Tuesday, November 27, 2012

more snakes (and a reminder)

A reminder to those who wanted to get involved in the snake etegami call. The deadline is coming up quickly. Some great snakes have been arriving by post, and I'm hoping even more will arrive in time to be displayed in the next Etegami newsletter. In the meantime, I've been posting them on my mailart gallery blog for you to enjoy. I'm able to extend the deadline for submissions by about a week. That gives you just enough time to mail your etegami to me!

illustration friday (whiskers)

I tried to think of a more cheerful, or at least a more seasonal, visual interpretation of this week's IF prompt "whiskers." But I am still haunted by the whiskered catfish I painted to mourn the great Great Northeast Japan Earthquake of March 11, 2011.  The triple disaster of the earthquake/ tsunami/and Fukushima nuclear power plant crisis took more than 20,000 lives, mostly from drowning. More than a year and a half later, there are still about 2,800 people missing, and 34,000 refugees displaced from their homes and their vocations, unable for various reasons to get back on their feet and find a new life elsewhere. 

In Japanese mythology, a giant namazu (catfish) causes earthquakes when he stirs in the mud beneath the foundations of the earth. 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Discount Coupon Give-Away! & Outcome

I have three 20% discount codes to give away. They can be used for any etegami-inspired product(s) from my Zazzle shop. They are single-use codes, and are valid till January 31, 2013. If you'd like to put your name in the drawing, leave a comment below. I will chose three winners on Tuesday, November 27. That's in just a few days. Winners will be sent the discount code by email, so please make sure that I have a way to contact you. Scroll down the right-hand sidebar to my Zazzle link, to see if there are any products that interest you.

Nov. 27 postscript. Results of the drawing. Thanks to all who submitted their names to the drawing. Winners of the discount codes are: Lisa S; Christi B; and Laura B. If you can't find the codes in your mailbox, let me know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

illustration friday (zoom)

In ancient days before email (B.E.), my siblings and I exchanged frequent paper-and-postage-stamp letters back and forth across the sea. These days we fondly call mail of this sort "snail mail," but the letters actually traveled by jet plane. It was the custom to mark our envelopes in red ink with the words Air Mail or Par Avion to make sure they didn't get tossed onto a "slow boat to China,"  perhaps never to be seen again. But one of my sisters chose to write ZOOM in bold capital letters on her envelopes, and this always made me smile.

Speaking of jet planes, if you've ever flown into either of Tokyo's airports from the US, you'll know that the pilot customarily draws the passengers' attention to Mount Fuji as it looms into view below. Mount Fuji represents Japan in so many ways. Its attractive form and spiritual associations make it a popular image on Japanese New Year cards.  Today I painted a Mount Fuji etegami to add to my 2013 Year of the Snake series. (Were you able to follow my train of thought to understand why this has anything to do with this week's IF topic "zoom"?)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

december etegami newsletter

The December 2012 issue of the Etegami Fun Club Newsletter is OUT. If you have signed up for it, it should be in your mail box. Let me know if you can't find it, or if you can't open the file. Readers who would like to sign up (it's free) should send their email address to dosankodebbie (at) yahoo (dot) co (dot) jp 

Friday, November 9, 2012

illustration friday (tree)

This huge 700 year-old Katsura tree stands like a guardian over the Kogane-Yu hot springs hotel, about an hour's drive from my house. I painted this in late fall, when almost all of the yellowed leaves had fallen from the branches. The shimenawa rope around the tree marks it as a venerable object of spiritual significance. The little stone statues at the foot of the tree represent Jizo, Buddhist protector of travelers and children, especially miscarried, aborted or stillborn infants. The words I added are a quote from the poem Envoi by Kathleen Raine.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

corrugated cardboard 2

I think I'm starting to get the hang of using corrugated cardboard for etegami. The areas where the "ribs" show are where I cut and peeled away the top layer of paper. These are not collages. It's really fun. : )

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

corrugated cardboard

Lately, I've been making etegami that makes me feel like I'm back in kindergarten. That's a good thing, because too often I find myself trying to make "refined" etegami, forgetting that the infamous etegami motto is "clumsy is good." Making etegami from corrugated cardboard has wonderfully clumsy results. I will be sharing more details in the December issue of the Etegami Newsletter, which is scheduled to come out next week. Stay tuned!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

the mole and the earthworm

A Handy Mole 
Christina Rossetti (1830 - 1894)

A handy Mole who plied no shovel
To excavate his vaulted hovel,
While hard at work met in mid-furrow
An Earthworm boring out his burrow.
Our Mole had dined and must grow thinner
Before he gulped a second dinner,
And on no other terms cared he
To meet a worm of low degree.
The Mole turned on his blindest eye
Passing that base mechanic by;
The Worm entrenched in actual blindness
Ignored or kindness or unkindness;
Each wrought his own exclusive tunnel
To reach his own exclusive funnel.

A plough its flawless track pursuing
Involved them in one common ruin.
Where now the mine and countermine,
The dined-on and the one to dine?
The impartial ploughshare of extinction
Annulled them all without distinction.