Monday, January 31, 2011

Vegetable Study: Onion

Onions are such staples in my cooking, I sometimes have to wonder how many of them I would ever chop and sauté in this lifetime. Probably thousands. My favorite trick to soften onions quickly: sautée in medium-high heat for 1 minute or so and then cover, turn heat to low, and just leave it there for 5–10 minutes. You can go off to chop other vegetables while it’s cooking, and before you know it, it starts to smell really, really good! This perfect yellow onion I ended up using in my Middle Eastern lentil rice.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Snow, Snow...More Snow!

Good morning, fluffy snow! You make me so happy no matter how old I am.
 Stepping out into the winter wonderland...
The cars are perfectly snuggled in big, puffy white comforters.
I kept thinking of the White Tree of Gondor, from the Lord of the Rings.
 Cute houses look even cuter.
Is it just me, or does snow make everything look tasty?
Marzipan mailboxes.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Mother’s Love

Woke up this morning and... HELLO, more SNOW! There was yet another glorious (and treacherous, no doubt) winter wonderland to behold outside the window. I took some photos, but those shall be posted tomorrow, because today is my mom’s birthday.

Just like in most Japanese families, we didn’t grow up kissing or saying “I love you” to each other, but she has always showered us with her love in so many other ways. One time when I was in high school, mom and I were sleeping in my tiny apartment in Tokyo, and we were woken up by a pretty heavy earthquake. The whole building shook like a jello... the furniture rattled and bounced... we were used to earthquakes in Tokyo, but this was quite scary. Yet the very first thing my mom did was to hurl herself over me, to shield me from anything that might fall down. She held me there until the quake subsided completely. Luckily nothing ended up falling on us, but I was completely stunned in the realization that she was ready to sacrifice herself for me at any given moment. (I also hoped with my entire being that she would never have to do that, ever.)

Many years later when I retold this story to my mom, she shrugged and said “Of course. That’s just what a mother does.” (That’s also very telling about her wondrous character: never makes a big deal out of anything she does.) So here is a toast to her and all the moms in the world. Happy birthday, Mom! I love you more than words can express. Thank you for everything.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Girl + Mailing Box

It’s my lucky day when I get to draw a fellow commuter wearing cute, funky clothes! This I recall is from a morning commute. Her awesome black-and-white outfit (my favorite: the polka dot skirt) was complete with a USPS mailing box which she kept carrying between her legs, whether she was standing or sitting.

On the bottom left corner is my friend giving me tips on where to shop for cheap dance clothes. That reminds me, I still haven’t checked out SYMS!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Fascinated with Glasses! they sit on people’s noses, how they frame the face, how the eyes and eyebrows peek out from them in unexpected angles, all the different colors and shapes...LOVE!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Subway and Hueco Mundo

As I saw my husband off to work this morning, he warned me it is only 8°F outside. That sounds pretty cold, but even after living in the land of inches and Fahrenheit for most of my life, I still can’t seem to fully grasp what these really mean unless I convert them: ( 8 – 32 ) * ( 5 / 9 ) = –13.3°C ...wahhh! Not looking forward to stepping into that cold.

Anyways, the above spread was completed about a year ago, when I was onto the Hueco Mundo story arc in my Bleach marathon. I have found it nearly impossible to sketch things while it’s playing on TV, by the way. At best I can catch one eye or one staircase.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Birthday Thanks!

Delighted to report: birthday weekend was full of magical moments, great company, and yummy food, thanks to you all! Above are the lovely cards from my friends and family, two of which are originally made! Ahh, how I love receiving these in the mail.

One announcement: Starting next week, I have decided to take my weekends off from posting. So : rainfall sunshine : will be running on a Monday through Friday schedule. I was originally going for the 365 posts a year challenge but quickly realized that was way too ambitious!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Self Portrait, Right Hand

Looking kind of melancholy, am I? It is funny how I actually enjoyed drawing with my left hand (from yesterday’s post) better than my regular right... not sure if it had to do with the left hand activating the right brain, or just that I wasn’t expecting myself to be good at all, which allowed me to let go of judgments completely and simply focus on the task.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Self Portrait, Left Hand

Boy, does this require concentration!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Taking A Break – Part II

Here it is, traced and colored in Illustrator. Now that I look at it, I see how the girl and the cat actually embody my ideal state of being: graceful, peaceful, polite, and totally relaxed. Maybe that’s why I like this little piece so much.

Alrighty, I’m going to go off now and enjoy my birthday no. 31. Ciao!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Taking A Break – Part I

I originally made this drawing for a weekly creativity blog I was a part of, just to say (in the Japanese way), “Excuse me for taking a break. Will be back soon.” Turns out I really liked it and later colored it in Illustrator. I will post that version tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Lavender Tux

It is cold and raining ice outside, so I wanted to post something silly and festive. Here is another exercise I did from Carla Sonheim’s Art of Silliness 2 workshop called shape-shifters. You cut out a few abstract shapes or “blobs,” arrange them into a new shape, and draw what you see in it.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Paper Doll Explosion!

Happy MLK Jr. Day! This was the result of fooling around with Illustrator when I was first learning it. The most fun was drawing my crochet handbag that my friend Christine gave me! I just realized, that teal-colored hoodie was my absolute favorite at the time... where on earth did it go now?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Purple Checkered Shirt

Thought it’d be fun to paint patterns on a wrinkly shirt...not! Nevertheless, fabric and clothes are endlessly fascinating (and challenging) to sketch.

Saturday, January 15, 2011


I found this adorable, hand-painted, heart-shaped little dish in my mom’s cupboard...and I couldn’t resist painting it! My mom and I both use ginger a lot when we cook. One of my favorite dishes of hers is pan-fried lotus roots stuffed with grated ginger and ground chicken. Mmmmmm!

Friday, January 14, 2011

View from Our Couch

Another scribbly drawing. Our little media center is somewhat crowded but pretty functional nonetheless... scanner, TV antenna, TV, phone, external hard drive, videos, DVDs, games, PS2, PS3, what else, what else...

Thursday, January 13, 2011

My Trash Basket

Carla Sonheim’s Art of Silliness 2 workshop introduced me to what she calls “scribbly drawing,” in which you literally scribble what you see as fast as you can. Really helps me get loose. Taking this 30-day online workshop was one of the best things I did for myself last year. It helped me get into the habit of drawing and creating without thinking too much. And to boot, I got to share my stuff with other artists around the globe and comment on each other’s work... before this I never imagined strangers would have anything to say about my drawings. There is such a great community of talented, supportive artists out there!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Texter and Catnapper

I love it when I hop on the subway and spot somebody sleeping or intensely focused on a task at hand... because I can draw them for a good while! These I did on my way home from work the past two days. Last night I worked late and this gentleman was sitting across from me, and he really took his time getting into a snuggly position to take his catnap. It was as if he was showing me, “Look, this is how you take a nap on the subway. You don’t randomly dose off and miss your stop. You decide how many minutes you are going to sleep, get yourself comfortable, and surrender completely to the slumber.” Thanks for reminding me how luxurious sleeping can be!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Hartsdale the next town over from Scarsdale where I grew up. My parents bought and moved into a co-op 1 bedroom there a couple of years after me and my brother left for college. I take the Metro North train there every other weekend. The Starbucks inside the station is great for waiting in the cold weather.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Breakfast and Cupcakes

Back to my moleskine from a year ago. My two girlfriends who make a cameo on this spread are way, way prettier than I was able to draw them. Ahhh, but cupcakes...! I do miss making them with friends sometimes. Ever since I gave up cane sugar 4 months ago the only ones I can have are from babycakes (though they are quite fantastic!)

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Pretty Glass Jars

I painted this in my mom’s kitchen last fall. This was a breakthrough moment for me in which I felt like I was finally starting to get watercolor just a little bit.

Thank you all so much for viewing and commenting, by the way ♥
It really makes my day.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Pumpkins, Wreaths, and Me

Waiting around was no longer a drag, because I could now just sketch things...even the reflection of myself in the subway window.

Friday, January 07, 2011

Waiting for the 6 train

I  soon realized that, with the pocket-size moleskine I can easily carry it around and sketch everywhere! For me it’s mostly on the daily subway commute...and in New York City, there’s always plenty of people and architecture to sketch. 

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Where it all started

Taking John Ruggeri’s drawing class at SVA in Fall 2009 inspired me to do 3 things: draw more often, draw with bold lines and leave mistakes be. I started sketching and doodling with a black ink pen in my little plain moleskine. This was the very first spread.

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

One-liner portrait

A quick one-liner sketch of a girl on a poster I saw on the Metro North train one day. Colored it later at home. Drawing her afro was my favorite part!

Monday, January 03, 2011

My favorite chair...

...with my red zip-up sweater hanging.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

New Year’s Day Drawing

Another sketch at my parents’. The flattened-snowman-like structure below the clementine contains mochi, a.k.a. sticky rice cakes. Loving family. Delicious food. All is well.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year’s Eve Drawing

Happy New Year! Here is a little sketch I made on New Year’s Eve while relaxing at my parents’ with my hubby. This little ceramic kitty they have is called maneki-neko and is said to bring in fortune.