Also I've realized that my art pieces do not translate accurately enough just through flat photographs like on my website as they are replete with textures and different techniques, so I am going to try to post images of the pieces from different angles, etc on my blog. Or I may just upload a video.
Anyways to the exciting stuff...
Last November I took a trip to Japan for three weeks visiting many country side towns and loving the traditional Japanese cultural roots. The leaves were changing colors and it was a treat for the senses. I have always been drawn to the Ojizo-sama which are Japanese divinities or symbols of guardian and protection, in particular children and travelers; they can be found in the most remote places all around Japan. Although they are usually made of stone they seem to have a life and soul of their own. Each one is totally unique and have different expressions, gestures, or postures. People usually make hats, scarves, bibs, etc to keep them warm and show their respect, also leaving flowers, and food.
When I came back from the trip my sketch book was full of Ojizo drawings and I started the painting above. At this time I was not aware of the traumatic and devastating events that were to take place. After the earth quakes and tsunami happened for some reason the painting stopped progressing; maybe a part of me wasn't ready to let go of the little figures watching over me in my studio. Maybe as I had such a wonderful experience in Ofunato (one of the ocean side towns I visited) where the scenery and people were friendly and beautiful, I could not come to terms with the fact that it was now completely engulfed in water, destroyed, and full of chaos and lost souls. I am sure the reasons are many but eventually I came back to the piece and felt ready to proceed. Now complete, I look at it and there is so much life and comfort translated throughout, I am very happy with how it turned out.
Every one of my art pieces go through life experiences and progresses with me, at times it can look disheveled and a complete mess, but time mends and I keep moving forward; this one went through a heck of a transition, WOW, I mean at one point I had colored sugar crystals stuck in the acrylic medium (in Japan the confection is called 'konpeito') which I had to make sure didn't affect the longevity, and properties of the acrylics, WHICH IT DID as it started to weeeeep the colors they were dyed! So I pried them out and had to sand the surface down, etc; very appropriate and in keeping with everyone's reaction and recovery process, never an easy road, at times unexpected and you feel like crap but one step at a time with hope and inner spirit we can heal and create or find a better solution and place (internal or external). I believe spirituality protects; humanity, individual souls, and lives, rebuilds places, gives reason and purpose.
So, I did not expect to write so much but sometimes the story behind the piece is the treasure:) There are also flowers and Japanese maple leaves which I collected, pressed and kept from/throughout the trip within the piece. The next two pieces are quite straight forward compared to the above. Sculpted, dyed, handmade paper incorporated into acrylic medium, mosaic glass tiles (which make the SHIELDS OF BLUE piece super heavy), and many many layers of color that you can sort of make out when you see them up close.
Thank you so much for reading, you are in my thoughts and I hope you have a wonderful long weekend!!!
SHIELDS OF BLUE
WHERE ARE WE GOING?