Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Hunting and Gathering Report: A Wabi-Sabi Find

At Art and Soul Retreats we have Vendor Night on Saturday evenings. I had a table where I had copies of my book for sale and some art pieces. I was wandering around looking at other tables and booths before the event officially opened. I came upon a booth called Vintage Passementerie. I've seen the owner Margaret's stall frequently at Monticello Antiques here in Portland. I perused some antique Japanese prints and talked with Margaret about my love of wabi-sabi. She disappeared for a moment and then reappeared with the most lovely book I've ever seen! Reader, I fell in love at first sight. I happily parted with enough money to become the custodian of this lovely and most wabi-sabi item.

The book is really a series of Japanese account books, intricately bound together with rope. Each section has a tab. Some of the pages are blank, but each section contains plenty of breathtaking calligraphy. 

Both the top and bottom covers of the book has a large, exuberant, calligraphy character on it.

Many books bound together

The front of the book with tabs for each section
Imagine a world where something so potentially uninteresting as an account book could become almost a sacred object! Well, really, it is a sacred object because the design and the craftmanship with which it was made and used, must have lent itself to a mindful and appreciative carrying out of a daily task. At the same time, this book was not made for show. It is just itself, humble and beautiful. . Part of the art of everyday life.

P.S. I am not going to cut this book up! I'll scan some of the pages and print them out on lightweight paper.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Many Windows Class at Art and Soul Retreat

I'm finally getting pictures up from last Friday evening's class at Art and Soul. Students made mini art galleries by creating small collages and mounting them on a larger canvas or board. The projects were diverse and all were exciting. 

Students used collage and specialty papers, vintage photos, paint, decorative napkins, and more to make the collages.


Now this is how a classroom should look at the end of class!

To see photos from my class, "Papers Wabi-Sabi" visit my other blog, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop.

Classes for Art and Soul at Virginia Beach are now online!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Layers of Memory and Imagination at Art and Soul Retreat

Monday I taught my first of four classes at Art and Soul Retreat, here in Portland OR. I had a lot of warm, funny, friendly, brave, and talented students. They experimented with creating complex and mysterious collages that evoked people and eras past. We also played with four kinds of transfers. I was very impressed and delighted with the quality of work that came out of this class. The students had fun and were open to trying new things, which leads to wonderful art! 

I was too excited during our final class moments of picture taking, leave-taking, hugging, etc., so some of the pictures below are blurry and a few didn't come out. Darn. I think you'll get an idea of how fresh and lovely these pieces are.

(To see the fascinating work from my Tuesday class, please visit my other blog, Wabi-Sabi Art Workshop.)

Our Class (minus a few)