Finally Finished

Wow, cannot believe how long it’s been since i’ve written! So much happening but I feel that i’ve accomplished a few fantastic things! One being my new piece title “Remembering” and secondly, my application to have my own pop up gallery has been accepted. I’m still in shock as it’s a major hurdle that I actually got over and it boils down to me finally believing in myself and taking that big leap of faith. The pop up gallery is in a fantastic location in Sydney called “The Rocks”, pretty much where all the big cruise ships dock in the harbour. I have not got the exact dates as of yet, but it looks like it will be for the whole month of September. I will also be holding free drawing workshops in the gallery which will spice things up a bit and I will be conducting a live studio there where people can come into the space and watch me draw……so it will all be very interactive.

Getting back to my new piece remembering and what this piece says………well it says a lot really, and what it says to one person will definitely differ from one person to the next. I initially was listening to Neale Donald Walshs’ “Conversations with God” when the part about remembering who you are resonated quite strongly with me. I though a lot about this concept and to which source we have come from etc and to where we are going. Remembering that you are not only a part of the creation but also a part of the creator, rather than seeing everything as separate from ourselves (a trick played by the ego) we see everyone and everything as a part of ourselves. Funnily enough I don’t feel quite comfortable typing this stuff out for fear of judgement as writing is not a strong point and the whole notion of God will naturally open up a can of worms.

In saying all that, this is not about religion and it’s not about dogma, it’s about an Artist trying to express the inner workings of the self. The girl in the image is looking to her right into the empty space with a single chair, she has removed all belongings and stripped back the layers to reveal the emptiness of space which in itself is alive and full of energy. The chair beckons her to come and sit and to maybe ponder on her existence. Yes, this piece is deep and holds a bit of emotion and I’m sure it will bring out different things for different people……….and if the drawing does this then it has served it’s purpose.

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Portraits and paintings

Just checking in to keep you all updated with my progress on my latest drawing and am quite happy with what i’ve done so far as it’s captured the intensity of her expression where her soul could almost be read through her eyes. I have really concentrated on the detailing of her skin which brings a portrait alive, having detailed eyes is one thing, but the pores and crevasses of the skin need to be shown as they too act as a map into the true character of a person.
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Today I was thinking about painting a portrait (yes, shock horror) as i’d like to see how I would capture the essence of a person and would it have the same dramatic impact as a black and white drawing. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti colour, but I find it hard to relate to. I absolutely love black and white photography too or photos with the bare minimum of colour like it has almost been washed out of the image like a grey street on a rainy day……..I don’t get the chance to paint often but did have the privilege of painting a beach scene as a commission piece for a lady that wanted to have her kids incorporated into the piece. It was a mini challenge for me as I hadn’t painted in “colour” for quite some time so it took me a week or so to get the hang of it as the colours in the photo I was using were very vibrant and alive. I was very proud of the piece when I had finished and the family were thrilled too which made it all worthwhile. The beach was “Pearl Beach” somewhere on the central coast of NSW
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Remembering

Have started on my new piece and am focusing on another close up portrait of a woman. This time she is facing the viewer and is almost looking backwards although it is sidewards and her hand is delicately reaching to her mouth in a contemplative way. I chose this particular portrait because the female in question has a lot running through her mind and you can see the thoughts churning over through her searching eyes. I will really try and bring this intensity out in the eyes, complete with blood vessels and all as the eyes hold the key. 

In regard to the background, I’m still at a loss as what to put there and don’t want to crowd the portrait with a lot of detail as it would take away from the central figure. Either way the drawing is being influenced by Neil donald walschs’ “Conversations with God” as I am listening to the audio book for a second time……..There was way to much to digest when I first listened to it, so listening for a second time is making more sense. What has really stuck with me with the second listening was when god says we are not here to learn but to remember who we are and somehow this new drawing is just that, a remembering of who “I am”.

But do you remember? Is what your all probably thinking and all I can say is that I do get flashes from time to time but they are ver few and far between. When I do remember, it’s like I am 100% present with all the clarity within me and without……..when it goes then it’s like i’ve lost the needle in the haystack again and try and wrack my brain to locate it. But that’s the madness of it all and I realise now that it’s here within me but it can’t be forced or thought about (if you catch my drift) and when the stars are somehow aligned then it magically flicks on the switch to show itself once more.

  

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A graphic designer I’m not!

Hello dear reader, hope all is well with you! I’ve been very creative over the last week as we are creating a new wine label! We are bringing out a premium range of wines both in reds and whites which will be put into traditional burgundy bottles. So we are thinking black labels with gold embossing……..we will keep our traditional format of the post with the hanging foliage of grapes surrounding it but the grapes will be in the ripened stage rather than the budding stage which was in my initial illustration.
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So i’ve been playing around with various bunches of grapes and leaves as well as incorporating some tendrils (the curly vined bits that you see sprouting from the stalks). We still haven’t worked out whether to continue putting our vintage year on the post or to write cooks lot on the post………at a dilemma here as to put a yearly vintage on the post would cost an extra $250AU or so for the change of printing plates. Or do we put a bin/lot number on the post and leave it as that (so every varietal would have their own unique number) if anyone out there could give me an opinion on what to do it would be much appreciated :o)

So i’ve made a few very rough mock ups with gold pens etc……..please note I am not a “graphic designer” so they are definitely not slick by any measure. I have also changed the font for the capital letters on the C and L making them more flowery……just to add I don’t have any typography skills up my sleeve either. Actually, I can’t believe i’m letting you all see these roughs as I’m such a neat freak (well precise to a point with my illustrations) Oh well here goes…………………….
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Queen of wands

On a big guilt trip at the moment as I haven’t written for so long as i’ve been caught up writing a proposal for a “pop up’ shop. For those of you that don’t know what a pop up shop is, it’s a shop that one can rent out for a short term lease. And I am hoping to get one set up sometime in August that will be like a live studio space/gallery where I will hold free drawing workshops for children and adults. Any way I’m just trying to word this proposal to the best of my ability and hope that this gallery space will happen for me. 

On a positive note I have in fact finished my newest piece and have titled it “Queen of wands”. I was struggling with a title when I was near completion as I was trying to tie in the deer versus woodland theme, and with the central figure holding a staff or some may see it as a weapon, I did not want the viewer to see this as a hunting image. On closer inspection of the symbolism of the deer it was noted to represent the heart chakra which represents unconditional love, kindness and gentleness but with an inner instinct that knows when to fight or flight as does the sensitive deer. 

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The central figure has a somewhat fire within and a strength that can be felt by the viewer and so when the title came to me (yesterday) I was somewhat meditating on the figure and what she and her “staff” represented. The Queen of wands jumped out at me and the light bulb went off and I just knew in my heart of hearts that this was to be the title for this piece. I wouldn’t call myself a tarot reader but I do have a medieval deck that was given to me by a friend many years back. The tarot deck was always an interest to me but like any metaphysical tool I will always treat it with caution. The queen of wands was not a card I was very familiar with so I have done a bit of research on her and have made a few notes about it. The card  is associated with elemental fire and is said to represent one’s basic instinct. She guides one into realising the consequences of their actions, but must be sure to focus on what will get one moving and how to do it (kind of like how I’m going to get this gallery space). This card also represents spontaneity, directness and independence but not to get tricked into becoming impatient. If the sun “shines” in your heart you can overcome your fears and walk in your own path (quote of Evelin Burger)……….Funny how I had a fortune cookie 2 weeks ago that stated how if I looked toward the sun my mind would never be in shadows (or something to that effect)

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Anticipation of hands

The drawing is coming along nicely I feel, and the models hair is now complete! So all I have to do is finish off her skin and then work on her hand. I used to loathe drawing hands but as i’ve matured drawing hands has become an absolute pleasure. I even created a drawing compilation of hands as a treasury list in Etsy………I am that addicted to drawing hands. Hands can not only tell a lot about people in regard to palmistry but the hands also contain smaller “chakras” which are located in the palm. They can open and shut at will depending on the need to receive or to give energy. The hand chakras are associated with creating what you want in life, trust and control issues and the healing of yourself and others. Open hand chakras can also help Artists in the way of letting their energy move more freely to create……..Thus sums up my interest in hands! 

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Deer in headlights (that’s not the title)

Am thrilled to say that i’ve begun a new piece! I wanted to create another portrait/head shot as the last one I did of “learning to fly” was received so well. So I’m continuing with the similar style although this one will have far more detail I feel as i’ve incorporated some deer in the distance and the forest in the background will be quite intricate although I will not be portraying each twig and leaf.

The woman that I have chosen in this piece has a strong and steely gaze like she is either about to go into battle or at least sizing up the competition. She is holding a staff of some description as if it is propping her up to some point or is being used as a balancing/measuring device (will need to investigate this symbol more thoroughly I feel) This is also my first model to have “tattoos” which I will be leaving on her body. The tattoos give her a sense of rawness and fearlessness (to add I have no tattoos of my own) and suit her really well……..dare I use the word “tribal” (cringing as I type)

Would really love some feedback on this piece so please feel free to give an opinion, and please stop by and have a look at my Etsy shop……..still working out how to add the link. http://www.etsy.com/au/people/ambersubaki

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“Protection”

Better late then never and here is my finished piece dear reader……..

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I have titled this piece “Protection”, as the woodland nymph is protected by the towering mushrooms that surround her. The mushrooms portrayed have a semi masculine aura about them, not so much in a phallic sense (although I can see a few of you nodding your heads in agreeance) but more of a strong and stately stance as they protect her whilst she is in this delicate foetal position of transformation. This work has had it’s fair shares of ups and downs as my Art will often reflect my own inner stirrings and in relation to the environment around me. I do feel relief with the finishing of this piece as it marks a new chapter in my life and my Art as the nymph in the foetal position signals transformation and rebirth. It was quite uncanny that I got sick twice whilst working on this piece although I am a firm believer of everything happening for a reason. So most humans will resume the foetal position during trauma or sickness as this position will bring upon healing and protection from the environment……..thus resulting in a transformation.

So here I am fresh as a daisy and starting to research on a new piece and going through my illustrators guide (virtual model books) to look for some inspiration……..I’m feeling drawn to birds and butterflies now, and this again is no surprise after the last drawing as the nymphs position was also in a cocoon like state. I have used this theme before as transformation and renewal is a big theme for me……..have a look in my Etsy shop and see if you can pick these pieces out! There are 2 of them with the cocoon/butterfly theme, lets see if you have a sharp eye http://www.etsy.com/au/people/ambersubaki      

From pysslar beads to wontons

What can I say apart from that last week was a total write off!

I don’t want to start getting on my “Negative Nancy” stance as I want to keep positive in my Artistic blog rather than focus on the drawing that I didn’t do………I cringe when I see and hear excuses and here I am about to dish out a few more (o: So apart from the kids on their Easter holiday (back to school tomorrow I type with a sigh of relief) the number one excuse is a virus that I came down with. I’m not going to talk any more of it as I’m already more than annoyed with myself than I should be.

Instead of the drawing that I should of been doing, there has been a lot of cooking and crafts going on in our house. A friend purchased some pysslar beads from Ikea which my daughter and I have only just discovered and have got stuck into them with great gusto. They are fantastic for both the young and old but a pain in the rear end when the minute beads end up on the floor. It’s times like these that I love having a timber floor as having to vacuum these things up would be a nightmare, but the broom has had a good workout nonetheless. So basically the deal with these beads is that they are placed on a toothed grid in a pattern of your choice and are then ironed so they meld together to stabilise. A great gift idea for kids if anyone has an ikea nearby……….now where’s my endorsement ikea? Here is some of my 7 year olds trial runs……..

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Now I know that Easter has been and gone but I was desperate to make some hot cross buns as I was so over the store bought ones that lacked the spice and fruit . The family and and I were thrilled with the result and they looked as good as the kitchen smelled when they were baking. The smell of cinnamon and cloves baking into dough is one of the most tantalising smells out there, it’s really hard to beat.

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And for something different we got the kids involved in some wonton making and incorporated them into a long soup as it’s one of their favourites when we go out. So easy to do and making the master stock wasn’t so hard either, so if you have kids and they love dumplings and soup then get them involved in making the wontons. Just google a simple wonton recipe and then add them to your basic chicken bone stock flavoured with onion, star anise, coriander seeds and garlic………and the egg noodles for a minute or two before serving

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And tomorrow dear reader we should see a near finished drawing……….I promise! No more food blogging ;o) 

Easter Treats

I hope everyone is having a fine and dandy time during this Easter break and that your all consuming copious amounts of chocolate and other tasty morsels. We having been having a wonderful time with lots of glorious seafood, not that we are the “Eat fish on friday” types but it is a good excuse to head on down to the fish markets and stock up on some lovely fruits of the sea. As you can in the pic we have turned simple Aussie tiger prawns into something special. It is a simple dish and really quite easy to prepare as the raw prawns are butterflied and topped with a butter, garlic and herb paste and then grilled in an oven. They can be served with hot rolls and salad or anything that takes your fancy really. They are great as an entree or a whole plate full as a main and if you can’t source prawns then scampi or any other similar type of shell fish can be used Image

One of our 2004 Mudgee riesling was served with the dish and it was spectacular! Am really getting into rieslings these days which is a nice change from the same old sauvignon blanc that everyone seems to be swilling these days.

Anyway, enough about the wine and onto the Art which we’re all here for. As you can see in the next pic, the drawing is coming along slowly although the bark and foliage is taking a long time to complete…….hoping to finish this piece by next week!

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And to finish off this days post I’d like to share a pic of my beautiful boy with the Easter bunny, it was a stunning day in Sydney today with blue skies and sparkling water…….everyone was feeling the love all around.

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