Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sky Painting

I have finished a new sky painting.
Here I want to share its creating process.

Before painting, I coated the stretched canvas with white paint three times in order to build smooth surface and dried it for a month. Then I painted foundation color, which is beige in this case. Sketch with white.

Theme was sky. So first color popped up in my mind was pale blue for sky and gray for clouds. Maybe too common. But I stared with those colors anyway.

I love the sky at morning glow and sunset because of its subtle colors, although I always have difficult time to reproduce the colors in my mind.
Referring to the photos I shot for my work, I added some orange and cream yellow. Consider the composition.

Adding more colors and colors. This is most difficult time for me. The more I paint, the more I feel something is not right in the work. But I do not know what to do. So I just leave it for days and come back to paint. Repeat this process for a few weeks.

Still in the middle of struggling with paints.

Here I can see subtle sign of hope that the painting is close to finalize.

Title: Sky and Water - Sky#3
Size: 41cm x 41cm (16" x 16")
Medium: oil on canvas

Available on etsy soon.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Oyster Day

Released from all the chores (including filing of tax return), I and my husband went to out for oyster for Saturday brunch. We live in a local city close to the sea, so there are many oyster bars where serve fresh oysters only between January and March. My husband made some research on the oyster bars while I was hardly pressed with those miscellaneous stuff. Oysters are my favorite winter food. I used to enjoy oyster festival when I lived in Oyster Bay in NY.

The oyster bar he chose was more like a cabin than a fancy restaurant. But people are waiting in line. Seems like to run by fishermen.

Inside of the restaurant is not very sophisticated but filled with people enjoying food and good smell of fresh oysters barbecued on each of their table.

oysters in shell and skewered devil fish (left)

Guests are supposed to grill oysters and other seafood on the wire net by themselves. They are given gloves, opening knife, and tongs (and even garbage bucket ) for barbecuing. This is very entertaining and fun to look at the oysters are opening.

fried oyster with tartar sauce
Eating good food is always fun. I think having meals, wherever you live, whatever you eat, or whomever you are with, is the most important part of life. We eat to live. So I want to enjoy everyday meals as much as I can. Well...maybe you think this is just a excuse not to feel guilty to be a foodie. Yes maybe. Thinking such, I and my husband dropped by a pastry shop for dessert on the way back to home.   

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Busy Days

All the deadline of my work, shows, and sending/packaging are coming at the same time.
Plus regular meeting of local community is also scheduled next week.
Help! Too busy! Business is really "busyness".
I am going to a movie "The Social Network" with my husband, taking time between the busy schedule.
It is snowing outside.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Stay Gold - elementary school reunion

I was gone to my hometown, Osaka, for a few days.
There are many galleries and museums in Osaka, and I wanted to visit some of them. But the biggest purpose of the trip was to participate in elementary school reunion for the first time in 35 years.
24 out of 44 who were in the same class for 2 years at the age of 11 to 12 got together for the reunion, plus our class teacher.
She (Ms.M) was very famous as the most strict teacher in our school and we were very scared (!) when it was announced that we were going to belong to her class. Indeed, she was very strict teacher. But, moreover, she is one of the best teacher I have ever met. I think all of my classmates will agree on that; While she was very strict on our behavior and always encouraged us to study hard (very hard!) by giving a lot of homework, she loved us more than anything. On sunny day, she often brought us to the riverside close to our school to play softball, throwing up the classwork (without getting permission of the school principal.)

In a small pub close to our school, we could not stop talking about our old memories. We felt like we are still 12-year old kids.
Everybody remembered very small details of the happenings in the class;  Who was the most mischievous boy and got it by Ms.M,  or who was the first love of whom, or what was the best school lunch, etc...
Each of us had good time and bad time in the past 30-something years. We grew up and became capable to look back the past objectively and look forward to the future with a hope which we still cannot see.  One of the classmate said, "If I can go back to the best time in my whole life, I will definitely want to go back to the boy when I was playing with you guys." I think most of us thought the same way. It was the golden age for us. We know we can't go back to that time, but also felt very certain that our reunion this time is the start of our new golden age which will last until we die.

Friendship in childhood is jewel; never loses its brightness. At the end, I especially want to thank a few of my friends, who planned this reunion a half year ago, and spent so much time and energy to find old friends (most of us left the hometown for a long time ago). It is quite something to do. We could not regain this friendship and have a opportunity to build new bond without their tremendous effort and quiet dedication.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Influenza - How to prevent a flu

The flu is going around throughout Japan.
We have type A, type B, and a new type. I do not know which one I got last week. My badminton mates were discussing (while practicing..) about how to prevent the flu.
It is commonly known that people over 60 do not get the flu because they are immune to the flue today, but according to a teammate, people who used to drink "Dassi Funnyu" also have less risk to catch the flu. "Dasshi Funnyu" can be literally translated as skim milk or fat-free milk, but in fact it is something that tastes much worse than those. Dasshi Funnyu, skim milk,  were brought to Japan after WWII by U.S. Government as a part of aid supply and they were provided to children as school lunch. We should appreciate the kindness of Americans, but... it seems that they did not care about its taste as much as its nutrition value..... So Dasshi Fyunnyu is regarded as synonym for slop food (sorry!) in old days. Anyway, it is considered that Dasshi Fyunnyu was supplied at Japanese schools mainly in 50's and 60's. Again, thanks to American, now it is said, whether it is just a rumor, Japanese who took the food in childhood may have less risk to catch the flu!
However, the best way is to prevent the flu is still washing hands and gargle throat.

I think Japanese is the people who like gargle most. We gargle frequently, saying we might have a cold or the flu, or we have hay fever, or we feel dry throat. We gargle everywhere; in the bathroom at office, school, department store, or airport. Solt water gargle is the most common, but green tea is also used for gargling because it contains catechin which kills germs. Diluted iodin solution is popular, too. One of the amazing way to rinse out your throat perfectly is gargling from nose! You suck in the gargle water from nose and spit out from mouth. I tried once when I had very bad sore throat from the flu. I forgot the pain in my throat due to the  terrible feeling in my nose.
* But you may want to try (^_^) since it worked!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Pencil Drawing - Rose Bouquet

I found some of my old pencil drawings. I created them almost 10 years ago, but because of the high quality of the paper, and good storage condition (i.e. proper temperature and moisture, no sunshine), they are not faded at all. I am happy that they remain perfectly same as the time I created them.

"Rose Bouquet" 16" x 12 1/4
When I made these sketches, I was very interested in gardening. I lived in a small apartment by myself ( I was not married at that time) and maybe wanted something  to take care of.
I grew many kinds of plants and flowers in my little balcony. I continued to plant many including  mini-roses, daisies, anemones, tulips, etc, until I could not find any place to hung my laundries!
I watered them everyday before going to work and talked(!) to them when I came home. (I heard that talking to plants make them grow faster. Is that true?) When they grew up, I took some into my room and sketched them.  It is my fond memories.
This was originally a potted mini-rose; One of my friend gave me when I moved in the apartment. As some of you may know, mini-roses does not live long; It usually gets sick and dies within 2-3 years after being planted. But I grew them from cutting over and over, it lived for 8 years.
I do not grow any plants now, but hope to do someday. I want to grow Japanese wild flowers and English roses together.

Work is available on ETSY