Monday, February 28, 2011

Spring Flowers

Spring Flowers from Toyo Junior High School
pencil on paper

My first year students at Toyo JHS gave me a beautiful bouquet of flowers and many thank you messages. I am grateful for having such amazing students and teachers. I spent the weekend taking in the flowers' fragrance while watching them open. There were too many flowers to draw, so I tried to capture a little of each of them.

February Fun

Silhouette Oslo
handmade stamp on paper

Lindsay and Tim gave me a great art book about silhouettes. I made a teapot as my first idea and then tried some others unsuccessfully. Oslo is Tim and Lindsay's dog. I got this inspiration from two photographs that they posted on facebook. I am working on other drawings from the area to create silhouette stamps.

handmade stamps on paper

A theme from Pyar.

Oslo takes the Circus
handmade stamps on paper

I asked Pyar to give me some themes for my pre-painting exercises and made this for his 'circus' prompt. I had just made the Oslo stamp and wanted him to be playful.

Wave Studies
pencil in sketchbook and handmade stamps

I made two wave stamps after making various sketches.

Ocean Blue
handmade stamps on paper

A collection of images stamped with the watermark stamp pad.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Minabe Plum Forest

Ume Blossoms
pencil on paper

A sketch of plum blossoms in Minabe's Plum Forest. We met some friends and had a nice picnic under the blossoms. It was a great place to draw. We tried potato mochi for the first time, it was delicious. Our friend Paul and his Taiko group played drums for some entertainment. In the afternoon, there was a mochi throwing session, many people dove for the treats. I was on the sidelines laughing. The last one of these I witnessed was dangerous. One piece hit my raised hand and fell at my feet, when I knelt to pick it up a little old lady dove for it between my feet. It was ridiculous. So, today, I took solace in the blossom's beauty.

Ume Branches and Blossoms
handmade stamps on paper

When we arrived home, I worked on my ume blossoms sketch. With a few modifications, I simplified the drawing to make reference drawings for stamps.
This piece is composed of five stamps.


Sketch of Spring Flowers
pencil on paper

Kennis brought me to her Ikebana class Friday night. As a favor, her Sensei, Ohara Sensei let me try to make an arrangement with their help. I also got to bring home the arrangement and vase. I made several sketches of the arrangement while lit from the afternoon sun.
Thank you Kennis!

Sketch of Spring Flowers II
pencil on paper

Sketch of Flower Drawing on Train
pencil on paper

There were several painted trains at Wakayama station when we arrived to go to Koyasan.
I liked the graphic quality of flowers and tried to copy it for a stamp idea.

Bees in Tanabe and Minabe

Bees in Honey
handmade stamp on paper

We saw many bees today in Minabe (neighboring town) sipping on the nectar from the many ume (plum) blossoms. It made me very very happy to watch them buzz from blossom to blossom. Spring is here.

In Flight
handmade stamp on paper

I have been wanting to make stamps that indicate movement. Movement inspired the running deer, the bent ferret and now the double bee.

New Stamp Friends

Rock Garden for Lewis Dad
handmade stamp on paper

Inspired by Koyasan Temples.
Happy Birthday Lewis!!

Cardinals for Mom and Grandmom

handmade stamp on paper

Cardinal finds Rock Garden
handmade stamp on paper

Running Deer
handmade stamp on paper

Miyamoto Sensei brought some sweets back from her trip to Hiroshima. The paper they were wrapped in had many deer and reindeer, so I used two designs to make this design.

New Stamps

Ferret for Pyar
handmade stamp on paper

Pyar has good memories of his sister's pet ferret. He especially liked how slinky their bodies move. I tried to emulate that movement in this stamp for Pyar. He likes it.

Otter Fun
handmade stamps on paper

Crossing Wires
handmade stamp on paper

This was inspired by a sweet card Danielle made for me. I love male cardinal's color. They remind me of my Grandmother Matilda. Thank you Danielle.

Clouds for Jessica
handmade stamp on paper

One of Jessica's shirts inspired me to make dots on clouds. Thank you J!!

Ranking in Japan (not raking)
Cloud, Cardinal, Ferret, Deer, Rock Garden

To Tim and Lindsay,

This story from Japan is about the rock gardens that dream when blue dotted cloud like shapes drop things onto them so that the gardener would have to rake everyday.

Koyasan Temple Stay

Snow in Tree
pencil in sketchbook

Renegejoin Temple in Koyasan is one of our favorite places in Japan. We stayed there again for a weekend in February just to see the snow. The temple is stunning in any season. I gave myself ten minutes to work on this one after warming up with other sketches. I wanted to render snow without anything behind it in order to indicate the tree's isolation.

Sketch of Middle Rock Garden with Shadow
pencil in sketchbook

This sketch was done from across our room in order to frame a section in the windows.
I sat under the kotatsu (heated table) and tried to see the white on white while the snow continued to fall.

Sketch of Middle Rock Garden
pencil in sketchbook

On our second night, we had a wonderful large room that overlooked the central rock garden. Since it was so cold and snowed all weekend, the stillness was mesmerizing. It was difficult to find the difference between the snow and the branches.

Bird Resting
pencil in sketchbook

There were many screens and doors with paintings in the temple. This sketch was done in our room on the second night. We made voices for many of the birds, they all seemed to have flamboyant personalities, especially the ones with the red feet.

Sketch for Rock Garden stamp
pencil in sketchbook

This is a small sketch of the front rock garden. Idea for stamp making.