#twitterartexhibit 2014 in Orlando

hand-dyed paper, collage, and ink

I’m very excited to introduce a new piece of art that will be part of an international group art exhibition in Orlando, FL this year.  This show features postcard art from all over the world and will benefit The Center for Contemporary Dance, Special Needs Students.  It runs from March 20 – April 11, 2014.  You can check out the awesome entries online.

Although there is no theme, some people chose to honor the art of dance.  I originally titled my piece Japanese Fans.  But do you notice anything special about the fans?  First of all, they’re all cut from different paper, symbolizing the unique identify of each individual.  What about the placement of the fans on the postcard?  Do you feel a sense of movement?  Like they might just dance off the page?  I hope so!  That’s why I decided to rename them Dancing Japanese Fans.  But for the exhibition, they will be labeled with the original title.  That way the message will be open for viewers to interpret.  Whatever people take away from the piece is fine, but I hope they will see that despite our differences in appearance and ability, we are all united by dance 🙂 

As to the process, I wanted to reflect my connection to and affinity for Japanese culture.  The fan shapes were cut from papers that I hand-dyed myself using liquid watercolor and a Japanese folding technique.  Then I created a collage with the fans and added ink as a final touch.  Voila!

The Japanese Fan Dance has been around for centuries.  Although the fans originally represented high social status, they now symbolize friendship and are often exchanged as signs of good will and respect for one another.    

Japanese fans are considered highly symbolic, with the handle of the fan representing birth and the blades symbolizing many possible paths in life.  What path will you take in life?  Will you hide behind your fan?  Consider letting your unique self show and maybe even dance!

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Telling a Story with Pictures

Japanese sumi-e ink and collage on rice paper

Japanese sumi-e ink and collage on rice paper

Happy Friday!  Welcome to my current style.  I’m also practicing the idea of carrying a character from illustration to illustration.  What do you think will happen next???

Quotes for Your Arsenal

Here are some quotes to keep you going during the change in seasons.

I just finished reading Heart of a Samurai by Margi Preus, which follows the fictionalized true story of one of  the first Japanese people to set foot in America.

“Have your whole heart bent on a single purpose.”  –from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

“When meeting difficult situations, one should rush forward bravely and with joy.  It is the crossing of a single barrier.”  –from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

“When one’s own courage is fixed in his heart, and when his resolution is devoid of doubt, then when the time comes he will of necessity be able to choose the right move.”  –from Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai

A friend recently shared this quote by Georgia O’Keeffe.  “Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing.  Making your unknown known is the important thing.”

My favorite dreamer, SARK, suggests we try not to let fog and pus get in the way of our ability to take action and make decisions.

Fear

Obligation

Guilt

&

Pressure

Urgency

Scarcity

I stumbled on the Confidence Blog by Cathy Sirett and found two great ways to unmask fear.

FEAR = Future Events Appear Real

FEAR = False Expectations Appear Real

My neighbor recently recommended an environmental fantasy movie, Beasts of the Southern Wildwhich I finally had time to watch.  Here are two of my favorite quotes from this moving film.

Hushpuppy: “The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right. If one piece busts, even the smallest piece… the entire universe will get busted.”

Hushpuppy: “I see that I’m a little piece in a big, big universe. And that makes things right. When I die, the scientists of the future, they’re gonna find it all. They gonna know, once there was a Hushpuppy.”

How will you let the world know you exist?    

Highlighting the Journey

I’m reporting live from the trenches!  Today we focus on action. Today we take a step towards our destiny. We choose a path and our journey begins. Where will your journey take you? I’m not talking about the destination. I’m talking about the places you fell down and first learned about yourself along the way.  Here are some highlights from my journey.  Keep digging!

calligraphy ink on rice paper

calligraphy ink on rice paper

This is the Japanese kanji character for zen.  I took my first Japanese language class last year, and we practiced calligraphy for the final session.  Everyone had to choose a subject.  Most people started out with something simple like “tree.”  My sensei said I chose a complicated one.  Of course!  What better way to learn than by failing from the start.  This is a zen practice, although I’m not sure I was feeling zen at the time.  We only got 3 attempts.  No pressure 😉  I chose to share this one with you because of its overall feeling.  I actually see it as two entities reaching out to each other, trying to grasp something intangible.  The best part of the class was when our sensei told us that the school was donating the calligraphy kits to us.  I got a stone and a stick of ink.  Now all I needed were brushes!

The biggest calligraphy brush ever!

The biggest calligraphy brush ever!

You can see where I’m going with this 😉  The next stop on my journey was to a brush shop at a temple in Japan.  I actually didn’t buy my brushes here, but I did find a brush stand and another unexpected treasure.  Colored inksticks!

Painting of Horses at Senjokaku Shrine

Painting of Horses at Senjokaku Shrine

Painting of Horse at Senjokaku Shrine

Painting of Horse at Senjokaku Shrine

These are photos I took of paintings I saw while visiting The Hall of a Thousand Tatami Mats, which I mentioned in a previous post.  I became really inspired by these horses in particular.  I couldn’t wait to get home and start painting some of my own!  Just remember, you only get this kind of inspiration off the beaten path.  So get going!  See where your journey takes you….