Apples are in the air...

"Apple Tree” Watercolor ATC using a referenced photo donated from www.public-domain-photos.com

Happy Thanksgiving 2008 !!!

I have plenty of things to be thankful for in my life. I am grateful for all my blog visitors, my arty friends, and my supporting family. There were times that I did not feel good to draw or paint; you saved me. There were times that my artistic journey feeling like a rut; you kept inspire me. There were times that I wanted to paint or sketch so bad in my busy weekend; my hubby watched our kid for me so I could have a few hours to paint. There are so many families around the world who do not know what will be on their plates tonight or will there be anything on their plates tonight; we are going out for the Thanksgiving meal tonight. I also thankful for a happy healthy smart daughter who when she was a five month fetus, the doctor told me that she was underweight and scared the s*** out of me. If you are one of those lucky people who will have a great feast waiting for you tonight sharing with your loved ones, I hope you never take it for granted of how lucky you are. May peace and love be with you. Happy Thanksgiving... my friends.


Mini adventure in Bangkok

I am glad I am back to my upbeat self again. I finally get out of my dull funk !!! Today all three of us were free and we went to see my mother. It is too bad that my dad was out of town. We had a big American breakfast then hung out with my mom for a while. Then we all went for a late lunch at the noodle shop near Chaopraya River. We were lucky that my mom was willing to watch Iris for a couple more hours. So we sent both of them back home in a taxi. Tone and I continued our adventure along Chaopraya River. We took a ferry across the river, walk along the old shop house rows, and found a unique cafe' by Chaopraya river overlooking the Temple of the dawn. The tea, coffee, and the sorbet were great. The view was also spectacular. However, I did not sketch there. I was in the mode of soaking up things with all my spirit and happy to wander the city with Tone, without Iris. I love her but sometimes it is nice too to go wherever you want to go without worrying of her well-being. I definitely will come back to sketch at this coffee place by the river. For me, Chaopraya River has always been where I grow up. I feel at peace just to be along this river side.

I chatted a lot with Tone about our destiny in the next 6 years when my obligation here will be up. We did not conclude on anything. Life is so full of uncertainty and we will just enjoy what going on at the moment. Late afternoon, we left the river cafe and walked half a mile to the University of Fine Arts. The traffic was super jam and we were so glad that we walked. On our way, we discovered a new experimental service, free-bike-to-borrow-to-ride in the heavy tourist zones. Next time, Tone and I will check them out to ride around. I got so excited about the bikes and had to take a picture with them. Ain't it cool or what?

Later, we arrived to the University of Fine Arts, which are under heavy renovation.
There were so many gorgeous charming buildings. I can't wait to see them once the renovation is done. Many young Thai high school kids were taking art classes here to prepare themselves for University entrance exam in art or architecture majors. They sat around the sculpture garden to sketch. Next time I will join them.

Last, we crossed the river back and walked through the tiny but very dense market. They always are so full of colors and excitement. So we had a small shopping trip before we rejoined Iris at my mom's place.


Dead end...

I'm kind of feel too tired to express: no piano, no painting, no drawing, and no writing. I just feel not so fresh, no desire to create in any format. One more big project at work that will keep me super busy for another six months. Something I cannot say "no" though I want to. Where can I buy more "patience", something I always lack off? I hope this dull feeling will disappear soon.

My friends, I am glad to check out your blogs. They really light up my day.


'M' for Marvelous

This morning marks the last day of our hectic five days Open House event at our Univ. 48 anniversary fair. We arrive at the Univ. early so we take a few pictures of some of the giant props for this event. The 'M' stands for marvelous. I have to agree because we are in a technology Univ. which has strong expertise in Engineering but yet we can include some interesting activities such as nail painting (with the Univ.'s abbreviation on it)and bag painting to the souvenir bags our visitors, mostly highschool students, receive. Tone asks me to take a few pictures of him with the big 'T' giant prop as well. Since his late dad often called him, Mr.T.


More Cards Done Today

Well, I am happy to be able to squeeze in three art cards today. Yesterday I did one card. So I am ready to send them out very soon. I can not post the originals yet until the recipients get them. So today I will just post the blurred version of them. Ironically, I kind of like this digitized version more than the original ones.
I hope they reach their destination soon.


A Mocking Bird

This is a 4x6 inch watercolor wash with Sume-drawing ink on watercolor paper. It is a team effort of Iris and I. This afternoon I was just about to try on the Chinese brush painting but Iris interrupted me and wanted to join along. She laid down the first yellow wash as it was her favorite color. Then she wanted to do the Sume ink. I had to give in and handed her the Chinese brush. She pressed the brush quited hard and scrubbed down five various sizes of black blobs on the top of the yellow wash. Then it was my turn so I added the brown madder as the bird's mouth. I think our effort has a sense of a flapping wing bird. It was fun.


Colors in my life --- Opera

I break the rules...!!! Yep, ...first, last night I passed out three hours before midnight and ended up skipping one day of "NaBloPoMo". Second, I am in love with "Holbein Opera".

For the first one I was not ashamed that it happened despite my pledge; I was too exhausted to be awake on my Friday night to write a blog after my long tough day of helping my faculty setting up the University's 48 Anniversary Open House event. Anyway, this probably will be the only time that I skipped posting my blog at the end of the night and I wish I did not.

For the second one, Holbein Opera is my uplifting hero. Yes, I am crazy about this color. I was introduced accidentally to Holbein Opera as a part of a sample watercolor set accompanying my purchase of an art instruction book. I love it. It is the sweetest juicy pink I ever seen. Though some people say the Opera is not so good about exposing to light as fading may appear. This quality is also called as "Lightfast" and many have recommended to stay away from using this one in collectible works. My thought is that our life is too short not to trying things so go ahead and embracing the Holbein Opera. I was trying hard to learn about pigments in this family, Opera, Magenta, Permanent Rose,... and I had to admit that I ran into confusions at times.

Last week I happened to see a tropical fruit tree in our campus in bloom. Its flowers took my breath away and reminded me of the beautiful intense pink of Opera. Now though I own a tube of Permanent Rose as Opera's replacement, but my love in Opera never fade away. Ah... first love. !!! I wish you could have seen this tree with me on that day.

Anyway, if you wish to collect one of my not so collectible works, please let me know. I will love to create my art for you with Holbein Opera if I still have some of this color left.


Dressing Up for Renaissance Fair

This is about 9x11 inch on canvas. I get a permission from my sketching buddy at Wetcanvas to use her family picture taken during her hometown Renaissance Fair. I really felt in love with the light in the photo and decide to do a water-soluble oil painting. I am very new to oil painting and I had a tough time mixing and getting the colors that I wanted. I also not used to the creamy texture of oil paint but I tried my best. I wish I could do better, may be when I gain more confidence with oil painting; then, I will do this again.


Amazing Day#2

I teach computer science for living. I also got nominated to run our bachelor degree program in computer science (English program) in June 2007. It is quite challenging to me to become a part of a middle management team that is responsible for three hundred Thai undergraduate students. There are many times that I feel the stress of this managing position. I try to work using my passion rather than using my business sense, which I am not so sure I have. Anyway, sometimes, things that I try work; sometimes they do not. Sometimes, the students break my heart (like taking the tuition money from their parents but not using it for the registration fee, etc.). Sometimes, the students are just so inspiring and show me how much heart they do have to strive for their goals (like last year we had a group of three students competing for a Microsoft software competition in Thailand, and we won third prize).

Last week, during a departmental meeting, one of the staff mentioned to me that my picture had been used as part of our university's 48th anniversary open-house campaign. And my picture is on several big billboards installed on several spots on the roads leading to our campus. I was shocked and got so excited. The next day was Saturday, so Tone and I hopped in our car, drove around and found one of the billboards, and took my picture with it. I am so proud to be included in this university campaign, much more than when I got promoted to be an assistant professor a few years ago.

It has not been easy to step up to do this extra management position while maintaining the same teaching load and trying to balance my hectic career with my family, and my passion for painting. This billboard reminds me that I can have it all; though the result is not perfect, it has turned out pretty darn good !!!

Recently I watched an episode of the Oprah show which talked about "The Law of Attraction", in which one should focus only on the positive. Then, good things will roll your way. So I like to think of this billboard as a very positive sign for me to enjoy my journey and be less critical of myself. I hope many more good surprises lay ahead for me.


Amazing Day#1

I am sure every parent thinks of each step their kids make as an outstanding accomplishment. The past weekend, Iris was putting the construction toys together as a string with a horse head. I was in awe. She was smiling so proud of herself. I am proud of her too, I think, because she did something big people like us deem a small thing, but for her it is such an impressive milestone. Kids really give you a new perspective. If I did not have her, I would never experience "my high" just from seeing a three-year-old cross her first step to the land of a new thing. I am grateful to witness that. And that makes me so happy. I never want to trade any other thing in the world for my time with her.


Yellow stone national park

This is a 4x6 inch postcard Conte crayon (hard pastel), done from a reference photo of Molly French. I am sending this one to an art exchange buddy in Malaysia. I am glad he likes it.



Have you ever watched the movie "Wall-E"? The female star robot, named, Eve, was programmed to search the giant-dumped planet (our Earth) for something super spectacular. At that time the earth were only filled with scraped rusty metals, and junks, no green left. Then Eve's eyes widen when the male star robot, named, "Wall-E", show her what would be the last green tiny plant. Eve went nuts and took the only survival plant back to her spaceship.

So this morning I closely look at my bathtub drain hole; there was some thing poking up from it. It was a tip of a plant. That might not be a surprise to you, but if I tell you that I found this incident in our bathroom of our second floor. This tiny weed/plant creep up through the dark drain tunnel (2 floor up) to get the peek of light. What a mighty flora !!! I don't know what to do with it yet in our drain hole. Will it break our pipe... I don't know and I hope not but at least I am grateful for this tiny persevered miracle. What do ya think?



These are the two watercolor art trading cards I did for an art exchange project on Wetcanvas. I am glad both arrived to Canada, and India safely. The two cards were done from public-domain photos on flickr by ibobvw, and twoblueday respectively.

I first did not think of anything much except their happy colors attracted me to paint until my arty friend, Rose, point it out that I was longing to something in my childhood. May be that has some truth in it but my childhood in a very modest upbringing in a quite modest country like Thailand could not be that bright and charming as depicted in the referenced photos. Yes, I did ride some carousels here, but it was so old looking, old enough that it did not register any vivid memory in my mind.

I am glad that after thirty something years of upbringing now I can show a very nice mini carousel to my daughter in an American style fancy shopping mall near our house. The ironic is that Iris was scared of it when I put her on it four months ago. I will definitely try to put Iris on a carousel again soon. After all, every child deserves to have a happy memory on a carousel.

November -- NaBloPoMo

I decide to do NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) or blogging daily for November. I suppose I can try this though my daily work is getting crazier each day. I hope you can join along or at least check me up from time to time. I think my NaBloPoMo will be a mix of arts and life around me. So here we go...