Sunday, 28 December 2014

Sofa (IF: Home)

This is where I have spent quite a lot of time during last couple of days...

Finally got myself to draw 'the new sofa', quite different from the sofa in the previous apartment. The latter was definitely more comfortable but we gave it away because it didn't fit in the new flat (both style and size wise). This is a hard futon sofa bed thing but I like the streamlined look.

Happy new year to all you wonderful people who visit my blog. I am off to Tenerife tomorrow and hope to return with bunch of sunny sketches to share.

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Natural History Museum

I was drawing in Natural History Museum today. It was full of inspiring things to draw: corals and shells, fossils, skeletons,... 

Dino
This time I stayed in the main lobby drawing the dinosaurus and the giant moa there (I had never heard of moas before, looks like a huge emu or ostrich). The lobby has a wonderful golden yellow light but unfortunately the yellow of my drawings doesn't look that good in the scanned versions. I tried to adjust the color in Photoshop but didn't manage to make these look like the originals. Anyway, I found drawing 'bones' very satisfying for some reason.

Giant Moa

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Passion


Another painting from the same kiss series, a bit more passionate maybe? 

These are drafts for a set of larger paintings. It is useful to make these small (A4) ones but I find that the bigger paintings end up looking completely different. Paper size makes a huge difference.

Thursday, 20 November 2014

Kiss

I came back from a trip to sensual Barcelona last week. The city inspired me to start a series of paintings on the theme kiss. This is one of them. 
XXX

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Conference Poster

My painting ended up in the poster for a conference (Exploring the Potential of Restorative Justice for Sexual Violence) arranged by University of Leuven in Belgium and European Forum for Restorative Justice. More information can be found from here.

(The painting is called Together / 同根生, 2011)

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Silence

I started doodling today around this week's Illustration Friday topic Silence. I had no plan in mind, just drew whatever came to my mind: the lady who told me to be quiet at work this week when I talked to my colleague in our open office, sunset by lake, underwater scene, night sky, the Chinese word 安静... Very pleasant and stress free approach to the theme, may try it again :-)



(I have been *silent* for a long time.  My excuses: hunting for a flat, moving, going for a holiday, decorating the new place.... But now I am happily settled and have a beautiful workspace so no more excuses. It is a promise.)


Sunday, 27 July 2014

Sofa

I am moving to a new flat next month and starting to feel quite sentimental about the old one. So I decided to start documenting it by drawing. Here is the first sketch: the sofa.


 I hope I have time to do more before we move...

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Life

By Edith Södergran

I, my own prisoner, say so:
life is not the springtime clad in light green velvet,
or a caress that one seldom receives,
life is not a resolve to go
or two white arms that hold one back.
Life is the narrow ring that holds us captive,
the invisible circle we never cross,
life is nearby happiness that passes us by,
and the thousand steps we cannot bring ourselves to take.
Life is to despise oneself
and to lie motionless on the bottom of a well
and to know that the sun is shining up there
and golden birds are flying through the air
and the days swift as arrows are shooting by.
Life is to wave a short farewell and go home and sleep . .
Life is to be a foreigner to oneself
and a new mask for every other person who comes.
Life is to be careless with one's own happiness
and to push away the unique moment,
life is to think oneself weak and not to dare.


Found this poem by Edith Södergran in English. (Translation by David McDuff.) I love her poetry, especially this one. Treasuring life...

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Midsummer!

Doodling while watching football... Black sketch pad is not really for the nightless nights of midsummer but couldn't resist it when I found it from my art storage. Need to start using it more.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Mile End Day

Last weekend I was sketching in Mile End with a group of friends. We started at Tower Hamlets Cemetery, drawing a mausoleum, sitting on a foot path, harassed by ants.

Tower Hamlets Cemetery
Next we wanted to find a shadier place with a park bench. We found one but the view was a bit less spectacular.

Tower Hamlets Cemetery




Then we bought some food from supermarket and had a lunch in Mile End Park. 


Mile End Park

After lunch we walked to Victoria Park via beautiful canal path. I didn't do any sketches there but I think I will go back with my sketchpad some time soon. Nice day.

Saturday, 31 May 2014

No Limits

...or the sky's the limit...


Roberto invited me to join the Drawing Challenge he hosted. I absolutely loved his theme 'No Limits' but found it really difficult, possibly because of my limited set of art supplies :-)  I am traveling with only a couple of pens and a small black sketchbook, which by the way I have managed to fill in during this trip, this is the last spread...

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Vanity (Makeup)


Makeup (we love colour!)

My submission for Illustration Friday, the theme was 'vanity'. I wanted to play with colors and do something 'half-abstract'. This looks better in real life, the gold and silver paint I used does not really show in the scanned version.
 
For some reason I really like drawing makeup. Not that I do it often, the above was my third try. Last time I tried was in 2011 when I did an ink brush work that is maybe more 'my style'.

 
Makeup (2011)












Before that I sketched make up in 2008, a quickie by the bathroom sink :-)



Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Natural Forms


  

I use these stones as paperweights when I paint. Most remarkable thing about them is that they are totally unremarkable, just ordinary stones I picked from Beijing streets when I lived there.

Oh, there is also one toy car I picked from my home street in London.

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Las Meninas

I have been taking an online course in Coursera lately called Live!: A History of Art for Artists, Animators and Gamers. It has been really inspiring, I have got a lot new ideas on how to approach making images. It has also re-awakened my interest in art history and art theories (which I often find a bit pretentious and boring).

The assignment this week was to make a work that takes its inspiration from Velasquez's Las Meninas. In my version I maintained the composition and the relationships of the original painting but replaced the human (and canine) characters by flowers (what else 8-P).


Las Meninas is one of my favorite paintings (it has been my laptop screen background for years) so I loved this exercise. I am definitely going to make other versions too, use bit more ink to create dark background and same values than in the original.  (Unfortunately I didn't have too much time to experiment this weekend, busy arranging my boyfriend's birthday party.)

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Flowers & Shit


I went to see the Richard Hamilton exhibition in Tate Modern yesterday.  As a 'flower painter' I was inspired to find about his 'scatological period' in the 70s. There was a whole room (called Shit & Flowers) filled with work from this period: paintings of flowers, toilet paper, turds.
I made my own version (desperately trying to expand or find other topics than flowers? :-D)

Hmm, after all, flowers and excrement have an intimate connection. If I continue making these, the future versions should include bees and butterflies too - and the sun.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Flower Battle

Sometimes I wonder why I make so many 'flower paintings'. I am not particularly interested in flowers. I don't know flowers. I don't want to know flowers. I just like painting these imaginary creatures with stems and buds and blossoms and leaves instead of ones with heads and hands and feet...

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Paw Painting

As promised last week, here is a painting where Nunu has (quite successfully) left her mark:

And here is the artist at work:

But looks like paws where clean this time:


Sunday, 16 February 2014

Backgrounds

Nunu the cat stepped on a plate of ink and then walked over some work of mine leaving cute paw marks... Unfortunately the end result was quite messy so I was experimenting with backgrounds today.

(This is not the first time Nunu participated in art creation. I have an earlier work where paw marks are clear and well-positioned and only improve the work... If I find it, I'll post it here later.)

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Flower-Paper Experiments

Some stuff I did last week, A2 sheets from different watercolor and cartridge paper blocks. Testing papers and gathering courage to start experimenting with these nice and huge (and expensive) watercolor sheets I just bought.

 



Saturday, 18 January 2014

Splash


My sister stayed in London for 4+ weeks. That was nice but not good for my art practice, especially since she was sleeping in my 'art room'. Now I have my room back so have stayed all day inside today just splashing paint, love it!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

My new year's resolution: I will draw every day in 2014 (but won't share those doodles here).