Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The Aim of Art

Thank you for all of your positive comments regarding the sharing of my artwork. I feel less hesitant about sharing now (and possibly boring you) and really do hope that it'll inspire you to try your hand at creating something yourself. 

I got some washi tape years and years ago in Japan that I never used. I'm so happy that I'm finally making use of them in my art journal book. 

This tape surprised me. After I tore off the cellophane covering, I found that the tape was cloth-like and stretchy and kinda see-through . . . so cool. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

About Birgit Kerr

I have been relentlessly scouring the internet lately for painting ideas, looking for inspiration in attempts to hone my "skill". And that's how I found the blog Birgit's Daily Bytes

Birgit's "About Me" section totally resonates with me. Her words are my thoughts exactly. And I'm pretty sure that it could hold true with you too.

Here's what she says:


I never really set out to be an artist. Mostly, because I was convinced that I just didn’t have the “talent” to be a “real” artist. In my mind, ”real” artists go to art school, they have amazing talent, practically out of the cradle, they have a keen eye for proportions, only to be enhanced by crazy cool skills they just sort of acquire through the years. 

And me, well, as far as I was concerned, I didn’t really have any of that. Sure, I was creative in many areas, but “real” artists paint and draw, and I couldn’t do that. I know, my definition of an artist was quite ridiculous, really! 

But, you see, “I have proof,” said my mind, whenever I picked up a pencil or a brush and tried to translate something from my mind or eye to the paper. “You might really want to do this, but clearly you don’t have what it takes!” Whatever I had produced looked like something a 3-year-old had drawn and nothing like what was in my mind’s eye or what an “artist” would draw/paint!

And of course it would, because without practice, you very rarely acquire skills. Unfortunately, when it comes to art, we tend to compare ourselves to the pieces that inspire us, the art of masters, not to the artists on the level we’re really at.

And comparison is indeed the thief of joy at the best of times, but particularly when we become our own worst art critics by making absolutely unfair comparisons.

So, for many years, even while making my living as a digital scrapbook designer (which is essentially being an artist,) I would stay away from actual paint. Sadly. Because, really, it was calling me! I just didn’t have the courage to open myself up to that calling. 

Until one day I did! I gave myself permission to just play!

The colors, the paints, the mess, the stamps and gesso and crayons - they were all calling my name. And instead of expecting a master piece, I just started to play. And I was hooked!

So, I painted, and glued, and layered, and smeared, and dripped and stamped, and sketched like never before. I got gloriously messy. I explored the material. And while I was having all that fun, I learnt. And practiced. And acquired skills.

And everything changed and shifted and eventually this whole new world opened up for me and is still opening up as I walk this path!

And through art and within art, I have found ways to communicate, to inspire, to save  and  to heal. I have found courage, as well as vulnerability, amazing possibilities and connections and maybe most of all - joy and gratitude!

And I’m so happy that I get to share it all with you!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Collage Greeting Card

Sorry to bore you with all of my painting projects, but no more nothing else to share with you lately.

Here's a greeting card that I made with some of my leftover painted paper and acrylic paint. I'm thinking of making more similar cards but without the busy background and using watercolor paints instead.

In case you're wondering . . . the sheets of paper I used for the collage is from a prospectus that some company is required by law to provide to me. The paper is almost tissue paper thin so worked perfectly. I have no clue what all the words mean.


Friday, October 13, 2017

Two Collages and an Announcement

I have two collages to share with you. Although it wasn't intentional, the theme is similar and probably the result of what I've been feeling in my heart lately. 

Remember the sheets of paper that I painted with acrylic paint? This is what I did with them. The circles I colored with oil pastel crayons and smudged them with my fingers. 

This second collage was made with similar sheets painted with earthy-colored watercolor paint instead. It looks so subdued compared to the acrylics, yah? Inspiration for the butterfly came from SchulmanArt blog and can be found here. Isn't it cool? 

If you haven't guessed what my announcement is about yet, here it is: I'M RETIRING!! 

35 years with the same company and now . . .  October 31 will be my last day. I feel Sad, Nervous, Excited . . . in that order. Hopefully, by next month Sad and Nervous will go away and I'll just be left with Excited. 

A new chapter begins . . . 

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Black Gesso

Inspiration for my first acrylic painting came from My Flower Journal and can be found here

I thought that a black background would be neat so I researched online on how I could do it.

I used this black Liquitex Gesso. It's pretty awesome. It goes on smoothly and spreads easily. It needs to dry for 24 hours before painting on it.

I didn't know that acrylic paint hardens onto the palette. Surprise! It took some soaking and scrubbing, and I was able to get the palette somewhat clean.

I'm thinking of using a styrofoam take out container next time instead. Then I can throw it away and not have to worry about cleaning up. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Diem 99 Cafe

Diem 99 Cafe in 99 Ranch has a vegetarian menu, and I am totally loving it. I wish it was closer to my house. I would go everyday.


Lemongrass Tofu Banh Mi ($6.50). So yummy. 

Vegetarian Spring Roll ($5.75)

Veggie Roll Combo ($8.99)
Vegetarian spring rolls and summer rolls

Monk's Dish ($8.75). I LOVE this.  
Traditional banh bi chai dish served with fried bean curd and vegetables on vermicelli noodles and soy sauceIMG_7599

Monday, October 9, 2017

Acrylic Paints

I was hoping to focus on watercolor paints only, but these Golden brand acrylic paints are 75% off at Fisher this month, so  . . . ACK . . . yes, I bought them. The red tube alone is normally about $14, but  I got it for $3.50. You know how I can't pass up on a good deal.


I was shocked to see how vibrant the colors are. 

I painted a page in my art journal. The paint doesn't have the "bleeding together" quality that I like in watercolors, but the plus side is that the colors are so bold. It gave me an idea.

Inspiration came, of course, from something I saw online. Stay tuned for the finished product later. Neva do um yet. Do you see me and Landon peeking from behind the pages? Hahaha. It wasn't intentional . . . but so cute us, yah. I'm gonna use it in a page in my journal. 

This is my acrylic paint supply container. I got new brushes to use with the acrylics because I don't want to wreck my precious watercolor brushes. This morning before working on this blog post, I started clearing off the sewing supplies from my table. I'm running out of room. Yikes!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Life Begins

I don't know if life begins at the end of your comfort zone, but I believe that new adventures do start there.


Thursday, October 5, 2017

Crayola Markers

Here's another page from my art journal. I did the lettering and coloring with Crayola Markers. I was so surprised when I discovered a YouTube video where a gal demonstrates beautiful hand lettering using the kids' markers.

This page was so much fun to do. I'm finding that I love doing circles.

I got my markers at the swap meet . . . 5/$1.00. Good deal . . . plus I had fun chatting with the guy. 

Here's the video:

Monday, October 2, 2017

Art Journal

I decided to start an Art Journal because I needed someplace to put the scraps of paper that I've been practicing on instead of throwing them away or taping them to the wall.

I have to admit . . . unfortunately . . . that this quote describes me exactly.

It's from this book. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Miso Butterfish

This butterfish was really, really good. Maybe as good as $$$Roy's$$$.


Landon picked it up from Hawaiian Miso & Soy Co., Ltd. It was $$$20.95$$$ a pound.  Lan just broiled it in the oven.

Thursday, September 28, 2017


My sister Didi likes owls. I made these cards for her. After I did the sketches and penned the outline, I printed out copies before painting so that I could make a bunch.




She likes the Cubs too. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Tombow Fudenosuke Pen

I bought these Tombow calligraphy pens from Amazon. It was recommended on several hand lettering tutorials. You can check it out on Amazon here


The two-pack came with a hard-tip and a soft-tip pen. I like them . . . maybe the best of all the calligraphy-type pens that I own.

There was just a slight difference in feel between the two. I think I preferred the hard tip one just a skosh more.

Honolulu Aunty has the quote below on her current blog post. I like it a lot. IMG_7495

LOL, I just noticed . . . supposed to be "under" whose shade. Good thing I still only practicing. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Vegan Soy Meat

I bought this from Marukai a couple weeks ago.  It was on sale for $5.99.


Landon made this Beef Broccoli with it.  Sorry, no more recipe, but it was goooood.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Bento from Foodland

Wendell and I went to Ala Moana Foodland for the first time yesterday. 

I got this bento. It was perfect for me. I think it was $7.49. It's not on my receipt. Instead there's a Teriyaki Fish for $7.49 that I didn't get so I'm guessing that's it.

Everything was good!

Well, almost everything.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Hand Lettering

Maybe it was just a matter of time . . . it's kinda related . . .  although it's a whole 'nother can of worms.  


Like watercoloring, hand lettering requires practice, practice, practice . . . but maybe not being perfect makes it kinda quaint . . . no?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Simple Pleasure

Geri actually discovered this blue bird at the swap meet and showed it to me. It was $1. She said I could have it if I wanted. 

This is now my window view while I sit at my computer desk. It's pretty amazing to me how such a simple thing can bring me such joy.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Prang Watercolor Set

Does anybody wanna try watercolor painting?

You can have this Prang set. 

This guy gave a good review on it so I got it when I first started my new hobby, but I have a bunch of different sets now so I probably won't be using it.

Let me know . . .

Addendum:  I got a taker!!!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Maremi's Small Art

For you, Kevin

Hi peoples!!! I give you one guess what this blog post is about. 

Yup. Painting. You just know how one-track minded I get. All I think about now is painting, painting, painting. Fixing watches? What was that all about?

New paint set!! So exciting! No? This set is by Prima Marketing.

It's actually a birthday present that I got from Leslie. And my birthday is not for another couple weeks! We're so bad yah. That's how we are with each other. We don't even wrap our presents. Hahahaha!

I've made a bunch of these cards. I loooooove doing this design. It's such good practice. And it's so gratifying.

Here's the green first wash layer. It's the easiest part. 

And here's the hardest and most challenging part . . . blending. I do a lot of screaming when things don't work out. But I also do a lot of "oooh"ing and "aaaah"ing when things do.

I had planned to take step-by-step pictures for you but it didn't happen. Along the way, I kinda forgot. Shucks.

Anyway, the title of this post is Maremi's Small Art. "Maremi" is a combined name . . . "Marta" (my new favorite instructor) and her daughter "Emi".  I just love love love Marta and her carefree attitude regarding her art process.  

Marta admits that she is not a painter but a crafter (just like me), and I admire her for her willingness to put herself out there. And I just love how she gets all excited when she makes a new discovery. Her delight is infectious to me. 

Below are three of Marta's videos. I've watched most of her videos several times, not just for the tutorials but also to enjoy her words . . .

"Sit down. Do it. Enjoy it.
Relax about that.
Don't be afraid.
We are who we are." 

"Only by trying you will learn.
Stop it, Marta.
Why nooottt?
You will have a next time."

"Allow yourself to play and enjoy and make a mistake.
You gain so much more when trying to play."

Here is my Marta-inspired card . . . my latest. 

I'll be back to posting again but probably only once in awhile and not on a daily basis. I think it's time I "relax about that". 

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Break Time

Sorry peoples, I decided it's time for me to take a break from blogging again. I'm really getting into this watercolor painting thing and I just wanna cruise and enjoy doing that for awhile. 

This will be my view instead of my computer monitor for the time being. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 will pretty much be playing all the time. I love that movie. The part that's on now is where I cry and cry and cry . . . so touching.

The paint set in the lower right corner is da bomb! I used it for the first time after taking this picture. OMG it's so vibrant that I wasn't prepared and struggled with it for a bit. It's hard to describe, but I love the look of it.  One of the YouTube watercolor painting instructors said that it's the brand that he uses. It wasn't too expensive on Amazon so I ordered it.  You can check it out here


K den . . . laytahs!

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Dream (Spiral Corridor) - ? date

I'm in a narrow corridor that is only a shoulder width wide. There's a line of people in front of me and a line of people behind me. We are all walking forward. I'm worried because I can't stop if I wanted to. 

The corridor starts going into a spiral and gets narrower and narrower. It gets so tight that it's hard to breathe. After awhile, I can see that there's a tiny opening at the very end of the corridor up ahead. The people are squeezing through the opening.

It's my turn. I don't think that I can fit, but I have no choice. With some effort I manage to squeeze through, and I exit on the other side.

It is very, very bright. I can hardly see.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Portabella Mushroom Wrap

This is from Kahai Street Kitchen. I liked it a lot! Landon ate it without the cheese and thought it tasted like a veggie wrap and wasn't special.

Fire Roasted Portabella Mushroom Wrap (Veggie Meal of the Day).$10.25 

Marinated charbroiled portabella mushrooms, fire roasted red bell peppers, green leaf lettuce, tomatoes, caramelized onions, carrots, cucumbers, clover sprouts, provolone cheese, with a chipotle aioli drizzle, wrapped in a flour tortilla, served with choice of fries, tossed or potato macaroni salad 

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Dream (In the Woods) - 08/09/1988

I live in a shack in the woods. I am deaf and live alone. Once in awhile a married man comes to visit me. His visits are the highlight of my life. 


I got the idea for this from a painting by Annya Kai found here