art recipe :: making of new wings

this is elijah.

it’s hard to see, but his finger is turning into a caterpillar.  and of course, he’s eating it.

i bought a new drawing desk recently.  it’s set up in the living room facing the front yard.

i usually stay up and draw after elijah goes to bed.  i do some housework first before i get down to it.  i usually draw from 10 to 2 am-ish.

night is very quiet.  i try not to look out the window because i might see a ghost or a someone standing right at the window.  i can’t make an eye contact with them.

i used to draw non-stop without sleep otherwise i would lose interest in the drawing.  but i can’t do that anymore now that i have a baby.  elijah wakes up at 6 am most days, sometimes 5 am.  he’s instantly superawake and ready to go wild.  so i need to be ready for fun in the morning.

after one year of training, i am now capable of drawing one area per day, finishing step by step over several days without losing interest in my own work.

i sometimes go to the basement to draw.  i turn on a ‘curb your enthusiasm’ dvd and draw on the low coffee table, sitting on the floor.  i find myself laughing so hard even though i’ve already watched all the episodes a million times. i love larry david.  ‘can’t go on, must go on…’

until this point, i was doing my best to follow the patterns of real butterflies.  eventually i got bored, so i made up my own butterfly patterns as i finished the drawing.

here it is: “new wings”.

plastique monkey GALLERY update (some older drawings)

finally, my GALLERY is up-to-date!

this is second version of my gallery page. the first one was based on my flickr images, but it didn’t work well so i had to remove it after my site got linked from metafilter.

this new version of my gallery is based on the open source singapore image gallery. paul did the work to set it up and design it to match with my blog and shop. it looks nice and clean, and it’s easy to use.

i put up many different image galleries. there’s a collection of my favorite drawings and collections from different seasons. you can watch my style change over time, because i can never stick with one thing for very long. there are also slideshows where you can view a group of my drawings (start the slideshow of my favorite drawings).

putting my new gallery together, i found lots of drawings in my messy files that i haven’t shown yet on this blog. some of them are quite embarrassing, but now that i’m going to be a mama, i can’t be shy anymore…

older drawings from my gallery

first, really really early and really really embarrassing. this is a drawing i did with markers and color pencils back in kyoto in 1999. the japanese text says “the real me is…”. this was my best effort in shading.

honto no jibun wa

that one was popular with young people but old people looked so concerned about my future.

next, something i did in 2004. i showed this with my “loud silence” photographs and useless toys at the women’s art festival in kingston, ontario — my first-ever show.

born out of me

you can really see the “Action” of the New Me’s. i used this same idea a couple more times to do drawings of heads coming out of me. my mind really is everywhere.

from the same time, this drawing is still one that i like a lot. it’s my secret love-love feeling.

my secret love

that was drawn with markers (and acrylic paint to decorate the edges) in about 10 minutes. can’t believe i’m showing it to so many people…

my first real show in kingston was at the sleepless goat cafe, in december 2004. i decided i should try to draw something bigger for the first time ever. i did most of the drawings and paintings for the show in about 2 and a half weeks. this was done with color pencils and ballpoint pen.


the title is “zukyuun”, which is a japanese sound effect for an explosion/blasting sound. lots of my drawings from this time have rabbits in them, or fish, or both. arts people (with degrees in fine arts) would ask me about the symbolism of the rabbits and fish. there was no symbolism, i just like drawing rabbits and fish.

here’s another one from the same show, with “rabbit-ojisan”, a middle-aged man wearing a rabbit mask. i always think of men like this to be a little sad but kind.

rabbit-ojisan suitcase

after that show, i didn’t do much drawing for awhile. in 2005, i did only 3 larger drawings (calcium keeps me calm, i told you, and since the first moment). most of the drawings i did were little doodles on scraps of paper, like this one.

yes i love you too

i did a few small drawings in the fall of 2005 when i first came to saskatoon. the sushi shop where i was waitressing asked me to put up some artwork, after seeing my drawings at the fringe festival. this one is called “supper is here”.

supper is here

all along, i was doing drawings on construction paper. i like construction paper because it’s colorful. here are two i drew more recently, in 2006:

thank you rabbit

je suis vide

i like to put these construction paper drawings in my online SHOP. the top one, “thank you rabbit”, sold to someone in california. the bottom one, “je suis vide“, is for sale now.

eventually, i got my first show in a gallery, the royal red gallery at phonographique in saskatoon. i had very little to show, so i had to draw like crazy to get ready. a lot of my favorite drawings were done in the month before that show, including my self portrait and chicken fight.

one of my silliest drawings was also from that time, which is based on a painting i did back in 2003 or so. that painting is way, way too embarrassing to show here, so this will be the end of my shameful (“hazukashii~~”) look back at my gallery. time to “hit the beach”.

hit the beach

you are a dog, you are a dog, you are a dog…



i think i drew this in 2004. i’m scared of cats…

how scared am i?

  • case study 1 (age 9): my friend showed me her tiny kitten on the street. she suggested that i hold the kitten. i refused, but she insisted. so i tried to hold it but the kitten was wriggling around in my hands and i ended up dropping it. luckily it was a cat, so it landed successfully on its feet. but it didn’t forget to glare fiercely at me. trauma.
  • case study 2 (age 12): there was a famous stray cat in my town. it was a white cat with only one eye. she was a playgirl (cat). she was always pregnant – scar on her face and scar in her heart. there was always wind blowing whenever she was around. spooky and mysterious. what kind of life are they having, in the cat world?
  • case study 3 (age 17): i came home from school and found a cat (evil one) taking a nap on the porch. i was too scared to walk past it, so i couldn’t go inside. i waited for awhile (hiding behind a tree) but eventually i realized i had to make a move. i threw a tiny stone (first few tries were too weak and i had to throw harder) not aiming to hit it but to make noise and scare it. no chance. it looked at the rolling stone and turned around to look at me with the least respect. i could tell it thought i was just a low class human being, ranked below this cat. shame.

in this drawing, i’m trying to trick cats into thinking, “wait a minute! am i a cat…? NO! i’m a DOG!”. and eventually every single living cat on the earth will be converted into dogs.

for some reasons, i don’t think this will work. but it’s worth a try.

this drawing will be included for sale on my online shop.

UPDATE: you can buy this drawing from my SHOP.

what’s in it?

(click image to view close up)

a drawing on construction paper (2001).

i used paul’s colour pencils from his elementary school days. back when i didn’t know that he existed. his name was written on each of them. it’s funny that now his colours are with me on my drawing.

behave, francois!

(you can click the image for a close-up look)

the phonographique show is up! you can see how it looks here, under “exhibitions”.

only two more days ’til the opening! there’ll be free food and good music (the music is also free and the food is also good, i hope). i’m making some homemade japanese dishes, plus maybe baum kuchen (coming soon to “cafe yuka“). drop in anytime after 8pm — we’ll be there ’til at least midnight.

see you there!

(behave, yuka! the show hasn’t started yet!!)


my right hand hurts….

ummmmm. my right hand really hurts. i was drawing all day long yesterday, getting ready for my show at phonographique. i’m going to be putting up the show tonight.

i did four more drawings, two of them featuring chickens. i’d never drawn chickens before. “chicken fight”, below, was my first shot at drawing a chicken. i was pretty happy with it, so i got wound up and kept drawing chickens. i’m planning to show the two drawings of chickens at the her-icane go-diva women’s art festival, because one of the chickens has nice and delicious-looking breasts. i’ll put those drawings up on my blog some another time.

i think birds in general are creepy creatures, but chickens are mega-creepy. they seem unnecessarily aggressive and stupid. since i tend to draw animals a lot, people think i like animals. actually, i loathe them. i can’t tell what they are thinking! i feel very uncomfortable when they’re around — especially chickens. imagine being surrounded by thousands of chickens — uuuggghhh…. (you can imagine my reaction to the hitchcock movie, the birds). a little bit of distance, preferred. still, i like chicken breasts, they’re delicious!

this is one of construction paper drawings. chickens are mean. so am i.