Art · drawing · iPad art

A tree with yellow flowers 노란 꽃이 핀 나무

Recently, I made a crochet bag for my iPad mini that I bought last year for making drawings. I always wanted to start plein air with it, and it’s an excellent excuse for making a bag.

On a warm Saturday, I went to the park next to my place with Dingo wearing my newly made bag. I walked around the park a few times so Dingo can stretch his legs a bit. After the walk, I took a spot under a large tree facing a smaller tree with tiny yellow flowers.

I started drawing with some lines then applied colors. Drawing with a digital device with a new program is like dealing with an unfamiliar art material. I’ve been drawing Dingo with the program called, Procreate a lot, so I’m comfortable with it in that sense. However, the landscape is a whole different story. I started like I’d draw Dingo, but I felt pretty awkward on my hand. It got better, but I was very hesitant, and I didn’t like the feeling of me not knowing what I was doing. Although I like how the drawing turned out, I definitely need to practice more to be comfortable.

The sweet scent came and went with the summer breeze while I was drawing, then I realized that it was an acacia tree that I was looking at.

There is a children’s song in Korea called ‘Road of the orchard.’ The song starts like this:

Acacia flowers are burst into bloom on the road of the orchard in the outskirts of a village.
The petals of white flowers are blowing away like snowflakes.

So all this time, I thought acacia flowers are only white! The candy-like scent brought the childhood memory that my friends and I used to suck the end of the acacia flowers to eat their sweet honey. It was a lovely feeling of nostalgia.

Do you have any beautiful memories of acacia flowers?

최근 코바늘로 작은 가방을 떴다. 작년에 산 아이패드 미니로 야외에서 그림을 그리고 싶다는 것을 핑계삼아 실을 사고 디자인을 찾아 신나게 만들었다. 어느 따듯한 토요일, 새로 만든 가방을 매고 딩고와 집 옆 공원에 나갔다. 딩고와 공원을 몇바퀴 돈 후, 작은 노란색 꽃들이 만발한 나무를 마주하고 있는 큰 나무 밑에 자리를 잡고 앉았다.

라인들로 그림의 틀를 잡고 색을 입혀 나갔다. 전자기기로 그림을 그리는 것는 처음 사용하는 드로잉 재료를 대하는 것과 같다. 아이패드의 프로그램, 프로크리에이트로 딩고를 많이 그려봤기 때문에 거기에 맞는 편안함이 있었지만 풍경을 그리는것은 많이 달랐다. 딩고를 그리는 것 처럼 시작 했지만 손끝에 어색함이 있었다. 그 낯설음이 점점 좋아지긴 했어도 멈칫거리며 어쩔줄을 모르는 느낌은 좋지 못했다. 마음에 드는 그림이 완성 되었지만 망설임 없이 그릴 수 있도록 많은 연습이 필요함을 느꼈다.

그림을 그리는 동안 달달하고 향긋한 냄새가 여름바람에 실려 날라왔다 가기를 반복했다. 그 냄새를 맡으면서 내가 그리는 나무가 아카시아 나무라는것을 깨달았다. 어릴적 듣고 부르던 ‘과수원길’ 노래의 가사는 동구밖 과수원길에 하얀 아카시아 꽃잎들이 눈송이 처럼 날리는 이야기로 시작한다. 그래서 였을까, 난 지금까지 아카시아는 하안 꽃만 피는 줄 알았다. 달달한 꽃 냄새를 맡으니 어릴적 친구들과 아카시아 꽃잎 뒤에 있는 달달한 꿀을 빨아 먹으며 놀았던 기억이 났다. 아름다운 향수였다.

당신에게도 아카시아 꽃에 대한 아름다운 기억이 있나요?

I used this design to make the bag. 제가 참고한 가방 디자인 입니다.

Sleeping Dingo

Sleeping Dingo under the cushion on the couch 쇼파위 쿠션 밑에서 자는 딩고

I was stuck on my art with thoughts that were wandering around in my head like drifting clouds. I decided to read the beautiful new book on my favorite artist, David Hockney, for refreshing. I buy few types of books without hesitation, and one of them is books about Hockney. Reading his stories and thoughts always helps me think about my work and be an artist. It’s my self-prescription for myself when I have difficulties with my art.

During weekdays I try to have a regular schedule for working on my art. So from morning to late afternoon, I’m in my small fenced area that my dog, Dingo, can’t come in. He usually sleeps near the fence or on his cushion in the same room. When I grabbed the book and sat comfortably on the couch, I could tell Dingo was happy that I was out of the forbidden zone. Then, he brought his blanket, telling me he wants to come up. When he hopped on, he pushed the cushion I had for supporting the book and lay half under it.

It’s been two and half years since Dingo became our family. I don’t know how possible, but I still find him so cute and lovely every moment I look at him. I loved the warmth of his body against my leg, and it amplified my love for him. I opened my iPad and started to draw. Thankfully he didn’t move until I started reading.

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머릿속에서 뜬구름처럼 떠다니는 잡념들로 작업에 진전이 없었다. 그 생각들을 바꾸고 싶어 얼마전 배달받은 기분 좋아지게 예쁜 호크니 책을 집어 들고 쇼파에 앉았다. 호크니에 대한 책들은 내가 아무 망설임 없이 사는 책들중 하나이다. 그에 관한, 그리고 그가 해주는 이야기는 언제나 작업과 작가로서의 삶에 대한 생각을 다시금 하게 도와준다. 호크니의 책들은 내가 작업에 어려움을 느낄때 내가 나에게 내리는 셀프 처방전과 같다.

혼자서 작업을 하는 나는 월요일부터 금요일까지 규칙적으로 작업시간을 엄수하려 노력하고 있다. 그래서 아침부터 늦은 오후까지 대부분의 시간을 작은 작업 공간에서 보내는데, 이곳에 딩고가 들어오지 못하게 낮은 팬스를 둘러놓았다. 그럴때면 딩고는 팬스옆에서 잠을 자거나 근처에 깔아둔 녀석의 쿠션위에서 휴식을 취한다. 내가 책을 들고 쇼파에 앉았을때 딩고는 내가 닿을 수 없는 곳에서 나온것에 기뻐했다. 그리고는 바로 침실에서 자기 담요를 끌고 와 쇼파에 올려달라 신호를 보냈다. 쇼파에 올라온 딩고는 내가 책을 받치기 위해 놓아둔 쿠션을 밀어 올려 그 아래에 자리를 잡고 누웠다.

딩고가 우리 식구가 된지도 이년반이나 지났다. 어떻게 이것이 가능한지는 몰라도 나는 아직도 녀석의 모든것들이 귀엽고 사랑스럽다. 내 옆에 딱 붙어누운 딩고의 온기가 내 다리에 옮겨지며 그 사랑스러움을 증폭시켰다. 나는 책 읽기를 미루고 아이패드를 열어 드로잉을 시작했다. 고맙게도 녀석은 내가 드로잉을 끝내고 책을 펼때까지 가만히 잠자는 자세를 유지해 주었다.

Art · Visual essay

Sleeping with a book 책과 자는 잠

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Sometimes, I can’t watch or listen to anything.  My head gets fuzzy and sounds from outside become unbearable.  When that happens, reading is the only activity I can enjoy.  During this time, I read a bit obsessively.  I usually don’t even bother to read when I’m tired.  But if I really like the book, I keep reading and I fight with my sleepy eyes.

One Sunday afternoon, after I came back from the dog park, I’ve been busy here and there doing some housework.  I finally sat on the couch to read.  After a while, I felt my body melting, and soon fell asleep.  I woke up to the sound of my dog, barking at me letting me know it’s his dinner time.  I remember that I was trying hard to lift my heavy eyelids.  They must have given up on me.  In the evening, I found a picture of me on my phone.  My husband saw me sleeping, with my face covered by my book, and he took a photo.  I finished the book later that day and I liked it very much.

가끔 아무것도 보고 싶지도 듣고 싶지도 않을 때가 있다.  머리가 멍해져 외부에서 들어오는 자극들이 견디기 힘들 때엔 책이 나의 유일한 즐거움이다.  이런 날들엔  책들에 사로잡히게 된다.  보통날들엔 몸이 피곤하면 읽는것을 포기하지만, 책이 재미있다면 졸린 눈과 사투를 벌이며 계속 읽는다.

어느 일요일 오후, 개공원에서 돌아온 후, 집안 곳곳 집안일을 보고 마침내 쇼파에 앉아 책을 들었다.  책에 빠져들고 얼마 후, 몸이 녹는 듯한 느낌을 받았고 결국 잠들어 버렸다.  우리 개가 짖는 소리에 눈을 떴다.  녀석의 저녁식사 시간이었다.  내가 기억하는 것이라고는 무거운 두 눈꺼풀을 들어 올리려 안간힘을 쓰던 것뿐이었다.   내 눈꺼풀들이 무거운 잠에 지고 말았나 보다.  늦은 저녁에 핸드폰에 저장되어있던 사진을 발견했다.  남편이 책을 얼굴에 덮고 잠든 나를 발견하고 찍은 사진 이었다.  나는 이날 밤 책을 다 읽었다.

Art · Visual essay

Panting Dog 가쁜 숨을 쉬는 개

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It was a hot afternoon. My husband and I took our dog to the dog park. Like most dogs, he is extremely excited about going to the park. We usually let him play with other dogs, but if there are not any, we fetch. He is a Rat Terrier mix, and is obsessed with chasing a rat (in his reality, a ball). We settled under a tree. After fetching for about 15 minutes straight, he finally laid down near our feet. He was trying to calm his breathing down.

It was a pretty quiet day. Since it was a weekday, not many people brought their dogs. The shade under the tree protected us from the sun. The summer breeze brushed the heat off us. Dragonflies came and went, and birds flew low, chasing bugs. We sat there quietly, waiting for our dog, ready for another round of fetch. His hard panting was suddenly amplified in my ears. And the beat of his breath made my heart beat stronger. He seemed happy… and I was happy too.

더운 어느 오후, 남편과 개를 데리고 개 공원에 갔다. 많은 개들이 그렇듯 우리 개 또한 공원에 가는 것을 무척이나 좋아한다. 공원에 개들이 많이 있다면 우리는 녀석이 다른 개들과 어울리도록 해 주지만, 그렇지 않다면 녀석이 좋아하는 공놀이를 같이 한다. 우리 개는 농장에서 쥐를 쫓는 일을 하는 랫 테리어 믹스이다. 녀석의 현실에서는 쥐 대신 공을 집착에 가깝도록 쫓는다. 우리는 나무 밑에 자리를 잡았다. 약 십오분 정도의 쉼 없는 공놀이 후, 숨이 주둥이까지 차오른 녀석이 우리 발 밑에 자리를 잡고 엎드렸다.

잔잔한 날이었다. 주 중이어서 개를 데리고 나온 이들이 별로 없었다. 나무는 태양으로부터 우리를 지켜 주었고 간간히 불어오는 여름바람이 몸의 열을 쓸어내어 주었다. 잠자리들이 날아왔다 갔다를 반복했고, 새들은 낮게 날으며 벌레를 쫓았다. 우리는 녀석이 다시 공놀이 준비가 될 때까지 조용히 앉아 기다렸다. 갑자기 녀석의 가쁜 숨 소리가 귀에 크게 들어왔다. 숨 헐떡이는 박자가 내 심장 박동 또한 강하게 해 주었다. 입을 크게 벌리고 숨을 빠르게 뱉어내는 녀석이 행복해 보였고, 녀석을 바라보는 나도 행복했다.

Art · digital art · Visual essay

My Dog

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A few days ago, I was talking to my friend and our main subject was our dogs. She said to me, ‘It’s a good thing that you met your dog’. The words she used in Korean was ‘다행이다’. It could mean a good thing, luck, mercy, and so on. As there are many options for translating the word, it engraved in me mixed feelings.

He wasn’t our first choice from the shelter. We met two other dogs briefly hoping that we could have one of them. But our situation and timing weren’t right and they met their new families before us. However, we saw our dog there and liked how he presented himself before us from the opposite side of the glass wall. We decided to try him out when we saw him again a couple of weeks later when we visited the shelter second time.

He came to our home on Christmas Eve last year 2018. One week later, we went back to the shelter and signed on the final adoption paper. It took me for over a month to figure him out and teach him basic command and rules. It’s been only two months since he came into our life. But I already feel that he is our dog. Our family.

So about the word that my friend said to me, I still can’t explain my emotional reaction toward it. But I’m very much thankful he came to us. Perhaps, it truly is mercy for all of us.

Art · digital art · dog · drawing · Visual essay

My Old Dog

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My mom sent me videos of our dog in Korea.  He is 15 years old.  He is getting older and older every time I see him in pictures and videos.  This time, I could see the difference significantly.

He started walking slowly and unevenly.  Even though I was smiling at the video, my heart was aching.  What made me sadder was my excitement about having a new dog.  My old dog and my new dog were overlapped and blurred with tears in my eyes.

I didn’t know much about dogs. I was young and naive when I adopted him, along with my first dog who died eight years ago.  After I learned how to take care of a dog, I was already too far away.  I couldn’t even be there for my first dog when she died.  Perhaps the eagerness of wanting to be a better companion for my new dog makes me sentimental.  I sometimes accidentally call my new dog with my old dog’s name and that always chokes me up.

I haven’t seen him in over a year now.  I’m not sure when I’ll see him but I hope I can have more time to walk with him.

Art · digital art · drawing · flower · illustration

Early Spring

 

 


It is still a bit chilly, but spring is definitely around the corner.   When I rode my bicycle to go grocery shopping last week, I saw plum tree flowers starting to bloom here and there around my neighborhood.  They look very similar to Sakura but they bloom in late winter through early spring.  Sometimes they bloom through cold snow.  Because of this, plum blossoms in Korea represent a scholar’s fidelity.   I am always sorry when the winter ends.  But I love watching baby leaves are coming out from naked trees and all the colorful flowers start to bloom in spring.  Summer comes, and it is my least favorite season.  If I do not experience the summer heat, I probably do not appreciate winter’s coldness fully.  So I am very much looking forward to next winter.

 

Art · digital art · drawing · illustration

Dark Chocolate

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I do not have a sweet tooth or craving for chocolate usually.  But sometimes, I crave this high Cacao content chocolate.  I love the thickness and bitterness of it.  I gave this to my husband and he did not know what was coming.  He had a hard time getting rid of the taste in his mouth.  It was so funny to watch him suffering from something that I enjoy.  XD

Do you like dark chocolate or you are all about the sweetness?


 

Art · digital art · drawing · illustration

Friendly Parrots

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I saw these two parrots in Central Park Zoo a couple of years ago.  It was winter, and everything was pale with cold air.  These two parrots stood out with their colorful feathers.  They also look so friendly with each other.  It is always hard to represent nature’s color.  It is so bright and strong.  I think because it is so beautiful, people always wanted to express it in art for a long time.

 

Art · drawing · iPad art · Japan · photograph

城山茶屋(Shiroyamachaya) on Mt.Takao

There are several hiking courses on Mt. Takao. It was our second time climbing the mountain and we chose a different route than the first time. We didn’t have any information on this small mountain restaurant so it was a very pleasant surprise.

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This restaurant had many delicious foods. We didn’t eat anything but I know because the smell of curry was great.

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We didn’t want to eat but we had to have this Japanese traditional soda ラムネ (ramune).
Before we got married, when my husband was stationed in Japan as an air force serviceman, we saw this drink pretty often compared to today. It usually is drunken in the summer so it is easier to find then. They usually have good flavors like any other sweet sodas, but if you encounter the curry one, avoid it. I got it on sale from my local store. When we tasted it, we knew why they were on sale.

Here is my drawing of the ラムネ(ramune) we had at the mountain restaurant.

 

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There were two cats chilling around the restaurant. Even though they were on a mountain, they looked like they have been feed good.

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I’m more of a dog person but I don’t deny that cats are so cute!
I thought she/he was nice with pink.

 

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While hiking, I saw this purplish-black butterfly on a white flower. I have a fear of insects so I usually avoid them but the contrast of these two things was so nice.

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After we reached the bottom, we passed a small town to get to a train station. When we were passing a house I noticed this very small nest under their roof. Tiny birds were crowded in there. They were so still, I had to wait for a while to check if they were real. What a life!

 

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We haven’t gone hiking for a while. Now the weather is warming up. I want to start hiking again! I’m sad that Winter is over though.

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #27+1

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Project: 10 Year

2009

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At the top of Mt.Fuji, after we watched the sunrise we ate this delicious ramen. I barely remember the taste, to be honest. I remember, however, that I felt it was the perfect ramen.

Even though we went there during summer, the summit was pretty chilly. Also, we were so tired and hungry. The hot noodle soup melted our body and relaxed our tense muscles. Holding the bowl and drinking the soup made fog on my glasses. That haziness is my memory of the time in the restaurant.

Japan also has many mountains that can be reached easily like Korea. We bought a book of hiking courses that we can go by trains. We’ve climbed few mountains and one of them also had a restaurant at the top. We did not want to have heavy stomachs while hiking, so we did not eat anything. But it was very tempting because we knew from the hard-learned experience of Mt.Fuji that the ramen would be amazing.

I could go for a nice hot bowl of ramen right now!

10 year · Art

Project: 10 Year #27

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Project: 10 Year

2009

#27/100


 

Our first real hiking together was Mt.Fuji. We had a chance to climb up the mountain with his flight. To watch the sunrise from the top, we started hiking around 5:00 p.m. I used to hike with my parents often when I was young. Korea has so many beautiful mountains all over the country. Hiking is one of Koreans’ most popular weekend activities. So climbing Mt.Fuji wasn’t a big deal for me.
The climbing itself was fine but hiking at night was new to me. It was too dark and from time to time there was a strong wind blowing. When it happened, we had to stop moving to stabilize our feet. If there were not so many people heel to heel, it could be harder. Usually, I prefer fewer people during hiking for walking at my own pace. I can also enjoy the quietness of the wilderness. At Mt.Fuji, I’m glad there were people around me.
At the base of the mountain, we bought a long stick. It was for support while climbing and also for collecting all the stations’ stamps. We stopped at every camp, and got all the stamps on our sticks. A couple of times, we ate some miso soup and snacks.

Even though it was getting harder on my body, I didn’t want to rest too long. I wanted to have the same momentum until the top. We reached the top at just right time for the sunrise.

It was way more windy and dusty than what I expected. Because of the sandstorm, it was hard to talk to each other but we did not need to talk much. The sun came up soon after we got our spot. The view was breathtaking.

I made this drawing of the view I saw at the top of Mt.Fuji, a few years back.
It is available as a print from here: click

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Climbing down from a mountain is the relatively easy part of hiking. At least most of the time. For Mt.Fuji, it was definitely an exception. The trail was a long winding slope covered with small rocks. It was really hard on our legs. We got so tired, we did not speak most of the time. At the bottom, we were so exhausted. My husband was sitting down leaning the stick against of his forehead. He didn’t even want to hold it anymore.

I had some difficulty walking for a while. I remember every time my legs didn’t do what I wanted them to, I bursted out laughing. One day, I want to climb the mountain again.