Monday, May 23, 2011

Great Fun! Sketching at Luna Park Under Sydney Harbour Bridge Opposite to Opera House

Hi, Friends, did you have a nice weekend?
On Sunday, Sydney Sketch Club enjoyed an event, ArtAlong, I joined it as an invited artist by North Sydney Council. There, people can enjoy watching local artists working on paintings on a pavement. The event (9am-3pm) is a painting competition at

the same time.I set up a stall just in front of Luna Park, a children's heaven. But I did not see other artists around me. It puzzled me and I realized all other artists wanted to paint "landscapes" for the competition.
I enjoyed quick watercolour portraits. Well, men and boys would not sit for me. Mmmm....they might be much shyer than us?! Only girls and women cooperated me. GIRLS POWER! Thank you all the models and ladys.

People showed a great interest in my sketching. My idea to display original and copied works on "boards" worked out very well.
Passerbys often looked at my other works and picked up business cards. We really enjoyed lots of chats. Some friends came to see me. Later, the staff told me that my stall became quite popular among watchers and tourists. I was too busy to realise it. I could not look at other artists.

I often enjoyed a chat too much and might be a bit distracted.
BUT the point was to communicate people there. I do not need to make a masterpiece everytime or all the time.
Making portraits is a very intimate human interaction between a model and an artist. Indeed, each model and I had a long chat. Usually, I make a quick sketch in 15 or 20 minutes, even in a train cart, I do it (My blog readers well know it). Today, I was a bit slow for watercolour.
Only the problem was...we, human beings cannot keep a laugh or a smile for minutes = we go back be serious soon!
The conversations were very interesting. Each model gave me their life stories, which was an artist's privilege to share a model's inner world.With one lady, we chatted over when & who & what is the most important. I quoted Tolstoy, "Three Questions." The answers are, "Now," "A person whom I'm with," "Do good a person whom I'm with." The answers always remind me of a Japanese tea ceremony. It has philosophy that "Do your best to a guest at a ceremony, because we may not see again on the earth."

When I sketch people...I feel the same above.
Of course, I had a great fun today, but also these sketches are my prayers. I hope I will keep on and learn lots.
Finally, special thanks to Jennifer, our guardian angel of the Sketch Club, who took all these photos and other members' as well.

appy painting & have a nice week!!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sydney Traffic

110520 Stuck in traffic
ah...don't you love it!!!
Drawn and painted in the car in the dark when the car was stationary

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sketching Brings Friends : Captures Moment & Beauty of Life

Hi, Friends, did you have a wonderful weekend? Yes, I had! Mom, you're a forever idol, hero and cultural icon!!
Now, I'll chat over the quick watercolour on people around us. I usually sketch people just sitting next to me. Always sketching brings me new friends.

This guy's beard, mustache, so gentle eyes and very very soft smile melt away my heart at a flea market. Quite rare to find a young beard man with a so nice smile. After getting his and his girl friend's permission, I got on sketching! Light was interesting. At once, the hand craft jewellery artist at a stall came to me and we became friends. Do you come across artists and sketch them? I love it. Often their high tension has beauty. Below, I met a man taking a video in the Botanical Garden. His passion touched my heart. After quickly sketching him, I came to know he was the famous documentary director! His partner was a very big name as a portraitist who uses collage. Very lovely to know each other. They were working on film making as a couple. Unfortunately, some of us, artists tend to be socially isolated in studios. Being a lone wolf is not good. So, I join events as many as possible. Last week, I attended the seminar on contemporary art & artists. Over there, I made friends with other two lovely artists. The agendas were contemporary artists' difficulties in cracking into market, which often result in commercially unsuccessful. Contemporary artists' struggle is nothing different from me, a traditional illustrator. A bit surprise. In my eyes, exhibitions, galleries and art market tend to embrace contemporary art. So, I chose portraits for a life long pursuing work, because a traditional style will remain as a main stream in portraits. Mmmm....the truth is that whatever the style is, an artist is having the same trouble in society.
I sketch anyone at anywhere.
Another fun encounter I made was at a Chinese restaurant in the evening. The shop demonstrates making noodles and dumplings in a show window. Always four or five working people face a street(= They and onlookers cannot carry a conversation in sounds). Very interesting. I always look at it with a big curiousity from a street. One staff's smiling and rosy cheeks were so nice. Quickly sketched him making dumplings(?). Now, in the window the workers began to make big "Wows" and asked me to come in with a body language. Ooops, I thought of a boundary issue and a manager. When I was just leaving there, the manager was coming to the window. (*Phtew!! Hahaha! Weldone, Sadami!)
From now on, the shop workers and I will smile at each other.

Making friends with others is my greatest bonus. Blessed are artists! Sketching captures a moment and friezes the beauty of our life. Eternity is in sketches. Unpacked beauty of life always reaches viewers forever and ever.
...and my sketches, art work & the blog are dedicated for us, ordinary people living ordinary lives.
Happy painting!!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sydney's best Portuguese Tart

110507 Sydney's Best Portuguese Tart

Scones are out and Portuguese tarts are in... I wonder why?
After some research, this afternoon I visited the cafe with the reputation of the best P-Tart in Sydney.. at Sweet Belem Petersham. It was AMAZING!!!! The pastry was crisp, flaky and nicely burnt, the custard was still warm! Cinnamon on top lovely. I am no expert but enjoyed it tremendously. Would love to hear from any experts about what to look out for... need to get in training for July! (if you don't know this years Urban Sketchers Symposium is in Lisbon in July)
Got takeaway and then sketched in my car - view on my lap and view out the window.

110505 T2 Hightea with Eza2

Earlier in the week I had high tea at my favourite tearoom (t2 teahouse) with my Scottish sketching friend Eza (who has now left to go home!) We spent so much time sketching that we didn't even eat the cakes - only (!!??) the sandwiches, quiches and scones. A full description of what we were provided with is here. The diet starts on Monday - truly it does!!!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The City at Night : People are People

Hello, Friends, even though we have a lot of rain these days, you and I will go for sketching people on streets in the City at night today.
Busker at Station
The night City has many faces. Homeless guys, rich&poor, young&old, buskers, illegal traders, police, drunkards, sex industry workers, happy&sad, overseas, artists, all kinds of people get together at the one place, the "City" and disclose their lives boldly. Night darkness curtains fiascoes off guilt. Alcohol helps people leave shyness, moral and social norms far behind. Freedom and chaos are praised.

In the chaos, sketching is much like finding gold from mud, scoop it up and scatter it on papers.
Value study at night is very interesting. Unfortunately, paper did not get dry well in the rain. Expected washes never came up. In the pub. Just the royal wedding was on a TV. Securities and young people enjoyed my sketches. Technically, rough sketches, quick watercolor and pin-down inspirations are my tasks.

I saw an old lady busker. Quite rare to see a granma-like figure play a guitar. Not many people gave her money tonight. Her very sad face ached my heart badly. "Oh, you're so sensitive. But the truth is truth!" she said cheerfully. She'd rather enjoy the miserable situation than cursing at others. Great and I admired her attitude. That pensioner was planning to go home, UK and saving a little bit money from busking.
One, I assume, a homeless lady passionately looked at my sketching for nearly 20 minutes(=till the end) on an under ground way to Central Station. She talked to me in Non-English. I had no idea. She tried hard to tell in English my portrait captured a model's inner world and emotions(*the first uploaded busker's portrait). "Spirit! Model's spirit! My English is bad." Once, she loved drawing in her country. "Very poor. Very poor. My English is bad."(*sorry I did not get her story well.) She took the brush from me, "Pen. Horse. Animal. Rice paper. Expensive." (...I wish I could tell her mine is made of a "Squirrel" another animal!). She kept on talking and would not go away. Looked very poor with 2 worn out plastic bags stuffed with cheap daily needs -- a typical homeless appearance, even though she said, "after work." Nearly 12 o'clock?! You do not look like a Cinderella. A face and hands were very dirty, full of wrinkles with some cuts or cracks. Big patches were here, there on her jacket. Honest, I've never seen a middle aged lady wearing a patched and thin cloth in autumn Sydney. Even a homeless guy wears well and warm, because charity provides clothes. If a language difficulty hinders this lady from accessing help and art work, it's pity... She passionately talked on how marvelous materials and how wonderful Chinese painting was.

I picked up a Chinese brush from my bag and ... gave it to the lady. Of course, I'm not rich at all!!(*I bought it this year.) I might be too simple...
The lady looked to get a bit surprised, happily accepted it, walked away and disappeared in a crowd.
Ah, if that lady could have been the sympathetic millionaire, that'll be wonderful! (*The Model Millionaire (Oscar Wilde) is my favorite short story. Big laugh and so subtle!! ) But a fantasy would not happen on me. I'm ready to die in poverty. My dear artist friend says, "You're not alone! We're in the same boat!!" Oh, what a great friendship! Hahaha!
Now, let's go home. Home, sweet home. I'll take a train.
So many different people, some might be cunning. But I'd believe in people's good will. One homeless and beggar gentleman offered his jacket on steps for me (*I made that scene into a "cartoon" uploaded at Sadami's Graffiti). Many people actually respected the artist and never scorned me even in the chaos. Friends, that's my great and genuine honour.

I hope you enjoy my daily sketches of people and share joy with me.
Happy painting!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

North Sydney Waterfront

North Sydney waterfront is really nice. Instead of a busy and commercial waterfront is just a nice pier and parks. At the end of the pier is a Marina and at the other end Luna Park and a couple of discreet restaurants. There is no fancy lights. Just calm. There is also an auxiliar train line and few houses scattered among the park, and then, a CBD.