Monday, September 29, 2008

Monday Bunday

What's this? An attempt to market quantum physics to rabbit fans? Or just a cute cover. This little book, an acquisition of Boyfriend, carries the following endorsement from Michio Kaku (you know, the guy who wrote Hyperspace, Parallel Worlds and Einstein's Cosmos)  "Mr. Bruce is our expert guide on a wild, thought-provoking ride through the Twilight Zone world of Quantum theory, where objects can be two places at the same time, disappear and reappear somewhere else and exist simultaneously in many parallel universes." But wait, we already know rabbits, appear and disappear and exist simultaneously, and have pictures to prove it on Sticky Buns. Thanks to Rabbits Guy from Houseful of Rabbits, Sticky Buns got a new look and is looking. good. If you would like to play Sticky Buns here is the lowdown. You don't have to have a rabbit to play this public art rabbit game, just borrow a rabbit photo and get hopping.

The Name of the Game: Sticky Buns
The Mission: To create awareness of the wonderful house bunnies which fill our lives with so much joy!
The Modus Operandi: Stick pictures of your beloved bunnies (actually any bunny will do, it's OK to use someone else's bunny is this way) in public places, the stranger the place, the better! Just don't break any laws....or if you do bring extra bunny stickers for the jail cell.
The How-To's:
1. Print picture of rabbit on sticker paper or any paper you desire.
2. Find a spot to stick your rabbit (the picture, NOT the actual rabbit).
3. Snap a photo to show where the rabbit sticker has been placed.
4. Post photo on blog.
5. Visit either A Houseful of Rabbits or The Qi Papers, and leave a comment to inform us there is a Sticky Bun posted.
6. We will collect the picture from your blog and it will be posted on Sticky Buns. Your buns will be famous!
7. If you don't have a blog leave Email at the above blogs and we will contact you in that way.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Power and The Glory, Part Two; Rabbits and Spots

Having failed in my true mission of finding rabbits in the Ming Dynasty, I began to search amongst the permanent collection at the Asian Art Museum. Several years ago the AAM had a special exhibit on Taoist Arts, there were plenty of rabbits then. My first lagomorphic spotting, other than a rabbit card in the gift store, was this little netsuke
A neat and compact design solution.

Where there is one rabbit there is likely another, or two, and I spied these two. 
A sweet and lively composition.

Some nice spots were in evidence in the form of this lovely pot, which I am sure Tyler and Sydney would appreciate, especially if it were filled with their current bink-worthy favorite garden fresh Chicory. 

Random can be very  sophisticated.

An enlightened Buddha took on spots, whether by design or happenstance, it is a handsome look. 
Spots and quite simple but effective rendering of stylized drapery.

And then I saw my Sydney! What was she doing here?  

She really can look just like this! ! ! ! 

On closer examination I found this artifact  labeled:  "Incense Burner in the shape of a Mythical Beast." As you can see Sydney can adopt a very similar posture with forefeet wide and nose looking oh so square. 
Sydney also has very red shiny eyes in the direct light.

Although I don't have a good photo of it yet, she can also go very pigeon toed like this mythical beast. 
This one looks a bit disapproving.....

When I was thinking about having Sydney come and live with her brother the director of Rabbit Haven said "She is a very powerful rabbit." I did not pursue inquiry and she did not elaborate, but perhaps this is was she was talking about. 

Happy thump day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Power and The Glory

Pictures are NOT from the Special Ming Dynasty Exhibit,
 they are from the permanent collection....

This head is at least four feet high, 
both simple and massive it reflects 
a serene Buddha mind.

This recently passed Friday, having been abandoned at the very last minute by both son and boyfriend*, I set off on my own to the Ming Dynasty exhibit at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco. It was a glorious day to be driving up the coast, the ocean in my left and a clear blue sky above. The further north one goes the higher and wilder the hills get, mostly tawny brown and olive green this time of year. Here and there bright green geometric shapes of irrigated agriculture punctuate the wilderness. I arrived without mishap and dove my little blue car, known as "Little Blue", down  into an underground parking.
This Buddha seems a bit coy
with his hand gesture and asymetrical posture.

Paid for admission, stopped in the rest room, cleaned my glasses and set off, ready to be stunned by the exhibit subtitled "Power and Glory". I went to what was supposed to the last room first by mistake or just plain ignorance. Unfortunately photography is NOT permitted in special exhibits, just on the 2nd and 3 rd floors of the museum, so I cannot show you what I saw. (Not strictly true I could scan some images from the exhibit catalog.)  At first I thought "what is the big deal", dutifully, I read placards and gazed at six foot tall portraits; noting that the Minister Gu Lin seemed to suffer from strabismus (wall eye). The realistic portrayal of this way ward eye reflects the accuracy of at least the face portion of these hanging scrolls.
I have never seen a multi-armed Buddha before, 
but maybe I just haven't been around.

Most often painted during the lifetime of the subject, they were hung on a wall behind an altar table with incense burners for the family members to worship. Whether it was the bi-directional stare of the minister or my mind simply catching up with my body I suddenly realized that these people didn't have machines, or computer programmed lasers, or Photoshop, or even internet craft suppliers. The perfectly woven yellow silk robe, which I thought a bit garish and the scales on the dragon on the robe which I found very much too even, too machine made, wasn't machine made, but was a tribute to the honed and practiced skill
 of the human hand or more probably dozens of hands.
Isn't she just lovely? I'd have her over for tea
 but I don't know how many cups to put out.

Delicately executed ink brush tones, exquisite calligraphy, 12 foot long scrolls showing the pursuits of the nobility, a pillow made from purple mahogany in the shape of a lotus leaf, 
on and on. Not all was perfect dragons chasing the pearl of great price, there was a little wine cup which showed a scholar with his pet goose awaiting his mentor, a scroll that included 
a courtesan playing  soccer, a very popular game at the time.
This fellow sports spots and stripes; a tiger leopard ? 
He is certainly pleased with himself.

The Ming Dynasty had quite a fleet of sailing ships, the size of the ships themselves made Columbus' ships look like a mouse next to a lion. More perfect brocade and silk weavings and a ceramic lion gate piece, which alone seemed awesome but it was part of a 24 piece set. 
Boggled and starving I stumbled into the somewhat over priced museum cafe`. It all that perfection and refinement makes one feel very small and insignificant, but I suppose that is the point, isn't it?
Nice shapes make this camel and the face 
seems to disapprove of over loading.

After lamb curry with actual Asian green beans and basmati rice. which was not inspired, but seemed sustaining, I glided smoothly up the escalator to floors where photographer was allowed. On entering the Buddha room I felt better. Could have been the effect of food, but I do have a weakness for Buddhas. My real work started here, since I had failed in my true mission in the Ming exhibit. My true mission being to find rabbits.
This stag is from Northern Iran, 1200-800 BCE, 
I love his simple geometric shapes and earthy smoothness.

On the 2nd and 3rd floors I found some nice animals, and some multi- armed deities, for which I also have a pronounced weakness. Of course, Ganesha is always a hit with me, being both animal and a multi-armed. This particular Ganesha had a slot in his pedestal for offerings. I put in a handful of change. As a remover of obstacles his services always come in handy.

Next Time: Rabbits and Some Spots at the Asian Art Museum.

Isn't Ganesha very nice ?

* They both had fairly good reasons....

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Printing This Week

Center: carved wood block. Clockwise from top left: Sumi ink, 
pigment dispersions, Baren, brushes, carving tools.

I've been printing all this week, well not all this week, between this and that I've been printing. I pulled almost a hundred Moku Hanga prints. All the work is done by hand; carving, inking and pressing. Printing Moku Hanga is, for me, a tricky balance between water, ink, and pressure. The paper is damp, softened, this helps the ink enter into the paper. It is a different look than other printing which is on top of the paper. The block is also dampened, but not too much, or you'll get a mottling called "goma" or sesame seeds. Too much ink or not enough produces a less than adequate result. Likewise with pressure.......
How does this happen? Funny rabbits playing tricks on me !

 I always make a silly topsy turvy mistake and get a print or two or three turned around. Even though it is perfectly simple to get things right, it just happens; mischievous elves (or more likely trickster rabbits ) are about, I suppose. Although not all 100 prints were perfect, a slew of them were not bad; a decent harvest.
Here's small sampling of my print harvest.
 Someday I'll be able to keep the margins clean (maybe......)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Everybun is Art

The Basics: Make a big sticker of your rabbit and stick it up in an interesting, strange, etc....sort of a place. Take a picture and post it on your blog including a link to the main site. Rabbit's Guy, when he isn't dodging bullets, will get the image off your blog and include it in the main site, which he is going to make and manage in between cleaning up rabbits. The main site will be a place where all the pics are displayed.
Sydney wanted to be on a fire hydrant too...

We Need a Name: Pick one or two of your favs from these humble entries and let me know in comments. You may also include ideas of your own. We will be narrowing the choices down a few times, I think....
Stuck Up Rabbits
Sticky Buns
Buns in Strange Places
Sticky Rabbits
Stick on Rabbits
Rabbits For All
Stuck On Rabbits
Your Idea________

Mission Statement: We are a diverse group of humans who adore rabbits. We come from all over the globe. Our lives are enriched by interacting with these personable and surprising mammals; Leporidae Lagomorpha. We think the world would be a better place with more images of of rabbits. These stickerings are part guerrilla art statement and part art simply for public appreciation.( Please feel free to make suggestions on this part too, this is all a WIP (work in progress ! ))

Artsy Craftsy: When I made the Tyler and Sydney stickers I used Avery Sticker Project Paper 3383 for Ink Jet, these are simple 81/2 by 11 inch removable sticker sheets. After choosing a photo I simply printed it out and then cut out the rabbit. This last part is optional, there is not reason you couldn't use the whole thing for your rabbit statement.  It is important to use removable stickers just in case someone thinks you are defacing property, it isn't permanent, Dude, so chill. If you don't have a printer, OK, Email me your photo(s) and address and make you some. If you don't have a rabbit and want to participate Email me your address and I'll send you some Sydneys and Tylers.

In Closing: Keep your eyes on Houseful of Rabbits and here too for further developments . I hope I haven't forgotten too much, last nightat midnight I woke up with a jolt because there was an ant crawling IN MY EAR. I tried being patient, I tried using gravity to convince the little fellow to leave, I tried creating a vacuum with my hand. I imagined I might shove it further into my ear with a Qtip, but it was driving me NUTS, a Qtip worked just fine. It was hard to get back to sleep after that and I imagine I'm not really all here.....

Tyler is concerned with the safety of our neighborhood streets.

Have lovely weekends everyone and everybun.