NEWS / Blog

Oct 22, 2009

Season's Greetings Card Designs

Before I get busy, I want to put some greeting cards up in my free E-cards site. These are going to be up soon. Also I got to find an English site!

Oct 19, 2009

Icelandic Butterflies

Gallery: A People's Guide to Icelandic Butterflies

I found another interesting project, in which my daughter and I could both try. It is about drawing / designing Icelandic Butterflies-to-be. Butterflies are never found in Iceland yet, but are expected to arrive in the near future because of the global warming phenomenon.
I've never painted a butterfly elaborately, in another words, I have never studied their physical figures, (yes, a bit gross to me to be honest) but they are amazing creatures. And it is a great exercise to draw symmetrical, too!
Attached are our butterflies. We are both into colorful butterflies.

Oct 16, 2009

Snap to Grid

I found another opportunity to expose my artwork remotely via This is an un-juried show featuring digital art and photography, taking place in L.A. downtown 11/12-12/5/09. I entered one of my E-card designs as attached.
I once lived in one of those artist lofts in the early 90's, where I created the most of my artworks, to look back. But I couldn't stay too long and moved to Redondo Beach, which was nicer to live, but ended up less stimulative for creating art (for me).
Too bad I can't be present at the show this time. I wish to visit L.A. more frequently in the near future, though!

Oct 7, 2009

Making the most of Napa Valley

As we spent our next morning in the relaxing mode, taking the famous mud bath treatment and swimming in the pool, we started a bit late for wine tasting tour. In such limited time, we decided to skip lunch and visited 2 wineries: BV and Provenance. I love BV wines especially Chardonnay, which does not seem distributed widely in Japan. As per Provenance, it was my lucky discovery that they used to be Beaucanon, which I fell in love with in my early age for wine pursuit. As the winery was hard to find as well as their wines in the market, often I overlooked their modest sign, and was only successful for a few times I stopped by. I am not a specialist in wines, but I did recognize the same old flavor that I liked in the tasting. Luckily, I found reasonable half bottles, which I had to bring some home, for all these years I had missed the taste.
For our late lunch / early dinner, we came to Bistro Don Giovanni, my favorite restaurant. It is one of my happiest places to dine not only because they serve great food, but their joyful atmosphere always made me and my guests feel happy. And this time was no different.
Their reputation must have grown over the years, and the place was already packed when we arrived, which was not even 6pm. We waited in their nice lawn garden by the fountain, only to be seated an hour later in the busy bar area. I got a bit nervous because I wanted to make this dinner a fantastic one. But soon a local wine and appetizers were brought to the table, and it turned out to be a very merry dining, to make a nice contrast from the quiet and slow setting the night before. I got to try my usual favorites like Pizza Margherita and Caesar Salad, and also discovered some new tastes like Stilton Cheese and Orata. Other than dining, my daughter had a great time observing people as seen in the shot above from her POV, "why big people blabber over dinner?" in my interpretation.

Oct 4, 2009

The First Feast

Outside dining at CALISTOGA INN was wonderful. We sat at the corner of cozily illuminated patio by the river, comfortably distanced from other guests and a jazz guitar player. Everything seemed so special especially this was our first feast of the trip, and moreover, the first toast ever since we departed Japan. And it was the perfect place we could ask for! I was in heaven tasting Cobb Salad and Crab Cakes, as I was really looking forward to enjoying California Cuisine, and of course, California wine! The local cabernet was great (Hans Fahden Mountain Cuvee Cabernet Sauvignon ’06). We sat there and enjoyed food, wine, desert, and conversation, and when we finally rose from table, we found ourselves the last customers at the restaurant.

Oct 1, 2009

Sunset in Napa

Then we were off to Napa, another top favorite place of mine. We were very quick to drive through Sacramento in the traffic hour, whereas we got stuck the day before on the way to Roseville, and ended up arriving way late at the reception! Thank God we made it before it was over..
Anyway, the drive through the vineyard in the sunset was wonderful. I should try the famous Wine Train to catch sunset next time! We enjoyed watching ever-changing sunset scenery as we headed to Calistoga, where my special old friend was awaiting.