News from Yvonne
On September 25, 2018 a new edition of Super Simple Sumi-e was released by Little Bigfoot, the children’s book imprint of Sasquatch Books, and is being distributed nationwide by Penguin Random House! It certainly is a thrill for me to have this book become widely available to children and adults around the country who want to play with brush and ink and put their creative energy into making animals come alive with Asian brush painting.
A good portion of the Year of the Dog has already passed, but lest you think I forgot (a reasonable assumption) I want to share a story with you. Last December, while traveling in India, I visited the Arunachala Animal Sanctuary in Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, which works primarily with dogs, or the furry ones, as they call them. It is a place of amazing love, where the animals not only receive excellent veterinary care, but also extraordinary caring, presence, and love. My heart just opened to this love when I walked through the door.
January 28, 2017, began the Year of the Rooster! If you search the internet you can find many examples of Chinese roosters but here is a little fellow that I painted a few years ago. He’s affectionately named Spunky Nugget! He seems to personify the characteristics of people who were born in the Year of the Rooster – honest, bright, ambitious, capable and independent. It turns out that the Chinese character for ‘rooster’ can also mean chicken or bird in general and in fact in both Tibet and Nepal this year is called the Year of the Bird. It’s the only year in the Chinese zodiac to have a bird as its animal.
I can’t believe that it’s been a year since I posted anything here! A lot has been happening. But first I have to share with you one of the wonderful super simple sumi sheep that happened last year.
We’re back in Minnesota where the sunshine on the snow is beautiful. Check out the events page to see about upcoming events that I’m doing. There will be a demo and classes at Wet Paint Art in St Paul, MN, in February and a class for Families with Children from Asia in late January in Minnetonka, MN. And coming up is the Year of the Sheep. I’ve developed some simple ways to paint some very cute sheep! Pictures will come after the classes! Did you know that in Chinese the word for sheep and goats is the same? That’s why different people call it the Year of the Sheep or Goat or Ram depending on their preference.
My sumi adventures this spring back on Whidbey Island were full of wonderful teaching opportunities. Perhaps the most surprising was at the Island Christian Academy when I was selected as a “famous artist” by a third grade student. She bought a copy of Super Simple Sumi-e and painted a number the animals by herself, then did some research about sumi-e and presented it all to her class. When I went to see the art fair at the school, imagine my surprise when I saw my name next to Rembrandt, DaVinci, Monet, etc – the famous artists chosen by other students! Was I ever surprised and thrilled! I later had the chance to teach classes there and the students came to visit the Whidbey Art Gallery where I show my paintings.