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How should I handle a Korean color term in a fantasy setting?
This is coming up because there are East Asian influences in Phoenix Extravagant
and I'm wondering how to render 파란색 (paransaek), which can be translated variously as "blue" or "green" (more usually "blue") but can include some shades of green if my mother is to be believed. (There is are separate words for "green," 녹색 (noksaek) and 초록색 (choroksaek), but the former is "green" and the latter is more "grass green." To hear my mother tell it (since she's, uh, my source on this stuff), they're not really all synonyms.
Normally I would just approximate and move on, but because my protagonist is a painter and paint pigments are part of the magic system...anyway, opinions appreciated.
I have also desperately emailed
my mother asking what she can find out about traditional Korean paint pigments because the more I can find out the better.
- Yoko Kawaguchi. Authentic Japanese Gardens
I really have no way of verifying anything in here, but the lush, gorgeous, full-color photographs throughout of Japanese gardens either in Japan or Japanese-influenced/inspired gardens elsewhere were worth the price of admission (list price $19.99). This is mainly aimed toward people who want to understand the aesthetic before implementing it in their own landscaping/gardens.
Ch. 1: Traditional Japanese Gardens
Historical context, design, choice of plants.
- The hill-and-pond garden
- The dry-landscape garden
- The tea garden
- The courtyard garden
Ch. 2: The Elements of a Japanese Garden
How to choose, lay out and care for the components of a Japanese garden.
- Paths and stepping-stones
- Stone lanterns
- Borrowed vistas
Ch. 3: Plant Directory
- Grasses and bamboos
- Tropical specimen plants
- Foliage and flowers
- Aquatic plants
- Non-traditional alternatives
Resources (hardiness zones, gardens to visit, etc.)
I don't want to go full-out Japanese in my side garden nook with some of the really specifically Japanese elements because my ancestors would roll over in their graves, but I like the aesthetic. BTW, if you're wondering how Korean landscapes/gardens differ, this article discusses the basics
, and I've ordered a book on Korean gardens that should arrive sometime this week and that I hope to read for more inspiration. I'm hoping it, too, will have homesickness-inspiring glorious full-color photographs. :3 I hope it will discuss 덕수궁 (Deoksugung
, or Deoksu Palace), for instance; my mother used to take me and my sister there regularly to feed the pigeons and admire the gardens.
- Jane Portal. Korea: Art and Archaeology
Research reading for Phoenix Extravagant
. I read this not to memorize everything in it (impossible) but to get an overview of Korean art history, although since I acquired the book over a decade ago and it's ©2000, I expect it's dated. It also has some minor infuriating errors on related topics (I was complaining about the outdated assessment of Korea's naval victories in the Imjin War, and Portal states that the Korean alphabet is a syllabary
, which, no). Anyway, I was so aggravated that I started leaving annoyed handwritten comments in the (thankfully wide) margins), like this one:
Can we kill the idea with fire that artists don't count as Real Artists (TM) unless they die of starvation and that artists who like money aren't Real Artists (TM)?! I mean, I'm not going to claim I'm a Real Artist, but I don't think liking money is germane to the question.
Besides my quibbles, though, this is an area of art history for which there are just not a lot of English-language resources, and since I am not fluent enough to read adult books in Korean, them's the breaks. I did appreciate the wide-ranging overview, which went more or less in chronological order and discussed formal as well as folk arts, and was thankfully frank about the difficulties of provenance between Korean/Chinese/Japanese artifacts, the vexed history of Japanese invasion and colonialism (a lot of Korean potters were simply kidnapped wholesale during the Imjin War), etc.
Anyway, I was driven to step it up in rereading this because my copy of Korean History in Maps
, ed. Michael D. Shin, arrived today and I am eager to start reading this next. (I am in research-reading mode, can you tell? This means I am reading a lot of nonfiction, and fiction reading is basically stalled, because I am also a slow reader.) Even more pleasingly, the book is under 200 pages long so I might finish it in a reasonable amount of time.  :D And hey, it has a blurb from Bruce Cumings!
 A side-consequence of my being a slow reader is that the longer a book is, the less likely I am to bother reading it, especially if it's fiction. I almost never read things much over 400 pages. I am delighted
when they're under 300. The result trend toward novellas-as-books makes me ambivalently happy.
I ended up getting a 2018 iPad Pro 11" with Pencil 2 and I love it to pieces. It is my shiny toy new best friend. Right now I'm doing value exercises in Procreate daily (Ara, staring in horror: "Why???" I have promised her that next I will draw 100 hands, and then create a Hand Monster), and slowly working on a digital piece, although I need to grab reference for the face, curse my luck. XD Ara is great for art feedback and tips! We actually exchange art feedback in this household, LOL, since we have both learned that Joe is useless for art critique.
I also bought Notability, because when my RSI was acting up I could handwrite notes into the iPad
and it was fabulous. Also I may have drawn a goose.
And I'm addicted to I Love Hue, which Ara independently discovered and has been tearing through it on her phone (well, when she's allowed to have it, which is a separate issue). It is actually rather morale-boosting to play I Love Hue because I thought I would suck at it and actually I usually do around 1/2 the average # of moves to solve a given puzzle so I do not suck at it after all! And it's soothing and just so satisfying. This is my platonic ideal of a relaxation game so, uh, if iOS folks have any recs for other games (preferably buy-it-all-at-once) in this vein, I am all ears!