Art & Design
It's always curious to me how a year's end or beginning jostles folks to hasty reflections of their life. The sheer power of numbers on a calender seems like the panic button to rattle about time lost, goals not reached yet, bucket lists dragged out from last New Year without any new check marks added...
Why is it that we humans in general have such a hard time getting things done if there isn't a constant reminder, threat, or reward looming? Well, if you're anything like me then you suffer from the crippling affliction of always taking on more than I should - projects to help others, good causes, but rarely do I consciously heap on activities and projects that are actually just good and relaxing for me. The constant need to help and be of service to others is probably not inherently a bad thing (sure hope not) but it is not always a sustainable life philosophy to live by.
classy shows and garden expos. The tradition apprently originated in Afrika and was brought to America with black slaves. The colorful glass of the bottles is supposed to attract bad spirits or ghosts, they get trapped inside at night and are burned away in the bright morning light of the dawn.
As with all superstitions, they travel easily, translate effortlessly, are assimilated readily, and are hard to change or end once they take root. But considering the bright, colorful, arrangements I have seen, who would want to?! Mahalo, CJ
When the mood of the season grabs me this way, I like to sit back quietly with my cup of tea and watch a stick of incense burning, sending its smoky curls into the air, folding the wind into its layers like ribbons flying in the breeze. And it seems for just one second, as if I am watching a sped up version of our earths layers folding all the dust, objects, and other earthly remains into their arms to become a melting pot of history. The drawing to the upper right is a 'true' doodle reflecting that moment. Stay dry. CJ
Happy Thanks Giving!
Given that I did not grow up with the traditional practices of US holidays, I always find it amazing how quickly this particular festivity has grown on me. Not only does the act of cooking the feast remind me of my on Christmas traditions of childhood, but I do believe that this particular holiday has a deep rooted underbelly that most American might not feel in the same intensity as someone from, say, European heritage would. There exists such a strong under-current of harvest festival culture - many countries sport a variety of hunting, marksmanship, brewing or cooking festivals right around this time of year. And they are so closely connected to the details of the flora and fauna to each location that they are inseparable in particular from their region - but the overall theme is recurring world-wide (and there usually is a lot of eating involved!).
In this season, we are harvesting the fruits of this years toils and labors - symbolically, since we are somewhat removed from having to cultivate our own food supply.
But for me, personally, it is a humble reminder of how far I have come and how much clearer my vision for my own art has become. Meeting my customers' design requirements with the most up-to-date visual effects and the best possible attitude is keeping this job interesting and challenging for me. So thanks to you, I hope the world keeps challenges in store for you to harvest yet deeper rewards to keep you growing in turn. Mahalo!
DARK DAYS OF AUTUMN
Hard to believe - but it is the end of October already! Happy Halloween to y'all, hope you're being treated to your fair share of sweet scares and little rewards. It's been a rough couple of months for me, but the small things (like our perishable table lanterns there) brighten up the dark spots. Somehow, whenever the important goals and pressing projects seems unattainable, it is always the little things that brings me back to the joy of the process and life in general!
Sometimes it is so hard to keep a positive outlook and continue a non-stop creative outpour... Not only has there been a (relatively) long hiatus in my painting and drawing (about two months now, I shudder to admit to myself!) - the design side of business just has been very overpowering. That's not surprising, since September and October are traditionally the busiest months out of the year for me. But in the bigger scheme of things there really, categorically is nothing to complain about: Too much work always beats out no work any way you slice it!
So, have youreself that nice hot cup of tea (maybe coffee or cocoa if that's your thing... hmmm marshmallows!!), watch the leaves turn color (or just enjoy the aroma of the falling rain), or maybe just take in your favorite horror movie and candy bar... just don't forget to treat yourself to a break - even if (or just because) the world is running you ragged. After all, time passes us all by quicker than it seems and sometimes 'wasting time' is the best way to stay sane!
Autumn - Carving out Meaning to Life
Fall is always the season that reminds me most about the impermanence of life. Hawaii in its mild, tropical splendor doesn't quite share the same degree of weather reversal as much of the other States on the mainland or other countries in the Northern climate zones do.
So the air of decay and smells of October rain on piles of gathered leaves, the aromas of baking and cooking that the seasonal harvest bounty conjurs up, are not quite as meaningful to us as they are to inhabitants of cooler regions, who are catching the first breaths of a looming winter by now.
As a reminder to the fragility of life, I started the pumpkin carving very early this year. For one thing, it does accompany a new tradition me and my husband started last year: to watch a scary movie every day until Halloween in a Fright Night movie countdown - and the flickering orange and golden grimaces are the perfect decorative elements.
On a deeper level, knowing that they will probably only last several days puts you to a profound decision: Do you make a simple image with the least amount of work that serves the purpose - or do you spend hours thinking up and carving down the intricate patterns, knowing they will get moldy and whither within a week? For my part, I choose to celebrate the moment, and life, making the most elaborate carvings I can think of ( although my blistered thumbs are not necessarily thanking me for that decision!), it is my lesson in humility, a meditative exercise to contemplate the fragility of all living things. ( Although I am cheating a bit by taking photos of them, making them thus more permanent...)
As this year several of our friends have been diagnosed with cancer (as thousands of others are all over the world), this is also a quiet dedication to their battle with their illness. I hope they find strength to carry on their fight, and may they find their way through this shadowed time of their lives.
Art in Hawaii
Living in Hawaii is an inspiring experience, both artistically and spiritually.