Tag Archives: abstraction in nature

Flower Journal 2024

This is a progressive post: I will post floral portraits throughout the year.
Photos, unless otherwise noted, are shot in Pacific Northern Kanto Plane, Central Japan (JST). They are published the moment the picture and text became ready.

Honeysuckle blossoms.
Japanese Honeysuckle / Suikazura / Lonicera japonicaYou can actually suck the nectar, as the name suggests. Sweetly scented. Photographed: 2024.05.25 15:14:49 Edited 06.02 Published 2024.06.02 at 18:28

White hydrangea with pink trim at edge of petals blooming on pavement, Tokyo.
Blue hydrangea blooming at store front, Tokyo.
Hydrangea (variations)Both photographed in Tokyo, JPN, f. top in Yanaka district and between Hongou-Ocyanomizu. Surprised, noticed first time in my life how many hydrangeas planted on small patches of soil on pavements (bottom photo) / in planters at store fronts (top) and people’s homes. If you are planning a visit to Tokyo and want to have a nice walk through the city, I recommend the area of Yanaka – Sendagi – Hongou – Suidoubashi. First two, vintage Tokyo, the first a bit touristy but not rip-offish. Latter two areas host many schools, Unis and vocational colleges alike, resulting in lots of eateries, many competitive in both quality and affordability. Also notably, books (used/specialty) musical instruments and sports gears in nearby Ochanomizu / Ogawa Chou. Recommendations from a long-time Tokyoite you didn’t ask for. Photographed 05.29 at (f. top) 15:05:06 & 17:50:47 Edited 05.30 Published 2024.05.31 at 15:17

Daisies at the end of blooming season.
Daisy / Bellis perennis (end of season)Will miss. Photographed: 2024.05.14 17:51:18 Edited 05.15 & 05.30 Published 2024.05.30 at 20:23

Small pink wild flower of early summer Japan.
Hime Fuuro / Geranium robertianumThriving, growing out of a crack in concrete soil retainer, captured in pretty early summer sunset. Photographed: 2024.05.14 17:42:59 Edited 05.14 Published 2024.05.15 at 19:52

Muscari blossoms with a Violet in a grass jar by window.
Muscari / Muscari botryoides (with Violet)Muscari, blooming with its stem twisted reaching for the sun, with a violet, both rescued from gardening accidents caused by a clumsy human.Hazy pink pom poms outside are cherry blossoms in full bloom – appeared here twice (Apr11&May07). Photographed: 2024.04.14 17:39:04 Edited 05.13 Published 2024.05.13 at 18:16

Wild flowers of spring in Japan.
Hoshi No Hitomi (Starry Eyes) / Veronica persicaMost commonly called “Ooinu no fuguri” meaning, large dog’s scrotum, successfully insulting both the dogs and the flower in one go. “Starry Eyes” is the alternate name much less common, Heaven alone knows why. In the photo, the blue flower is surrounded by Hime Odoriko Sou (Little Dancing Belle – “Hime”, the word “princess”, is frequently used to describe “small/little”-ness of flowers). The Starry’s flower is smaller than my pinky nail. The first blossoms spotted on 03.14, now in mid May, they are slowly fading from the scene. English names for both (Starry and Dancing) are my translations. Photographed: 2024.03.22 16:09:08 Edited 05/09 Published 2024.05.10 at 20:10

Spanish Bluebell blossoms.
Spanish Bluebell / Tsurigane Suisen / Hyacinthoides hispanicaFlowering season just passed. Photographed: 2024.04.29 14:24:11 Edited 05/09 Published 2024.05.09 at 20:24

A purple daisy flower in rain.
Miyako Wasure / Aster SavatieriThe name “Miyako Wasure” is said to have come from the story of exiled emperor Juntoku, who had seen the flower and its beauty made him forget (=”wasure”) the city/capital Kyoto (=”miyako”) he longed to return. The aristocrat died in the place of exile, Sado Island, Japan. Photographed: 2024.04.24 13:24:11 Edited also on 4/24 Published 2024.05.08

Last petals of cherry blossom tree in sunlight.
Sakura (Somei Yoshino)One of the last petals hanging on, just several of them. Now at the time of publishing this image, petals are all gone / tiny cherries are in formation. The tree, the same one in a pic published on April 11, has been a favorite hang out for warblers/Japanese Nightingales/Uguisu – three names for the songbird in macha green. Photographed: 2024.04.27 15:59:27 Edited 04.30 Published 2024.05.07

White Viola  blossom of Japan.
Viola verecundaPhotographed: 2024.05.03 16:43:34 Published 2024.05.03 at 18:41

Petals pf Violet blossom on a person's fingers.
Violet / Viola mandshuricaPhotographed: 2024.04.25 16:00:56 Published 2024.04.29 at 22:46

Harujion flowers and buds in Japanese field.
Haru jion / Erigeron philadelphicusCurrently in full bloom. Buds facing down as if already withered, but that’s where they begin; as they blossom the stems straighten and flower upward. Edible, according to Wiki. Photographed: 2024.04.21 17:38:48 Published 2024.04.24 at 14:40

A blossoming daisy in detail.
Daisy / Bellis perennis (blossoming)First spotted back in mid March, a few months earlier than usual. Photographed: 2024.04.11 14:48:35 Published 2024.04.22 at 19:21

Monochrome picture of an Iris blossom.
Iris TingitanaFull bloom as of late. Photographed: 2024.04.14 16:23:37 Edited 4.20, Published 2024.04.20 at 19:47

Laurel flowers in detail.
Gekkei Jyu / Laurel / Laurus nobilisScented/medicinal leaves and fruits. Currently in full bloom. Photographed: 2024.04.17 12:40:20 Edited & Published 2024.04.17

Wild Sakura blossoms in full bloom.
Yama Zakura / Cerasus jamasakura“Wild” variety of Sakura. “Zakura” means Sakura, Yama, “mountain”. Blooms together with leaves and flowers longer compared to more popular “Somei Yoshino” variety. Photographed in wild at sunset: 2024.04.14 17:55:35 Edited & Published 2024.04.16

Sakura blossoms in full bloom.
Sakura (Somei Yoshino)Currently full bloom in Pacific Northern Kanto. Pictured is the tree in my yard. If you are planning a cherry visit to Japan, let me recommend Tokyo. Not just well known viewing spots, but literally every street corner / neighborhood park has cherry trees blooming like they mean serious business. Collective energy – of trees and people – during the blooming season I find it to be enlivening. If timing is right, you get to see them fall, usually there is this one day when they – pink petals – fall hard, and the city becomes this ethereal theater, an unforgettable sight to behold. Photographed: 2024.04.11 15:32:54 Edited & Published 2024.04.11

Buds and leaves of a wild flower in spring, Japan.
Hotoke No Za (buds) / Lamium amplexicauleJapanese name literally means, Lotus seat of Hotoke/Buddha, named for the leaves’ likeness to the lotus leaf Buddha sits on. Full bloom as of late. Photographed: 2024.04.11 14:47:25 Edited & Published 2024.04.11

Trumpet daffodil blossoms.
Trumpet Daffodil / Rappa Suisen“Rappa” means trumpet in Japanese. Mediterranean origin. Photographed: 2024.04.08 15:55:08 Edited & published 2024.04.08.

Sakura blossom buds in detail.
Sakura / Cherry Blossoms (buds)The first blossoms spotted on 03.31 (Pacific Northern Kanto Plane). Photographed: 2024.04.02 15:25:19 Edited 2024.04.02, Published 2024.04.04.

Detail of a Camellia blossom fell on the ground.
Camellia (fell)Camellia has a distinctive method of decay: the whole flower drops, instead of petals falling one by one, resulting in the ground carpeted with rouge-fuschia flowerbeds. Photographed: 2024.04.02 14:59:55 Edited & Published 2024.04.03

Van Sion Daffodil blossom, detail.
Van Sion DaffodilPhotographed: 2024.03.31 17:19:22 Edited & Published 2024.03.31

Small spring blossom in Japanese country side.
Ko Hakobe / Stellaria mediaMedicinal. Photographed: 2024.03.22 15:58:03 Edited & Published 2024.03.29

Spring wildflowers of rural Japan.
Hisakaki / Eurya japonicaOriginally “Hime Sakaki”, corrupted into Hisakaki. “Hime”, princess, oft used in names as the “smaller version of”, e.g. smaller version of Sakaki. Scented savory/spicy. Photographed: 2024.03.25 14:46:55 Edited & Published 2024.03.28

Spring wildflowers in Japan.
Hime Odoriko Sou / Lamium purpureumLeaves are edible, high sugar content in nectar. Long side of the flower measures about a centimeter. Photographed: 2024.03.25 15:50:40 Edited & Published 2024.03.25

Pink small wild blossoms in spring time Japan.
Hime Tsuru Soba / Persicaria capitataPhotographed: 2024.03.25 16:00:52 Edited & Published 2024.03.25

Black and white portrait of a Ki Ichigo blossom.
Ki Ichigo /Momiji Ichigo /Rubus palmatusBerries are edible. The first blossoms spotted several days ago. Photographed: 2024.03.22 16:06:11 Edited & Published 2024.03.22

Black and white macro photo of Dandelion blossom.
DandelionThe first blossoms spotted on 03.14. Photographed: 2024.03.16 17:04:39 Edited & Published 2024.03.19

Spring small blossoms in Japan.
Hotoke No Za / Lamium amplexicaulePhotographed: 2024.03.14 16:22:58 Edited & Published 2024.03.14

Black and white macro photo of Narcissus blossoms in rain.
NarcissusScented. Photographed: 2024.03.12 11:43:13 Edited & Published 2024.03.12

Black and white macro photo of a hyacinth blossom in rain.
HyacinthScented. Photographed: 2024.03.12 at11:53:24 Edited & Published 2024.03.12

Black and white portrait of a camellia blossom.
Camellia.Photographed: 2024.02.10 at15:45:54 Edited & Published 2024.03.11

Black and white image of Japanese Apricot blossom.
Ume/Japanese Apricot.Scented. Photographed: 2024.02.10 at15:31:27 Edited & Published 2024.03.11

Present.

A red spider lily blossom in a cupped hand.
A red spider lily bud in close detail.

A red spider lily petals in detail.
A forming wave.

a strange moment
an overpowering stillness
shot through with the scent of the sea

the silence so complete, it had
given up its secret

time and again

Listen

A drift wood and a dried spider lily blossom.

Photos are of red spider lilies 2023, the ocean pic is from 2 yrs ago.

Text: from Kem Nunn “Tapping the Source”.
 A poem constructed with lines from the last page of the story (multiple offenses: I’ve been messing with other people’s work).

I am in the process of writing a follow up post about my take on how to (effortlessly) be present, to find a sanctuary in the moment

This post began its process on September 22, 2023 at 18:51.
A poem written on October 11, 2023 at 14:18 JST.

August (Alone with Waves)

A forming wave and clouds.

Things I learned this summer:

1

Basically I am swimming in a translucent sculpture of ever-shifting Perfection.

Sea shells in a palm by sea shore at sunset.
Hamagou blossoms on a beach at sunset.
An artwork in progress in morning light.

2

I realized I am painting waves!!*

Abstract line drawing details.

3

…and guess what? Shells are, too!!!

Sea shells and other beach finds in detail.
Abstract line drawing close details.

4

Present is the present with no strings attached.

Picnic tote on a sunny beach.
A faint rainbow in summer sky.
Hamagou blossoms, a picnic tote and the sea shore.

5

Ocean humbles me but humility sets me free.**

Sky reflected on sand at sea shore.

All images were photographed in August 2023.

*The artwork in progress (photo 4, 5, 7 from top) is an abstract interpretation of a flower petal. How so in one post from 2019.11.27: Process is the Destination!!

**Please allow me to specify what I mean by “humility” here.
I am not coming from stereo-typical Japanese “politely lowering oneself is a virtue” presentation (as in, nationalism-based virtue signaling, say). This is an art website and I work within myself to write as a creative.
Ocean is bigger than me. My silly pride as a skilled, long time swimmer had gotten shattered numerous times against the sheer force of the Ocean. Surprisingly though, such surrendering to Majestic did not defeat me but has been having the opposite effect on me: it permits me to release the dynamic/energetic/unapologetic side of me. As if the Ocean itself tempts me to become more. “Be more. You won’t scare me away.”
I wrote about one of the times when I got my ass handed: 2020.12.30 – New Moon in Virgo (An inflatable buoy tied to my waist since.)

Edits:
12Sep23 – added the “**” paragraph about humility.
14Sep23 – minor corrections.
27Sep23 – minor addition.

Artwork in progress with ocean surface.
2019.06.22 – Sea/She

Stir.

“Do you notice how people hurt each other nowadays?”

abstract artwork with a lily and a shell.

how
the river knows

It was meant for me.

A lily bouquet with a tea cup and tanned toes.
A lily bouquet in an artist studio.
Close view of a spider lily petal on a sea shell.
Abstract line drawing of a spider lily petal.

Monkey wrenches flying across a rocky slope substitute made of stained concrete while all I’m saying is:

let’s get out of the zoo.

A wild spider lily blossom lit by sunset.
Spider lily blossoms, tanned toes and a sea shell.

“Who say everything’s been said.”

Text at the top in “”:
Ray Bradbury “Fahrenheit 451”
Haiku in decorative italic:
Series “messing with other people’s poems”. Deconstructed this time, Nick Drake “River Man”.
Text at the bottom in “”:
Nick Drake “Things behind the sun”

Drawing / painting are by me, the cup, the spoon, the rug, hat, vase and the gadget are store-bought, all the magnificent rest (including my toes) by The Ultimate Artist.
Yes my toes are magnificent, so are yours. Own it.
The second from top photo taken with a vintage iPhone 3GS, no edits.
The rest of the pictures are minimally edited to match the look of the above-mentioned.

The artwork in photos are all part of a two-piece series called “Spider Lily Red – Flare” I have been working on since autumn of 2012.
Took time to develop the style, as I aimed at doing something I haven’t seen anyone do before, that is authentically my own. 9 years on I no longer know what I am doing, I hear that is actually a very good sign that you/r art is getting somewhere.

References:
Making of the series in one post: “Process is the destination” (2019)
The whole process for “Spider Lily Red” since 2012 in descending order.
Spider Lily Red – Flare 1, completed 2017, with “artist statement”.

Last Edited:
October 03, 2021 – corrected minor grammatical errors.

New Moon in Virgo

The year in review.

Ocean waves at sunset.

September 17, 2020.

Several hours before the moon to turn dark, I brought myself to my favorite sand dune, suited up in my swim gear, like I had been all summer. Mid day in the midst of September, temperature noticeably lower but water was still warm and inviting.

I kept myself pretty much out of the sea since Fukushima incident nine years ago and spent every summer in torment, pining for my ocean fix like I would for a long lost love but this year, after hearing some millionaire technocrat talk about nano technology embeds planned for regular humans like myself I made a decision that an extra plutonium particle or two in my snout wouldn’t be a big deal.

Rat and birds illustration.
Abstract artist at work.
Coffee cup with a leaf.

Usually this particular beach has chaotic white forms right at the shore giving me a clue about my whereabouts – as once in water, perspective changes and you become a minute miniature existence floating in the merciless energy soup. But this day it was a little different.
The shore break was nearly non existent. Smaller day I thought, and did not assess the current nor my physical prowess of the day.

Ocean worn found objects.
A sparrow on the zoo cage.
Fish scales close detail.

Over confidence boosted by over eagerness can cause an issue or two. Without realizing I swam out further than usual and not too long after I started to struggle. Exhaustion grew rapidly like never before and with each wave I had to duck my strength drained in heaps.

Then a thought hit me: this is how people drown. I recalled a news story about a recent mysterious drowning of an actress I had not known existed and my thinking, how could you drown in a ripple-less lake? Fear inflated instantly while my arms turned weighty rubber and I knew I was in trouble.
Then came another thought, this time with quiet, solid confidence I never knew I had:

I am not drowning here.

The next moment I felt the Guidance kicking in, and I turned on my back and floated to rest. But waves kept coming and I had to duck and duck and duck. There was only one other person on the stretch of the beach, and he, a surfer, was just getting in as I arrived, and was way over there to notice me.

Or so I thought. Few moments later I saw him walking across the shore closest to where I was as I called out “Help!!”, to which he responded swiftly.
Guidance strongly at work by then, and just as strong was the surfer who happened to be on the beach that day. As if automated I floated on my back again so as to receive help with least harm to this young man. He positioned himself between me and the horizon and gave several powerful pushes at my soles, like he would to a surfboard. Neither party said nothing, but the communication was in Perfect Flow.

Drying spider lily blossom.
Spider lilies blooming in the field.
Art work in progress.

What happened this day have been on my mind since. Thought about it many times where it went ‘wrong’ and what I can do in my future swim. I was fortunate, no doubt. Typing this I still feel my heart quicken.
Each time I go over though, this one point when I said “I am not drowning here” stands out as the pivotal one.
In my struggle I declared, intended from the very core of my existence. Calmly, firmly.
And with bottomless Mercy, Life responded accordingly.

Special shout out to Guidance, Mercy and the surfer I do not know the name of.

A bird feather.

Photos, from Top:
01: The beach.
02. Year of Rat rubber stamp, not quite there but I meant well.
03. At work, May.
09. Best picnic of the year – with my muse, red spider lilies, October.
10. The work, as of December 28. (Getting there.)
11. The best find of 2020.

Last Edited: 31Dec20

Beauty will save the world.

This is a sequel to a post “Creative Process, May 2019”.

Pictures (counted from top):
The Beauties of the world – Spider Lily Petals, my muse (1,5,7), and a Spiral Shell (3).
Artwork named “Spider Lily Red – Flare 2”, part, process, acid dye on silk (2,4,6). (Flare 1 is done.)
Background / layered chicken scratches are a journal entry glued on a cardboard, done about 20yrs ago during my lengthy, and severe I might add, creative block. Thought “Garbage!!” but I kept it for there may be a practical use for the cardboard, not the things on it.

Close up of a spider lily petal.
Abstract drawing of a spider lily petal.
Close up of a spiral shell.
Abstract drawing of a spider lily petal.
Close up of a spider lily petal.
Abstract drawing of a spider lily petal.
Close up of a spider lily petal.

True Visions

Winter Ocean Waves with a Leaf overlay.

A little belated; Happy New Decade!!!

Above is the first photo I post online in the new decade. Of a leaf I found one day in mid January, on the ground I was walking, lit up with a special Nudge I’ve learned not to ignore.

A moment before that I was dragging my feet lamenting on my photography fatigue, gazed down which turned out to be a good thing because, the Leaf, as the Grade A Plus abstract art, catapulted me out of the enthusiasm desert.

Photographed is the Leaf’s reverse side. The shiny side has the chicest colors but I’m not posting it because, I am pretty certain you can find a leaf at where you are, a Leaf just as potent, even if you live in a most desolate inner city.

And also, much like that: you always have You, under any circumstances. Yes you do, a Leaf and You, and are way more than enough to ignite the unfolding of Your Visions. Your Truth.

P.S.
Special thanks to The Oceana, photographed on my 56th birthday in late January. I now hear you, your Waves, always, even when I am away.

A forming wave in morning light.
2015.02.01 – Hear/I am.

Uno Suprema

A flat sea shell on a leaf.
A flat sea shell on a leaf.

Sea shell blocks.
Flat sea shells.

Sea shell blocks.
A sea shell piece on a leaf.

A flat sea shell on a leaf.
A flat sea shell on a leaf.

“It is in the struggle between good and evil that life has its meaning.”

A flat sea shell on a leaf.
Blue mussel sea shells.

Visuals:
Collaborative works with The Artist, who did the photographed pieces, all ocean-worn, collected in recent weeks.
Magnificent time working with You, always.
Quote:
“….and in the hope that goodness can succeed.”
Scott Peck, People of the Lie (p.266-7).

Or Perhaps:

Life is like a waterslide, you jump in with a bang, tossed around with gusto and then spat out, into the splashes catching the summer sun, bursting into laughter like blue sky saying,

“it was really fun, let’s do that again!!”

Lastly:
This post is dedicated to my two special friends, one entered, the other exited in July,
to their unforgettable bang/gusto/laughter now imprinted in my heart where I create, I try to, from.

Creative Process, May 2019.

Spanish Bluebell stamens and a pistil detail.
Bluebell blossoms and an art work in progress.

#Beautywillsavetheworld

Sumire Violet blossom detail.
Hyacinth dried petals detail.
Spanish Bluebell, stamens, a pistil, an ovary detail.

May 05, 2019, the day the last petals fell from the cherry tree outside my window, I opened a new bottle of red acid dye and dissolved a small portion in a tiny plastic container. It’s the beginning of a long painting process, starting with tracing of the previously-done drawing on the wrong side of silk stretch satin.

In the early part of the process, as seen in the photo below of a newly traced pattern, the piece would look quite unpromising. Being the only person who sees the potential in the work-in-progress, it is up to what faith I got left in me to bring the vision of what it can be onto the surface which, at least for an initial while, appears to be nothing but a far cry.

I’ve been driven to bring into existence the two-piece series I named “Spider Lily Red – Flare”. Will I still be going through this even if no one else in this world would dig it? (ouch!!) The answer is ever-emphatic yes.
I’d do it for the Beauty, the kind that is all-enveloping, synonymous with words like ‘Timeless’ and ‘Truth’, because It touched me again and again and again, in a way I do not know how else to say “Thank You” to.

Bluebell blossoms and an art work in progress.
Spanish Bluebells flower detail.

From Top:
Quote / hashtag by Fyodor Dostoevsky. Haven’t read the book though – I found it on instagram.
Photo 1,5,7 – Spanish Bluebell, captured macro in various stages of progression.
3 – Violet, bold and vibrant.
4 – Hyacinth, dried petals and the part that held the seed.
2 and 6 – ‘Spider Lily Red – Flare”, in the aforementioned initial stages, with inspirative Spanish Bluebells.