anna is right. the birds in australia are out of control. all these amazing avian friends make a girl want a fancy camera. using my cell phone camera and my significantly outdated little digital camera, i have, in full zoom, tried to capture the wild life i’ve encountered daily while in canberra.
i went to a zoo (eeehhhh, i know) in sydney, and will post those pics soon. ethically questionable, but i don’t know if everyone knows, i’m kind of obsessed with animals….in any case i say that in order to highlight for you that these are NOT in a zoo. they are literally outside my door. wild.
after today i’ll be posting on a weekly schedule each friday. my goal is 2 pages/1 full spread per day. thus far i’ve had some days with more and some with less, but i feel like i’m getting into the habit. i’ve been drawing whatever makes me think i want to draw it and have attempted to press on even when i don’t like how it’s turning out. i relate it to my studio practice, you know how we all have those days when nothing is working, you get so far and whatever your making looks silly or messy and so you start again and naturally, everything still sucks, and finally you just decide, i’m going to make this thing no matter what and suddenly it works out? well, i haven’t had quite had that feeling of success, but i think i’ll get there. i’m playing with all my materials, collecting other materials along the way and i have a nice variety of papers and textures (and some fabric-like material as well), so i suspect that as i get accustomed
these materials, what i’m recording will get closer to what i’m doing in my ceramic process, or even start me off in some new directions. i’m loving using color, even if it feels quite clumsy:)
this semester i’ll be spending 2 months in australia. for the most part I’ll be staying in canberra, the capital territory of australia and working in the studio at the australian national university. while here, i’ll be on my own a lot of the time as this is actually summer in australia and school’s out for a little while longer.
i’m still in school in florida, taking three classes; ceramics seminar, professional practices and an independent study based around the sketchbook. i’ll be posting my usual travel posts, picture, profiles of local artists, etc, but i’ll also be posting a series from my sketchbook (under the catagory: sketchbook). daily drawings and responses to the things that i’m reading and seeing.
i collected some paper ephemera from my life in florida, went a little bonkers at cfop collecting pretty paper in the white/translucent/silver vein and made a cover from my favorite skirt that was getting too old to wear anymore.
just opened the book press
pulling off the protective wax paper
flipping through my new book
from here on out i’ll be posting approximately 2 pages a day recording some aspect or another of what i see around me in the land down under.
the last week has been kind of bananas. last friday i had pretty much run out of clay and took the opportunity to go to the clay store and get more, thinking i had another week of building ahead. that afternoon we had the monthly kiln meeting and i realized i had more like 3 days left. yikes!
i have amassed a pretty good collection of wall pieces for the installation i will mount before the end of my stay. i am using a mixture of local clays, both a smooth white and black shigaraki clay and a black clay with the ubiquitous feldspar inclusions. i am also using (sparingly) arita porcelain from kyushu.
tiny black and white trade pieces.
i have organized a mini- trade with the other residents. these are my little guys. see that fake grass under them? i found a whole case of 12″ x 12″ squares of it in the dumpster and might try to use it for something….
soon to be floor pieces.
floor pieces drying.
middle floor piece.
working here the last couple of weeks has been awesome! i love that all i have to do everyday is just eat, sleep and work. and being able to wake up and walk right to my studio pretty much rules.
i have been able to put everything else out of my mind and i’ve even had time to do some cooking. sometimes the residents get together to cook and eat. i invited everyone to share some nabe one evening and the other night everyone cooked something and shared, kind of like a potlock.
yumie working on her dish.
ok, maybe not everything else. i keep having dreams in which my kitties wonder off. it’s so weird. during the day i think “this is so wonderful i hope i can come back and stay longer some day” and at night my brain feels guilty or something. miss those little nerds:(
meal that another american artist and i threw together the other night.
i’m on a mission to learn some proper japanese cooking, this is my attempt at miso soup.
some in progress works, i think i will have a pretty substantial installation or these by the end…
saturday i headed out to kyoto with 2 of the other artists. i had seen some of these sites before (with parents, benny, masa) but despite the droves of us tourists they are still amazingly beautiful and great to see again.
kiyomizudera, i think that translates to pure water temple, but don’t hold me to it. you can, intriguingly, pay a couple hundred yen to take off your shoes, walk into the temple and into complete blackness (you have a rail to hold which leads you around), around a spiral and into a room with a large stone. if you place your hand on this stone you can make a wish. this dark place is considered the womb of the temple. 🙂
meaghan, an artist from cali, with some maikos on the streets of kyoto.
shizuka, who is working at the togei no mori for a whole year, modeling a hat in a small shop.
kinkakuji, the golden temple.
ship shaped giant bonzai…
after the golden temple we went to another famous site, ryoenji, which is a temple and a zen rock garden. i didn’t take any pictures, because i was busy talking with shizuka about art and happiness. i hope to post pics and some discussion with several of the artists working at the togei no mori in this blog so keep an eye out.
this summer i will be spending a month in shigaraki, japan. i leave may 8 and will spend a week in tokyo seeing old friends. then down to shigaraki, where i’ll create some sculptures and an installation. i am really looking forward to it!
photo of a photo, snapped from the facebook of stephanie burns.
i spent the first 18 years of my life in pretty much the same place, most of it in the same house. but being the child of immigrants, was raised with this idea of other places i might call home. i think this upbringing really impacted the way i’ve lived the second half of my life, often moving, creating communities everywhere i’ve gone.
tonight i was looking at a friend’s photos on facebook. (i snapped this with my phone off the computer screen) she and her partner just took a trip to europe and one of their stops was in florence, italy. of all her amazing pics, this kind of random street scene, with closed up shops (maybe it’s on the ponte vechhio? i’ll have to ask her…) really gave me a big shot of nostalgia.
as much as i want to go new places i want SO MUCH to go back to the places i’ve been. i want to keep recycling my experiences somehow. learning a new place and then leaving then returning. returning makes everything feel new AND familiar.
i don’t know– i’ve never been one to go somewhere having done research, practiced the language, or any of that. i love how the urgency to communicate necessitates learning, wondering around, having to ask for directions, strangers sharing their time and advice.
as much as i loved learning renaissance art history in florence, the things i remember most are…..
…the lady at the train station telling me to stop waiting in line so patiently. because obviously, you will never get to the front if you wait, you kind of have to push your way forward.
borrowing a stranger’s cell phone to book a spot at a hostel–as the train rolled to a stop in that city’s station—and jumping out of the train on a whim to visit a new city.