Sunday, September 8, 2013

chance occurrence

It still amazes me how a chance occurrence can change the way things get done. I was doing collages of my mother and this week I am doing mandala watercolours. Why the change? Well, I received an e-mail asking for submissions. The artwork is for a Christmas sale. This is something I’ve never done before; prepare artwork for sale-so I’m giving it a go. My mandalas are what I’m most comfortable with. Besides, they’re kind of unusual so they may work as Christmas presents. I’ll make a few and see how it goes. If nothing else it’s a great learning experience right?

In addition there was a request for Christmas ornaments. I’ve done many over the years. When my kids were small I painted chicken eggs. Many chicken eggs. These became the ground for various surface treatments and miniscule paintings. So when an online request came for artists to make a Christmas decoration to donate I thought why not? So now I’m also making a Christmas decoration but this time out of a tuna fish can with a steampunk theme. Research is required. Objects around the house or when I go out shopping get analyzed for their possible use as machinery components. Everything gets examined for their steampunk potential.

Another chance occurrence came when I did some blog surfing. Hopping from blog to blog I discovered a wonderful essay written in 1933 called In Praise of Shadows by Junichiro Tanizaki. This was a lucky chance occurence because for the month of September I'm posting a mindful stone a day to my writing group. Tanazaki's essay is about being mindful of our environment.The author contemplates the differences between western and Asian appreciation for light and shadow. The west sees beauty in the light and spurns shadow. Yet Asian culture sees beauty and mystery in shadow. It is a beautifully written essay that bounces about from idea to idea yet never strays from its topic. I can’t say I agree with everything the author writes. He supposes dark skin is shunned in western society because of the underlying shadow. Probably true since shadow suggests illness but there is also the more obvious distinction that pale skin being a sign of wealth. Not true anymore, tans now suggest vacation time, but certainly still true eighty years ago.

The final chance occurrence was discovering an artist living in our city I’d never heard of before: RobertGuest. He’s retired and living in the Nanaimo area.I met him through my job.Nature inspires him and he has a very mindful approach to his subject.

So what did I learn from this? Be open to the world around you. Chance occurrences lead to new possibilities.

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