Stay!

Punchy understands "stay" command. I told him to stay still so I could draw him and he really listened and sit like a model until...my roommate came out of her room. Punchy couldn't resist checking out what my roommate was doing, especially when she's in the kitchen. So he ran away. Luckily I already did an outline contour with graphite, then colored it with watercolor pencil (he came back and posed for me later). 

***

胖奇聽得懂"Stay"指令。早上叫他坐著不動讓我畫他,他就真的乖乖坐著,直到室友從房間出來。胖奇忍不住要跑去看室友在做什麼,尤其是當她在廚房裡的時候。幸好我已經先用鉛筆畫好輪廓了,後來等胖奇回來繼續當麻豆,我再用水彩色鉛筆上色。

Punchy's Pouch 胖奇的零嘴包

對小狗來說,不認識的東西往往看起來很可怕。像是會張大嘴的小包包,和打開蓋子時會「啵」一聲的寬口玻璃罐。

***

Punchy is afraid of stuff that have big open mouth, such as this yellow pouch as a gift for Punchy from a lady friend of mine, and the wide-mouth Mason jars for my smoothie. When he first saw the yellow pouch he ran away from it. Now he knows it is HIS snack pouch and we must bring it with when we go for a walk. Inside there are little dried anchovies.

Trying New Sketchbooks

I've heard many artists loving Stillman & Birn sketchbooks, so I wanted to try it. I like Moleskine but sometimes the paper is too sleek for colored pencil. This Alpha series sketchbook from S & B is perfect for pencil work! (The food drawing from last week is an example of using colored pencil on this paper)

The Moleskine journal is still good for pen and ink drawing (below), and now I use it mainly for writing.

PITT artist pen and patterned paper on Moleskine Daily Planner

PITT artist pen and patterned paper on Moleskine Daily Planner

I tried pen and ink on S & B Alpha book (below). The book has medium grain surface so the pen doesn't run as smoothly as on Moleskine, but it still works well.

PITT artist pen on Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook

PITT artist pen on Stillman & Birn Alpha Sketchbook

Although it's for dry media, light wash and ink, it doesn't buckle too much when I applied multiple layers of watercolor wash. It actually takes watercolor pretty well. I really really love this sketchbook and want to try other series by S & B.

PITT artist pen (dark sepia), watercolor pencil, and watercolor

PITT artist pen (dark sepia), watercolor pencil, and watercolor

I also got Strathmore Mixed Media Art Journal. The paper is 90 lb. but feels thicker than S & B Alpha book. I have used Strathmore 500 series single sheet paper for colored pencil before, and I liked it. This book uses the same paper. I did a colored pencil and light watercolor sketch of Punchy in this book (below) and it didn't disappoint me. 

PITT artist pen sepia, colored pencil and L'aquarelle Sennelier watercolor on Strathmore mixed media paper Art Journal 

PITT artist pen sepia, colored pencil and L'aquarelle Sennelier watercolor on Strathmore mixed media paper Art Journal 

They both work very well with the media I use (colored pencil, pen and ink, watercolor). S & B comes with more options in size and paper though. These two books have become my favorite choices for sketchbook now. 

Keep Drawing

Illustrated journal pages for last week.

Day 5

I messed up the pineapple sketch and tried to paint over the ink lines with gouache. However the yellow paint was not opaque enough. I should've just add a patch over it. Lesson learned. 

每天喝smoothie,有點上癮了,早午晚都想來一杯。較麻煩的是切洗水果,尤其像鳳梨、石榴,特別麻煩。Dole的鳳梨就附了一張切鳳梨指南。(剪下貼在日記本裡)

今天的smoothie味道很特別,食譜如下:

  • 2杯新鮮波菜
  • 2杯水
  • 1/2 杯石榴子
  • 2杯鳳梨
  • 1個萊姆,榨汁

Day 6

A quick sketch of my dog Punchy.

下雪天。細細的雪花很快就為大地蓋上一層白色薄毯。胖奇喜歡在雪地裡東聞西嗅,變得跟Bloodhuound一樣。真納悶有什麼好聞,都是同樣的人行道,同樣的樹和草叢,被雪覆蓋之後,味道就不一樣了嗎?

下雪天散步,快樂的是胖奇,累的是我。最怕路上灑鹽,化學鹽,融雪用的。胖奇一踩到,小爪子就被灼傷,痛得哀哀叫,輪流舉起腳腳,站在馬路上不肯走。看了心疼,只得扛著他走,將近四十磅的狗,走不了一個block我就快撅過去了。曾經給他買了小雪靴,穿上去走不了幾步路就給我一隻隻踢掉,我還得回頭在雪地裡給他找鞋。

Day 7

A tribute to the artists who died in Paris today.

一整天都在思考,今天的幸福手帳要怎麼寫。早上醒來就接連收到 Huffington Post 和 CNN 傳到手機裡的新聞快訊,網路上也隨時有關於法國查理週刊攻擊事件的新聞報導和最新發展。一些藝術家朋友們紛紛用素描或插畫來表達他們對此事件的感觸,大家心情都很沈重。

以前的我不看新聞,討厭政治,也不太關心社會議題。我只顧活在自己不食人間煙火的夢幻泡泡裡,只要能開心的畫畫就好。

後來一位摯友跟我說了很多藝術家、知識份子遭受迫害的不公不義的故事,我才領悟到,我們的生活,沒有一件事跟政治無關。

從來沒有想過,有一天,我快樂畫畫的自由有可能被剝奪。

但是今天發生在巴黎的事,證明了在這個世界上,今時今日,還是會有人因為不喜歡你寫的文字、你畫的畫,或是認為你的創作冒犯了他們,而以暴力的手段傷害你。

雖然我不認識那四位罹難的漫畫家,今天以前也從未聽過他們的名字(後來一些網路上的畫友說,這四位在法國都是非常知名並受到尊崇的藝術家);然而他們用畫筆勇於發聲的精神,令人敬佩。我知道我絕沒有他們那樣的勇氣,常常連要在臉書發表比較有爭議性的言論,都要考慮再三,最後還是很懦弱的刪掉發文,不敢將自己的想法大聲說出來。

遇害的漫畫家、同時也是 Charlie Hebdo 週報主編 Charb 在2012年接受法國 Le Monde 世界報專訪時曾說:


C’est peut-être un peu pompeux ce que je vais dire, mais je préfère mourir debout que vivre à genoux. (我現在要說的也許有點太過嚴肅,但我寧願站著死也不願跪著活命。)
— Charb

如果今天要寫下一件值得感到幸福的事,那就是,很慶幸我有創作的自由。而如果有一天,當我創作的自由受到威脅時,希望我也能有勇氣去捍衛它。

Day 8

Day 9

Colored pencil has been my favorite medium and I love to draw(and cook) food! I used to do realistic pure colored pencil drawings. Now I like to mix some other mediums like ink, watercolor pencil, and light watercolor wash to my colored pencil drawings, to make them more vibrant and interesting. Here is my food journal page created with 90% colored pencil on S & B Alpha sketchbook . All the letterings and subtle outlines done with ink. And light watercolor wash over the soup and cilantro. 

泰式椰奶蝦湯

Colored pencil has been my favorite medium and I love to draw(and cook) food! I used to do realistic pure colored pencil drawings. Now I like to mix some other mediums like ink, watercolor pencil, and light watercolor wash to my colored pencil drawings, to make them more vibrant and interesting. Here is my food journal page created with 90% colored pencil on S & B Alpha sketchbook . All the letterings and subtle outlines done with ink. And light watercolor wash over the soup and cilantro. 

***

昨天收到Blue Apron寄來的新鮮食材和食譜,感謝愛做菜的Kathy推薦,Blue Apron提供了免費的兩人份三道菜讓我試用。送來的食材裝在一個Eco-Friendly可回收分解的紙箱,底下鋪了兩層保冷乾冰袋。每樣食材都按照份量分別裝在小袋子裡(袋子都可重複使用),上面標示著食材名稱。另外還附了一份料理指南和每道菜的食譜,搭配料理步驟照片,彩色印刷在紙卡上,可以收藏。

今天試做了泰式椰奶蝦湯,由於食材份量都由Blue Apron事先量好,我只要洗、切、煮就好,省下不少麻煩;再加上食譜的步驟寫得很好,只要照著進行,就不會手忙腳亂。我沒完全搞懂的一點是檸檬草可能外層剝掉得不夠多,或是切得不夠細,所以還吃得到較木質的部分,口感不夠嫩;除此之外,這道菜的完成品非常美味,可媲美餐廳水準了。

值得一提的是,Blue Apron提供了很多特殊食材,不是我平時會買或懂得買的,讓我可以嘗試料理不同的菜色。又因為食材配料都是按照所需分量提供,不需為了做一兩道菜而去採買一整罐或一整袋,用不完的最後放到過期丟掉,因此可以避免浪費食物。

雖然是兩人份的分量,但是其實我一個人大約可以吃三頓。Blue Apron一星期的費用是$59.94(三道菜兩人份,另有小家庭的方案),乍看不算便宜,但是食材新鮮免費送到家,設計的食譜又兼顧美味和健康,可以算是homemade的餐廳水準美食吧,其實還蠻適合對吃和健康講究,忙碌卻又不想常常外食的單身族或小家庭的。

雪天散步

A quick sketch of my dog Punchy.

下雪天。細細的雪花很快就為大地蓋上一層白色薄毯。胖奇喜歡在雪地裡東聞西嗅,變得跟Bloodhuound一樣。真納悶有什麼好聞,都是同樣的人行道,同樣的樹和草叢,被雪覆蓋之後,味道就不一樣了嗎?

下雪天散步,快樂的是胖奇,累的是我。最怕路上灑鹽,化學鹽,融雪用的。胖奇一踩到,小爪子就被灼傷,痛得哀哀叫,輪流舉起腳腳,站在馬路上不肯走。看了心疼,只得扛著他走,將近四十磅的狗,走不了一個block我就快撅過去了。曾經給他買了小雪靴,穿上去走不了幾步路就給我一隻隻踢掉,我還得回頭在雪地裡給他找鞋。

鳳梨

I messed up the pineapple sketch and tried to paint over the ink lines with gouache. However the yellow paint was not opaque enough. I should've just add a patch over it. Lesson learned. 

***

每天喝smoothie,有點上癮了,早午晚都想來一杯。較麻煩的是切洗水果,尤其像鳳梨、石榴,特別麻煩。Dole的鳳梨就附了一張切鳳梨指南。(剪下貼在日記本裡)

今天的smoothie味道很特別,食譜如下:

  • 2杯新鮮波菜
  • 2杯水
  • 1/2 杯石榴子
  • 2杯鳳梨
  • 1個萊姆,榨汁

A Year of Art Journaling

I have been thinking about doing an year long project in 2015, but couldn't decide what the project is. Then I encountered an e-course taught by my favorite journal artist and book author Danny Gregory and other great artists at "Sketchbook Skool", and I signed up for the courses started last week. It inspires me to start journaling again. I used to journal a lot. I don't know why I stopped doing it some years ago, probably just because I was lazy. When I flipped though my old journal pages, I found so many precious memories that I kept within my drawings and writings.

So, for 2015, I want to keep a visual journal, a page a day. I got a Moleskine "The Little Prince" daily planner for this project. The paper of the Moleskine daily panner is not the most ideal surface for drawing and painting, but I will draw and paint on archival quality patterned paper for scrapbooking, since I have a big collection of these paper and never get to use them. Then I can cut and paste my drawings onto the planner. I probably don't have time to write a blog post here every day, but I will post the snapshots of my journal pages on Instagram and facebook, then write a recap post on this blog every Monday. 

Here are the pages from last week. 

***

January 1 | Happiness Journal

"Eat, Pray, Love"的作者Elizabeth Gilbert在她的臉書上po了一張照片:她抱著一個好大的玻璃罐,裡面裝滿了小紙片,這是她的”Happiness Jar”。她實行這個「幸福罐子」的計畫已經好幾年了,每一天,她把當天生活中最快樂的事情,寫在小紙片上,摺起放進罐子裡。遇到不開心的日子,就從罐子裡隨機撈出幾張小紙片,重溫那些「幸福時光」;如果沒有寫下來,許多人生中美好的小小片刻,就很容易被遺忘了。

不一定要是什麼狂喜的大事才可以寫,可以是很微小的事,或許只是踏出門那一剎那陽光灑在臉上的感覺;而即使是在最糟糕的日子裡,也可以寫下至少不那麼糟糕的小事。

這大概就是台灣人現在流行的「小確幸」吧。

原本就打算今年要重拾手繪日記的習慣,恰好看到Elizabeth Gilbert的計畫,啟發了我進行屬於自己的版本—寫我的「幸福手帳」。手帳比玻璃罐容易收藏,便於攜帶也很容易隨手翻閱。從今天開始,每天記下生活中的小確幸,2015會是充滿幸福的一年。

(你也想要加入「幸福手帳」或是「幸福罐子」的計畫嗎?歡迎留言分享你的計畫。)

January 2 | Pine Cone

即使氣溫在冰點以下,仍然每天兩次,帶胖奇出去散步,除了讓他出去上廁所之外,我知道,這是他每天除了吃飯之外,最期待的事情。我也正好出門走走,享受與欣賞季節變化帶來的種種驚喜。例如這個今天早上撿的松果。紐約雖然是水泥叢林,在住宅區卻幾乎每條街都有行道樹,小片草地也隨處可見。住在都市裡,跟大自然仍然是貼近的。

另一件開心的事,我終於收到American Alliance of Museums的會員卡了,許多美術館、博物館的門票免費,今年可以盡情地看展覽了!

January 3-4 | 書的味道,雪的魔力,胖奇的凡士林

外面下起了2015年的第一場雪。即使住在紐約,已經看過不知道多少雪景,每逢下雪,都仍然像是第一次看到那樣的驚奇與興奮,每每不禁要驚嘆:啊~下雪了。

這是雪的魔力。

開始讀英文版的《S.》。對著泛黃的書頁,忍不住把鼻子湊上去聞,竟然聞到圖書館舊書混合了灰塵與濕氣的味道!再多聞幾次,真的耶,是舊書的味道,好神奇。應該說,出版社好用心,不只在視覺上重現了舊書的樣貌,連「氣味」這種細節也照顧到了,舊書味百分百。

胖奇又吃凡士林了。今天去法會一整天,回到家發現他吃掉半罐凡士林,以前他就有前科,那次吃掉一整罐,沒拉肚子,但是便便一連幾天都超級順暢!這回大概吃到的是印度雜牌,味道不如Vaseline來得好,所以沒吃完。

我很生氣,罵他他就躲到床上,一邊瞇瞇眼一邊搖尾巴(狗狗做錯事怎麼都會瞇瞇眼啊),可是不敢正眼看我。胖奇其實都懂什麼該做什麼不該做,闖禍搗蛋被罵了,就賣萌裝可愛,讓我邊罵邊努力忍笑,很想抱他還要故作冷淡。

真是個聰明的小狗。

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