The project: Spider Lily Red.
In progress is the second of the two piece series called “Flare”.
Images are from this past September, captured moments during the precious three weeks I get to spend every autumn with my favorite lilies, my muse, taking in as much, their familier red to last me for a year.
The photos are in sleepy smoky monochrome, because I am saving up the stored red so as to pour it all into the second piece I will be painting in the coming months.
All recent images, photographed as winter turned spring, from top:
Photo 1 – Weeping Peach (Shidare Momo), a bud, blooming in still chilly early April.(… hence the fur cap?)
3 – Camellia, they drop the whole flower, as if letting petals go one by one like most everyone else is too cumbersome.
5 – Gingko leaf, curly dried. I think of details like this one, astronomical many of them, that I don’t get to have a look at, as every leaf dries with different curls, lit by ever-changing light.
6 and 9 – Praying Mantis, also dried, caught my eye while parking my car lightly resting on asphalt as a fine sculpture, because, it simply is.
7 – Cherry Blossom (Somei Yoshino), a sepal. At a park I discovered this year with three impressive cherry trees that attracts so many birds (they all chirp non stop) during 2 weeks of blooming, yet very small number of humans. Many days I solo-nicked*, spent time brings me smile recalling.
11 – Violet, also abundant at the same park as picture 7.
2, 4, 8, 10, 12 – Close details of Spider Lily Red – Flare 1. Drawn with nearly a hair of a brush, filling in bumpy edges to form smooth flowing lines. That’s how I attempt to bring the painting closer to the True Artistry evident in above images, knowing full well I will never surpass, which, defeat as such I mean, somehow makes my heart warm in all the right ways.
*Solo-nic is a made-up word I just came up with, so as to mess with other people’s language. But really, it’s the act of spontaneous lone picnicking I recommend to anyone with ears open, just so long as the land you’re about to occupy is safe and legally permissive.
The piece in progress: Spider Lily Red. A petal of the said lily (top), the muse, certainly posing like one, from late September this year, and my interpretation of it painted on silk, the reverse side of a dress in formation, pictured on the last day of October.
Stitches are done by hand, my homage to the God of Creativity whose benevolence and artistry I could never outdo.
Above: post steam set (the high-heat, steam-not-water procedure is outsourced to craftsmen in Tokyo who mostly work with kimono clients), red dye now bright and alive. Approx.120 things I secretly feared would go wrong, one of which being overdoing the dye, meaning way too many dye particles sitting upon fabric grain, from which a major trouble certainly results, a mistake I once made in 2003, did not happen. Dyed surface now stable, time for me to relax.
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Above: Dream Lily (Nine), one of the very first photos I took of spider lily petals – a visual memo I made back in late 2012, of ideas for the dress series to emerge.
Below: fast forward several years. Spider Lily Red – Flare 1 (the series and its first piece), acid dye on silk, process, detail, photographed on 15th of July, a day after I stopped painting on the piece – there was nothing more to add.
Looking back to where it began before stepping into the remaining 2 percent, crossing my fingers.
This video contains flickering / flashing lights.
(Sunlight beaming through leaves / blurred traffic lights blinking in distance.)
Today’s discovery: fishing boat is an experimental composer! Play the full range if possible.
Tascam-ed this evening as I sent it off to the moon-lit Pacific.
Task at hand: Spider Lily Red – Flare (One). Visual snippets are from late March to mid April, recorded easy breezy as the cherry blossoms came and went.
“Hope you get to see the cherries fall – have you?
There’s this one day all the trees decide to let go of the petals, it’s not the rain, or storm…but when this one day comes, often a very sunny day, they release their petals and fill the gray and busy Tokyo with swirling mass of pink confetti.”
– from an unsent letter, three springs ago.
The text is a repost from April 2014. Although the original post was deleted (it was not “dense” enough to stay – with each post I try to deliver something meaningful, personally and hopefully also somewhat universally.) I liked the text and every year I thought of it as the cherries fell. Because they fall, how they fall each year, as if the petals are held by micro hands that release the grip at the command inaudible to human ears, orchestrated in perfect timing optimal for the falling petals to dance midair.
I am also accumulating videos, of the blossoms, me painting, and other various scenes from spring I wish to put together at one point. For now though, I am focusing my effort on finishing the painting because.
Using dye is a delicate business. One must protect the budding piece from any moisture (e.g. sneezing, drooling..) and flying dye particles that become only visible once heat-set. It is best done in one sitting, in this case in one long sitting.
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