Tuesday, June 8, 2010

the charms of past-prime

My etegami colleagues and I purposely seek out oddly shaped vegetables and fruits for our once-monthly "Group of Four" workshops. If they are over-ripe, scarred, or bug-eaten, all the better. These make great subjects for etegami. We do that with fall leaves too, picking out the slightly torn or bug-eaten ones over the "perfect" specimens. I began to notice, however, that we don't do that with flowers. What is it about bug-eaten, torn, or past-prime flowers that we've decided doesn't suit etegami? Maybe it's because I'm "past-prime" myself that I've begun to wonder about these things.

The other day I went into my front yard to pick some flowering weeds for the morning's etegami session. I especially adore dandelions. But that particular day, none were at their peak. So I grabbed a handful of scraggly-looking ones and drew them anyway. I must have drawn dozens before I finally began to feel I was starting to capture their charm-- the particular charm of "not-prime" as the world would judge them. It's a subject I think I will pursue a bit more. In the meantime, I've attached two pieces for you to ponder. The words accompanying the yellow one are the standard ones used when a shop is "Closed for Business Today."


  1. I love your でぼら stamp. The charm of flowers past (or prior to) their prime puts me in mind of a Robert Frost poem celebrating the bare trees of November, after they've lost their leaves but before the snow comes to clothe them again. Something we see a lot of in these parts.


  2. Cool. I love Robert Frost, but I'm not familiar with that poem. I'll look it up in my big Frost anthology asap!

  3. Wilma, I got your note and address. Thanks!