Sunday, November 28, 2010

My First Book Her Beef Stew has arrived!!

Remember the book I was working on earlier this year? The printed version has finally arrived! Presenting my first children's book, Her Beef Stew, a collaboration between myself and Professer Klunk, a writer from Clearwater B.C. It's a tale about a little girl and her cooking adventure with a dish she's making. It's a poem and it rhymes.

It all started off with his business card which a friend picked up at a craft show. This soon led to a selection of stories, and a series of sketches, but the first drawing that sparked the rest is the cover pictured below. A few more refinements and the pencil outline of each drawing was traced onto watercolor paper and colors painted in with acrylics, one color at a time. Overall the whole process took a total of 3 months when a total of 14 illustrations were completed.

Following the cover are shots of some of the pages from the book. Bright happy colors, facial expressions and vegetables are the big focus here. I enjoyed working on the story very much and am very pleased with the results. Illustrating for a children's book is one of my lifelong dreams, I chose Her Beef Stew because I like the story and I think it's a good one for boys and girls, ages 2 to 8. The book size is 8" x 8" or 20 cm x 20 cm.

Do you like the story as much as I do? Would you like to help me out by purchasing my book? I can ship anywhere in the world, click here to order!

Update March 2012: Thank you so much for all your support, it is much appreciated I am deeply grateful, but there are no more books for sale.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Anonymous Art Show

Last night we attended the Anonymous Art Show at the CityScape Community Art Space. It's called Anonymous because the artist's name is revealed only after the artwork has been purchased. I've been looking forward to this show all year long, it's a fundraising event for the gallery and also a chance for artists of all ages and varying levels to participate! The weather warmed up just in time for this date, there was so many people we could hardly walk in there. Some pictures to share, the first one is taken by David, sold artwork are replaced by tags on the wall, I like the pink graphic work in the third photo. Have a warm and wonderful weekend!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Guilin Journal Day 16 Slowly Along Li River Part 3

Hello Thursday! Let's continue along the Li River on our China trip today! Last week we noticed our ship was lagging behind all the others, but all passengers suspected nothing so we continued to enjoy the surrounding scenery.

A fellow visitor pointed out some human activity along the river.
On closer look, the man was bent over freeing something from his net. The woman was scrubbing the laundry on a river rock while her white dog looked on attentively.
A boat similar to the one from Badong on this post was anchored to shore. I wondered if this was a tourist boat and if so, where does it go?
Pictured below a stretch of shoreline scattered with river rocks.
More exposed shorelines edged with algae, looking at the vast amounts of dry rock we realized the water level must be very low along this part of the river.
Our captain was careful to avoid the shallowest part of the river bed but we could still hear and feel the hull dragging along the rocks. The other ship pictured below was not so lucky and got stuck, it revved up its engine moving back and forth until finally it came free...
...and was on its way again.
As the other ship sped up, we began to wonder why ours was so slow. Numerous ships had passed honking, even the little fishing vessels were faster. Other passengers began to look for the tour guides to inquire but none was found.
On the way to the washroom, one of the passengers witnessed a very busy kitchen staff hovering over a small hole (about the size of a fist) on the floor, where some water had accumulated. They were hastily mopping up the water, others were scooping it up with bowls and ladles. He figured our ship had an unlucky bump earlier on and lost a part to the river.
At that moment, the guides appeared to report there will be a slight delay on our trip. Discussions amongst visitors concluded the captain decided to slow down to prevent more water seeping in. Surprisingly no one panicked, the water was so shallow we could see the fishes swimming amongst the grass on the riverbed, we would just roll up our pants and walk to shore!

Everyone's attention returned to the river cruise. Someone pointed out a row of cormorants tied to a floating log. Cormorant fishing is still practiced in China particularly along Li River.
The sweeping shoreline caught my eye, this one with groves of lush bamboo and fading hills in the background.
More exposed rocks, this time our ship kept a good distance away. The pale pebbles a nice contrast against the dark stream and low lying reddish bushes.
We were floating lazily along, with scenery like this how can anyone worry?
Specks of white later revealed themselves as ducks, this small group was feeding amongst the green weed.
Below on the bottom right, a single water bird surrounded by the vast landscape.
A large group of ducks, the biggest one we saw, making their way together in the same direction.
Onwards we sail, ever so slowly towards the lingering mountains. Next week our China adventure continues!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Soft Snowy Slopes

-5 degrees at the moment but not as windy as yesterday. At the mountain tops the snow remained on the trees, with the help of the sun I could see the gentle curves of the hills.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Polka Dot Twins

The crochet cushion covers I started earlier this month is now finished! Since April of last year we have been using the colorful fabric covers but as the weather cooled off a warmer material is required. While browsing through the yarn store I came across some discounted wool, a simple polka dot pattern came to mind. Cream dots on dark grey, a playful motive that perks up the love seat corner with Sunny Blanket, we now have warm legs and backs, complete winter luxury! It's nasty out at the moment, -2 degrees with strong winds blowing the snow around BRRR......

Saturday, November 20, 2010

First Snow

Not too long ago, snow appeared only on the mountains disappearing when the sun rose. Pictured here the glowing mountains in the early morning light taken 2 weeks ago.
As the forecast predicted last night the city was covered in a soft white blanket, by early afternoon some has already melted.
The view of downtown Vancouver across the water, more snow to come.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Guilin Diary Day 16 Along Li River Part 2

Welcome to this week's post on our China trip as we continue cruising on the Li River in Guilin!

At around noon, good smells from the kitchen began to waft through the decks and passengers were asked to be seated at tables. Our guide asked if we would like to try some local delicacy in addition to the set menu. Guilin is well known for their stir fried snails, deep fried shrimp, fried or steamed fish, all harvested from the Li River. Each dish would cost between 60 to 90 RMB ($9 to $13 Canadian). We thought this was pretty steep compared to our 79 RMB dinner the night before, so no special orders at our table but others were quite adventurous.
Some yelling and honking soon followed, then our ship slowed down to allow a small vessel to come close, the same one pictured below. A swift exchange of goods and money took place and the fishing boat motored away.
A close up of the fishermen, their pails and buckets once filled with the catch of the day were now empty.
Lots of happy sounds came from the kitchen, wok clanging and swift chopping action. Shortly after, plates of lightly battered shrimp and snails with garlic and chilli began to appear, they sure smelled good. As we ate, we noticed not everyone was working hard, 2 ladies at a nearby ship sat on the left rail idly chatting away. The staff continued fixing our meals while the engine bellowed a cloud of smoke to speed up.
Lunch was very good, a variety of tofu, vegetables and chicken dishes with seaweed soup and pickles and fried peanuts as appetizers. We sat and chatted with travellers from Australia, New Zealand, and Los Angeles USA. Some had visited Guilin before and recommended a bike trip in Yangshuo, where we would arrive by 2 PM. The food quickly disappeared and everyone returned to the viewing decks.

Remember the cleaning crew? Instead of orange vests, the workers here wore red rubber gloves, all were seated on shore taking a break.
Others further down the shore continued combing for garbage, they were not in army uniform and were dressed in civilian clothes.
A different kind of cleaning below, 2 ladies with their laundry, the one with the baby on her back was scrubbing clothes on the rocks while the other rinsed hers in the water.
As our boat continued along the camera captured some sweeping shorelines.
We noticed some uniquely shaped ridges, to me these looked like upside down cones.
Some brilliantly colored algae amongst the sand and rocks. In the background a pile of stones...
...which led my eye to this interesting rock formation. It reminded me of the ones on the Yangtze Cruise along Shen Nong Stream.
Ahh... a picturesque view, distant mountains in a soft shade accented by a lone bamboo raft and a stream of river swept rocks.
Hills in graduating gradations, sceneries such as these attracted many to Guilin.
As we busied ourselves with the camera our ship began to slow down, we noticed we were getting further and further away from other boats. Next week we find out the reason why.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Flying Floating

It's been months since I painted, flipping through my sketchbook I found some drawings I did for Shapes. I remembered how much fun I had imagining and exploring the different forms, using only the ones I like in the final piece. Why not make another one that's smaller? At 8" x 8" the colors has more impact, sides are kept a simple grey, encasing the free energy in this work. This fits the dimensions for an upcoming art show. I hope they accept this submission as well as another piece. I'll keep you posted!