Monday Bunday, rabbits got to Boyfriend's Spinoza, he is NOT very happy about this style of bookmarking. Bad rabbits or just food for thought; you be the judge.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
This is an Artist's Proof (AP) of my next Moku Hanga. The subject here is Bandit, a fabulous rabbit, now passed, a good friend for nine years. The print is four colors and five printings, the whiskers are done separately, it is impossible to cut and print crisp intersections of thin lines. An AP means the artist is still in process with the piece, for instance seeing this I think I want to thin down the lines a bit, especially in the top of the head and the ears, particularly the inner line of the right ear. My idea of overprinting the top of the rear with blue so it would fade back didn't work well, so I will cut back the blue on that part. I think the grey in the ears could be little more prominent, so I will try printing the pink first, to see if that will change the tones a bit. The blue on the background feels too jumpy to me, but then I am still waiting for my Pigment Dispersions from Guerra. The original thought was to do Bokashi, gradation, across the top, and I still want to try that. This time I had my paper a bit wet, you can see the black looking not quite crisp enough. Practice, practice, practice 10,0000 times!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Summer Horse with all Season Rabbits
I think the blog title, which is a quote from the Nei Jing, says much, and there is much written about the correct way to navigate your way through the seasons and their transitions so as to enjoy optimal health and avoid illness. Correct conduct during a season will decrease chances of illness during the next. I have a book with entertaining and esoteric advice for each Qi Node of the year (there are 24); what color jade to wear, when you should practice Nei Gong (and what direction you should face), how often to have sex, that sort of thing. It can be a bit overwhelming and would take many postings of background Chinese Medical explanations. So without getting too complex (I actually like things to be simple) here is the deal. Our human bodies, despite "civilization", are still closely connected to the natural world. Our systems respond to the seasonal change with a shift in metabolism. Don't fight it. Nature is way bigger than we are, it is always good to align oneself with the biggest thing around, that's plain survival sense. Take a look at what nature is doing during the Summer; she is doing a lot everything is busy like the bees; all is industry and fruition. Summer is a good time to do alot, it is OK to multi-task during the Summer, not like the Winter when nature is in waiting and hibernation mode. Since Summer is hot it is both a good time to collect some heat for the Winter, particularly if you tend to be cold, and a time to avoid getting too much heat. Too heat heat can accumulate in the body and express itself in various heat pattern diseases like in
somnia, heart palpitations, skins eruptions, anxiety. Lest you think you understand, heat is not the only culprit for these conditions, now you know a little how I felt at school learning this stuff. One way to stay cool is to eat cooling foods, that is not food that is cool in temperature, but that is cool by its nature; energetically cool. Some of these foods are cucumbers (bet you knew that already), greens, watermelon, Snow Peas, Cilantro, Mint, Barley, Buckwheat, tomatoes, pears, Miso (the live kind from the refridgerated section at the market),green tea, white fish, and ham (no nitrates). Eating all cooling foods can lead to too much dampness so use moderate amounts of slightly warming foods like fresh ginger, scallions, and garlic. Foods to avoid are greasy or deep fried things, soybeans, coffee and sugary sweets. Don't overeat during the Summer, have smaller meals and light snacks. As Summer wears on pace yourself, don't burn out; Even though you can do alot; relax too, travel, go someplace new. Here is the worst case Summer scenario, really asking for heat trouble; you go to the Beach and have a Bar-B-Que starting at noon, consume massive amounts of slightly burnt chicken smoothered in store bought BBQ sauce and Macaroni Salad made with plenty of store bought Mayonaise, You drink some beer and have a couple of shoots of tequila and then have some ice cream. You get sunburned and there is a parking ticket on your car when you finally decide it is time to go home. A bit exaggerated, I admit, here's what is sub-optimal. Noon outside should be avoided in most climes, Chicken is a heating meat made doubly so by burning it over flames, most industrialized foods are very hot (make your own Mayonaise, you can do it!), alcohol is also heating, even though ice cream is cold in temperature, it has sugar which is heating, plus eating cold stuff compromises the stomach's ability to digest and food stays around and gets hot and damp like a compost pile. Sunburn says, yup, too much sun, too much heat. The ticket on the car makes you really mad, red, hot, hopping, pissed off, and, oops, it is best to avoid extreme emotions during this season. The good news is you didn't do this! it wasn't you. You lead a moderate life, respecting Summer and using it's marvelous Yang energy to further your own fabulous and book worthy life. You can read more on Summer HERE. If you have any questions, go ahead and leave them on comments and I will try to answer.
RABBIT TIPS Heat can be very hard on rabbits. Help them though the heat wet their ears or give them a little cold pack. As you can see a couple favorite rabbit herbs are also cooling; cilantro and mint. In fact most fresh rabbit food is cooling, so that's easy.
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Moku Hanga is the art of Japanese woodblock printing. The most well known examples of Moku Hanga are the Ukiyo-e or floating world prints. There are a few contemporary artists pursuing this ancient art and I was lucky to attend a weekend workshop with one of them, April Vollmer. Along with 10 other like minded persons I learned the basics for cutting, registering, and printing woodcuts. New words like Kento, Toh, Goma, and Bokashi were learned by necessity. It is definitely not as easy as April makes itlook. Tyler and Sydney did not attend (you really need thumbs to do this) but were very much present in my little 7 1/2 by 6 inch design. Having spent a good deal of time in the Print Studio at UCSC just years and years ago, after about two prints, even though it wasn't going so well because I'd gotten my poor block all blocked up, I fell into the old enchantments of printing. First to get that perfect print that somehow transcends your original drawing and be able to do it again and again, well at least a couple more times. And second the intoxication of multiplicity, I think something happens your brain when you see lots and lots of an image that you worked on but now it is in reverse (remember the print is "backwards" from the block). It is somehow sheer delight. At any rate I had a great time getting back into printing and now I shall have to get some printing supplies and try to get some more good prints. I gave April the best one, she certainly deserved it. She is going to give another workshop in August if interest is strong enough, inquire about it at Cabrillo Extension. Also check out this other contemporary Moku Hanga artist, David Bull.
Monday, June 09, 2008
Thursday, June 05, 2008
There is a gas station just up the street and everyday the prices are higher. I cannot say for sure that the rise in gas prices has translated to less cars on the roads in Santa Cruz, California, but on the San Francisco Bay Area TV news some people were saying they would stay home this summer. The news caster termed this behavior as a "staycation". It was even reported that some people are trying to sell their SUVs, good luck on that. We won't be taking any sort of massive driving vacation, even though my car gets spiffy mileage (42 mpg freeway). Although my last really great vacation was about 20 years ago.....yes, I know I went to Costa Rica with the 8th grade four years ago as a chaperon, and it was different; men with sub-machine guns guarding restaurants is exciting; but one was always "on the job"; "Christina, the reason those men are staring at you is because you have barely any clothes on, most women in this country are little more covered, do you have a full length Tee shirt?". A really great vacation, in my mind, and I will have to take it in my mind, I think, is one where the vacationer becomes so immersed that she/he simply loses track of self and through this feels transformed. This occurrence cannot be planned, you just don't know what the trigger for the experience will be. This experience can happen at times other than vacation, but somehow it is special when it happens in new place, or one of particular splendor, or even one that required much traveling effort. It does seem to be easier to maintain this lost but good feeling when on vacation, I suppose that is why Europeans take a full month every single year. In an effort to find a small vacation a couple of weeks ago I took a very short trip up the coast with my new tiny traveling paint set and my new tiny paper and painted the above. It was an interesting challenge painting so small and all. I'm not sure if I achieved full lost immersion, but I did get a little taste of it. More on summer, including proper conduct during same for better health in the next season, with the next post.