Tag Archives: nature as an inspiration

Sky’s Empty Without You.

Abstract lines on large paper with sea shells and rose petals.

How is it like / to feel the sun so close on your back / your dark colored feathers. aerodynamic wings
Gliding down in sharp angles / so fast you go, and I wonder / is it for the thrill, or for the meal / If the dining is the thrill being you
Flap fluttering your little wings / like climbing up an invisible ladder / a roller-coaster known only to your kind

In midair, I hear / you make your clicking sound between your songs
Songs of life being beautiful / hardship and all, for what I learned about you / you fly alone to a distant land, each one of you
Your compact frame housing a soul / knows so well, the price of freedom.

Abstract line drawing in detail.

Not too sure if I am explaining myself well enough, I decided to share what I personally did for the Creative Self Exploration, Part 4 Week 20.
Not as an “example” but to show you that, by “abstract scribble” I mean something like this.
Took me about a minute and a half, but beforehand I wrote how I feel about swallows (as typed between pictures) – the two legged / winged creature of my choice, which made it easier for me to focus.

I used 8B (very soft) graphite (drawing) pencil, which broke so I used the broken core to draw the thick lines in the middle. Eyes closed except for when I looked for the broken bit.

I think I wrote it earlier somewhere (in other words, allow me to repeat myself) that, children are usually really (enviably) good at this. Not suggesting to regress but to re-possess the ability for unrestrained fun consciously as an adult – which is most probably a great challenge for the majority of us. In other words,
please give this a try, it is fun, and you cannot mess it up even if you tried.

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).

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

Because It Rained.

A year in review.

Gardenia Blossom details with a dew drop.

Everything that stood between us

Turned into a Pearl.

Gardenia Young Bud geometry.
Geometrical Gardenia Blossom in rain.

The plant wasn’t doing too well the previous few years. It was down to only one flower in 2020. Gardenia. The tree my height managed to produce one perfect blossom that year.

A year before that, May 2019, I suddenly noticed the power meter looking rather different. Turned out, the power company, TEPCO of Fukushima Plant fame, walked into and across the property I live on, all the way to the other side of the gate and replaced the meter to its ‘smart’ equivalent without ever telling anyone about it. That was in May 2017. No notice, before nor after the switch. The Gardenia plant, situated right next to it, had no choice but to be in the way of, according to TEPCO, “low grade” therefore ”safe” radio transmission every 30 minutes throughout the day since, for two full years until in May ’19 I brought them back in to have them remove the radio part to un-smart the meter.

Every time I thought of that one 2020 blossom, my heart sunk deeper than the bed of Mariana trench. The plant was already under LED street light, which I voted against on basis that, if our phones have “night shift” mode turned on at 10pm default why plants do not deserve the same consideration. My such solitary quest only resulted in forced nightly LED blue beam with a “nut” diagnose on my name assigned by some self-appointed psychiatrists, which I somehow felt deserving of it.

How much beating a plant can take before it loses its chi to bloom but one single belle?
Although there is no way for me to be certain what the causes of its unthriving were, the timeline of the events I felt was rather peculiar and I discovered, there is a special kind of heartache associated with a situation as this one, the ache I didn’t know how to soothe.

Someone else had an idea however.

One day in mid June, 2021, I noticed a bud on a branch of my dear Gardenia. Cream, sculpted, ready to flower. Looked closely I found plenty more green buds on standby, 30 plus then I lost count, full of chi, full of Life.

How overjoyed I was revealed to me how badly I felt for a whole year. About the kind of environmental hazard we had become steamrollering the ones that cannot relocate nor object. The ones that create the oxygen we breathe.

The plant flourished exuberantly this summer. Perfect flowers unfolded one by one like the world’s most elegant fireworks. It was the best year of blossoming since I’ve known the plant, the most abundant, fragrant, spirited.
As if untouched, dear Gardenia sprung back and quietly asserted its Resilience. The tree my height produced easily 100+ flowers this year, their organically interactive, scented like a dream, stirring, sincere perfection sang its song throughout the flowering season and I was there, a teary audience, taking every bit in with all my senses.

Two Gardenia Blossoms in rain.
Dried Gardenia Blossom details.

Quote in decorative letters is from my 2014 poem “Spring Song”.
The photos of the plant, I named her Bella Resiliente, do not do justice to the Aliveness the Bella radiated during this year’s flowering season. She was “lit up” with Life.

Unscientific claim? Perhaps. As little as I know tho, what science can cover is only a small portion of the Whole.

A few “scientific” articles I checked for this post suggested plants are more than alright with LED.
This uneducated nobody thinks the claim is of a narrow scope.
Force tweak one part and something else gets off balanced, may not be right away, may not be what you’re looking at, but the Whole is bigger, more intricate, than us mortals could comprehend.
Lighting up the streets (and the sea, as large fishing boats sailing out at night geared up with those that I had mistaken them more than once for apocalypse) with tons of beaming blue lights we humans are recommended not to gaze at before bedtime, is akin to robbing the natural environment of the night, and the ways to sense the shifting cycle of the moon.
I don’t think we have the right, or the enough wisdom, to do so.

Regarding the claim that possibly, smart meters affecting plants are easy to find online. Example search words: Wireless Smart Meter Kills Plant.

My wish for the coming years is that somehow, someway, we bring our “heart” back to our operation here on Earth, for that is the portal to Creative Flow that leads us to the Wisdom of the Whole, and the Never Ceasing Resiliency we can draw the true strength from.
Until then I will not lose hope, that, like the poppies in California desert after rain, we will find a way to Super Bloom into our fullest potential, both collectively, and individually.

Edits:
February 02, 2022 – simplified to “apocalypse”.
January 01, 2022 – added “the poppies” – hard to gauge how much to say.

Gardenia blossom with a sea surface image layered.
2023.12.31 – Timeless

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.

Lonely Place to Be.

Sea shore with a chair.

Annabelle, I waited
in this Kingdom of the Winged

A chair on the beach at sunset.

From top:
P1 – A warm day in early February 2020, a phone snapshot taken to remember. Edited with VSCO Cam, a mono version posted on VSCO on May 10th, 2020.
P2 – Also a warm day in summer 2018, edited and posted on VSCO, July 12, 2019.
I bring all that stuff but usually end up just sitting there looking at stuff.
Decorative text in the middle is Poe “Annabel Lee” deconstructed / expanded in the direction I wanted. It’s part of my ongoing “messing with other people’s poems” experiments.
Published here on March 12, 2021.
Edited on June 04, 2022 with a new photo, a poem, a new direction.

A red spider lily bouquet lit by the sun.
2020.10.13 – True North

Note on August 23, 2022:
Flowers in the above photo were cut by someone else and were withering on the ground, turning black. I gathered them and brought them back to my room where they revived themselves brilliantly.

Trinity.

2010’s: A Decade in Review.

Sea shore at sunrise.

A forming ocean wave.
A coffee cup on a beach driftwood.
A dress with a dyed wing detail.
A dress with a dyed wing detail.
A dress with a dyed wing process.
Moon above shore.
A hand painted wing dress on sand dune.
Worn sandals frosted with snow.
Swimming pool geometrical cross pattern.
A hand painted flower petal dress.
A hand painted flower dress on the shore.
A Walk on the Beach.

Ocean waves at sunset.

Moments lived once, from top. year/month/day/time:

2010/01/01 07:13
– The first sunrise of the decade.

2010/09/06 17:58
– That summer I swam a lot in the sea, daily at sundown.
Until I became transparent and merged with the changing colors of the ocean lit by the setting sun.
Like one of them sea creatures in the deep, see-through with neon dots.

2010/11/26 11:03
– Ocean Cafe, a practice I started in late 2000’s.
Did my “don’t laugh I’m trying to surf” thing around this time as well, the last time before Fukushima blew up.
It was on a moon-lit night, just after it was full. The practice – Night Surf – I started also in late 00’s, fascination and desire to rely solely on my intuition outweighed my fear. I thought it’d make me a better artist.
Not sure if it worked but I haven’t forgotten how I felt: very, very alive.

2011/01/28 15:19
2011/01/22 14:18
2011/02/09 14:27
– “Wing Dress – Velocity” in near completion.

2011/02/18 17:56
– Light Calligraphy, another naturally emerged “practice” in late 2000’s.
I literally close my eyes and move my camera like a calligraphy brush to “draw” with the light source.
By relying solely on my intuition I thought it’d make me a ….

2011/08/28 06:10
– Tottori Sand Dune. I got there before sunrise, carrying a sewing body while still dark.
The mini dune sounded intensely quiet, like it does in a desert, especially in those hours.

2011/02/11 16:15
– Classic Japanese nondescript flip-flops.
A pair carried me to the sea everyday, so worn, I remember even today feeling the bumpy, warm asphalt beneath my soles.

2019/09/10 15:58
– From the last outdoor swim of the year. I swam so much throughout the summer, sharing the rectangles in the sun with a small group of enthusiasts.

2017/05/24 17:11
– “Spider Lily Red – Flare 1”, in process.

2017/12/30 time unknown
– “Spider Lily Red – Flare 1”, in association with the ocean.

2019/08/31 18:01
– On the last day of August I barefooted into the sea, ankle deep in the part of Pacific I’ve known for so long.
The first time since August 2012, a year after the thing blew up.
I was alive again in no time though, like as if I never left.
Like dried wakame reviving itself in water.

2019/12/31 16:15
– The Last Sunset.
The spectacle at the beach was a gift from The Artist who knows, obviously, how to end the decade with a bang.

Additional Note on “Night Surf” (2020/03/09) :

Possibly redundant but I think worth mentioning is that, accessing the intuition seems easier if I collected enough data, such as, in this case, my strength against the power of the water, the rocks, the depth, the hazards such as sharks. Before hurling myself into the pitch-black water I consulted a fisherman and a surfer knowledgeable about the particular beach, and there on my own made enough mistakes under the sun. The angle of the moon was worth paying attention to as well.

Like a navigation map the human in me wanted to know where I am at, in order to best utilize fear as a fuel so that I could, to my utmost, surrender to the Intuitive.

Moreover.
Panic grows instantly when in the sea. Especially since I was neither skilled nor enlightened, I made sure I was ‘trusting’ enough before each try. Nervous, not frightened, anxious, but excited, eager, than reckless – it is in this longing / resisting I find the spark that enlivens the Creative.

Process is the Destination!!

Parable:

I am a lap swimmer, have been since early 1980’s. Been back and forth in aqua blue rectangles worldwide, total sum of distance I covered would, at this point, get me from Central Pacific JPN to the island of Guam I bet.

At one point in my 20’s I realized one thing: when I focus on getting “there” sooner, I’d have a terrible time, increasingly frustrated because, in rectangles “there” does not exist. If I focus on each stroke however, by the time I hit a kilometer I’d be high as a kite. I don’t cliche you on my website; this just simply my experience. Fitness a fringe benefit, hooked on this euphoria ever since.

Pictorial:

Macro closeup of spider lily petals.
A pencil drawing of spider lily petals.
A drawing of a spider lily petal in progress.
Pencil drawings of a spider lily petal in progress.
Artworks in studio.
An abstract spider lily petal drawing.
A hand painted flower dress in process.

Project:

Spider Lily Red (2012 – )

Photos, from top (date photographed):

Petal (September 22, 2013)

A casual, care-free snapshot of spider lily petals, from one of the early macro sessions that introduced me to their delicate / dynamic world.
The one in the middle became THE petal.

Study (November 11, 2013)

Pencil on paper. Started off equally care-free, quickly discovered the shape to be overwhelmingly complex.
Nearly tossed the whole thing in a bin, a trash bin that is.
Why / how I didn’t remains a mystery.

Develop (June 01, 2015)

Pencil on another paper, after few more drawing experiments and several dye tests. Incrementally molding it into my style of line drawing, initially inspired by engravings from 18th Century.

Expand (January 10, 2016)

Still pencil on paper. My interpretations of red spider lilies are translated into each flowing lines.
At least that’s what I think I’m doing, oki?
The kind of endeavor tends to take plenty o time.

Augment (December 01, 2016)

Acid dye on silk. Took about nine full months to paint the pencil drawing (the one below) – of the curly half of the petal I’d call it, on fabric.
Blow up copy on the wall is a drawing of the wavy half of the petal, by the way is painted on the project’s second piece at the time of this writing, in late November 2019.

Refine (October 04, 2016)

Pencil on paper, the first of the two part drawings, congrats to me, completed.
Photographed outside hence leaves casting shadows visible on white space.

Form (May 24, 2017)

Acid dye on silk, photographed while still in painting process but by then I was starting to see the light, the tunnel exit light.
Pinned together to match the lines at seams.

Epilogue:

There is a bird of prey named “Kite”, they glide up high in circles, scanning the ground for a strolling moron with a fish sandwich (true story). In speed of light the hungry moron would lose her sandwich, snatching so slick it’d leave her with heightened sense of awe memorable for decades to come.

Why steal when all you do is glide in circles?

Their whistles gentle like a songbird, its resonance the awe heightened up high, falling mist on the moron in euphoric micro particles.