Tuesday, October 27, 2015

a harvest of etegami

Considering that autumn is my favorite season in Japan, and that it provides an abundance of inspiration for etegami, I have no excuse for posting so little of my new work these past few months. So today, let me give you a peek of some of the fruit of my autumnal labor.

The top photo shows the fourth and last in the series of seasonal recipe sets I was asked to create this year for the bilingual newspaper, The Japan Times- ST. The series began with a set of four lily bulb (yurine) recipes published in January; continued with the edible wild vegetable (sansai) set in April and the pickled plum (umeboshi) set in July; and ended in October with the persimmon (kaki) set. Each set stretched my meager artistic talent and taught me a lot about problem-solving. I received some often-encouraging, always-stimulating feedback from readers and newspaper staff. It was a wonderful job.

Half-way through the year, I came to realize I was not going to find the time to create a new desk calendar for 2016. Once I accepted that fact instead of fighting it, I felt lighter and happier. And guess what? At the end of September, everything suddenly fell into place, and ideas that had been percolating in the back of my subconscious allowed me to capture and express them in etegami. 

Combined with a few works from my archives, I ended up with two new desk calendars. No doggies or kitties-- or even barnyard animals-- this year. My theme this year is impactful quotes from the Bible. One calendar is a collection of all Japanese etegami, the other is all English. And though the theme is the same for both, the images are completely different.  They will not be listed on Etsy except by private reservation. Contact me by email, Etsy message, Twitter, Facebook message, or whatever, for a reserved listing.

I was also kept busy this year with more than the usual number of custom orders, a trend that may take over the bulk of my work next year. The final photo is of a very special custom order, a project of which I was honored and moved to be a part. The Japanese words say "Strength and Courage." And that's about all I am free to tell you for now.

Monday, October 5, 2015

sneezing iguana

Last month I googled "how many times do I have to sneeze in a row before it kills me?" I'd been sneezing so much, I was starting to suspect I'd be dead by now if it weren't for my cardiac pacemaker. But I guess that isn't so.

I did learn that the longest human sneezing spree on record is 978 days, and that iguanas sneeze more often and more productively than any other animal.

So today I became inspired to paint  a sneezing iguana. (I know I know, it looks more like it's singing opera.) Yes, I am still sneezing. But not everyday, and not all day. Must be the change of seasons. Recently acquired allergies. Dry air. Or maybe I'm part iguana.