Ume = Japanese Apricot / Plum. Pictured in photo #1 and #3.
“Demure, delicate, their fragrance so faint, their buds mature during the coldest time of the year, petals push open against late winter chill.
Soft yet Strong, they flower to signal the end of the Winter, and quietly retreat as Spring triumphs and flourishes in magnificent varieties of shapes and shades.”
The middle photo is a casual iPhone snap of the piece “Spider Lily Red – Flare 2” I’ve been working on, taken on February 28, 2023 at 16:29. Turned it into monochrome and part soft/off-focused to simulate a hand-held blur using Lightroom phone app, then applied vsco A5 filter, then, taken into Photoshop on computer and layered with a ocean/gull pic and the scribbles I’ve been using for sometime. In short, over processed some. It’s an experiment.
What I think is so wonderful about subtlety is that, it brings out a hunter, a seeker in a person, the opposite of things that explain themselves so loud they put you in a position of a mere consumer. If creativity is about connecting dots in new ways, it then naturally asks you to be the initiator.
Initiate, but not overbear. Intend, yet keep it open-ended. Candid, without making it all about me. I think about all this while remembering the fortunate times when I found myself encased in an elegantly subtle Ume scent cloud*.
Happy New / Bunny Year!!
Wishing you a truly awesome-to-you 2023,
Yuko the webmaster/artist.
I woke in the middle of the night and seen, in my mind’s eye a flock of swans, would be perfect for the New Year’s greeting card I was designing in my head for a few days. It was like 3am on winter solstice, 2022. When I woke again it was 8 in the morning, opened the window and saw, a flock of swans flying away heading south, just as I imagined.
09Feb23 – additional text about a flock of swans.
Something different today, something that’s been on my mind.
Time to open my mouth and be a little vulnerable.
In a nursery rhyme style for easier read ( as opposed to a wall of text style ).
“You” here means those of you the following apply. If not, as they say, let it fly.
I share my works / ideas / experiments freely online. I love to share, I hope to inspire.
My choice. My pleasure.
Creative ideas are vague to define, where to draw the line.
Potent ones though, would make artworks pop. Make them soulful, make them come alive.
My take. My aspiration, I am aiming high.
I draw mine from Nature. Creation, if you may.
Many talents out there but I don’t look around.
Don’t want to be influenced. Too many signals in the world.
I could dull my sensor or put on a blinder. I chose the latter.
Just enough to focus, on what is Subtle. Sincere.
I lose out on some worldly goodnesses this way. My choice, and that’s alright.
If, though, a person choose to seek ideas from other people’s works,
it has got to be digested and be made your own before you show public as your work.
( Or end up looking more like an identity theft. )
Old fashioned creative integrity, still hasn’t gone out of style.
Little about me, enough to make sense.
I did not choose the beaten path for artists: education, affiliations.
I knew, for me, that was what I needed for the free flow of Creativity I was born longing for.
My choice, price to pay either way.
Along with it, continuous weeding of my inner landscape so as to receive Inspiration better.
You see, Creative Ideas aren’t free bags of Cheetos
(no offense, Cheeto, I used to love you much)
falling from the sky right into your mouth.
They are more like air waves, you got to know to tune in,
in the society of ours with so much at stake.
Good news though fren, you got your antenna to hone.
A reminder from me in case you had forgotten.
Got one last note to share, this may sound harsh.
Especially, but not limited to, those who found my work
because I gave you my up-votes on social media somewhere
and proceeded to engage in the above mentioned endeavour …
C’mon now people, your soul deserves better than that!!!
Well that’s all friends, please allow me to conclude:
I hereby would like to request your respectful treatment of my work.
(And not exactly my business, but your Dignity too.)
Thank you for your attention. I rest my case for now.
“How sweet it could be.” – hand written is a journal entry from 20 yrs ago during my lengthy creative block.
The artwork in progress was photographed, compiled and added to this post on March 18, 2021, an ongoing painting for the second piece of the two-piece series “Spider Lily Red” ( acid dye on silk / red on ivory ).
The painting started in May 2019, been almost two years. Some called me a perfectionist, but that is not what is happening here; there seems to be a place I can bring the painting to only with this super detailed approach.
The lines are my own personal interpretation of Red Spider Lily petals, and Organic Elegance flowing through every elements in their world. Some things take time.
Tapping into one’s own reservoir requires a decision.
To risk finding what you are made of. To dread if the well is empty.
To stand in one’s own truth. Owning one’s originality makes the person stand alone, sometimes also apart.
To own one’s Light. Fearfully, hesitantly, awkwardly.
To feel content in a truest sense. Fulfilled, in a way nothing else ever could.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Assigning the symbol a new meaning* – A Cross Pouch (2015, retouched in 2020), vintage kimono and rubber. Inquire for custom works like this one.
Special thanks to Narcissuses.
*Wiki: A cross is a geometrical figure consisting of two intersecting lines or bars, usually perpendicular to each other.
Me: is a figure symbolizing a spark of Inspiration striking through the human realm; at its crossing point is in the continuous ’now’ where everything is vibrant.
Originally posted under the category “Vision Board”, moved to “Journal-Diary” on February 12, 2024.
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