Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Looking back, I think I started a barnyard series without realizing it. Many more of my etegami besides the ones posted here were inspired by farm animals. There's something comforting about these creatures. I don't know why that would be. I wasn't raised on a farm. But I think I would have liked it.
During my high school years, I worked as a volunteer for two weeks out of each summer on small dairy farms in southern Hokkaido. Unskilled, and stupid-but-eager, high school students like myself volunteered their labor to help struggling farmers start from scratch, beginning with the burning off of stubborn and ungrazeable bamboo grass to make way for grass and hay.
When the time came to harvest the hay, we did everything by hand and horse-drawn truck bed. None of the young farmers could afford machinery back then. And the wilderness they were converting to pasture land was all hills, steep enough that machines couldn't have climbed the slopes anyway. The main industry in the area was fisheries, and the coastal hills had never been cultivated.
Hokkaido is famous for the wide open plains that farmers in Japan's main islands drool over, and it didn't make sense for this first wave of graduates from the Dairy College near Sapporo to choose this impossibly hilly part of the prefecture for establishing a foothold. Well, they had their reasons, which I won't go into here. And they were reasons that I believed in, which was why I was there.
The etegami are displayed in my most recent hand-painted frames. The etegami are also for sale.
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How fun for us but it must remind you some hard time... though you are using these memories for your art.ReplyDelete
It was physically hard, but not emotionally. I was young and adventurous in those days. :)Delete
Love the these, ideal for a Taurean like me!ReplyDelete
Oh my, quite a physical time in your life back then. No easy tasks there. I love these newest frames and your etegami looks adorable in them Debbie!ReplyDelete
Hi Debbie, I'm going to try to post this NOT as a google user. It's complicated , but my old university email is really a gmail address wrapped in a .edu proxy (I have to log in twice to use anything on the web)... I think perhaps that the 2nd log-in might have disconnected me from your blog. Just guessing!ReplyDelete
I loved your stories about growing up in Hokkaido and working at farm and in fields ! It would mske a person feel do much closer to the land. What great memories. I also love how you paint animals, and I love these frames! When my $ crunch is over , I hope to get one of these ! Actually I like all three, but 2 of them are " faves" for me. Thanks for posting , I always enjoy your art and comments. ! Mary Keesling
Something we have in common on opposite sides of the world. I used to help with haying and manure shoveling. I think I've been told this was "character building" by people who were sitting down and drinking tea :)ReplyDelete
lol. well, I'll tell you one thing, my farmer friends worked till they were dead on their feet, long after I refused to move another inch.Delete