January 21, 2016

Japanese Drawings Hidden in an Impossible Storage Room

Whatever happened, I wondered, to that notebook from 2006 that enclosed my studies of Japanese paintings from the Peabody Essex Museum?  The beginning of this year saw a thorough cleaning of my utility room and the unearthing of that notebook was a byproduct of the effort to pare down and reorganize.  I was pleased to find it and happy as well to have finally thrown away seven bags of materials that  I would most likely never use and give away three more bags of material that other artists still might use.
I had put off clearing out the utility room since 2011, in part because of prolonged illness, and also because this meant confronting piles of teaching materials that I would probably no longer use on account of disability.  This was the stuff of 2011 and before, just sitting there like a time capsule awaiting the same bravery to physically discard as the bravery to realistically relinquish the lifestyle that the materials represented.   Although I can now physically manage to drive very short distances, create art work from my home, and manage symptoms just long enough to go on short visits, the wear and tear of a teaching schedule is out of the question and most likely will remain so.  The first thing to toss out were materials related to teaching mosaics.  No, I won’t be hauling buckets of rocks around for a hundred or so kids a day to make crafts with.  Nor will I be driving about five hundred miles or so to teach the craft in Maryland, like I used to do every summer.  Who knew that the teaching summer of 2011 would be my last?
My new utility room has less cluttered shelves with labeled boxes.  It amazes me how little time it takes to find something.  But whatever happened to my box of copper carbonate?  Maybe that will be revealed, too, when my unused studio is cleared out.  In the mean time, I took my line drawing of a Japanese enamel and made a black and white illustration from it.  A rodent in a kimono sings to the moon about still being alive and in the world.

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