Thursday, February 23, 2017

My Spirit Book...

I remember Oprah Winfrey (a famous US celebrity, journalist and TV Talk Show personality) doing a segment on her show OPRAH called "Remembering Your Spirit". It was always an inspirational end to her shows with an enlightening reminder to take the time and remember to love oneself and feed one's soul.  This is true for everyone.  In my second career as an artist, I find myself doing a lot of this - for me to really be creative and find my "Joy Spark" in my Art, I need to continually explore what inspires me and what feeds my spirit.

A Spiritual Art Journal

I found this beautiful book when I was in the US last Summer.  I was taking my older son to tour Colleges and we were visiting my alma matter in Philadelphia.  I received my undergraduate degree from Drexel University....  a long time ago. (And we will leave it at that!).

Anyway, lots has changed since I went to college in Philadelphia.  University City (where both the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University are located) has gone through a complete makeover with several new shops and updated stores.  One of them is an Art Supply Store call Plaza Art Materials on Walnut St.  I found a book filled with beautifully textured handmade paper.  It had no idea what I was going to do with it - but it just called out to me.

The Book measures 9" x 12" 

Beautiful texture up close

The paper is handmade

After coming back to Tokyo, I realized I could make a Spiritual Art Journal.  Using photographs I had taken upon my travels in Asia and elsewhere, I have begun to create paintings as part of my Japanese Painting classes.  Each of these paintings is accompanied by an inspirational quote that speaks to me. So far, I have completed 5 paintings.

The first one was more of an experiment - just to see how the paper absorbed the Japanese ink and how the Japanese brush glided onto the paper.

Bamboo is the first stroke we learn
in Japanese Brush Painting

It felt so smooth to paint on this paper! I started going through my travel photographs and collect the ones I wanted to paint.  So, I began...

Kyoto, Japan

I did an art holiday in Kyoto in November 2015.  It was a wonderful getaway with a bunch of other artists who also observe the world around them with color and depth and fascination with lines and painting. We took a tour of the Arashiyama River.  I like to preserve scenes that inspire me to paint with my camera, so I can take them into my studio later and re-create.

Arashiyama River, Kyoto Japan
"Listen to yourself and in that quietude you
might hear the voice of God"  -Maya Angelou

The Golden Pavilion or Kin-Kakuji Temple is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Kyoto, Japan.  They say at sunset, there is the "golden moment" - as the Sun sets it casts a gentle orange light onto the temple.

The Golden Pavilion, Kyoto Japan

"Once a year, go someplace you've never been"
- Dalai Lama

Sapa, Vietnam

One of our family's favorite vacations (although it was hectic) was Vietnam.  We took an overnight sleeper train from HaNoi to Sapa.  It as an old rickety train which must have stopped at 10 different places overnight.  We didn't get any sleep - but once we got to the Northern Vietnam Tonkin Alps countryside - we were in Love. It was one of the most peaceful and lush places I have ever been.

Rice Terraces in Sapa, Vietnam

"Travel makes one modest.  You see what a tiny place you
occupy in the world."  -Gustave Flauber

Niseko, Japan

Our family greatly enjoys skiing/snowboarding.  Last two years, we have been fortunate to go to Niseko in Northern Japan on the island of Hokkaido.  The moisture from the Sea of Japan and the Siberian wind combine to create one of the best and snowy places in the world.  It is an outdoor wonderland.  My husband and I love to ski, while our children love to snowboard.

Green Trails on Hanazono Mountain, Hirafu Japan

"Not all those who wander are lost."  -J.R.R. Tokien
(Yes, I took a bit of liberty on this one to add the mountain in the background)

As I go through the pages of this journal, I realize that I am also "practicing".  I plan to create larger versions of these works for an upcoming exhibition in the next one year.  What better way to celebrate the Artistic Adventures we have been blessed with, than to share them.  

Inspiration comes from many places; and the source is different for everyone.  Being blessed with the opportunity to live in Asia - my family enjoys traveling and experiencing new places.  When I photograph the landscapes, I always find myself in awe of how large the world is - and how much there is to see.

Until my next blog!
Peace. ART. SouL.

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