April 2010

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paul has been very helpful doing some grocery shopping when i’m not feeling well.

he’s so adventurous that sometimes he brings home some food that i don’t know what to do with.

the other day, he came home with this african fruit called ‘kiwano‘.

the two boys liked it and finished it all making loud sucking noises. according to them, it tasted like a banana.

i’d have been more adventurous if i wasn’t pregnant. but for now, i’d rather eat a real banana.

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view art recipe :: ‘nature is calling 1′

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elijah started to go to the japanese school here in saskatoon since september last year.  the class takes place every sunday morning for two hours.  elijah is in the preschool class and i help out as a teacher’s aide.  i make materials and do some drawings for them.

we had a school play day at the end of march.  elijah’s class did a traditional russian story called “the great big turnip“.  for this play, i painted the background image.

there are six characters in this story — grandpa, grandma, grandchild, dog, cat, and mouse.  we have 8 kids in our class, so we told them to pick the role they like and we could have two of the same character.

everyone picked a character except elijah.  at that point, all the roles were taken.  so we told him that he can be any character he wants.  so he picked…

an elephant.

「ぞうさんに、な、り、た〜い!(i want to be an elephant!!)」

he said that out loud standing on his chair.

then, he told me the day before the play that there is no elephant in the story…

too late, elijah!!

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“it looks like a drum, but it’s not a drum. boom boom boom! it makes a sound. boom boom boom!”
(lyrics/music by elijah)

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i was contacted by a writer, carlos resendez from a blog called “art junkie” from mexico.  he wanted to do an interview with me.  he told me that this will be the first interview on his blog.  i was happy to answer his questions.  he kindly asked questions in english for me.  the interview on the blog is in spanish.  so here’s the english version.

1.-Do you think that things that are real and things that are surreal are not separated? If so, how do you think they are related?

to me, surreal things are created in a reality, my reality. what i draw is deeply connected to how i feel at the moment. my images are my realizations of my ideas and emotions, captured by color pencils. that’s how i express my reality.

2.-How do you think that animals are linked to humans?

humans are linked to animals, i think, not other way around. our behavior is very animal-like.

i have a two-year old son. i enjoyed his first non-verbal year — being very aware of eye contact, smells, touch, etc. when i was cuddling with him, i felt like a bear.

(( i find things sensual amusing. for example, i remember a particular smell of my childhood. every time i encounter the smell, i’m back in particular time when i was a child. ))

3.-In which way did your children influence your art?

i was using vivid colors when i was pregnant. before then, i mostly preferred gentle pale tones.

i drew ‘new heartbeat’ right after i first listened to my baby’s heartbeat with a doppler. i used very vivid colors for the drawing. after giving birth, i continue to use both pale tones and vivid tones.

spending time with my boy, observing him growing every day, has had a strong impact on me. sometimes, i almost forgot that i was there. i was always watching him. i didn’t lose my eyes, but my eyes were always looking outward and never looked inward last two years. at one point, i think i forgot what i looked like.

in retrospect, i was drawing a girl with a huge heart on top and eventually the heart ran away and grew a tree with no leaves during that time.

eventually my head grew back, but so far i don’t seem to have a body yet.

4.-What are most likely source of inspiration for you, “bad” feelings or “good” ones?

frustration with unfairness or dishonesty helps me a lot. i visualize things simultaneously no matter what, but when i’m angry the images flow.

(( so, for your questions, it’s good and bad feelings, both. ))

5.-what is art for you?

i still feel uncomfortable describing what i do is art, or calling myself an artist. drawing makes me happy.

6.-Could you share one of your biggest fantasies?

i want to be an ugly flying invisible woman, who worries about her appearance even though no one can see her.

7.-Coffee or tea?

i go for milk. i drink coffee more often than tea, but the coffee i drink is 80% milk.

8.- Do you use art as a shield, or as weapon? why?

it’s more like a fish net trap. i don’t use my drawings to send a message or relieve my feelings. often i only realize what’s in my mind after the fact. i’m surprised by what i end up drawing.

9.- what do you know of mexican culture?

not much, sorry.

i like movies though.

“Y tu mama tambien” and “Children of Men” directed by Alfonso Cuaron. He’s fantastic.
and “Amores Perros”, directed by Inarritu.

10.- do you know any mexican artist?

frida kahlo.

i don’t know much about art history and i don’t really follow much of what people are doing in contemporary art.

11.- which museum or gallery would you really love to expose your work?

nowhere, really. these days, i’m not particularly interested in exhibiting my work in a gallery. i like the act of drawing, not showing. i don’t even look at my drawings after i drew them. i don’t display my drawings at home. they all sit in a closet or a file. i’m not interested in looking at my drawings at all.

i use my blog to keep track of what i’m working on. that’s enough for me. to me, drawing is something internal.

12.-do you think that the difference between oriental and occidental culture has affected your work?

i don’t think so. i don’t think physical location determine what you create. it all depends on your place of thought. whether i live in japan or canada or anywhere else, i basically live in my head. my work will be the same. but the time might affect how/what i draw. i don’t/can’t draw the same things that drew in 2006 even though i know they are very popular. i’m a different person every day.

13.- what advice can you give to all the emerging artists?

don’t listen to what other people say — just listen to yourself. having no ears might be a good start.

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this is my first color pencils drawing in 6 months. i’ve been drawing for elijah during that time and i feel refreshed in so many ways.

elijah is right. “drawing is fun!”

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forget about spring.  people in prairie deserve an early summer treatment.

paul is organizing his entire music collection and he’s been playing some music that we haven’t listened to for ages. 90s music is one of them and i feel very nostalgic listening to this.

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