Good Morning! Today is the first day of http://artsomofo.livejournal.com for the annual all October making art in 2011. It's a place where some of we artists come and share daily made art. It can be for making a simple piece per day or whatever daily challenge you want to invent for yourself. Or it can be for working on one large piece all month in tidbits. Or it can be for making any amount of art in between. You don't even have to show your work but post each day that something is happening and be around supportive people doing the same thing.
One of the classes I am in is "The Art of the Memoir." I submitted this last week and just got it back with the comments from my professor. He gave me a very positive review with the one suggestion that I include where it was I wrote about geographically. I grew up in rural central New Jersey.
His comments make me feel confident to post it as a piece of writing good enough to post publically. Enjoy...
I used to pick wild strawberries behind the forsythia, already green by the time the strawberries were ripe enough to eat, which lined the back of the flat, green lawn in back of our house. Changes of season brought excitement and family times here. It was paradise thinking myself a princess prancing around the yards and fields like a joyful horse. Sometimes the strawberries got eaten right away. Sometimes my family was lucky to have strawberries for a dessert or cereal topping. Left of the line of forsythia bushes which lined the back of the lawn and graced by a garden of flowers at their base, the lawn’s edge curved down to the left and up a slight hill. In this corner my mother’s beloved rock garden and the place where the most precious family photos, that of my grandparent, aunts, uncles, cousins and sisters of mine were taken. The lawn extended as an “L” wrapped around the house at the edge of which was a very large maple tree where on hot sunny days I would sit in a chair or blanket and read Nancy Drew books. Beyond that, up a few footsteps of hill was another large square lawn. Beyond this was a huge garden of summer flowers my father would grow for the woman who owned part of a much grander estate whom he worked for as her gardener. To the right of this patch of lawn behind the maple and caddy-corner to the back lawn for picnics and family time was a football field sized garden the edge of which lined the grass with the first row of dahlias or marigolds depending on which year that was. These were flowers for cuttings in vases for display in the big Georgian house down our driveway my parents worked for. Beyond these rows of dahlias were more rows of flowers and then the expansive vegetable garden with rows of stringed beans, lettuce, tomatoes, peas, carrots, onions, various squashes, pumpkins, must-melon and several rows of corn. To the left was the pheasant pen which housed five hundred birds.
One year we had two golden pheasants: a cock and a hen. The cock was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen with rich colors of red, yellow, and blue with orange and bronze colored feathers that striped around the back of the neck. In 1966, a Christmas snow storm, just before the dawn of the Cultural Revolution in China, caused these splendid birds of Chinese ancestry to perish.
Welcome everybody who is new, returning, or just comes back every year to see the show we put on.
For those who don't know artsomofo is an annual event on Live Journal for anybody who wants to make visual art in any form to participate here every day in October by making art every day. It can be one piece or it can be working on one piece all month ar anything in between. The point is to strive for making art every day.
Please come join us. It is fun here and people not only make art but make comments on each other's art.
We all hope to have another fun month of October while the air is fresh and clear.
Early in the year I had mentioned here that my art, as a celebration of the upcoming Royal Wedding is going to be about fabrics and textiles while waiting in anticipation to see "The Dress." Some of my drawings early in the year were about that, but as things rode on, things happened that took my attention in a serious way.
The earthquake in Japan was and still is very upsetting because I don't know how or where a friend is in that region.
The detainment of Ai Weiwei is also upsetting because he is a person I knew many years ago if only briefly. I feel very upset that someone I knew even a little bit is possibly being abused in a Chinese prison which is a horrifc experience for anyone who has gone through it.
Someone tonight showed me a website not related to weddings, with a reference to the use of veils as a metaphor. I also have a commission in process which fabrics ae used in the imagery. So, even after tomorrow's events textiles and fabrics are still going to be what my art is about.
Add a bit about friendship: missing friends and nice gestures that friends do is in the works in my art.
I have some free time coming up in the coming days and next week. I hope to be able to sit and get some of this done as it is on my mind.
A sketch in a small sketchbook done on the airplane coming back from an art trip to Japan for new works based on the trip. The sketchbook was bought in Hiroshima City, Japan. The subject is inspired from a performance of Kagura I saw in Hiroshima Prefecture. I tried to remember a move I saw in the dance but the costume here is based on Japanese style of clothing, however the surface design of it is from my imagination.
How did this happen? My hand span has extended one inch from the late nineties. Back then, I measured my han span from thumb to pinky and it was 7", maybe 7 1/2". It was an important measurement because the way to measure fabric for making traditional Japanese clothing, which I was doing back then and with fabrics I designed and hand block printed, is to use the hand span as a base for the rest of the proportions of the kimono. Today to begin planning another one I did a hand measurement and it is now 8".
That was maybe twelve years ago. Woman in my age group are supposed to shrink. The only things I can think of that would make this happen is that I did consume a lot of dairy products during this time period. I don't take vitamins and am not on any medication so I tend to listen to my body's needs. Calcium has been one intense craving the last 15 or so years. I never ignore it. I can't. It's intense. I have no idea of what the consequences of ignoring the calcium crave and I never want to know. The other one is that during that time period I was working at my day work and also at night which was walking intensive. My bones were under a lot of stress and there was often pain.
I do know I did shrink an inch, but lately have been feeling taller again. Is it possible to actually re strengthen from bone loss from stress and have even the hands lengthen?
Well, anyway, the calculations I did in a rush yesterday to make what I want to make need to be reworked because I was planning on making it out of individual blocks.