Etegami morning

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Wednesday morning I practiced etegami. The subject of etegami is whatever you can have in front of you, so I gathered some vegetables and fruits from the kitchen: garlic, yam potatoes, oranges, onions.

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Etegami was invented in 1960s by Kunio Koike a calligrapher from Japan.  He was frustrated that art was only made by professional artists, such as the art printed on New Year’s greetings postcards that were sold in Japan. He invented the principles of etegami so people can make and share their own art.

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All you need for etegami is ink, watercolour, and rice paper. To make etegami, you hold the brush at the tip, with two or three fingers. You don’t have control of the brush so, as you move very slowly, the lines are squiggly, imperfect, and there are blotches, but it’s okay. In etegami, they say the lines are ‘alive’.

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Once the artwork is done you have to add a short sentence, or greeting. I tried to be spontaneous.

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I enjoyed adding watercolour. It added a new dimension to the artwork.

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Today I used large sheets or rice paper to practice. Next time, I’ll use a small brush and postcards-size paper. etegami means imagee (e) and letter (tegami).  It’s not etegami until you mail it, so I’m hoping to send some for New Year’s.

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I’m grateful to instructor Darlene Dihel, assisted by Dorothy Matthews and Melinda Brottem who gave a workshop  at Seabeck Haiku Getaway and introduced me to etegami.  It was a lot of fun, not having to stress about the quality of the final product, but to simply enjoy the process. This allowed me to make art again.

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My favorite part of the process was just focusing on the line and the breath. To be present. In the moment.

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In the next coming weeks, I’ll learn to make a seal out of an eraser so I can sign the artwork. This should be fun too.

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Live Drawing with Dancers

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IMG_2843Did you do something scary today? I did. I went to Live Drawing with Dancers.

I’ve always wanted to go, but the thought that there would be artists — real artists who can draw — there, and that they might make fun of me, always stopped me.

But today, I decided on three things:

1- I would go.

2- Instead of trying to sketch like everyone else, I would draw stick figures to explore movement.

3- I was going to have fun.

When I  arrived at the lobby of the Queen Elizabeth theatre at 2pm, I saw two dancers – one male and one female – dressed in beautiful costumes, moving in a very graceful choreography. I quietly took a seat and immediately started to draw small kinetic figures.

My first figures were stiff and looked like Chinese characters.  As I loosened up, I drew curved arms, and added little feet.

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As my confidence grew,  I added a head to the figures.

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I drew the dancer’s tutu as two curved lines on each side of her body.

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I started to really enjoy the process.

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The dancers changed and came back with black shorts.

As the last hour began, Arts Umbrella instructor Jason Wright said, “Let’s try something loose and goofy.” The session that followed was amazing, as the dancers contorted their body in ways I’ve never seen before, inspiring some of my favorite drawings.

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By the end of the session, I had truly found my style and was able to enjoy the process of creating as many stick figures as possible.

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So, will I go to the next Live Drawing session? Absolutely. And I will leave my fears at home.

 

live drawing

the dancer’s shadow

on my page

— Jessica Tremblay

 

What about you? Is there a thing that scares you that you’ve always wanted to try? What stops you?

Words: Haiku on Paper

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Did you know many haiku poets are also paper artists? Among them, Terry Ann Carter, Claudia Radmore, Steve Addiss, and more, will have artwork in the international exhibit Words: Haiku on paper in Whitehorse, Yukon. The exhibit coincide with the Haiku Canada conference in May 2016.

Support the Go Fund Me campaign to receive a catalogue featuring work by your favorite artists/haiku poets.  I just donated now and the process was really easy.

Thanks for sharing the campaign on Facebook and Twitter to help fellow haiku poets.

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I created some haiku-origami pieces for the exhibit. Not sure if they’ll be in the final exhibit or not. I mean, I was told they will be, but it seems unbelievable that my work would be exhibited next to international artists, so I’ll believe it when I see it.

I’m keeping the final artworks a secret, but you’ll find above an earlier version of “Childless” with the frog origami not yet mounted.

Any artwork not selected for the final show will be featured in store windows on Main street during the conference. It’s gonna be great to see haiku everywhere in Whitehorse during the Haiku Canada conference. Thanks to Helen O’Connor for curating the exhibit.