Monday, December 28, 2009

Enlightening Links

photo by Warwick Lister-Kaye

We're all spiders weaving this World Wide Web, connecting our thoughts, ideas, experiences. We're casting our threads of silk out into space, and they connect with other threads, becoming nets and pathways. We're all connected.

I learn a lot from other people. The World Wide Web has been a great source of inspiration and information. A couple of years ago, I made a choice to try to live a more healthy, conscious, creative, productive life. Luckily, there are a lot of great spirits shining their light, generously sharing their knowledge and ideas.

2009 has been important to me in terms of this connection. This year I established my web presence through this blog. I've also created another blog of my writing and art reviews, Rosa Phoenix Words On Art. Soon, these blogs will be linked up to my main website, I look forward to sharing the highlights of my creative journey with you in 2010 and beyond!

My year-end gift to you is this list of links. Note that these sites are in addition to all the great blogs I'm following, which you can see in my profile. I will continue to update this list as I find more great stuff. From now on I will keep a link to this post on the front page of my blog, under the archives.

Enlightening Links:

Ideas + News:


Tools for Creating New Ideas

Design + Architecture:

Eugene Tsui


Web Urbanist 



Joanne Mattera Art Blog

KQED Spark

Daily Art Muse

Make Zine

Artists Who Blog

Nate Williams' methodology for creating new ideas

Helping the Earth:

Trees for the Future

My Friends:

Ear Candle Productions Sounds of San Francisco

Chad Cameron Illustrator

Lotus Pie Jewelry + Art Marketplace

Rio Vista Graphics

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Sketchbook: San Francisco

pencil and crayon drawing on paper


Here is a photo of the house:

The unusual roof of this house is reflected in the window of the house across the street.

A wonderful Christmas scene!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Sketchbook: Mexico City

color pencil and crayon drawing

This drawing of a shop in Mexico City was done for the Virtual Paintout, using Google Maps Street View.

Great location to wander, close to Plaza de la Constitution, Templo Mayor, Palacio Nacional, and Catedral Metropolitana. 

These are all amazing buildings, but they didn't give me the feeling of Mexico City, the way this little shop does.

I love using Street View to virtually visit places. 

This was my first attempt to draw from Street View. If you'll notice, the perspective is really strange. Obviously, I got confused by the lens distortion from the Street View camera. This is a drawback of drawing from Street View.

Do you want to know my process for drawing? 

These are the pencils I use. Multicolor pencils! 

This is how I get that "rainbow" effect in my sketches. 

These are great for blending shadow colors also. Don't use them like this though, sharpen them first! That way you will get a nice fine line, and you will have more control over your line.

Step one is using the pencil to lightly sketch out the composition and basic shapes . . .

Check out the perspective lines I drew for help, they are going every which way! 

Step two is darkening the shadows with the pencil:

Adding some foliage to the tree with the side of the pencil:

Finally, I add color using Crayola crayons.

I don't limit myself to the colors I see.

I use my imagination, using the colors that I think will make a nice picture.

The rainbow colors of my pencil drawing show through the crayon.

The wonderful thing about Mexico City is that it is a very colorful place! 

I have never been there in real life, but my explorations on Street View have let me see the vibrant colors and street life of this city.

Check out the The Virtual Paintout to see the work by other artists. 

Each month focuses on a different location.

Sketchbook: San Francisco

crayon on paper

Autumn rooftops in San Francisco
  are islands in a sea of fiery autumn leaves

Friday, December 4, 2009

True Mirror

photo by Plus 

"Who sees the human face correctly:

the photographer,

the mirror,

or the painter?"

- Pablo Picasso

A friend showed me the True Mirror. 

It gives me a true (not reversed) image of myself.

I've never seen myself like this, except in photos or video, but never in real life. 

I quickly notice that I tilt my head to one side, and my smile is crooked.

photo from the True Mirror website

It's interesting to look into my own eyes. 

I am able to make a connection with my own reflected image. 

I get a friendly feedback from the mirror, 

as if I am actually connecting with another person, 

and not merely gazing into a mirror.

The makers of the True Mirror explain:
There are a few key reasons for why the True Mirror reflects the real you.
The first is the all-important eye-to-eye contact -- the strongest way we understand what people are saying.
When you communicate with every other individual in the world, your eyes always meet left-eye-to-right-eye and right-eye-to-left eye.
This normal biological pattern conveys information "just so".
With traditional mirrors, where the right eye picks up the right-eye reflection, and the left picks up the left's, you are experiencing a highly unnatural way of gathering information about yourself. You don't communicate with anyone else in the world in that pattern.
The result is that we always feel we are somehow different than everyone else, often in a negative way. 

I wonder if this is why I experience self-critical feelings when I see my own reflection in a regular mirror. 

Looking at myself in the True Mirror, I feel more curious about myself, and less critical.

Here is the link to True Mirror website: