Monday, January 24, 2011

Histories Past and Present

A scroll is a roll of parchment or paper which has been written, drawn or painted upon for the purpose of transmitting information or using as a decoration. Scrolls were the first form of record keeping. They were also used in recording history and literature before the bound book.

Come said the muse,
Sing me a song no poet has yet chanted;
Sing me the universal. Walt Whitman

Photo by Werner Bischof, from JAPAN photography by Werner Bischof 1951-52.

Without memories, there is nothing to account for our lives. With memories, we develop a language, drawing from universal concepts.

"Leaning against the wall were rows of ancient, tattered Chinese screens. I peeked between torn corners to see layers of paper, some yellowed with age but covered with exquisite calligraphy. A new body of work had begun." Roberta Marks, A Place Between

I found the above image at Seth Apter's tumblr page which you can find here. It is titled Four Play. He has beautiful images there as well as at his wonderful blog, which you can find here.

I draw these letters
as the day draws its images
and blows over them
and does not return. -- Octavio Paz

Four ancient scrolls from China.

A detail of the seals and chops used in the above scrolls.

A scroll made of bamboo
Man is but a part of the fabric of life -- dependent on the whole fabric for his very existence.
--- Gary Snyder

The above is titled LETTER FROM THE OLD WORLD by Lissa Hunter. Her book is LISSA HUNTER: Histories Real and Imagined. She also has a wonderful website which you can find here.

"Any process , whether it is washing dishes or making art, is begun to fulfill a function, is formed by appropriate techniques and materials, and if affected by cultural and historical influences." --Lissa Hunter

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Way of Tea

I may have posted the above collage already but I had several inquiries after my last blog post for more information about my tea lattes. I am a tea drinker. I collect teas where ever I travel.
I look for exotic teas and lately I have been looking for chocolate teas. The title of the above collage is THE WAY OF TEA. The Japanese strive for harmony with natural beauty. The monk Shuko (1422-1502) is credited with making the tea ceremony into an exemplification of wabi sabi design and refined, graceful living. The tea ceremony is an important part of the Japanese aesthetic.

THE BOOK OF TEA by Kakuzo Okakura is a brief but classic essay on tea drinkers, its history, restorative powers, and rich connection to Japanese culture. Okakura felt that 'teaism' was the very center of Japanese life and helped shape everything from art, aesthetics, and an appreciation for architecture, design, gardens, and paintings.

The black and white photograph is by famous photographer Werner Bischof. He took photographs in Japan over a 2 year span 1951-52. You can find more of his photos in the book JAPAN.. photographs by Werner Bischof and text by Robert Guillain.

The title of the above mixed media work is TEA. It was created by the artist Lissa Hunter.
You can find more of her work in her book LISSA HUNTER: Histories Real and Imagined by Abby Johnston.

Above, is a watercolor painting by Daniel Kelly titled ANCIENT BLUE. He is an American artist living in Japan. You can find more of his paintings and prints at his website here.

Mel Robson is a potter in Australia. She makes functional and non-functional cups and bowls and dishes in porcelain. You can find out more about Mel, and where and how you can get your hands on some of her fabulous porcelain pottery at her blog here.

As you can see in the above image, Mel is obsessed with old maps and text and handwriting.

There is a wonderful blog I want to tell you about. It is Tea for Joy and you can go to the blog here. This blog has things British and vintage, but also features a tea of the week. There are beautiful images and links to other blogs.

There are some wonderful new teas available now that become delicious tea lattes. Go to the Republic of Tea website here and check out their Cuppa Chocolate Tea Collection- a new tea there is Red Velvet Chocolate. Another tea I have is Chocolate Mint Rooibos by TEASE and you can find their website here. I make a cup of tea, add either non-fat milk, or non-fat half and half cream, and a dash of Splenda sugar. Then I use my Milk Frother to 'froth' up the milk and then I add India Tree dark chocolate bits. You can find all sizes, types and prices of milk frothers at You can find the chocolate sprinkles along with sugars and spices at the India Tree website here.

FLOW with whatever may happen
and let your mind be free:
Stay centered by accepting
whatever you are doing.
This is the ultimate. -- Chuang Tzu

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The time has arrived

During the holidays, this past November and December, my mantra was "I will do that in January". I will update my website, I will get caught up in the blog world, I will send out information about my upcoming workshop in April, I will start a new body of work.. so many goals, desires, wishes, hopes... all were put off until January. I have always viewed January as my new beginning-- blank canvas, blank calendar -- the beginning of my new goals. Well, it is now January. The first thing I did was take a look around at some of my favorite things and favorite quotes, looking for inspiration.

Old Japanese books, with worn torn covers

some more old worn Japanese books

DO OR DO NOT. THERE IS NO 'TRY'. - Master Yoda

old typeset wooden letters
Jump, and you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall. -- Ray Bradbury

My collection of beach stones
Alas! must it ever be so? Do we stand in our own light, wherever we go, And fight our own shadows forever? -- Lord Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton

Collection of bird eggs, bird skulls, bones
Be patient towards all that is unresolved in you and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms, like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Live the questions now. --
Rainer Maria Rilke

Old Japanese wooden boxes
The greatest danger for most of us is not that our aim is too high and we miss it, but that our aim is too low and we reach it. -- Michelangelo

Old gears, watch faces, rusty metal
You have to be available to the invisible voices that are swirling around you.-- George C. Wolf

Old maps, old scrolls, old papers waiting for inspiration.

I may not know who I am, but I know where I'm from. -- Wallace Stegner

After my favorite tea latte with chocolate sprinkles, and leftover sugar cookies on my favorite plate, I will get to work. I wish all my blog friends a successful, creative new year.