art recipe :: winter blues

this winter is way too long, too cold and too slow…  i used to joke about how cold it gets in saskatoon, but not any more.  it’s not funny.  when the temperature drops to -30 and even lower, your brain gets frozen too.  it’s a fact.  the upside is, though, it’s sunny most of time.  it is beautiful.  and you will get tougher.  when it’s sunny and no wind, i’m okay until it hits -25 or so.  but this winter is so long nonetheless.

i’m stuck in the house.  i might as well being creative.  no pouting allowed.

what should she be riding on…?

a turtle, of course.

what does a turtle look like?

mine doesn’t look like the one on the computer, but that’s okay.  my turtle is braver and creepier.

it’s almost done…

(color pencils, sumi ink, paper)

quasi-calligraphy, lesson two: wealthy farmer


forget about astronauts, forget about teachers — the dream occupation of the 21st century is “wealthy farmer”.

as shown in the documentary “seven samurai“, farmers have it all! does our consumption-obsessed society drag you down? do you feel empty even after you’ve satisfied your materialistic desires? well, you are a perfect candidate to become a “wealthy farmer”.

the word “farmer”, by itself, is not enough to capture how great farmers really are. that’s where “wealthy” comes in. alert readers (most of you, i expect) have already realized that the word “wealthy” here does not refer to material riches. for the rest of you, i’m not going to explain exactly what it does refer to. just trust me.

let’s begin.

lesson two: 豪農

the first character is pronounced “goh”, meaning “wealth”. the second letter “noh” means “farmer”. so “gohnoh” means “wealthy farmer”. isn’t that simple?

it’s probably too late in your life for you to successfully become a wealthy farmer, but it’s not too late for your kids. when people ask your kids what they want to be when they grow up, they need to have an answer prepared. this is no time for hesitation! you can help your kids rehearse. for best effect, you should ask them suddenly, using a different voice than usual. after all, most of these questions will come from strangers or distant relatives.

–you (imitating the voice of an aunt or uncle): “shourai, nani ni naritai?” (what do you want to be when you grow up?)
–your kid: “gohnoh” (a wealthy farmer). your kid should answer quickly, without pouting. any pouting? minus 5 points.

you also need to anticipate scenarios where relatives will be unhappy with this answer, pushing your kids toward a more acceptable career. for those occasions, here’s a possible dialogue.

–you (again, imitating the voice of an aunt or uncle): “sensei ni naritai n desho!” (you wanna be a teacher, don’t you?)

don’t let your kid be intimidated here. teach him/her to stand strong and say:

–your kid: “uun. gohnoh ni zettai ni naritai”. (nope. i definitely want to be a wealthy farmer)

now your kid is wholeheartedly prepared to become a wealthy farmer. your future is assured. good for you.

one more point: notice the amout of sumi ink that i used for this ‘wealthy farmer’. extra ink expresses ‘fullness’ and ‘richness’. so don’t be cheap, use plenty.

see you next week!