Monday, December 2, 2013

Sketches Home-Sweet-Home

I stayed at home in Vietnam for nearly four weeks from September to October this time. It was great to see Mum again after a long time apart. I often come back home on Christmas holidays to escape from freezing European winter days and because it's silly to face Christmas alone without surrounding myself with family and friends.
Mum is not only a gourmet but also a good cook. Staying at home with her means cozy atmosphere, good meals and healthy food.
I love to sketch food. While drawing I tried to remember how delicious the dishes looked like when they were served in front of me, how enticing they smelled and of course how their delicate taste melted on my tongue. These memories make me so happy and feel deeply grateful for what I got in life. 

Arabian-style dinners on the plane back home in Sai Gon:

Mum's lovely pets:


Dinners like a King at home:

Grilled Meat on Rice Noodles (Bún thịt nướng của mẹ) - One of my favorite things I love from my mum's cooking
Sushi and Sashimi at Tokyo Deli in Saigon: Salmon belly, herring fish roe sashimi, sliced octopus with wasabi and broiled eel nigiri.
Traditional dishes from Hue, the old imperial capital of the Nguyen dynasty- the last dynasty in Vietnam

 Keep this quote in my mind:
“No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow.” – Lin Yutang

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Forest animals

One year has passed since I made my typography paper cut "Cras numquam scire". 
This is the first paper cut I made this year. It is supposed to be a birthday gift for a friend's father, who turned 75 years old this year and adores the art of cutting paper designs. I finished the paper cut one day before my trip to Strasbourg, France. 
Someone told me, the paper cut brought back his childhood memories of watching the TV series "The Animals of Farthing Wood", based on a book of the same title written by Colin Dann. What a coincidence!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Lost in a cloud of butterflies

Last summer, I purchased a book named "Gioconda " by British writer Lucille Turner, an excellent historical fiction of Leonardo da Vinci's life. I love the way the book opens inside the mind of the solitary boy Leonardo roaming the countryside, being fascinated by mechanics of butterflies, watching rivers to see exactly how water moves, collecting dead animals to dissect.
"A small boy knee deep in meadow flowers of humming violet, blazing white, is lost in a cloud of butterflies. He holds out his net,..., and waves it through the air, making eddies and currents but catching only sunlight. He flies this way and that, chasing wings that do not want to be caught, until finally he gives up, sits on a clump of moss and watches the stream instead...Time for another approach, he thinks. Let the butterfly come to you. He sits still and waits..."
Immediately after reading these sentences, I began to make a sketch of a small boy standing in the middle of a wild flower meadow and observing a lek of colorful butterflies dancing in the air. For some inexplicable reason I didn't feel like finishing the drawing and just left it undone until yesterday.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Language of flowers: Love-in-a-mist

Language of flowers:
Nigella (or Love-in-a-mist) - "You puzzle me."

Love-in-a-mist (Nigella damascena) is one of my favorites.
Love-in-a-mist gets its evocative name from the way a tangle of ferny, fennel like foliage form a mist around the flowers. However, obviously not everyone felt about it in the same way, as it was also known as devil-in-a-bush and Jack-in-prison (???). Because of its misty foliage like a veil of secrecy, the flower is a symbol of perplexity. In some regions in Europe, women used to give Nigella as a refusal to their undesirable suitors, since the flower is also a symbol of unrequited love.

"Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them." - A. A. Milne

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Language of flowers: Phlox

Language of flowers: Phlox - "Our souls are united."
"A garden without a phlox is not only a mistake, but also a sin against summer." - Karl Foerster, gardener and garden writer
A phlox may not have a stunning beauty, but its gentle scent is just lovely. I love to receive flowers and actually receive them currently quite often. "What a lucky girl!" is what I talk about myself now. I have thought about creating a series of botanical drawings of the flowers I received. Each flower in the drawings will carry with it a common symbolic definition according to Western Culture.
Over the years I will have a great collection of drawings of flowers or plants people gave me, which is likewise a hand-made dictionary of the language of flowers, a nearly forgotten way of communication, and a treasure chest filled with warm memories of loving and being loved.

  “I must have flowers, always, and always.”- Claude Monet

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Language of flowers: Thistle

Language of flowers: Thistle - Nobility of character
It's not usual to find thistle flowers in a florist's. They've appeared so rarely, that I almost forgot, how charming they are despite of the prickles occuring on their stems and their leaves, which can hurt me much, if I hold them a little bit tight.
Some peole may love to get a gorgeous bouquet of red roses symbolizing passion of love. A symbol of an everlasting love seems not to be what I am looking for, but these wild, violet planst covered by numerous tiny prickles, which symbolize nobility of character.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Sketches from Hallstatt in Austria

I went camping with two close friends of mine in Hallstatt in Austria.
Hallstatt is a lovely, small village located in the Salzkammergut, a region in Austria. My friends told me, that Hallstatt is so beautiful, that the replica of the village was built in Guangdong province in China last year. I don't like the idea, that Hallstatt was copied. The replica is just a waste. What makes Hallstatt a fairytale-like village is not only just its charming wooden houses, but also its wonderful location, i.e. the stunning beauty of the Alpine lake landscape surrounding the village, which is uniquess and unimitable.
I stayed in Hallstatt only two days and had just enough time to do two sketches. 

 09:40 a.m., 23.06.2013, House No. 133 Oberer Berg

 06:30 a.m., 22.06.2013, at the camping site

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Moleskine Sloth Limited Edition

Sloths are cute and seem to have a permanent smile on their face.
They move rarely, only when necessary and even then very slowly. Being lazy seems to be their specialty. Undoubtedly all sloths master the way of enjoying life.
The Moleskine Plain Cahier Journals with a simple cardboard cover are my favourite. They are small, thin, light, portable and have no lines or grids. You can have them in your bag or your pocket the whole day, and everyday your abstract ideas can be realised onto paper. You can also modify the cover the way you want. Theses small journals allow all flights of imagination.
These sloth drawings were done at break between two lectures at the university, with ball pen, Pentel brush pen and Faber Castell artist pen.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Tiny drawings about Love

I drew these tiny watercolors one month ago, inspired by some quotes sent to me from an acquaintance who works as an editor and was looking for an illustrator for the illustrations of her new quote books:
“I love you more than there are stars in the sky and fish in the sea.” ― Nicholas Sparks
“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.”― Mother Teresa
“Love is always patient and kind...Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins, but delights in the truth. It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes.” ― Nicholas Sparks
“We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love.” ― Tom Robbins
“Love is like the wind, you can't see it but you can feel it.” ― Nicholas Sparks
“If I had a flower for every time I thought of you...I could walk through my garden forever.” ― Alfred Tennyson


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Happiness is a butterfly

Two close friends of mine wrote on their card, sent to me on my birthday, a beautiful quote of Nathaniel Hawthorne- an American short-story writer and novelist:
“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”.
The quote is just so lovely. I was very touched and inspired at the same time. It immediately made me feel like drawing again. Thank you so much, my dear friends!


Sunday, March 24, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me!

Happy Birthday to Me! Happy Birthday to Me! Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! <3
It may be not a bad idea to begin to post pictures of my drawings again on my birthday. Nothing could be as great as being a happy birthday girl.