Monday, July 29, 2013

Ryokan and Simplicity....

Hello All. The last week has brought two new pieces into the world. Since this past spring I have been reading poetry and verse from a Zen monk named Ryokan. He travelled through Niigata prefecture subsisting off what he could and living with the barest of essentials. I have become rather hooked with his prose and views. Not since Albert Camus have I sunk into something like this.

As is the case I became inspired to start working on a new set of silkscreens documenting his writings, time and travels. I suppose you could say creating impressions of his views on the world and how I see them. The templates for the screens were created by old fashioned hand drawn images with sumi ink and brush. These were then transferred to the screen. One stencil with multiple colors. Basically I am working in much simpler terms for creating the prints. With the previous works the compositions become very complex through the layering of multiple images. While this is fine for the previous work I am seeking a more austere path.

The intent here is to create a new set of prints on a weekly basis for the next year. So here are two in two weeks. The prints will continue to be on fabric and will be put out into the world as usual in random intervals and settings. I am not sure that people will find them as interesting as previous works but the idea is to move forward in artistic practices and see what the "void" might bring. In his travels Ryokan sought out the simplistic: the surrounding environments, calligraphy, and those who surrounded him. I am fortunate enough to find myself in a similar and good position in life and now wish to equate tem in this manner.

Please forgive the crappy shots. My camera needs to be replaced soon.

Coming up next month we are hosting a one night show and reception at the Blue Box. This is the "Brown Bag: Cheap and Elegant" show. A slew of us are creating works on brown bags for the show. August 17th it will be. Below are my contributions. They are woodblock on cheapo bags with a few surprises inside.

Drop on by if you have the time or are in the neighborhood.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Japan, a museum and to summer 2014...

So it has been since March... long time oops! Well, much has been happening here in that time since. I returned from Japan in June after getting to stay for 5 weeks. Each trip brings new ideas, This time many pictures and a deeper understanding of the temples and Zen philosophy. It was strange to return but nice to be back in the studio and home with the family and gardening. The above pic is the first result from the travels. Taizo-in Temple is the inspiration. It is located in Kyoto, small and impressive. Overlapping maple leaves and the patterns from the raked stone gardens really brought this one together. Oh yes, and the adding of some color to the work. This is a set of 17. The printing is done now but I still need to figure out the final set up and grommits. I am thinking these might get set up in pairs for doorways.... guess I'll figure it out soon.

Just this past week I installed this set, from October of 2012, at the Wenham Museum in the fair town of Wenham. It will be there from July 12 to July 21. The final title is "Passing." It is really fun to see it out in public finally.

After putting it back together, different from the original setup, it became a learning experience. As many stones that were brought I realized just how large this piece can become. As well it was really interesting to how different configurations alter the concept of the piece. I'm not sure what is going to happen to it once the display is over. This show was/ is in conjunction with the annual Art Grows Here event. It was fun to take part in. I am hoping to do more work in this vein locally.

The Blue Box will be hosting a show in August called "Brown Bag: Cheap and Elegant." I inherited a large amount of bags this past spring. A good amount of my comrades have been given 10 bags and asked to make art with them, on them.... etc. This will be a one day show and reception on August 17.

I have not much in my brain to wax poetic about, as I usually do, so I bid you a farewell until next time.