Friday, August 28, 2015

Ying and Yang

Life is always filled with push and pull... Of decisions you make, emotions you have, things you want to get done. I recently read a blog post by a friend who talked about a decision he made in which he had to fight the shame he felt making this decision and instead trust his instincts to know he made the right decision. At the end of his post, he wrote.

"Shame keeps me back. Trust moves me forward."

As often the case, words inspire images in my mind and I immediately saw ying and yang, faces that show shame and trust. So I sketched.

I wasn't quite sure how to color this but when I made my ink sprays with food coloring, I decided to use these sprays for the background.

If you are interested in making these sprays, you'll want to use gel food colors. Wilton makes vibrant icing colors! Of course these get used in icing too!

The colors are so vibrant, I wanted to tone it down a bit so I stenciled over the page with white gesso. By the way, I cut a circle to use as a mask for spraying and stenciling and I will be able to use that later!

And finally, the completed piece with lettering.

Matt's quote struck a chord with me because shame used to keep me back from doing so much and I'm just beginning to trust my instincts, my abilities. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Visual or Auditory? Interesting Challenge

This week's Diva's Challenge was an interesting one. The guest blogger, Holly Atwater gave us two sets of challenges. The first was to listen to instructions as you worked on your tile. No names of patterns were given, just audio instructions. I'm a strong visual learner so I was really apprehensive about the first challenge and even thought about skipping it. But I was curious. So I took the plunge. The instructions said to use a 2x2 tile but I didn't have any, so I just created a 2x2 square in my journal. With headphones on, Inlistened to her soothing voice while classical music played in the background. 

The first challenge had me drawing a triangle and another.. Soon, I discovered I was drawing the pattern tripoli, which I've always had difficulty getting all the triangles to fit together. Was I shocked that I was able to produce these triangles in pen!! Somehow, listening to the instructions helped me draw the best tripoli I've ever done.. Was it because I didn't have an expectation about what I was doing that I let myself just follow the instruction? I don't know but I was eager to try the other audio challenges..

The second audio instruction began and I found myself getting ahead and then I recognized a Bach piece playing and it's hard for me to listen to Bach and do something else because Bach requires absolute concentration for me. And then I realized I wasn't listening to the instructions so I stopped the audio briefly. When I turned it back on, I heard Holly say turn the tile 90 degrees. I'm not sure if this was what she intended but my Cruffles curvies are perpendicular. I think it turned out ok.

The third was the hardest for me, partly because I was getting antsy and because of course, another Bach piece was playing, this time Cello prelude in G major.. How could I not listen to that! But I got through it..

I found the whole challenge interesting because I was able to produce tiles that I normally wouldn't (couldn't?). I didn't find this to be too challenging I think because I had drawn these patterns before. I'm now wondering if I can do this with patterns I haven't done before. I'm eager to find out. One thing for sure, I cannot listen to Bach if I need to concentrate on a task.. And finally, I really enjoyed the process so I reproduced the tiles in my daily journal..

This was a fun challenge. I appreciate the relaxing time before the chaos begins. Yes, this is the third week of school and all the homework my kids have are driving all of us crazy. Algebra 1 and 2, physics, chemistry, and vocabulary.. It's like I'm back in school..  And to all of you from the challenge, thank you for the lovely comments, I will try my best to see everyone's. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Recipe Book

Some of you may know that my husband, our son, and I started our low carb lifestyle in April. Since then, I have lost 20 lbs. It hasn't been too difficult because I do sneak in some carb when I really crave it. But also, I love the food! Most of the recipes I use come from Pinterest and I usually modify them to fit the ingredients we have or alter the taste a bit to accommodate our picky eaters. Even though having the recipes online seem convenient, it's always a hassle for me to pull up the recipe and when my phone turns off, sometimes I have to reload everything.

So, I decided to create my own low carb recipe book. I get to illustrate, my notebook has sections so it's easy to sort by meats and vegetables.. So here are some of my first entries... All chicken recipes..

I'm really eager to add more to my book! I think it's going to be a fun project!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Undulating Tangles

For this week's Diva's Challenge, guest host, Sharla Hicks, challenged us to create undulating S and C tangles. There are so many patterns that lend themselves to this, but the image that popped into my mind was what you see above. Nipa with Cruffles for circles. I like the dimentionality of Nipa as it reminds me of wavy sands and Cruffles are always fun!

When I finished, I looked through my tangle patterns book and saw the pattern Twenty-one, another favorite! I think if you shade this, you get an undulating movement.

I think I may spend the day exploring more undulating patterns! Have a great day!

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Something Different

In this week's Diva's Challenge, the guest blogger, Erin Olsen, has a fun challenge! I've always loved mandalas and zendalas but was intimidated to create ones from scratch. But Erin has provided us with a template! The template as well as other examples of this week's challenge from all over the world can be found here

For mine, I started with festune in all the circles and purk in the "eye" shapes. The rest were filled with auras (means to follow around or within a shape).

I hope you give zentangle a try. It's totally addictive, very relaxing, and anyone can do it!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

July Art Video

July was a big month for me. My website got a new facelift, opened my own store, and two of children celebrated their birthday! 

Here is my July art compilation! I hope you enjoy it. Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


My daily sketch today involves drawing countryside. For my reference, I used a photo of a lush Okinawan landscape. The quote I found to go with my art has got me thinking about individual and communal hope. Here's the quote.

"A hope is like a path in the countryside. Originally, there is nothing - but as people walk this way again and again, a path appears." - Lu Xuin

This, to me, is not about individual hope. It's not an light that guides you or gives you hope. It's about a people working together to make something happen to create hope. It's active, not passive. It speaks to my optimistic outlook. What do you think?

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Challenges and My Stare of Mind

This week's Diva's Challenge is working with negative space. I have seen lots of interpretations of this in the works submitted by other artists that you can find here. I love using words in my art so it may not surprise you that I'm using words here.. The following piece was done about a year ago for a group on Facebook that I belong to called Doodle Tuesday.

I love how the word doodle pops in this. 

So for my challenge piece, I went with the word, 'breathe' and a single pattern, Harfe. I used an ink wash to shade and used a colored pencil to add a bit of shadow.

I think it's interesting that my art challenge pieces all have a same theme lately. Let me show you. Yesterday's #creativechallengegonewild for me was this...

And today's Let's Sketch It piece today is this...

I think the fact that my son got his driver's license yesterday, my middle child is starting high school, and my youngest starting middle school...and a few other life issues are telling me to breathe, calm down, and if you can't , throw a fit!!  It really has been a tough year for my family this year, but art has kept me sane, kept me grounded. What keeps you calm and grounded?

Monday, August 3, 2015

Favorite Books

The prompt I used today is from Let's Sketch It Challenge to draw my favorite book. That was tough, trying to pick just one. There are so many! But "Memoir Of A Geisha" made a lasting impression on me and it helped me understand more of my Japanese culture. 

There are so many other works of fiction I loved including The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, King Mai by Edmond Manning.

For non-fiction, it's definitely Gödel, Escher, Bach by Doglas Hofstadter. Yes, it's an ultra-geeky book but it combines my love of math, art, and music! Plus, it will satisfy both the right and left brain hemispheres! I read this the first time in high school but really didn't appreciate this until my second read twenty years later.

I read quite a few Young Adult titles too and some of my favorites include The Outsider by S.E.Hinton, The Red Sheet by Mia Kerick, and by C.Kennedy. 

What are some of your favorites?

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Childhood Memories

Today's daily art was inspired by Let's Sketch It August prompt, childhood memories and Craftsy's 31-Day  Drawing Challenge, in bloom. It seems that every childhood picture of me has something in my hair..a flower, a decorative comb or other hair accessories. My mother was and still is obsessed with accessories. My hair was always done perfectly and I always had a handbag. 

My art today is my attempt at drawing from a photo. Not bad, I can recognize me. I love hibiscus as it bloomed year-round in Okinawa and it was often my hair accessory. I know I've shared a few photos of my childhood but here are few more. I lost my hair when I was 4. My long, beautiful hair was gone. My mother took me to all specialists and local herbalist to get my hair to grow. Finally, she found a doctor who injected me with with hormones (on my head, I remember screaming). Eventually my hair grew back. But it wasn't the same. My hair was darker, thicker. 

And here are a few after I lost my hair. Even them, mom always put something in my hair..

The above is my kindergarten picture. I'm standing to the right.. 

It's fun to look back. Do you have a favorite childhood memory?

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Buy Local, Prompts and Challenges!

Being a part of Fauxbonichi Journalers on Facebook, I participate in lots of daily drawing and journaling challenges sponsored by various artists and bloggers. They are fun and I try combining as many as I can. For example, the piece above combines one challenge that had me illustrate 'grow' and another challenge to draw 'local'. I do have a fabulous lemon tree in the backyard and thank goodness it gets watered by a timer and takes no effort on my part because have the brownest thumb ever! And now that I am enjoying the low carb lifestyle, I am eating more vegetables. Your local farmers markets are great for fresh produce and other interesting finds.

Most of the daily art comes from these challenges and prompts. 

If you participate in the following challenge and follow its instructions for posting, you will be entered into a drawing to win art supplies.

And if you want to practice your hand lettering, you can always participate in this!

She also has a YouTube Channel with hand lettering tutorials that are hilarious, informative, and sprinkled with lots of cursing.. They are great because she shows you how to create lots of interest in your own handwriting!!

I think these challenges and prompts help you to overcome the fear of the blank page. Let's get drawing!!

And follow me on Instagram to see my daily art!