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Posts Tagged ‘Art

Alien Weeds

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Patterson Clark shared his harvesting and art making processes at the Annual Meeting of the Audubon Naturalist Society last week at Woodend Sanctuary in Chevy Chase, Maryland.

I admire his dedication and inventiveness.  Take a look at his brilliant art made of weed pulp paper and essence of weed ink, plus a ferocious amount of creative energy.

In my own quest to help native plants, I  usually pull Lonicera japonica out of the trees or bushes it is choking and weave  the vines into baskets.

Lonicera japonica aka honeysuckle.

More information:

Urban Jungle column in Washington Post

Invasive  Plant Species in the Mid-Atlantic – National Park Service

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Written by patwa

01/11/2012 at 10:53 pm

Japanese Calligraphy :: National Geographic Society

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National Geographic Society

1145 17th St. NW, Washington DC

Workshop on Calligraphy

July 8, 2012, 1 to 3 pm

The workshop opened with a discussion and projected slides that explained the differences between Western Hemisphere and Eastern Hemisphere calligraphy and writing. The way language itself is represented by these different geographic areas reflects their approaches to writing down the concepts or things expressed.

The Western Hemisphere relies on alphabets that are combined in various ways to express words that represent concepts or objects.  The Eastern Hemisphere, at least in China, Japan, Korea and other areas where Chinese culture influenced social evolution, relies on characters or symbols to represent concepts and things, often these characters are based on pictographs.  For example, the character for “mountain” looks like E turned on its spine, with the three upward spikes representing mountain peaks.

Chinese characters are called Kangi and came to Japan in the 3rd century C.E.  In Japan, these characters have been simplified visually and organized structurally to match the phonetic letters or combinations used in Japanese spoken language.  This occurred in about the 8th century C.E. and the Japanese call their characters Kana.

The function of calligraphy is also different in the two hemispheres.  In the West, the emphasis is on hand-lettering for inscriptions, decorative scrolls and ceremonial documents or occasions.  In the East the design of the word and the spirit of the word or character are considered more important when it is expressed in writing.

Training differs too:  In the West, penmanship is on the decline.  In the East, school children practice writing characters all through their primary education and scholars practice calligraphy as a zen mental relaxation exercise.

The principal styles of calligraphy in the East are: tensho, the seal script used for official purposes; the reisho script for clerical work; the kaisho for regular use; the gyosho which is semi-cursive; and the sosho which is cursive.  There is also a running style which is a very fast cursive script.  The cursive calligraphy is nearly unreadable and mostly serves as artistic decoration or design on paper.

The Tools used in Eastern calligraphy are called the “Four Treasures” and are:  natural hair brushes set in bamboo “stems”, mulberry paper, ink stick and ink stone. Mulberry paper is quite thin and until a certain level of skill is developed, students should use newsprint to practice writing ink calligraphy.  Ink sticks are made from soot remaining from burned wood or coal.  The ink stone is a shaped stone on which ink and water are mixed for the calligrapher’s use.

Our workshop assignment is to practice the characters that express the Seven Virtues of the Samuri:  Loyalty, Honor, Honesty, Respect, Benevolence, Courage, and Rectitude.  We will also practice the character for Forever which includes all the various brush directions and line weights that a calligrapher needs to learn.  The workshop leader explains the development and brush strokes for each of these characters.

While Eastern Hemisphere calligraphy is usually written from top to bottom, right to left, accommodations have been made for novice calligraphers from the Western tradition and we may write our characters left to right.

Seated at long tables covered with plastic, we each receive a little ink in a plastic dish, a natural hair brush in a bamboo “stick” and several sheets of newsprint paper and a mulberry paper with grid markings to help us properly align the character brush strokes.  We also receive a very helpful model of the characters that represent the Seven Virtues of the Samuri with the strokes marked in numerical order for correct duplication.

We watched Ms. Lok demonstrate the proper way to hold a brush and approach the paper.  She demonstrated writing each of the eight characters we would be practicing.

Then, for the next 45 minutes, the room was silent while adults and children, parents and their kids, and several single adults practiced writing Kana and learned the character virtues of a Samuri.  The writing was achieved by paying attention to the meaning built into the brush strokes that become characters representing the virtues.

As part of my year-long Mandarin language training program in 2007-2008, I had to write Chinese characters every day, but we were using pens or pencils for this activity on gridded paper, which is very different from freehand brush calligraphy.  While I have studied Italic calligraphy and am familiar with brush work from my art training and practice, I had not approached Eastern calligraphy before.  Therefore, I was a near-novice, just like everyone else in the class.  It was gratifying to see that nearly everyone managed to approach the calligraphy and focus on the spirit of the characters while also following the guidelines shown for the order of the brush strokes.

The workshop leader Ms. Lok, and her assistant (her son), walked around and helped anyone who needed specific guidance. The workshop offered special insight into the language and visual representation of Japanese and its mother language, Chinese.   The workshop was interesting, completely engaging and an appropriate length for adults or children.  The children in the audience were attentive and well behaved. A workshop aimed just at children might have less background and more practice. Some of the adults assisted each other and Ms. Lok spent time with each participant demonstrating the finer points of brush control. An excellent experience by all parameters.

Written by patwa

09/07/2012 at 1:20 pm

Sydney Botanic Gardens

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Met marvelous painter Charlotte Thodey at the pyramid that houses tropical plants in Sydney’s botanical  gardens

Weird chattering flying foxes shelter in the botanic garden trees, considered a nuisance by some.

Heliconias, orchids of miniscule to generous size, rubber trees, ferns, jasmine displayed in several glassed spaces.

The gardens extend to the harbour area, a vast miracle of downtown oasis in a city where real estateis premium.

Maps of Antarctica and the history of exploration of Australia’s “Down Under” — the southern polar continent was on view at  the State Library of New South Wales across from the gardens, so that’s where I spent the rest of the afternoon.

Written by patwa

07/02/2012 at 2:15 am

Posted in Art, Australia, Cartography, Gardens, Travel

Tagged with ,

Congee Beach to Bondi Beach

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Last week of January, 2012, I hopped on a bus to Congee Beach and walked up the coast line on a really nicely constructed walking path that skirts the coast for 6 KM up to Bondi Beach. The point north of Congee is notable for a metal and concrete memorial to the Australians killed in a bomb attack on a tourist club in Bali.  Reported sightings of the Virgin Mother Mary have brought a home-made memorial nearby.

The walk follows the limestone cliffs, park land, playing fields, past houses with expensive views, old boat houses, and fancy flats.  There’s also a huge cemetery overlooking this segment of the ocean.

Bondi is famous for surfing and the sun-tanning body culture. The surf-life guarding tradition is active in all the beach front communities. 

Strolled through the Bondi Pavilion, built in 1928 and opened in 1929.  Wandered into a large exhibition space and spoke with photographer Hilton Luckey about Australian surfing traditions, the manly-matey culture, and the alt lifestyle back in the day.  Reminded me of Santa Cruz, Big Sur and points south during the mid 1970s when we would sleep in vans or under the stars, and pass the time hiking in the forests or lolling on the beach.  Did the strong gut ”’get-‘er-done” ethos from Australia migrate cross the Pacific?  I don’t know.

The coastal path was well marked and graded with stair and teak railings for elevated areas.  While the sun burned down, the physical part was easy for me and the infrastructure is so highly developed that there are filtered water dispensers and fountains every kilometer or so. 

After slurping down a chocolate milkshake from the beach bar at Clovelly (Shark Point on the map) I paused to paint a little watercolor.  My idea of paradise — walk, look, paint. At the end of the day, I watched young surfers, then took another bus back to town.

Written by patwa

02/02/2012 at 1:07 am

Art Emerges with Mystery

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“Every creative artist is a unique individual who has (her) his feet firmly planted in mid-air.  He uses all his negative energies — tensions, anxieties and other vulnerabilities — and transforms them into rich reservoirs of positive forces, from which (her) his art emerges carrying with it the mystery and wonder of the unknown.”  Michael Ponce de Leon

Who is Michael Ponce de Leon, I wondered, as I copied this quotation from an exhibition of Jung’s metaphysical work The Red Book at the Library of Congress, Autumn 2010?  Clearly an artist who understands process of transformation, consciousness and catalyst creation.

The New York State Archives answered:

  • Ponce de Leon, Michael, 1922-
    Michael Ponce de Leon papers, 1943-1979

    1.0 linear ft. (partially microfilmed on 2 reels)
    Microfilmed portion must be consulted on microfilm. Use of unmicrofilmed portion requires an appointment and is limited to Washington, D.C. storage facility.Printmaker, cartoonist; New York, N.Y. Correspondence; sketchbooks; writings; photographs; drawings; exhibition catalogs and announcements; and clippings. 

    REELS N69-127 & N70-14: Correspondence relating to Ponce de Leon’s service as a cartoonist with the U.S. Air Force during World War II, his trip, 1967-1968, to India, Pakistan and Southeast Asia sponsored by the U.S. State Department to encourage better relations through art, his teaching appointments and exhibits; journal notes and writings concerning his trips to India, Cambodia and Thailand, his own work, teaching, Norwegian graphics and the art process; sketches and cartoons; sketchbooks containing figure studies, still lifes and sketches of Indian life; clippings, exhibition catalogs and printed material; and photographs of Ponce de Leon and his works of art. Correspondents include Elmer Davis for the O.W.I., critic John Canaday, art historian Jacinto Quirarte, and others.

    UNMICROFILMED: A congratulatory letter from David Goddard upon receiving a Guggenheim award, 1967; photos and slides of Ponce de Leon’s work, a slide of him in a workshop, and photos showing his metal collage intaglio printing technique; exhibition catalogs and announcements, reprints, clippings, miscellaneous notes, three cartoon drawings, and an intaglio, “There’s a Time.”

    35mm microfilm reels N69-127 & N70-14 available for use at Archives of American Art offices and through interlibrary loan. Material on reels N69-127 & N70-14 lent for microfilming 1969 and unmicrofilmed material donated 1977-1979 by Michael Ponce de Leon. Reels N69-127 & N70-14: Originals returned to Michael Ponce de Leon after microfilming.

    Subjects: Prints — Technique — 20th century.; War in art.; World War, 1940-1945 — Caricatures and cartoons.; Hispanic American artists.

     

Written by patwa

13/02/2011 at 10:57 pm

Andrew McDowell

An Author of Many Parts

RED ROAD PRESS

On the Red Road in South Puna, Hawai'i

m.lever

life. as i see it.

Interning in Milan

62 Days....counting slow

Mail Artists Index

Biographies, works and links of representative Mail Artists. - Biografien, Arbeiten und Links zu typischen Mail Art Künstlern.

Nellie Bly in the Sky

Celebrating the 125th anniversary of Nellie Bly's historic voyage around the world in 72 days.

The Fox Trails

Exploring Nature and Society

Iconic Photos

Famous, Infamous and Iconic Photos

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No White Food

Add Life::Eat Color

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