Sunday, November 28, 2010

illustration friday (savor/savour)

As I am terribly sensitive to caffeine, Rooibos Tea (red bush tea) has become my staple these days. It doesn't hurt that it also seems to be the staple of Precious Ramotswe, the heroine of the No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series (and I do mean the books, as I've never seen the dramatized version).

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

new etegami goals

This year has gone by soooo fast. Does it seem that way to you? One of my goals for 2010 was to do an etegami series of Japanese Proverbs, and thanks partly to my mid-year decision to combine that series with the Sketchbook Project, I managed to wrap up both goals in a way that I am satisfied with.

As I cast about for a new etegami focus for 2011, I came to realize that, somewhere deep inside, the decision had been made the moment I discovered the They Draw and Cook website. Thanks to TDAC lighting a match to this particular fire, I am now having the time of my life combining two of my passions: Etegami and Creative Cookery. I will try to complete a minimum of 50 illustrated recipes during the coming year, many of them recipes I've devised myself and were inspired by Japanese food culture.

In addition to this, and for a limited time only, I'll be accepting custom orders from people who want to preserve and display a recipe that means something special to them. The details are here on my Etsy shop.

Friday, November 19, 2010

illustration friday (sneaky)

As soon as I heard what the new IF prompt was, my mind leaped to cockroaches. The funny thing is-- as far as I know-- we don't have cockroaches in Hokkaido. I guess it's too cold here.

The first time I saw a cockroach in Japan was in Nagoya, when I was in my mid-twenties. Of course I've always known, from reading books and hearing stories, that humans generally consider them disgusting, filthy, sneaky, and almost impossible to get rid of. Should I risk grossing you (my darling followers) out with an etegami depicting a cockroach? Sure, why not?

On the other hand, I googled definitions for "sneaky," and one string of synonymous terms I came across was: furtive: marked by quiet and caution and secrecy; taking pains to avoid being observed; "a furtive manner"; "a sneak attack"; "stealthy footsteps"--> That sounds just like NINJA to me. Doesn't it to you?

Anyway... I solved my dilemma by combining the two mental connections I'd made. So, here it is.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

mini-exhibit (autumn)

Acorns by Mike Szwarc (USA)

Changeable Autumn Weather by Carole Marshall (Australia), Autumn Leaf by Yun Stouls (France)

Autumn Leaves by Katerina Nikoltsou (Greece)

Bursting Chestnut "under the spreading chestnut tree" by dosankodebbie (Japan), Autumn Leaf by Jennifer Kennedy (USA)

Persimmons Hung to Dry "getting sweeter by being hung and dried" by dosankodebbie, Horse Chestnuts (Psalm 51:2) by dosankodebbie

Chestnuts "good friends" by Michiko Shimizu (Japan), Hototogisu Flower (Tricyrtis) "to be among the autumn grasses" by Youko Ogawa (Japan)

Yellow Cosmos Flower "waving at a blue sky" by Michiko Shimizu (Japan), Pine Cone "fragrance of pine" by dosankodebbie, Pear "the color of autumn" by Takako Chida (Japan)

My warm thanks to all who responded to the Autumn-themed Etegami call, even though I gave you very little warning. The deadline was actually calculated to keep you from spending too much time on your submission. Etegami are best when they're drawn without too much self-conscious planning. Some additional pieces may still be on their way, but I've decided to go ahead and post what has already arrived. Any etegami arriving after today will be posted on my mailart gallery instead of here.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

illustration friday (burning)

A branch of the shrub known as "Burning Bush" (aka Winged Euonymus or Spindle Tree): Euonymus alata "Compactus." Though unremarkable for most of the year, when Autumn comes, it appears as if it has burst into flames.

Monday, November 8, 2010

grilled pacific saury

You may remember the illustrated recipe for Crunchy Ramen Salad Cones that I painted last July as a submission to a really cool website called "They Draw & Cook." Last month I submitted another illustrated recipe-- this one for grilled pacific saury-- and it was chosen as one of the recipes to go into a cookbook scheduled to be published very soon. Isn't that awesome!? I urge you to check out the fabulous illustrated recipes submitted by artists and illustrators from all over the world. The site's creators, Nate and Salli, have more projects in the works, so if you want to give it a try and submit an illustrated recipe of your own, it's sure to be loads of fun, and who knows what kind of adventures it will lead to! Check out They Draw & Cook.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

illustration friday (afterwards)

This week's IF prompt brings to mind one of Robert Frost's early poems: After Apple-Picking. It speaks of winter, weariness, sleep (death?), and tasks not completed. Here are the first 13 lines of the 42-lined poem:

After Apple-Picking
My long two-pointed ladder’s sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there’s a barrel that I didn’t fill
Beside it, and there may be two or three
Apples I didn’t pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.