Sunday, October 30, 2011

To Journalfest

A brand new journal cover made for Journalfest

and supplies packed in a heavy suitcase bound for Port Townsend.  I am excited about my three classes and to see old friends and make new ones.

Remembering a Family Legacy

Whenever my family gathered together, all of my cousins gathered around Grandpa Iwataki as he told us stories of his samurai father and our heritage.  We would settle in around him in rapt attention after a day of running in his back yard.  He sat below the photograph of is father so from our vantage points as little ones, we would look up and see them both at the same time.  In his broken English we would  hear that family is the most important thing, that  his  samurai father was the leader of our clan.  I carry these stories in my heart. I pass them on to my son to remember always and remind him to think of the strength of his samurai great great grandfather whenever he has a difficult time.  I have visited my family gravesite nestled in a bamboo grove above a 400 year old Buddhist temple in Sakura, Japan.  The mother of the monk lit incense in a metal lantern and carried it as I followed her to the site.  If I close my eyes I can still inhale the smells, hear the rustling leaves, and feel the carved cold concrete gravestones.  Here is my grandfather on the left, his father and older brother.

Grandpa Iwataki immigrated to 'Amerika' in the early 1900's in search for a new life.  The feudal system in Japan had disbanded, the nobel samurai class no longer a viable lifestyle.  Later Grandma came in an arranged marriage.  She, an educated young woman, unusual for her time, came in hopes of the freedom she read was available to women here.  They pose in front of their house, the home my fondest childhood memories.

Thank you to all who have come here through the sweet Rebecca.  I have been out of town and not able to visit and comment on your blogs but will be catching up with you this week.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Remembering Mom

She met the love of her life at Santa Anita Racetrack.  It was 1942.  After the bombing at Pearl Harbor the Japanese people living on the West Coast were ordered to pack one suitcase and report to an assigned Assembly Center.  The racetrack was one of the centers.  Each family lived in a newly whitewashed horse stall.  She met him there.  Both were barely 20 years old.  He was nicknamed 'Hollywood' for his good looks, she, the youngest of four, longing for her own identity.  Later each were moved with their families  to Arkansas but at different Internment camps.  They corresponded over the next four years and married at the end of World War II in Chicago after they were released from the camps.  I admire Mom's fortitude, her gentle and kind nature, her ability to remain sweet and loving through hardships.  I remember waking up early as a child to sit with Mom as she got ready for work.  I sat in the steamy bathroom after her shower and watch her powder her face in a comfortable  silence.  To this day I am an early riser, long before the sun is up.  

Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Simple Warm Up Offers Deeper Answers

I get endless pleasure from creating quick journal pages with magazine images,





Also in the process when words are added to seemingly random images torn from a magazine,  
answers come  to questions I did not know I had 
I develop a personal code of communication with my inner self 
a message emerges that makes me think more deeply about life 
I work out a difficult issue
I just have fun.

Magic happens in the simple act of ripping and gluing.
Do you find this to be true?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Remembering

A gathering of materials to use in my retablo project for my experimental art group.
As I looked around my house the ceramic bride and groom from my parents wedding cake caught my heart and a theme began to resonate.  I printed their wedding photo,  looked through family boxes, reminisced.  I was sidetracked time and time again but finally had a stack of assorted memorabilia.

A wooden box painted with gesso.  I think the bamboo handle gives a nice Asian touch.

I considered putting the cake topper in this lovely hand made box, a gift.

At our meeting Pat Wooley gave a presentation on retablos and showed some of her creations.

That was all it took.  I painted the wooden box, played with background arrangements.  

Added this fan I found in one of my family boxes and voila.  There is a piece of frame on the top but I changed it adding dried acorns I picked up in Northern California.  A huge part of the enjoyment came from sweet memories of my parents through the years.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

It's October!

And I have been making collage papers from magazines for the retablo I'm making tomorrow.

Painting faces in phone books thanks to Katie's fab-u-lo-so online class.

More creatures came visiting. This time a colorful flock of winged friends.

While I know that creativity is a fickle playmate, I am grateful for the bounty of the season.
What are you creating?