art journal, works-in-progress, and life as an artist in Munich

Day 13: Fairy Tale

Posted on 22/07/2014

due to other challenges, I had to skip the past few days of this 30 day drawing challenge…will catch up with days 11 & 12 at some point ;) For those of you who have been following this blog for a while, you know I love the asian tales which recount the story of the Kumiho or Kitsune or Huli Jing (Fox Spirit). Well, my favourite fairy tale out of the hundreds from the brothers Grimm, as you can probably guess is Red Riding Hood or Rotkäppchen — as it would be called in the original german. Now, I’ve been keeping tabs on a tv series called Once Upon a Time and was completely transfixed at their interpretation of Red Riding Hood…Instead of her being this demure and innocent little girl on her way to grannies, or the other more recent version of her being a wolf slayer, she is instead (SPOILER ALERT)…………………………………….. the wolf itself!! I LOVE this version! So I decided to work with this idea and portray “Red” in this manner. This is a preliminary sketch of a creature about to be born… (i apologise for the overly saturated red -its hurting my own eyes). Maybe I should somehow incorporate my fox girl and wolf girl in a story of my own…hm……

day14_fairytale

day 10: candy

Posted on 18/07/2014

I almost didn’t make day 10 :) but I can’t sleep. I really really wanted to draw pretty colourful hard candies – but my favourite candy does not at all look that appealing…looks aren’t everything heh heh. Its content. My favourite candy of all time is a popular one in the Philippines and in Spain. Its a creamy flavoured sweet shortbread like treat with an interesting powdery texture. It is absolutely scrumptious! Made from flour, milk, eggs, sugar and nuts. When relatives returned from a trip to the Philippines, we would always receive a bag of these delicious goodies from the famous Manila bakery, Goldilocks :)

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day 09: Favourite Song

Posted on 17/07/2014

witchofthewestmoreland

Witch of the Westmorland is probably one of my favourite songs of all time. Its written by Archie Fisher a scottish folk singer and song-writer…but I heard it sung by Stan Rogers for the first time and I was enchanted by the story which goes like this:

Pale was the wounded knight
That bore the rowan shield
Loud and cruel were the raven’s cries
As he feasted on the field

Saying, “Beck water cold and clear
Will never clean your wound
There’s none but the witch of the Westmoreland
Can make thee hale and sound

“So turn, turn your stallion’s head
Till his red mane flies in the wind
And the rider of the moon goes by
And the bright star falls behind”

And clear was the paley moon
When shadow passed him by
Below the hill were the brightest stars
When he heard the owlet cry,

Saying, “Why do you ride this way
And wherefore came you here?”
“I seek the witch of the Westmoreland 
Who dwells by the winding mere”

And it’s weary by the Ullswater
And the misty brakefern way
Till through the cleft of the Kirkstane pass
The winding water lay

He said, “Lie down my brindled hound
And rest ye my good gray hawk
And thee my steed may graze thy fill
For I must dismount and walk

“But come when you hear my horn
And answer swift the call
For I fear ere the sun will rise this morn
Ye will serve me best of all”

And it’s down to the water’s brim
He’s borne the rowan shield
And the goldenrod he has cast in
To see what the lake might yield

And wet rose she from the lake
And fast and fleet went she
One half the form of a maiden fair
With a jet-black mare’s body

And loud long and shrill he blew
Till his steed was by his side
High overhead the gray hawk flew
And swiftly he did ride

Saying, “Course well, me brindled hound
And fetch me the jet-black mare
Stoop and strike, me good gray hawk
And bring me the maiden fair”

She said, “Pray sheathe thy silvery sword
Lay down thy rowan shield
For I see by the briny blood that flows
You’ve been wounded in the field”

And she stood in a gown of a velvet blue
Bound round with a silver chain
And she’s kissed his pale lips once and twice
And three times round again

And she’s bound his wounds with the goldenrod
Full fast in her arms he lay
And he has risen hale and sound
With the sun high in the day

She said, “Ride with your brindled hound at heel
And your good gray hawk in hand
There’s none can harm the knight who’s lain
With the Witch of the Westmoreland”

For years I’ve been meaning to make a series of paintings based on some of the tales sung by Stan Rogers –and looking at this drawing, I am thinking it has potential to be the first painting of that series. Whenever I listen to Stan’s music, I am reminded of the 8 years I spent living and studying in Hamilton, Ontario where I met David and Beth, and their super awesome mom, Ariel :) who were always up-front and direct with me. For that, they will always have a special place in my heart. Okay, starting to tear up …Time to leave you pretties with this: 

Witch of the Westmorland, Stan Rogers

and of course more about the man.

lastly, every year there is the Stan Rogers Folk Music Festival out in Canso, Nova Scotia so if you ever plan to visit beautiful Nova Scotia, you should try to plan it around this fest :) 

Day 07: Word

Posted on 15/07/2014

day07_word

I don’t really have a favourite word. This word “ravel” means to tangle or disentangle I love it because I could relate to it immediately ;) there was a short lived phase in the recent past when I really had the urge to learn how to knit – my friend Lina taught me how to make the basic stitch and it went really really well, while she was with me, but as soon as she wasn’t around, I always ended up tangling up the yarn and then cursing like a sailor because I would usually have to start from very beginning again – not as relaxing as an activity as I had hoped…but I have not given up that hobby…i am just waiting for the right moment to take it up again.

Day 06: Jane

Posted on 14/07/2014

The challenge was to draw my favourite book character. For me this would be Jane Eyre. This one was kept under 15 minutes:

jane

I wish I could spend more time writing about why I love this book so much and why I connect so strongly to Jane, but since I had a late start this morning due to world cup fever last night I will leave you now, dear reader, and resume my tasks for the day.

Best Friend

Posted on 13/07/2014

image

This is my pitiful 15 min. attempt to sketch one of my closest friends, Nancy. Pitiful, because I will never be able to capture just how awesome she is on paper. You will have to meet her for yourselves. Thank you Alyson for letting me use your photo ;) Here she is dressed up as a cactus for hallowe’en many many years ago before the kids, and when she smoked. She is super smart, funny, creative, and resourceful –the cactus bits were made from paper plates and toothpicks. Unfortunately, that was one party I missed. Nancy is part of my inner-circle…the part reserved for conjugal family members. I consider her more of a sister then a friend. In the course of our friendship, we have spent quite a number of years apart from each other (just like my family and I) but when we do see each other, its as if time has not passed. She lived in Taiwan when I was in Hamilton, California when I was in Toronto. When she moved back to Toronto with her hubby and 3 beautiful girls, I had moved to Germany. Now she is at least close by in Switzerland…but soon this will change because the winds are picking up and its taking me across the pond. So happy that I get to see her, her mom and the 3 little women today. I hope the weather will grace us with sun and blue skies all day.

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