Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pepper Study

Tonight, I celebrate my almost-completed chicken coop (stay tuned for pics) by getting back to my drawing! It feels so good to have my pencils between my fingers again! So this evening, I busted out my colored pencils and took a stab at creating shadows using complementary colors. Mheh, it's okay, I guess. Gotta love goofy shaped peppers!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Thank you Siggy (I think)! I've been tagged!

Very talented and utterly amazing artist Sigrid Frensen tagged me and asked me to share 7 facts about myself. If you don't know Sigrid's work, you MUST check her botanical drawings, which make me totally envious!

Ok, these are the rules:
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog
2. Share 7 interesting/random facts about yourself on your blog
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post, leaving their names as well as links to their blog
4. Leave a comment on each of their blogs to let them know they've been tagged!

1. I was born on Easter Sunday. That has always made me feel special.
2. I suffer from shortness. I'm only 5'2" so I wear heels to compensate.
3. I wish I could design and build houses (hence the "chicken house"). When I was in grade school, I designed a 4-story home with an indoor pool and all the amenities a young girl would want. I probably would have painted all the rooms pink if it came to fruition.
4. I don't like being hot. I've actually plan where I live to ensure cool breezes year round.
5. I am grouchy on only three occasions, when I have not had my morning coffee, when I'm hungry, and on occasion, when I'm PMSing. Other times, I'm rather pleasant to be around.
6. I am studying Greek language at the moment (Yay, Rosetta Stone!). I totally realize that Spanish is a more practical language to learn but ... I still have dreams of backpacking through Greece.
7. When I sit with my little fluffy chickens they make me so happy that I worry I'll be one of those "chicken people" that call their hens "girls" and talk incessantly about them. (It's already happening! Yikes!)

This is a little artcard that I drew earlier and is now in the possession of a dear friend, Mariana Musa, in France.

A birthday wish for Kate

This is one of my favorite drawings, which I did last year. I love it because it's just a little glimpse of things I saw while on one of my weekend walks, reminding to stop from time to time and enjoy the simple things around me. I'm posting this again in honor of Kate Rietz who celebrates her birthday today. This drawing is one of Kate's favorites too. Happy Birthday gurl!!! *party horns blasting* *confetti thrown about* *balloons and streamers floating around*

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Creative, nonetheless

I've been decidedly absent from the blogging world recently, not because I haven't been wanting, needing to draw, but because I've been needing to take care of my recently acquired additions of two little hens. So, if you're a spoiled hen in my household, what do you need? A spiffed out, two-story condo complete with nesting boxes, roosts, and a flower box! I've been tempted to add a sound system but that would be overdoing it, yeah?

The coop will be raised on legs with a little ladder going down to the lower fenced "yard" where they can lounge on grass and sip MaiTais. The roof is removable to make the coop light enough to move around in case the chickens need a change of scenery. As you can see, I have a lot more work to do, including painting and adding trim and of course, the roof. Maybe I'll add a sun roof ... Hmmm ... Whatever I decide, I'm hoping the good life will inspire my hens to lay lots and lots of eggs!

If you want to see pics of the coop in its development and pictures of my hens, check out the coop construction page on Backyard Chickens.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Ok, I really didn't mean for this to be a sarcastic post at all. Despite the fact that I missed my Thanksgiving lunch with family and my Thanksgiving dinner with friends and despite lying in bed all day with a terrible cold, I am thankful. I am grateful to God for giving me life and for blessing me each day with all that I need. I am thankful for my friends who bring me joy every day and who love me despite my faults. I am thankful for my family; my brothers and their families who are so dear to me. I am thankful to have a job in this difficult economic times. I am thankful for a roof over my head and food in the fridge. I am thankful for Robutussin DM and Ricola and Theraflu and for the other medical and natural wonders that are getting me through this cold. I am thankful to those I meet everyday on my blog and in person and for those I've yet to meet. Thank you all for being a part of my life! Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Yes, I'm beautiful!

I added to my menagerie this weekend! Lily, a white Japanese Silkie Bantam chick, is just over 3 mos old and already showing off her spiffy doo! Isn't she beautiful, ... in a Solid Gold dancer kind of way?!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yep, it's stew

Mom and Dad's Beef Stew Recipe

1 lb beef stew meat
2-3 cloves garlic
1 medium onion
3-4 russet potatoes
3 celery whatchamacallits
3 carrots
2 small cans tomato sauce
2 bay leaves
optional: 2 beef bullion
salt, pepper to taste
sugar to offset acidity of the tomato sauce
2 T flour

Brown meat with smooshed garlic. Add chopped carrots and celery and cook a little but not too much. Add onions and cook some more. Add water to 3/4 to top of stuff in the pot and bring to boil, cover, and simmer for an 1 hr 30 min. Sometime along the way, add the potatoes, tomato sauce, sugar, salt, pepper, beef bullion cubes and cook a bit longer, say, for 30 min. Make a paste and slurry with the flour by adding water. Add to the stew to thicken. Dat's it!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dinner time!

Hmmm ... can you guess what I made for dinner last night? It's not quite done but I think you might be able to guess what it is. I'm drawing this for friends of mine who tried to make it themselves but felt they didn't quite get it right. So, when I finish this drawing, I'll include the recipe for them ... and for you. :)

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Ernie and my 50,000th visitor

Ernie was just lying around the house today. My Godson was over and I found this on the living room floor, under a chair and figured what the heck, I'll draw it as is.

Thank you everyone for all your visits. I'm having a glass of wine to celebrate my 50,000th visitor. Whoever you are, thank you! This one's for you.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Wise words

"The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend." - Abraham Lincoln

A blessing

Once in a great while, we are blessed with the truest of feline companions. Mamo, my friend for over 14 years passed away on Friday. She was the sweetest cat ... but she was no pushover. She managed to survive the loose dogs on Molokai, traffic on Oahu, and lived the rest of her life in peace on the Big Island. I buried her under a large `ohi`a tree in Volcano, under flowering gingers ... in a warm afternoon shower.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A Smart Computing Interview!

A few months ago, I was approached by a writer from Sandhill Publishing and invited to be interviewed for the November issue of Smart Computing magazine that featured art-related websites! I was so thrilled to come home from my vacation to a package that held a couple copies of the magazine with this Drawing on Nature Artblog featured in the "That's News to You" section (green box) on page 41! You may read the article if you subscribe or just google "Joan Yoshioka" and "Smart Computing."

The article shows three drawings, my tropical flowers in colored pencil, Shaggy the dog in watercolor, and my Star Wars figurines in pen. I was quick to call my friend to let her know that her dog is featured in a national magazine! Of course, the world is now privy to my little-known Star Wars obsession, but I figured that is just a small price to pay! LOL.

Thanks Kris Glaser! (the very professional writer who was so generous to send me the magazines and so pleasant to deal with).

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Garlic, anyone?

While sitting at the kitchen table with Kate on my last night in Illinois, we began drawing potatoes and garlic that we had saved just for the occasion. It was fun but also bittersweet, knowing I had to leave bright and early the next day. I finished up the drawing on the plane back to Hawaii and you can see what Kate finished later, here. This special time was such a nice way to cap a very, very special trip.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chicago waterfront

Chicago is gorgeous in September! I had some time to myself so I stationed myself at the end of a walkway, sat with some gulls, and drew for a bit in my moleskine. I added the color after I got home. Looking at this drawing, I can practically smell the ocean, er, uhmm, Lake (heh heh, thanks Kate), and the sound of the waves lapping the sides of the boats and gulls flying about. :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

More images from IL


... a smidgen of images from my trip to Illinois. There was so much to see and do that I wish I lived there! More photos and drawings can be found on Potluck Sunday and on Kate Rietz's blog.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

A smile that lights up a room

I was able to capture Sunshine's sweet repose with this quick sketch as she lay at Kate's feet while Kate worked on her latest illustration project late one night.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kate and me in Chicago

I am back home after a wonderful two weeks in Illinois where I stayed with my blogging friend, Kate Rietz, and spent the time exploring her incredible city of Chicago and drawing together. It is something we've wanted to do for a long time and we finally got our chance! Kate is as wonderful as I knew she would be and we shared many, many laughs together. It was so difficult to leave!

Kate and I have been posting our drawings from the past two weeks on our blogs so check them out! We also have a joint blog, Potluck Sunday, that we started back in Nov 2007 so there are postings there from time to time. Some are related to art, some not, but always a bit of ourselves.

P.S. Kate is selling her prints now so check out her professional website for more info.

Monday, September 29, 2008

"frenz 4-ever"

I've spent the past week and a half hanging out with my wonderfully talented and great friend, Kate Rietz, here in Chicago. Yes, this island girl finally made it off her rock in the middle of the Pacific to draw and spend time with her blogging buddy. These are some drawings I've done at Kate's house, of things found along our afternoon walks with pup, Sunshine, or at Starbucks. If you want to take a look at Kate's drawings, check the out here. Drawing is best done with a friend ... and one as cool as my bud. :) (PS: I am already sad about leaving).

Sunday, September 14, 2008

One of three

This is a little guy I did for Leigh (Beegirl) for our Moly_X_9 group. To check out the other two, you can find them here.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Peeking allowed

Thought I'd give you a peek of my Moly X9 entry in Scoach's accordian moleskine. The full layout and other member's drawings are here. Thankfully, my team members have not hung me out to dry for holding up two molys. *smiling meekly*

Thanks everyone who has been of great support to me the past few months. Since April, I have had an issue with an ovarian cyst that has caused me to rethink my life. Apparently, it is not an uncommon thing for women *ehem* my age, but my cyst caused me to bleed heavily for a month and a half ... continually (too much info perhaps?)! Ok, and then there were the cancer scares, serious anemia, and getting sick as a result a few times the past two months. I am recovering right now and on five medications (I feel like a walking medicine cabinet!). So, that is the scoop. Sorry for being a poop and posting only a couple drawings the past month. That was about all I could handle. But, I'm eating better now, exercising, and feeling much, much better. The road to recovery is so sweet.

Thank you everyone for your emails and calls! Makes me feel glad to know I have friends out there that care. *hugs*

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Thank you!

Thank you Karen Blados, Ryan Wolf, Kate Rietz, and Derrel Blain for giving me feedback on the problems I had with my computer, email accounts, and blog posts yesterday. I slept on it (although I did toss and turn all night) and let God handle it, because really, of the support people I wrote last night, He was the only one that responded to my requests :). After I got home from work this evening, I turned on my computer and all the problems with my blog and email accounts had disappeared! Really! THANK YOU for answering my prayers! Woohoo! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

I figured we could celebrate with a picture of my favorite plant, ohelo (Vaccinium reticulatum) and one of the miracles of nature. It's related to blueberries but it's our very own Hawaiian version.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Just a quick Saturday morning sketch of my friend's pup. I love his shape ... such a cute, compact dog that followed me around when I was at her house. I hope she recognizes him. :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Day 21 of 21! I finished my 21-day creative challenge!

LOL Ok, I totally bastardized the 21-day daily creative challenge, eventually turning 21 days into 120 days! But alas, I am officially finished! Thank you all for visiting and encouraging me through the painfully slow points and always leaving me wonderful comments. This painting is only about 3X5inches and are of some orchids we have in the office. The flower pot is now dripping with these beautiful purple and reddish flowers that make my heart a little lighter whenever I see them.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hi everyone!

Hi Everyone! *WAVING* I've been feeling like you are all getting to know me through my drawings and I really haven't made much effort to show myself. I always figured that my art should reflect me. But, having "met" other bloggers and knowing what a huge difference it is to know what they look like, I figured what the hell. So, here I am ... SO THERE!

It is a little nerve-wracking but quite liberating to tell you the truth.

I really must thank Karen Opp, of natur_illustration for inspiring me to share myself with you all. She is working on a 365 photo journal of herself, in part to explore the side of her that is hesitant to be in front of a camera. As she says, "Nothing like putting yourself out of your comfort zone in front of a bunch of people." She's awesome ... and her photos are awesome!

(Photographing oneself is a very good exercise ... I discovered one of my eyes is really bigger than the other. Strange I never noticed that before. Alas, I am beginning to love my imperfections).

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Day 20 of 21: For Ryan

Ryan Wolf of Bone & Shadow fame and more recently, re: wolf, has been posting some really cool pics of his Star Wars figurines in odd and brain kinking situations. A trip to his Flickr site keeps me entertained into the wee hours and has elicited more than a chuckle (check them out on his Flick photostream here). Being a Star Wars fan as well, I had these figurines although they were boxed up and destined for donations. Instead, I decided to bust them out and draw them as an assemblage in honor of Ryan. (I've decided to keep them)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Day 19 of 21: Restful

I love the way dogs rest. They look so comfortable in whatever pose. This is a painting of my friend's dog that has short hair over most of his body, but with tufts of long hair in the oddest places ... like on the top of his head, giving him a mohawk look. He is the cutest tho'! I felt like watercolor tonight after being inspired by other artists in cyberworld. Aren't art blogs great for inspiration? I suppose I could have darkened the background more, but I'm tired and this is about all I can do tonight. As always, comments and critiques are welcome! :)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day 18 of 21: Tropical paradise

Inspiration sometimes comes from weird places. When I was at a meeting at Harold L. Lyon Arboretum in Manoa Valley this past week, I happened to find this tiny vase of beautiful tropical flowers in the bathroom. I thought it was such a lovely touch that the garden staff would decorate the bathroom with pretty flowers from the grounds of the arboretum. So, I had to rush off and find my camera. I can not tell you how many funny looks I got when I grabbed my camera and rushed off to the bathroom. Goodness knows what they were thinking!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Day 17 of 21: iPhone envy

I have iPhone envy. Don't get me wrong, I love my wonderfully pink Blackberry. I mean, shouldn't all phones be pink? But come on! How can I possibly not love hybrid maps, that beautifully large screen that is yearning for my touch (it is a touch screen after all), easy access to my email, and pinch zooming! I LOVE pinch zooming! I feel like I am having an affair ... with an iPhone that I do not have. Ugh, talk about unrequited love! Here is a 15-min quickie of my presently underloved Blackberry. I think that is a tear in the corner ... : (

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Day 16 of 21: Branch of `ohi`a (EDM 145: Tree in Autumn)

Can you see the little lacewing on the branch? Ok, they are not that large in reality but that's the beauty of drawing, right? Give me an inch of creative license and I just might take a mile! :)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I'm baaaaack! (Everyday Matters #122: Something where shade is prominent)

Ah, I've missed the smell of a newly sharpened pencil! It felt so good to have a pencil in my hand the past couple days! Drawing this plant from my front yard has done wonders for my spirit and disposition. Goodness knows what the name is tho' ... but I'm pretty sure it is in the spurge family (Euphorbiaceae). In times like this, a botany degree comes in handy. It's good to be back folks! I look forward to continuing and completing my 21-day creative drawing challenge!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Finally ... my drawing bug has returned!

Whew, I was beginning to think my drawing bug hitched a ride on the last boat off the island! This is the beginnings of my first drawing in my new moleskine. Thought I should post "something" so you knew she arrived home safely. Thanks everyone for being SO patient!

And what a way to celebrate! No sooner had my drawing bug returned that I received the Brillante Weblog award from Kate! Now, I have the honor of picking 7 other blogs that, in my opinion, are PRIMO! I am going to spread my wings and bestow the award on my newly discovered blogs. So, here goes ... in no particular order:

1. Susan Rudat - Art, Illustrations, and Other Musings. Oh goodness, her artwork is addictive!
2. May's Illustrations and Pictures. Pull up a chair and kick your shoes off and relax as you enjoy her work and a pretty French song in the background.
3. rue Manuel bis. Ok, I've known about Casey's work for awhile bit I just think you need to see her work. I think "happy" every time I visit.
4. Enigma. I wish I could draw like her! I really do!
5. Bobo's Fun Place. Julia's style is darling. Plus, check out the video of Bobo's tricks. Now THAT's one smart cat!
6. Free[k]hand. Not a stranger, but I just love the way Miguel thinks. He makes my brain kink.
7. Kathleen Rietz - Artist. One of the most talented artists I know. Thanks again for the award Kate!

If you decide to participate, the rules of accepting are as follows:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs.
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

LOL. I'll have to leave a note for the awardees tomorrow cuz I'm ready to fall asleep at my desk! Thanks for visiting! :)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Day 14 of 21: Japanese doll

Not that I was an ungrateful child (at least I don't think I was), but when my parents gave me this doll, I had no idea what to do with it. I couldn't play with it because she stands in her very own glass case. I vaguely recall wanting a walkman instead. As I got older, I grew to appreciate the things she represented: tradition, humility, gracefulness, skill. Now, I cherish her. She stands about 16 inches tall, including that hair. I painted this tonight, with transparent watercolor on Arches cold press 300 lb paper. Hmmm, I see an Asian theme here ...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Day 13 of 21: Contentment

Believe me, the concept of a DAILY drawing challenge has not been lost on me. I mean, the fact that my 13th daily drawing (of 21) is going on its 52nd day, has left me quite embarrassed, really. The intent of the drawing challenge that Gina and Alicia started way back in April was for folks to spend just 15 minutes a day drawing something ... anything! Although I have not lived up to that expectation, I can honestly say without a doubt, that I've been *thinking* about drawing at least 15 min each day!!! LOL

Tonight, I challenged myself to draw the negative and positive of my Buddha sculpture. It was challenging but totally fun.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Day 12 of 21: Boy's Day doll

We've had this Japanese warrior doll in our family for as long as I can remember. It's usually set out on Boy's Day, which falls on May 5th every year. It's supposed to teach boys about strength and ward off evil. I dunno, with a warrior outfit like that, a boy would HAVE to be pretty strong to fend off other boys who just wanna kick his butt.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Day 11 of 21: Garden guardian

At this very moment, I am staring at a mynah bird nest about 4 ft from me, just outside my window. As I sit and write this, a pair is setting up home, happily gurgling, screeching, warbling, and making all kinds of kooky noises. I thought about dismantling the nest but I'm afraid I'll suffer the karmic consequences! Although I now know I have to tolerate their incessant racket, I can't complain. They will have to tolerate my repeated playing of James Blunt's newest CD long into the night! I figure we're even.

This is my entry for the International Moleskine Exchange with my group (Moly_x_9). I'm including the cover of Stephanie Sicore's moleskine cuz I think it's just FAB! This one is off to Laura (Laurelines) tomorrow. Oh, if you want a better scan of my drawing, you can check it out here.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Day 10 of 21: Speak no evil ...

Kate did a great drawing awhile back, which was one of a series for "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil", which inspired this drawing. I thought it would be a good reminder for myself. Plus, I had to redeem myself after that last spooky drawing! This is a tribute to Garth Williams, the illustrator of my favorite childhood book by Margaret Wise Brown (The Whispering Rabbit and Other Stories). He also illustrated Charlotte's Web, the Little House on the Prairie series, and others. I adore his style and I think I subconsciously incorporated his style into my drawings. I remember staring at his illustrations as a child, having fun discovering the details in each. Still, I find characters in his drawings that I've never seen before! I still read the book, now 40-something years later! Now that's longevity!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 9 of 21: "Corbit"

Introducing "Corbit" ... the progeny of Corn Boy and Miss Rabbit. Do you realize how scary it is to share this 15-min doodle with you all? You get a glimpse into my warped mind! Enjoy! :)

Monday, May 26, 2008

Day 8 of 21: Father's shoes

I spent my adult life living on different islands and would visit my parents from time to time. But I have to admit, that the worse part of trips back home was leaving. It was really, really stressful to me. But, my dad, who was the one that drove me to the airport always made it a little easier. As he hugged me goodbye, he always slipped some money into my hand and would say, "Don't tell Mom. It's your hamburger money" with tears in his eyes. You see, my dad would save his cigarette allowance so he could give me something during our "special" time. The money really was not the issue cuz he knew I could buy my own food. But, still, it was his way of showing me how much he loved me, even when he couldn't say it. I love you Dad.

Thanks for your comments on my last post everyone! I've decided I'll hang on to Dad's shoes. For me, they represent hard work, dedication to a family, and lots and lots of love.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day 7 of 21: Father's shoes

I spent about 20 min on this ... a drawing of my dad's work shoes. Actually, my dad passed 11 years ago and his shoes have sat on a shelf downstairs since. I've been cleaning everywhere around it but couldn't bring myself to toss it out. Before I do, I thought I'd sketch it and perhaps take this opportunity to share my favorite memories of him.

My dad was a happy kind of guy. In fact, he was unusually friendly and as children, my brothers and I would never know who would be waiting at our dinner table when we got home. Often, we'd find that my dad had befriended tourists that had arrived on cruise ships and invited them home, especially if they didn't know their way around our town. And of course, they never left empty-handed. :) People in Hawaii are known for their "aloha" spirit and I believe my dad lived it every day. I really miss his laugh.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Without a word ...

A poem by Yosano Akiko, a Japanese female poet from the 19th century. I really wish I had something new to post but I've been so tired! Thanks everyone for visiting.