Labor Day, it is. We are having a snow day tomorrow. Everything around our life seems to be surreal and I had never felt this way before. My life has been in the "stay home order" mode since March 12th while visiting a few "trusted" friends either on FaceTime or in person and dining out at "selected" restaurants help me to create "a highlight of the day" in regular basis. I suppose going to grocery stores to hunt the seasonal fruits and vegetables and baking the most aromatic cakes and desserts are also falling in the highlight category. I also began to meet with a sweetest humming bird in our backyard every now and then and her appearance has been a godsend like pure comfort. Okay, so in a way many rather ordinary elements in my life have now become such meaningful events that I adore and feel excited. Perhaps reaching out my sensitive antennas further to the edge of my universe has brought me something unexpected....Speaking of unexpected, I have been invited to a new outdoor art show event, ART ON THE GREEN, for this weekend. It will be one day event but I am so thankful to have this opportunity. Let's roll! Wohoo!
Well I have no more excuses to stay away from this monthly blog. You can tell how fast the times have flied under this most unprecedented environment that the whole world has been enduring since March this year. The image here is the last print that I was working on back in March, having absolutely no clue about how the whole world, and my world, would altered so instantly. I purely miss going to the studio. Airy space, abundant light, scent of etching ink, and laughter of familiar faces, this most ordinary studio atmosphere is now the most extraordinary treasure box I cannot reach.
My life is somewhat simplified now, may be called "adapted" to the new. I still have been keeping daily drawing/painting and curving wood plates as alternative. As far as I know the studio will be closed till at least the end of August. Ahhhhhh. Two more months!
Oh by the way, an important note, my work has been selected by International Printing Center New York for its "Give Me Space:2020/Summer" show, which is currently on going on their website. How honored I feel, needless to say. Life goes on and stay cheerful as much as we all can!
April, 3rd, the midst of the worldwide hardship. My husband and I have been under Stay Home Order for a few weeks by now but it seems to be for a long few months. From the first day of the lockdown, I determined to be a productive being at home, focusing what we can do instead of what we cannot do. I began woodblock curving since I can no longer access to the studio for printmaking. Woodblock printmaking requires such a different set of approaches and mindset and it is a good time for me to explore this area as I am given this continuous spare time. I use calligraphy brush with a black sumo ink to draw the design directly on plate, no sketches underneath. This is a distinguished style that I understand that Shikoh Munakata who established his woodblock printmaking world in the early 20th century. Calligraphy brush in general creates "natural" and somewhat unexpected strokes and lines I desires, instead of predictable and uniformed lines. Naturally my brush strokes on the plates are lot more bold and dynamic and the lines are so definite and pronounced. I am not so envisioning for layering with other colors that are faithful to the outlines and the shapes as you may know of the traditional woodblock prints, though adding some accent colors is always a possibility. Yesterday as a side project, I made three face masks, one made from two sheets of paper towels and the others from Japanese gauze handkerchiefs. I googled "how to" pages in numerous Japanese sites and found simple methods to proceed. When the three masked are lined up on my work table, I smiled and felt an encouragement to move on to the next day. I am grateful.
Sadness continues. This worldwide pandemic, Coronavirus, has been transforming our everyday life so forcefully.
Our annual trip to Japan is now up in the air, hoping the airline will be reasonable to all the booked passengers like us for changing our flight plan due to the circumstances. As much as I would love to visit my aging parents in Osaka, I would also like to be a responsible being, not to create more reasons to spread the virus by traveling and visiting places.
Here a little bright news my friend delivered a few days ago. This seasonal program of Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities that recently published shows my print image on the cover, so colorful! What an honor!
When I was handed this copy on the Friday morning at a coffeeshop, my day was already fulfilled. A little step at a time, and moving forward is an essential. Keep on printing.
The Arvada Center show opening on Jan 16th was truly delightful. What a difference that space makes when it comes to showing a variety of art works. The installation of the show is so well done, flawless and delicately grouped. Seeing all dressed up ASLD printing studio fellows was also a highlight with an enormous pride. My two prints were sold during the reception and I was lucky enough to meet this wonderful couple who wrote me next day and said "Your works lifted our spirits from the bleak midwinter evening." What a perfect comment that I would love to hear! A "the mission accomplished" moment, with a full of encouragement. Summer Art Market application is now open and I will be applying on the 4th, a lucky day according to the calendar my dad sent me. Yes, I am a totally superstitious being and it works! Happy February and keep on printing!
Happy New Year and happy 2020! Boy it arrived a lot faster than expected but it's surely nice to welcome something new! Speaking of new, my print is currently showing at D'Art on Santa Fe art district here in Denver now. It is a juried printmaking show and it introduces you such a variety of printmaking techniques and aesthetics.
The second show will be at Arvada Center for Art and Humanities. This one is a biannual and regional printmaking juried show and my two prints were honored to be selected for this show. In fact one of my prints is printed on its show brochure and needless to say I am so elated! It is a good start of the New Year and I feel continuously grateful of my path. Wishing everyone a proactive and cheerful 2020 and I will see you soon!
Here comes December. My sincere apology for skipping the blog for November. I had a few weeks of a memorable vacation days in Lisbon and Paris at the beginning of November and by the time I managed to return to the my normal routine, December was just a week away. During the trip I was informed that my two prints had been accepted to 528.0 Moprint Regional Juried show at Arvada Center for Arts, which elated my spirit so high. Yesterday I dropped off those two works you see here in the image at the venue and I am so excited to be at the opening reception on January 16th, 2020 (open to public). I will also be showing one of my work at a new gallery, D' Art, in the Santa Fe art district here in Denver in January. I will be focusing on a few more productions over the next few weeks at the studio and then shifting a gear for celebration of the holiday and welcoming the New Year. I sincerely thank you everyone of you who has been supportive about my work. I had a very rewarding year and am utterly grateful. wishing you all a wonderful holiday season! Keep on printing!
Overnight rain has created the atmosphere so tranquil on the first morning of October.. Beginning of the new month and the new season. The Stanley Market show in the early September seems to be a so far away memory already. I thank you everyone who came to support my last summer show of 2019. The show was a success and memorable, uniquely. During the show packing up, an enormous size storm passed through over 'my tent" (Yes, it looked that way!) and Tom and I held onto our dear life. I had never been soaked that much while holding the one tent leg with my entire weight and full strength protecting from the whole tent being blown away. I almost wished I could video tape myself for the record! We and the tent were spared, thankfully. As a little note I am currently taking screen printmaking class and here is my sketch, tracing to a mylar for each color selection. I want to experiment something I cannot do on my normal plexiglass plate, more simple drawing like a premature element. Tonight we will be printing for the first time. Anxiously prepping things to bring for the class. Something new is always uplifting my creative spirit. Happy October to everyone. Life is good.
Labor Day Weekend, already. "'No more white clothings" my friend Nancy used to say. It is a transitional month for many and myself. I have harvested my basil plants a few days ago and made a few jars of pesto source. I see a bunch of crabapples across the street from my living room window, tempting to harvest those too for jerry or a big pie even. My husband school has began too last week and I surely had a hallelujah moment! As for my printmaking world, my last summer2019 show, Stanley Arts Festival, will be next weekend and I am so ready. After the show, I must be applying for a big juried show for MoPrint 2020 at Arvada Center. I am already nervous about this one since I really want to get in. I see more than "normal" number of printmakers at the ASLD studio working hard to produce good prints for this same competitive show. Before "lovely October" September will be busy itself for serving us many bridges, creating safe and happy passages for the good rest of the year to welcome. Life is good, keep on printing!
The first year at Cherry Creek Art Festival over the past Fourth of July weekend was memorable in so many ways. It was certainly a dream come true show and having my own tent on the Second Avenue was almost unreal for the three days. As I had been a faithful patron of the show telling myself "someday" word all these years, when that someday really arrived to my life, my excitement was unmeasurable. The show ended with a big success and now I am really hoping to be accepted again next year, as attending a two-consecutive year means an even higher achievement for me. My last summer show of 2019 is approaching in a month at Stanley Art Festival. This is my second consecutive year show and feel so hopeful. The festival is relatively new and small but the crowd last year was purely enthusiastic and genuine. One more to go, Mami! Life is good and keep on printing!
P.S. I have been interviewed by Voyage Denver lately and the article is now up. Please visit at: http://voyagedenver.com/interview/conversations-inspiring-mami-yamamoto/
Here is my first blog.