Monday, October 1, 2018

Creativity Takes Courage

This summer, I submitted one of my quilts to a call for entry from a Gallery in Gainesville, Florida, about 70 miles  from my home.  The title of the call - Creativity Takes Courage - caught my attention, and got me thinking about what art pieces might be entered.  I gathered up some courage, and submitted my little drummer boy piece, called Fiddlesticks.


To my delight, my work was juried into the exhibit.  This was a nationwide call for entry. There were 330 pieces submitted by 170 artists, and 63 works by 52 artists were selected by the jurors. 
 (I'm always interested in these kinds of entry statistics.)
  
The opening reception was Friday evening.  I debated about whether or not to make the drive, but I was curious to see the other work, so I went.  Not too far into the journey, an extreme lightning and rainstorm appeared.  And stayed.  I considered turning back when it got really hard to see what was ahead of me.  But I thought about courage, and leaned closer to the windshield, and kept driving.

I was sure that because this event was far from home, I would not know anyone at the reception.  Less than two minutes after arriving at the Gainesville Fine Art Association gallery, and as I began looking at the work, I heard my name called.  It was a friend from SAQA - an international organization of fiber artists.  She had previously lived in Tampa, where we met at a local SAQA meeting.  We enjoyed catching up, since I don't see her anymore, now that she lives in Gainesville. 

I wish i had taken photos of some of the other work.   It was a wide range - paintings, photography, drawings, collage, clay, fiber work, even wood pieces.  They called the artists to the front and had us introduce ourselves.  I was surprised to hear the name of one of my former elementary (and high school) Art students -  Michelle Nagri, who received a Judges' Recognition Award for her photography! 


Behind me is a beautiful fiber work by Gainesville artist Candace McCaffery.  So, I'm very glad that I made the effort to attend the reception and was able to reconnect with these two ladies. 
I did take a couple of snaps of my work, because I was tickled that they placed the musicians next to my drummer. 






The exhibit will be open through November 10 at the GFAA gallery.  Check it out, if you're nearby.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

January in Japan - second half of tour

Since it was six months ago, I'll share directly from my journal.
 Tuesday, 1-23-18
 I met a young woman from Oregon at breakfast.  She is here, and in China, studying ancient math.

We're beyond the halfway point of the tour now.  Continuing to have magical experiences every day.




We started today with a lovely batik workshop - tracing designs with wax onto Tshirts.  I chose a fish pattern.  The work space was small, so our group divided in half for today's adventures. 



In this workspace were lovely rolls for printing patterns on yukata (summer kimono) fabrics.  We were told that unfortunately, fewer and fewer are wearing kimono.




The master had us dip our shirts into indigo dye, then the shirts were hung to oxidize.  Next he boiled them in soapy water, and transferred them to the scrubbing team!  I missed the drying part, because I was shopping, but then they neatly folded and packaged our shirts for us.  This is a family operation, and the lady to the right of the master is his mother!







We then visited shrines, gardens, a Zen rock garden, the Gion geisha district, and a silk weaving studio, where fabrics are woven for kimono, obi (belts) and Noh costumes.
First, the weaving studio:
Unfortunately, they didn't allow photographs inside the weaving workspace, but we got to get up close to see artisans at work.

 Here we are visiting Kinkakuji Temple, known as the Golden Pavillion.  This is only half of our tour group.  



I have captured nearly 4000 images now!  I'm charging batteries every day. 

The (15) rocks in the Zen garden reminded me of scenes in the Japanese countryside, Thanksgiving, and a mama gorilla.



  There was a water feature there with Kanji symbols from an ancient coin - which mean, "I choose to be content."  Lovely thought. 


This is a very serene and spiritual place.  Even the walk back to the bus was calming.



Next, as evening fell, we went to the Gion district and hoped to find ladies studying to become geisha!  Here's a look:



We happened across this exhibit, which we were unable to visit, but were happy to find anyway:




Restaurant workers were washing the street to let people know that they were getting ready to open for business.
People were shopping.
I enjoyed seeing these silk banners in many places.  Later in the trip, I was able to purchase a set to bring home with me.


People here have such beautiful attitudes.  They aim for perfect service and attention to their tasks.  90% is not good enough.  They practice respectfulness always.  They do allow smoking in restaurants.  But there is honesty, patience, and safety here.  And happiness.  It's lovely.





A few tidbits from our guide:  Japan has survived Tsunami, fire, earthquake, and bombardment.  they are always rebuilding. 
Art flourishes when there is no war.
When you are 15 years of age, you decide your future career.  You will do one thing and master it.




  This has been a fantastic experience, and I am LOVING the opportunity to spend some time here.