Thursday, 8 January 2009

Hanga lesson & orchid print 1.1

I had two lessons on hanga while I was in Tokyo. One in the middle of the night after all the guests had gone, and one in the middle of high tea with Ami and Yusa. Very strange times to have lessons, but very memorable experiences, especially the time when Ami was here. We were having a leisurely chat, and then when we got to talking about hanga, all of a sudden, Mama became very serious. All of a sudden, she stood up, went to the kitchen and came back with one of the extra long chopsticks we use for cooking. With the very long chopstick, burnt on one end, she went from print to print in the flat, pointing and tapping on the acrylic over the print as she explained. Oh, she was so serious and speaking so fast! At the time, I was just trying to keep up, but now that I replay the images of the session in my head, I can't help but giggle. Imagine going through an art museum with a no-nonsense curator in a suit, professionally explaining each work and pointing to different areas of the art pieces with a...burnt cooking chopstick. Hee hee hee hee hee...

Back to my print. I have lots of things to fix in the print, including the gradation! Something felt off, and I didn't know what until Mama pointed out (with her finger, because it was small and close enough that she didn't need a chopstick) that the gradation was going the wrong direction. The light of the background and shadow of the flowers were going in opposite directions! Imagine sunlight coming in from a window on the right, shining down on an apple, however, the shadow of the apple, instead of being to the left of the apple, it is to the right, towards the light. Can you imagine? If I saw something like that, I think I'd fall out of my chair from the unbalance of the picture, like a motion sickness of some sort. So Steve Jobs is sick from hormonal imbalance and I guess I'm sick from light/shadow imbalance. That gradation going the wrong way is really killing me.

There are other changes to make too, so now I'm working on version 1.1, fixing the sketch a little bit as I go along too. This is fun. I really love this. I don't have to sleep or eat when I do this. To think, I absolutely hated art and avoided it at all costs when I was little.

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