Jan 28, 2009

Inspiration: Joyfully Jobless Blog

Joyfully Jobless is a fascinating blogsite by Barbara Winters which focuses on entrepreneurship and staying mentally and emotionally happy while at it.

Photo: Burning Spirit Papers

In this photo, my grandfather was burning the spirit papers during Chinese New Year as a form of Taoist ancestor worship. The gold printing indicates wealth. Burning the papers allows the items to be transfered to the deceased, where they would be able to use the items in the spirit realm.

Photo: Protection Spell

Chinese New Year is a time of celebration and rememberence -- memories, relationships, and the deceased. I was lucky enough to celebrate Chinese New Year with my grandparents. They are practicing Buddhists, but also incorporate Taoist traditions.

After bowing three times to honor the ancestors, joss or spirit papers were burned as an offering to the ancestors--so they would have "money" and other items to use in the afterlife. After the items were placed in the flames, a "protection spell" was chanted. During this, my grandfather poured wine while walking in a circle. In many old religions and mysticism, a circle is a commonly used symbol--protecting everything within a circle and preventing negative energies from corrupting the elements.

Jan 27, 2009

Photo: Chinese New Year Chicken

According to tradition, the chicken is part of an offering to the ancestors, facing upwards and left intact.

Photo: Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year
Originally uploaded by shaire productions
Wine, tea, and rice bowls were among the many foods offered to the ancestors in the Buddhist tradition.

Jan 23, 2009

Artwork: Chinese Lion Dance

Posted by Sherrie Thai of ShaireProductions.com

Chinese Lion Dance

Chinese Lion Dance is in honor of the Chinese/Lunar New Year, so many happy thoughts going out!

Like many of my recent pieces, this was created initially by hand with pen/ink, then scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop. I created the elements, primarily the lion and ground, separately (see Chrysanthemum Floral Design post), then collaged them together and added slight color highlights. I wanted to keep the colors of the lion very subtle, so the viewer could concentrate on the details of the patterns, rather than be distracted by lots of color. Red is the Chinese color of luck and the symbol in the top right represents happiness.

I've been meaning to create an illustration of Chinese Lions and the Lunar New Year is a great opportunity. They're always so fascinating, especially after performing with a troupe with some folks in Oakland (many moons ago). I never tire of the tradition nor the pageantry.

Artwork: Chrysanthemum Floral Design

Created this with a brush pen. This was later added into the "Chinese Lion Dance" piece.

Jan 20, 2009

Resource: Free Stock Textures

Originally uploaded by shaire productions
Flames is part of the free photo textures/patterns set from my Flickr account. Visit the various sets here.

Also, check out Lost and Taken, a website devoted to free textures.

Jan 16, 2009

Artwork: Sorrow (Heritage Series)

. Art by Sherrie Thai of ShaireProductions.com


Sorrow is my third piece of the Heritage Series (Ghosts of Khmer Rouge and Contemplation), a self-initiated project concerning the historic atrocities in Asia. Originally a personal tribute to my family in regards to their experiences via the Khmer Rouge, I think this particular piece is applicable to the current events as war is still prevalent. Regardless of your position, the effects of war is saddening.

The background of this image was similar to the rest of the Heritage series--patterns from a brush pen infused with a cloud texture in Photoshop. I've always loved trees and thought they have many human aspects. The trees of Angkor Wat have so much life to them--they seem to cry out in pain. Combining horror elements with social themes may have a greater impact to the message of the artwork.

Artwork: Sketches 01/16

Sketches 01/16

Another image from my sketchbook. This was an ongoing mini-project during my daily commute to/from San Francisco. I may use the dragon for a future project. He's camouflaged in there with some eyeballs and such. View Larger

Inspiration: Julian Beever's Chalk Artwork

Julian Beever's Times Square

The trompe-l'œil chalk artworks of UK artist Julian Beever are fascinating and inspirational. On a broad scale, he's a prime example of how art can unify people of different cultures--bringing beauty and wonder to an urban landscape.

Jan 14, 2009

Koi Shirt on TeeFury (01/15/09 only!)

Koi Shirts

This $9 shirt is available at TeeFury.com for 01/15/09 only!

The original artwork was created a while back on clayboard, then scanned and cleaned up in Photoshop. View Larger.

This is my second turn at the TeeFury site. The folks there have been more than gracious, and while the first design (Dragon O) was a controversial one, this design is more traditional and may fare better. I love to work with different art styles, so it's always an adventure!

Photo: B-Boy Pose

B-Boy Pose
Originally uploaded by shaire productions
One more pic from the World Famous photoshoot.

Resource: Digital Printing on Textiles

Digital Output

In this month's Digital Output magazine, there's an article on Digital Textile Printing. The market has changed--from apparel to "bedding, curtains, window treatments, and even shower curtains—all color coordinated thanks to one digital print run—for applications such as hotel interiors". Some of the printers are using environmentally-friendly inks as well.

Here's more info on the printers (according to Jan. 2009 publication of Digital Ouput):

Photo: Oscar Grant Protest at Civic Center

Here's another attempt at photojournalism.

Taken January 12, 2009 at Civic Center in San Francisco. This protest follows the shooting of Oscar Grant at the Oakland Fruitvale Bart Station by a Bart police officer on January 1, 2009.

The protest was peaceful with police watching over the demonstration from across the street.

Jan 11, 2009

Inspiration: Elihu Vedder

Elihu Vedder's The Cup of Death

I often look to other artists for inspiration and came across the beautiful work of Elihu Vedder (1836-1923). Classified as a Symbolist painter, Elihu is best known for his illustrations for "The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam" (classic Persian poem). The Smithsonian has organized exhibits of his pieces--the latest was at the Phoenix Art Museum last year. Here's an excerpt about him:

"From the moment of its publication, Elihu Vedder's Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám achieved unparalleled success. Released in 1884, the first edition sold out in six days. Critics rushed to acclaim it as a masterwork of American art, and Vedder as the master American artist."

Here's more info from the Smithsonian Institute by Richard Murray here. Some of his pieces could be purchased at ArtRenewal.org.

Jan 10, 2009

Artwork: Cranes and Myspace Page


Cranes is a slight experimentation into various patterns and textures with a single medium--pen--in a detailed tribal style. View Larger.

I finally got around to creating a Myspace page for Shaire Productions here. With all tasks, there's always room for improvement, but it's a start. =0)

Inspiration: The Crucible Dracul Fire Ballet

Last night, I attended the fire ballet of "Dracul: Prince of Darkness" event at The Crucible in West Oakland. The show was so breathtaking that I almost forgot it was a fundraiser. The exquisite movement of the dancers, artistry of set design and overall creativity was a great way to start off the new year. The video above seems to contain different content, but you get the overall gist. It was packed with vampires, swords, ballet, aerial dancers, fire performances, and best of all--a 12 ft. tall (or so) mechanical dragon that moved side to side and spat fire towards his opponent. More info here.

Photo: Zen Frog

Originally uploaded by shaire productions
How peaceful this little guy looks!

Jan 5, 2009

Photo: Purple Crystals

Purple Crystals
Originally uploaded by shaire productions
Macro of geological elements. Love the shapes and textures of this.

Photo: Raindrops on Glass

Another rainy day.