” Okin the Panda Bear Finds his Family “

 

Time flies…
I feel like I’ve started painting the illustratoins for this Panda story, "Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family", just a couple of weeks ago.
But it’s actually 6 months had already passed!

Now, "Okin" is coming out to the world making this colorful book with more than 30 illustrations which I’ve created for this book.
Isn’t it gorgeous? *smile*

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"Okin the Panda Bear Finds his Family"

 

The story is about a little blue panda bear named Okin, who was ‘different’ from other panda friends. And getting through some heartwarming happenings, Okin eventually finds his place and a new family where he can be really happy being as what he is.

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Jeff Lutes, who is the author of "Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family", is a licensed sychotherapist, writer, public speaker, and social justice advocate in Austin, Texas. He is a member of the American Counseling Association, the International Association for Relationship Research, Counselors for Social Justice, the Association for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender Issues in Counseling, the Council on Contemporary Families, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

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I am a believer in the third sex.
While homosexuality often has hard time to be accepted in some societies, I have to say that we could not forget that those non-sense custom was built mainly by the influence from religions. Before them, in the ancient cities that had built high advanced cultures such as ancient Rome, homosexuality was rather regarded as noble form of love.
Even in Buddhism, we Japanese has a famous story, " Chigo no sora ne- 稚児のそら寝", which shows Buddhism monks had some little boy in their temples with them for their sexual needs. I remember that I have learned this custom in a class at my junior high school.

children's book, cool children's book, heartwarming children's book, panda story, panda illustration, animal illustrations, blue panda, sign language, sign language hand chart, cute panda,panda,dreams, challenge, gay family, same sex marriage, gay parents, adoption, sky blue, babble, heartwarming story, family, love, artist illustration, hiroko sakai, hiroko, san francisco local artist, gift for kids, cool gift for children, cool, cuteIf you are interested in digging into this subject about homosexuality and gay culture more, I would like to introduce these two great resources.

What the Science says and Doesn’t say – About Homosexuality by Jeff Lutes

What the Bible says anddoesn’t say – About Homosexuality by Mel White

Anyway, in this Art world in San Francisco, I’ve been blessed with the chances to work with gay people. Most of them are wonderful business people who have keen sense of beauty, detail oriented and they are generally very romantic and sweet.
I love gay people.

 

Meanwhile, one of other main themes of this book was "Sign Language".
It was my first interesting challenge to create a hand sign list.

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Here is the process of creating this chart. Click thumbnails to view lager images.

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1. draw painting base line 2. paint hands 3. paint back
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4. scan all hands 5. extract each hands 6. make a grid by illustrator
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7. copy grid on photoshop 8. inlay hands 9. add back
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10. add alphabets 11. hide grid 12 add frame line

 

"Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family" has some quize pages in the end of the story where you can learn sign language playing with fun activities.
Let’s practice sign language alphabet and challenge the quize!

 


 

 

You can now order this fabulous book online.
Please visite Hiroko Sakai Fine Art Online Shop/ books / "Okin the Panda Bear Fined his Family"
Each books from my website comes with my hand signature.

 

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Thank you~*

 


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” Painting blue sky in a fine day “

 

I have painted this blue sky painting for the back image of my coming Panda book looking the sky of San Francisco from my window.

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red line

Here is how I painted this sky.
Click the images to see larger images.

 

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1. paint sky base 2. draw out lines of the clouds with the shadow color 3. add white
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4. blending with soft fine brush after blending
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5. add high light 6. blend again finish!

 

red line


"Okin the Panda Bear Finds his Family"
is coming with this blue sky painting in the beginning
of October 2011! Please stay tuned~*

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” I am a cat… “

 

cat, cat drawing, black and white drawing, drawing, cool art, tear, eye, hiroko sakaiI am a cat,
brought from far, far away.
Since I was thrown into this city, I have survived here alone.
 
Getting through the many cold/miserable nights in the dark corners of the streets,
I have yearned for the warmth of the lights coming through windows of the sweet family house.
 
Somebody want to invite me in?
 
I know the tricks of the sweets in your pocket.
You must not forget that even a tiny kitten has pride and hidden sharp claws.
 
Please seek me out.
 
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You could see me taking a nap on a high branch in a maple tree on a fine day, or in the window of an old book store on a rainy day.

Whatever you could take from love in this world, I can give you a sweet heaven, If you can give me the lap to curl up on …
 
-So I can purr like a little kitten forever.

 

 


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” Artist lives forever… “

 

"Me and my head high and my tears dry
Get on without my guy
You went back to what you knew so far removed
from all that we went through
And I tread a troubled track, my odds are stacked
I’ll go back to black… "

 

Emy Winehouse has gone only after one month of this stage.
July 23rd 2011, God’s taken this fragile gift back from this world holding her broken wings.

How come nobody took her off from this puppet show? Her spirit was not there anymore, but being chained on the stage like a clown at the circus, only the hollow smiles were covering her screams which was being hidden in the deep bottom of her soul.
Watching her last stage makes me get overwhelmed to tears, feeling the same conflicts that I am holding in myself, … the conflict which most artists may have to face for our over keen inspirations living this life.

hiroko sakai, oil painting, life, skyscraper, bird, rope walking, inspiring art, angel, feather, eye painting, surreal art, cool artI’ve been always wondering…
People say "I love Artists"…
But what they really know about Artists?
They’ve ever thought about sharing this real madness with us which could actually be the source of the inspirations for our creations which are appreciated by them?
Time to time, I feel myself like a tiger or something in a zoo that should be isolated from the world. People love to see what Artists create, but it is the different story if they really like to invite what is behind on the Art into their actual lives.

To survive in a social life, holding those extreme emotional bombs inside of the soul, Artists must lean how to hide the screams under peaceful smiles. In between those hypocrisy and faith in own emotional demands, something starts eating the balance of our mind…
Winehouse was one of the purest soul of Artist’s who denied those hypocrisy. She chose burning herself up following to the naked revelation in her spirit.

This song "I Heard Love Is Blind" brought me some kind of shocks.

‘How can I put it so you understand?
I didn’t let him hold my hand.
But he looked like you; I guess he looked like you …
No he wasn’t you.
But you can still trust me, this ain’t infidelity.
It’s not cheating; you were on my mind…’

 

 

At first, I laughed with this incoherent logic in her, but then, I found myself feeling jealousy toward her exposing such a pure voice so boldly. It made me wondered if I ever could paint such a real voice in me out on my canvas so honestly…

I am very sorry that she had to leave this life so quick.
But you know what the privilege of Artists is?
We Artists live forever in this world beyond the time as long as our creations keep living in people’s hearts.

Winehouse will never die in our hearts…

 



PS-
Winehouse said "Love is a Losing Game"
Yes, I can not deny it now, just getting through there.
(If you are not on my Facebook fan page, check my previous blog "Hannya and Love")

But I want to paint more sweet side of love.. someday again…

 

 

 


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” Hannya and Love “

 

I believe that this "Hannya" is one of my best works I’ve ever created.

The Hannya mask is a mask representing a female serpent-damon filled with malicious jealousy and hatred, worn by women betrayed or spurned by their lovers who turn into serpent demons.

hannya, hannya mask, hannya painting, asian art, japanese art, nude painting, beautiul nude, genji story, love, sexy, cool, emotion, figurative painting,hiroko sakai, sorrow, The story of Hannya may not be acknowledged so widely unless you are well informed about Japanese traditional theater, Noh. Even I myself did not know about the details of the meanings which this famous mask contained until I made some research about Noh masks for other works of mine, "Boukyo-Nostalgia".

In Genji story, which is widely acknowledged as the world’s first novel, written by a court lady in Heian Japan (795-1192 AD). Genji, a man of passionate impulses and a lover of beauty, the favorite son of the Emperor, though his position at court is not entirely stable. "Aoi no Ue" is the Genji’s first principal wife, married to him when he is 12 and she is four years older. Not surprisingly, she finds him childish, and their relations remain uncomfortable until her death. her death was brought by an evil spirit of Lady Rokujo who is the Widow of the crown prince Prince Zembo and a longtime mistress of Genji.

I was inspired with so strong woman’s emotion and love that Lady Rokujo held in her as to change her into evil spirit to attack her rival, which is represented by "Hannya mask" in Noh performance. I wanted to express the naked nature of women that is held in our depth.

 

Love is always a double-edged sword…

In the past couple of months, my life had been totally screwed up by the explosion of this bomb. I had got through ardent passion with a man and lost it so quick and sudden.

He was gorgeous.
I am usually extremely picky. I have been always wanting to protect a peaceful life of my little wild and also wanting to have my time for concentrating on my Art instead of dealing with confusions by inviting new people in my life so easily. So in those romance department, I had kept my single life for years after I put the end on my last love with my ex-boy who is still now very close each others like the family.
My life was calm and well-controlled.

But, those peaceful life had suddenly changed by his eyes.

The first date with him was fun and friendly. I was not expecting any more things at all. He was a gentleman from the beginning to end of the evening. We kept smiling until his deep blue eyes showed the shadow of an abandoned little baby dog, saying good bye at my apartment door in the end of our date. In that moment, my life had fallen into a deep hole of an aphrodisiac. He had suddenly jumped into my life from there very naturally.

lake, lake chabot, romantic, love, boat, waterAfter the evening, I felt like I got on a roller coaster. Everything was fun spending the time with him. Picnic in the beach, fire works, sports game watching, boating on lake… and we gave every spare moment to exchanging our passions.
I was even feeling the special Charisma in him. He was like a walking Wikipedia and always tried making me laugh with the jokes out of his amazing knowledge. I became totally crazy about him in such a short time.

But as time goes by, in such rapid developments of passions, fine cracks had started forming inside of me. My emotion was getting hard time to keep up with grasping what was going on there.
In spite of my agitation, his responses were always patient in polite smile which made me more nervous. He did not show his emotions so much and I could not see what was on his under water at all. I mean. He was always passionate, but I could not tell if he was passionate because of me or just for his own fantasy of love. It got me scared to get involved in there more and more.

I eventually told him that I got scared. He said that he understood. Then we just put the end on our dating. It was so sudden and hollow after sharing such deep passions and fun time together. I really did not understand what we were and what the time we shared was after all…

The myth of "Gemini" was so true.



Anyway, getting through crazy depressions for some weeks after the good-bye, I think I’ve grown a little bit now.

As an artist, I realized that if I started any relation with a man next time, I’d better be with someone who really takes interest in my Art including what are making my Art. Even my strong emotions are the part of my Art. Unless my partner has the interest in being with and supporting those Artist’s inner world, my life would be torn into pieces after all.

seven years in tibet, brad pitt, bryce willettI have recalled one scene of an old movie, "Seven years in Tibet".
Brad Pitt and his friend fell in love with a lady at the same time. The two men made opposite approaches toward her. Brad showed off his gorgeous skills and talents as a famous mountaineer, but the other man was just staying close to her helping and supporting her activities. And the one who won her heart at the last was the later one.

"Mr. Gemini" was totally the type of Brad Pitt. While I was with him, getting overwhelmed by his charismatic powers, what I was always feeling was how he was gorgeous, how he was smart, how he was…… then I had stopped and realized, "how about me?"
As long as I had stayed with him, I would have been taking the part of his shadow feeling it would be my happiness to be able to support such a great man, and my Art would have been buried.

seven years in tibet, joe sievertsenOn the other hand, my ex-boy whom I wrote about a little before was an Art collector. Artists were his life inspirations and he loved supporting Artists. I have been with him for more than 8 years now, the first couple of years were as lovers and even after we put the end on our relations as lovers, we are still exchanging close cares like family members and without his support, my Art would not have made in this San Francisco.

It was a good lesson for me to learn that passion and love were different. I was really attracted to Mr. Gemini, but now I can see that it was a totally different feeling from those stable bond that I share with my ex-boy.

Well, storm has passed. All are past now.

Those some weeks were really tough time for me, but as getting age, I have learned how to ‘forget’. I mean, ‘forget’ would not be the right word… maybe could I say ‘ how to sort things out if they are meant to my life or not’?
I do not belong to any religions. As a Japanese, I live following to Buddhism theories, but it is not my religion. But I do believe in the power above me which is leading me in my life, and I believe everything happens for reasons.

I have learned that what dose not work out is what is not meant for my life from the first place. So I do not try to force to bring them to anywhere in vain any more.
You know, this is not any negative action, but I believe this is the strength to ‘accept’ everything as what they are supposed to be.

 

OK, so now, look at the bright side as American always says* -P*

artist sketch, mono tone drawing,emotion sketch, hiroko sakai After all, all those emotionally tough time brought me the fruits of new inspirations.
I have realized that the more I drive myself into the depth of my inside, the more things come up to my visions, visibly or invisibly…. I even do not know if I am seeing them with my eyes or with my mind. I just need to copy them on my canvases. But this mental process is always overwhelming. I often have hard time to deal with my emotions on this state. You could call this ‘depression’ on surface? but actually, in my underwater, so many ‘rebirth’ and ‘reform’ are being made in my thoughts, inspirations, philosophies, etc,. I believe this struggles make my art real. All my art comes from my emotions and my canvases take them to share them with the world. The more I paint, the calmer I become. I am lucky that I am an Artist because whatever happened, wherever I wander off, when I draw, when I paint, I can get my life back.

I found these words in the comment which my friend Eric gave me on my Art before. The Artwork he is mentioning is ‘Hannya".

"The first time I saw your work, I was walking down Valencia street, and I was thunderstruck by one of your paintings. I had to come in off the street to stare at it. It was the portrait of the sexy nude woman with the "evil brain" as I called it, at first. I couldn’t handle the complexity of what you were revealing.
hannya, hannya mask, hannya painting, asian art, japanese art, nude painting, beautiul nude, genji story, love, sexy, cool, emotion, figurative painting,hiroko sakai, sorrow, The many layers of a woman’s desires, fears, anger and lust. Can I admit to feeling what I am feeling when I am, looking at the painting? Not in public! In order to own that passion, I would have to externalize it, place my fantasies on someone else, as if they could be real. Otherwise I would feel deep embarrassment that I was capable of lust and fear, if others were to see what turns me on, like an advertisement of my unmet desires.

Art with such a powerful message doesn’t go down easy. For you to reveal that, you have to be a real person, not just the absent artist. You need to attach your image to your art, stamp yourself on it the same way Warhol or Basquiat attached their images (as honestly as they could manage) to their work, sort of accompanied their art even if they weren’t present when the buyer took the painting home. When I look at a Basquiat painting, in the back of my mind I am also seeing HIM, his face, his story, his sexuality, politics. It’s all there together. No mystery about the source of the art. I know his history, and that enriches the art for me, I would want to own one of his paintings because of the complex story and fascinating character behind the art. This is the way your art should be marketed, with you as the fascinating creator. A documentary about you would be fascinating." – Read more

Now I feel that I eventually got know where my Art is heading to….

 

 

"I don’t understand, why do I stress a man….

I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon. I couldn’t play myself again,
I should just be my own best friend, not f**k myself in the head with stupid men.

He walks away,
The sun goes down,
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way,
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own. "

 


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