor, than the clients of a last year because of the degree of disabilities. But once, they opened their hearts and when we became friends, so lovely. I, today, never feel they have disabilities. Who said that? Now, they can make beautiful watercolour paintings. I want the clients to enjoy watercolour painting and my solo exhibition!! Soon, Wesley will have their own exhibition and an auction. I can't wait! 

I believe nothing can ristrict the potential and ability, although I'm very practical. Sometimes we feel life is tough and sad. But it's up to us how we see reality. A real fact does not have sadness or happiness. It depends on our view and a value system. My clients are my genuine heros. Think of Prof Stephen Hawking. His life story has encouraged me, too. I'm certain my difficulty is easy piecy like a mosquite's-bite-scale trouble. My lovely GP once said, "Don't be a complainer." No. (*I often make the GP laugh with my cartoons and bring always new project news that excites the GP!) I hope my art work will bring others hope, love and dream.
Thank you, Wesley, for giving me an opportunity to share time with our wonderful clients. Wesley already wants me to work on another bigger project in a disability sector a next year. 
A children picture book illustrator and fine artist, in my personal opinion, is the best job in the world! 
Friends, Happy Painting!! 


Monday, July 27, 2015

Swim in Winter

Hi, Friends, how was your weekend? We're in the middle of winter. Some people celebrate Christmas in July. I swam 1 km in an ocean pool. Imagine you're in water around Christmas. But I enjoyed it. It was so refreshing.
I saw only two or three brave challengers. They all quickly left the pool. I'm a slow swimmer. It took nearly an hour to swim 20 laps. Interesting. Once, when I started to swim, I felt water warmer little by little. The more laps I made, the warmer the water became. (*Btw, I did not see fishes in the pool. Where were they hiding? In sea weeds or in/on sands?) My most favorite moment was becoming a jelly fish after the swimming. Yes, floating in waves, I looked up a blue sky..., ahhaa..., a heaven...! (*even in icy water!) An ocean is so lovely.  
Before my swim, a lady at  a changing room warned me, "It's shocking. VERY cold. Icy. Oh, you'll get shock," and quickly left the room. Gulp. But I made it. No one was in the pool. All mine, hahaha?! 
The lady recognised me at my car.  "How was water?" she asked me.
"Cold. I swam 20 laps, 1km..., I did not want to give up. My rehab," I answered, pointing at my leg with an embrace. The answer impressed her so much and surprised her.
"That's a great effort!!! No, don't give up!" she gave me a sincere praise and a good respect, "You deserve! Great efforts," and so ons. Thank you. My long distance swim is the best option in gentle exercises and for rehab. Without a certain amount of movements, muscles will get lazy. 

These five years, I've been sketching waves that fascinate me by movements, forms and colours. My most early sketches are simple like below. I've begun to play with colours in creating waves like the first image. Today, I play up the colours of waves. Waves change colours by time and sunshine. I love "cool mint" waves as well as dark emerald green ones. Sketches have taught me how to handle waves. These studies have helped me to organise the image of a sea in a picture book Moon. Also, I want to make a dramatic scene of a tall ship in a stormy sea.

Brave regulars really love Narrabeen beach, BUT all of us hate a cold shower! That's the only shortfall.  
Once, it was hard to walk well or swim even 100m. Sketching waves appeared almost impossible. But now, I walk, swim 1km and capture waves. Go, Sadami!  A friend says, "You are so strong and brave - keep going and going and going - like the Ever-Ready Bunny/ Energizer Bunny but in the water, swimming like a mermaid with the water calming and caressing you and healing you :)" Yes, indeed, the water is so lovely. Thank you for "warm" cheers. 
Friends, Happy Painting and enjoy swimming, too!   


Monday, July 20, 2015

Got the grant for my solo exhibition!

Hi, Friends, wonderful news that I've got a grant! Accessible Arts NSW supports my solo exhibition "Over the Moon with Watercolour!" at Chrissie Cotter Gallery from 20 Oct to 2nd Nov 2015 (Map:Pidcock St, Camperdown NSW 2050). I'd share my tips how to get it with you. Before it, I greatly appreciate the support of Accessible Arts NSW and all other supporters that include Australia Council of Arts, National Association of Visual Artists, Arts Access Australia, Australian Society of Authors, Wesley Mission, Immigrant Women Speakout NSW, Parramatta Council, Marrickville Council, national/international linguists, local public libraries, my medical team, an art supply and all my friends, YOU! Friends, emerging artists face a financial difficulty to carry out an exhibition and art activity. Applying of arts funds is a practical strategy, although it's extremely competitive and not easy for a novice like me.
Everything was my first experience in the grant application. I worked hard day and night. It was a huge paper work like uni's research essay writing that answered for questions set by a fund body. These skills are essential : research, analysis and writing skills.
1) research skills
Which/what grant and how you can apply for? Do a lot of research on internet. Keep an antenna high. Never miss a deadline of a necessary one. Get reliable and first hand information (*Be aware of fake information on internet). Don't grab junk information that wastes a precious time.
2) analysis skills
Examine a picked up grant well. Target it. Based on your analyses, focus it that meets your needs.
3) writing skills
Clear and simple writing! A fund body wants tightened up sentences and does not require a Shakespeare. Remember your writing must convince a panel that your project deserves a grant by paper, on paper and in paper! Yes, a grant requires an applicant to demonstrate work and to show support letters, too. Rich network is important to gain strong support letters. I was blessed that my support letters were written by superstars in Australian publishing industry and other tops. Your submitted project, a CV, support materials( eg. visual work) and support letters must be shining and outstanding among other competitive candidates.
When I got the notice, "Congratulate you on the success of your grant application," I could not speak well from joy. Anyhow, I contacted close people by phone. Oh, they all rejoiced. I'm learning a lot in the process of the application of a grant. You've got why Sadami tended to be slow in updating a blog post for these months. Yes, I was too busy with applying for arts funds. My supporters are celebrating my grant news, giving me big hugs.

Money does not come from a heaven, but it's from arts funding bodies. Friends, try it and shoot it. Being an artist is not only doing art activities but also desk work such as research and formal writing like uni. Now, I'm getting very busy with preparing for Moon launch, the solo exhibition, new picture book projects and others. All my supporters say, "You're a very hard worker." Yes. That's the only assets I have. This successful application gives me a great confidence. Friends, you see how I've been overcoming each obstacle step by step and steadily. So, with all my heart, I'd say, if you have a dream and are a hard worker, anyone is happy to help you. Find a way out and get solution of difficulty that you face.
Friends, thank you for your encouragements. You, too, Happy Painting and Happy Applying for grants!


Monday, July 13, 2015

What are ISBN, CIP, ISSN umbers?

Friends, I'll show my watercolour current style and old one in this post. Btw, do you know what ISBN and CIP? ISBN and CIP are like a birth certificate and a family register of a newly published book. Below, kind publisher Helen Chamberlin's explanations. "Every book published in Australia has to be registered at the National Library of Australia in Canberra by law. Every book gets an ISBN (International  Standard Book Number) and CIP (Cataloguing in Publication data ) from the National Library before publication - it is legally required to appear on the imprint page - you will see it there on the files." 
Oh, I see..., hum, hum (*Sadami is nodding). 
"So, the National Library of Australia has received advance information about the book so that they could issue the ISBN and  CIP for a publisher to put on the imprint page. When stock of the printed book is received, a publisher sends a copy to the National Library of Australia, as required by the same law," said Helen.  
Her say enlightened me.  

I answered, "ISBN = a birth certificate, CIP = a family register of a newly published book!" That understanding impressed (?!) Helen. "I've never thought of them like you!" Hahaha, we laughed together. (*New knowledge must be digested in an individual concept.) An ISBNnumber is a handy and accurate method to find out a published book. I go to a library and a book shop with an ISBNumber to get a book.     
If you are interested in ISBN and CIP,click here at the National Library of Australia. 

One more, ISSN (International Standard Serial Number) is a unique code to identiffy "serial" publications that include periodicals such as magazines, newspapers, annual reports, yearbooks, journals etc. Here's the information of ISSN at the National Library of Australia. In the publication process of Moon, I've gained a lot of legal knowledge that is essential for professionals. (*thank you, Helen!)

Btw, the first image is my recent work. The below was done "ages" ago. My style gets loose. Interestingly, both show a similar colour use. But the current one might use less colours than the old one. It's good to see my own growing in piled up works.  
An active artist needs incessant research and study which excites me and intrigues me so much. I've already moved on new picture book projects and other ongoings such as watercolour workshops for people with disability and so ons. I enjoy creating story boards and roughs for picture books, whilst preparing for the book launch, the solo exhibition and competitions. Like a bouncing bunny, I'm quite busy and full of joy.
You, too, have a creative and joyful time in painting.
Friends, Happy Painting!


Saturday, July 4, 2015

"Life" @ Hospital, Rehabilitation

Hi, Friends, my hands think and pray in drawing. Have you ever tried any rehabilitation? Of course, a negative answer is preferably though, rehab shows amazing compensation of our body. I've been working on rehab of a leg. A waiting room is a drama theatre of life. Patients exchange very different and interesting life stories in a friendly mood. A patient told me she had lost her half body's movement function. But her great rehab efforts have paid off. Now, she can almost move the body like before, enjoys traveling and collects photos from all over the world. She once struggled hard in a slow recovery, but she never gave up hope nor exercise. Rehab requires patients' will power to keep both exercise and hope. Having hope is the essential condition and the vital tool of recovery, in my belief. (*NOTE: the image has nothing to do with people in this post.)
To keep on rehab with hope is hard without a mental support from others. Today, a lady staff was so caring and sensitive in my long medical examination at hospital. She said, "You are so caring and kind." Thank you (*how could you say so??). She agreed me and said, "The power of positive thinking," instead of a word, "hope." Sometimes, tough situations beat us. Although I do not deny reality, I want to believe in the potential and hidden abilities. Rehab shows our unused capacity. I trust in hope and will keep up my own rehab. The kind hospital staff celebrated my picture book debut in Aug and the solo exhibition in Oct. How much her tender attitude eased a patient's stress! Oh, sweet! Her say compensated my uncomfortable long test. Like her, so many supporters such as a medical team and you, blog Friends etc, etc enable me to keep on the rehab. Patients need help in a difficult time and it's important to claim the need of help.
I have a dream. I want to do something for people at hospital : patients and staff. The hospital staff above encouraged me to make my dream come true. My mentor, Ann is joining the project, "The Hush."

Right now, the wonderful project, "The Hush,"  is on the way to come true (*I'm not in the illustartors). According to Allen and Unwin, the special picture book with its bonus CD "designed to inspire hope and calm in people of all ages." It will be published in Aug. The key person and medical doctor is Dr Catherine Crock. My mentor Ann James and the supporters in picture book publishing industry are in the Hush project. I'm so proud of having such wonderful mentors. I look forward to the Hush and its CD. See, Friends? Picture books can tackle any social issues. I'm blessed to have such a wonderful job, a picture book illustrator and to have those caring supporters around me. 

Friends, some of you are in a tough time at hospital or in chronic conditions. Patients encourage each other and enjoy a chat over my sketches at hospital. I always pray for you with my heart. Especially, Friends on rehab, let's "enjoy" rehab together. I do enjoy it! Rehab or a slow recovery takes time, but let us go on. Also, thank you for your warm cheers!  

Friends, Happy Painting! 



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 of 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!