Flowers and Swords

Flowers and swords. This contrast takes me straight to the heart of wild duality and vastness inherent in every moment we are alive. Beauty and darkness, life and death are polar opposites and inseparably close, continually weaving our histories, personal, cultural, global. How do we own and hold this great wholeness? How to dance with it well?

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Genji and Heike

These stunning chrysanthemum men are warriors of the Genji and Heike clans: two sides engaged in bitter struggle during 12th century Japan. Their famed wars led to unification of power in Japan and inspired so many works of art and literature, that the two clans hold a near-mythical place in Japanese culture. They have become the symbol of eternal rivals, and the colors of their standards, red and white, may still be seen on Japan’s flag.

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Hirakata Doll Exhibitions

The tradition of decorating dolls with chrysanthemums began as a novelty in Tokyo in 1868; since 1910, it continued as a yearly exhibit at the Hirakata Park in Osaka prefecture. In October 2012, I was lucky to be in the right country at the right time.

Master craftsmen build 50 dolls with living mum blossoms. The floral statue scenes enact renowned moments from Japanese drama and history. This autumn tradition costs a staggering $1,000,000 to build and maintain.

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Racetrack Playa Spirit World

Racetrack Playa in Death Valley is a mighty mysterious place, be you a scientist or a mere human in awe. Aside from the sheer beauty and elemental intensity of the place, it is home to huge rocks (some weighing over a third of a ton) that move, leaving long furrows in the hard dry lake bed. Though studied since 1900, there are no definitive answers behind the mechanism, as the conditions must be harsh indeed to allow such feats of strength. The standing theory calls for the following recipe: when the playa is covered by a shallow lake with a frozen layer on top, very high winds can move the rocks now somewhat suspended in slippery ice.

After a headachy three hour drive over washboard roads, we arrived a second time to this place that makes you return again and again. Our prize was a full moon night on the playa, bright and lit up more like a vision than waking life.

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No, we were not thinking about the Obelisk in Planet of the Apes. But you are!
Though truth be told, that night was a rather transformative encounter.

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Dan-Duriscoe-NPS-2007

Above is a shockingly beautiful panorama shot by Dan Duriscoe of National Park Service. Be sure to enlarge the image and delight in all the details of its full glory.

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See Saline Valley Gallery for more Death Valley inspired creations and photography.

By Air

By Air image

By Air

$23

Wind-born messages.

  • Two 3.875″ x 9.25″ original suminagashi sheets on off-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope
  • The paper is lightly translucent, foreshadowing the next page

Add to Cart

By Air photo

By Air photo

Dreamscapes Kyoto

Tanukidanisan Fudoin, Badger Valley Mountain Temple, is a place of pilgrimage for me whenever I get to return to Kyoto. Overshadowed by more famous temples and gardens nearby, it feels intimate, very much part of the forest, full of hidden magic places. I am especially fond of the bronze monk that greets you on the long set of stairs, the small waterfall shrine that you find by following the sound of the water, and the veritable tribe of Tanuki-san, the Japanese mythical badger clay figures.

The temple cluster was built in 781 to guard against bad spirits said to come from the north-east, a direction sometimes named a Demon’s Gate. Whatever the original intent—evil spirits, or no—twelve centuries of casting protection have cloaked the ravine thick in blessings. It is ever a place of refuge, quiet joy, and communion with mountain-forest-water magic.

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Dreamscapes Kyoto 6

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Take A Stroll Through My Garden

Japanese gardens built around meandering paths employ a 17th century technique known as miegakure: they are designed to hide and reveal. The landscape unfolds as you walk the path: each step a new sight, each moment fresh. Never is there instant gratification of a sweeping view, yet you walk the beauty of a thousand gardens.

So please enjoy a short respite and scroll slowly.

 

 

 

Take A Stroll Though My Garden

Grafista

Broadside

WRITING IS A BLOODY BUSINESS BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO KILL YOU

This broadside was based on Francesca Preston’s ink drawing and created for her Grafista writing / editing business. I will not attempt to paraphrase a writer’s message about her own work, so do give yourself a taste and the pleasure of her amazing way with words in the detail image below. Bloody Business photo front Bloody Business photo Bloody Business detail

The Process

I felt so in tune with and so moved by Francesca’s ink drawing, the broadside creation process was untimed design bliss. Here are a few roughs and the original drawing. Bloody Business process 1     Bloody Business process 2     Bloody Business process 3 Bloody Business process 5     Bloody Business process 6     Bloody Business process 4 Blood Business original ink drawing

Five Lands Path

Five Lands Path image

Five Lands Path

$37

Will these prints hold a letter, five poems, or invite musings on the five elements? They await your direction.

  • Five 3.875″ x 9.25″ original suminagashi prints on off-white washi paper
  • Two matching envelopes (I can include more)

Add to Cart

Five Lands Path image

Five Lands Path image

Tunnel

Tunnel image

Tunnel

$17

Subterranean communications.

  • Two 5.25″ x 8.25″ original suminagashi prints on off-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope
  • For vertical or horizontal lettering
  • The paper is lightly translucent, revealing the underlying layer

Add to Cart

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Tunnel1 image

Tunnel image

Tom Lattanand

Album, Website

Stone Seat View

Stone Seat View is Tom’s a solo acoustic guitar album. The rich, complex, expansive flows of his music were very difficult to attempt to describe in visual form. Having explored many directions, suminagashi art work—where lines are created in part by nature—wound up being the most honest solution.

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Stone Seat View
$10

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Website

Emerging from above and below, horizontal lines come alive on rollover.

Tom Lattanand Music website home

Tom Lattanand Music website bio

Tom Lattanand Music website galleries

1000 Cranes

Sculpture for Healing

1000 Cranes was a particularly meaningful project for me. A friend was diagnosed with stage four cancer. The Japanese tradition of making 1000 origami cranes for healing provided a perfect channel to send him everyone’s love and wishes for well-being. Many crane making gatherings were held. I then suspended the cranes together as waves of color in a way I thought was most uplifting. The mobile was gifted during a community healing ceremony.

The inspiration of his vibrant personality lives on with us.

1000 Cranes photo

1000 Cranes photo

1000 Cranes photo

1000 Cranes photo

One Step at a Time

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One Step at a Time

$23

  • Original suminagashi print, 9.5″ x 12″
  • Lightly translucent, soft-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope (to fold in three)
  • For vertical or horizontal writing

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one step at a time photo

one step at a time photo

one step at a time

Softly at Dusk

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Softly at Dusk

$37

  • Two original suminagashi prints, 9.125″ x 12″
  • Lightly translucent, soft-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope (fold prints in three)
  • For vertical or horizontal writing

Add to Cart

softly at dusk photo

softly at dusk photo

softly at dusk photo

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softly at dusk photo

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Irresistibly In Bloom

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Irresistibly In Bloom

$29

  • Original suminagashi print, 9.25″ x 12″
  • Lightly translucent, soft-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope (to fold in three)
  • For vertical or horizontal writing

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irresistibly in bloom

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irresistibly in bloom photo

Misty Mountains

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Misty Mountains

$37

  • Three original suminagashi prints, 9.5″ x 13″
  • Lightly translucent, soft-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope (to fold in four)
  • For vertical or horizontal writing

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Breath Visible

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Breath Visible

$29

  • Original suminagashi print, 9.5″ x 12″
  • Lightly translucent, soft-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope (to fold in three)
  • For vertical or horizontal writing

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breath visible photo
breath visible photo

Clear Lake

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Clear Lake

$37

  • Original suminagashi print, 9.125″ x 12″
  • Lightly translucent, soft-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope (to fold in three)
  • For vertical or horizontal writing

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clear lake

Night Roads

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Night Roads

$47

  • Two original suminagashi prints, 9.5″ x 13″
  • Lightly translucent, soft-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope (to fold in four)
  • For vertical or horizontal writing

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Trash To Treasures

Editorial and Poster

An article about the Artist In Residency Program run by SF dump. Artists get full access to materials brought in for recycling and use them to create sculptures and installations. Some works find their home at the Sculpture Garden. Program tours occur every third Saturday and fourth Wednesday of the month.

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Artful Trash Management: Poster

This typographic poster was inspired by ‘Artful Trash Management’ philosophy of Bob Johnson and his RiverCubes Project. He and a team of volunteers dredge up and reclaim trash from rivers around Pittsburgh, PA. Their bounty—everything from tires to shopping carts to car seats—gets compressed into surprisingly lovely cube sculptures that are then placed along river banks close to the source of their dumping and retrieval. This project, in a playful way, seeks to redefine and deepen our culture’s relationship with consumption and waste.

 

Artful Trash Management poster

Clear And Smiling

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Clear And Smiling

$17

Keen thoughts spoken softly. In two parts.

  • Two 3.875″ x 9.25″ original suminagashi sheets on off-white washi paper
  • One matching envelope
  • The paper is lightly translucent, foreshadowing the next page

Add to Cart

Clear And Smiling photo

Unabashed

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Unabashed

$17

In full bloom and unashamed.

  • Three suminagashi cards: 3.5″ x 4.875″
  • Original, double prints
  • Portrait or landscape: as you prefer
  • White backing card stock & matching envelopes

Add to Cart

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Unabashed photo 1

Unabashed photo 2

Unabashed photo 5

Resolute

Resolute photo 1

Resolute

$17

Lines that flow without self-doubt.

  • Three suminagashi cards: 3.5″ x 4.875″
  • Original, double prints
  • Portrait or landscape: as you prefer
  • Off-white backing card stock & matching envelopes

Add to Cart   View Cart

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Resolute photo 7

Resolute photo 6

Arrival

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Arrival

$17

Emerging from the depths decisively and with a tale to tell.

  • Three suminagashi cards: 3.5″ x 4.875″
  • Original, double prints
  • Portrait or landscape: as you prefer
  • White backing card stock & matching envelopes

Add to Cart

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Arrival photo 4

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Saline Valley Photos

The photos do not quite describe the real feeling, but you may perhaps catch a glimpse.
From the entrance to the Valley.

Saline Valley Storm

Saline Springs turn-off marker. This is how Death Valley rolls.

Saline Valley Storm

It begins: the winds are up but the sky still blue.
Then not.

Saline Valley Storm

Saline Valley Storm

A donkey family—now wild descendants of their gold rush ancestors—take refuge with us in the oasis. All rear ends to the wind!

Saline Valley Storm

Saline Valley Storm

More storms brew the day after. Time to politely leave.
Snow and sleet on the way out at Nelson Range Pass, 4,500ft.

Saline Valley Storm

Owens Lake.

Saline Valley Storm

Hayes River

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Hayes River

$13

  • Two suminagashi cards: 4.25″ x 5.5″
  • Original, double prints
  • Portrait or landscape: as you prefer
  • White backing card stock & matching envelopes

Add to Cart

Though ambling slowly, the mighty subterranean Hayes River in San Francisco is wide and voluminous, spreading through the alluvial sediments, bay muds, and landfill under the Civic Center and Downtown neighborhoods. It broadsides Market Street, encountering a long concrete subway tunnel that interrupts its gait. So copious are the waters of the Hayes that, to protect their investment from damage, BART runs “de-watering” pumps day and night in the Powell Street BART station, to keep the Hayes from flooding the tracks. It finally meets the surface South of Market, where it enters the bay beneath China Basin. Originally, it came to the surface in a marsh at Mission and Seventh Streets.
On average, the river is about fifteen feet below surface, and much deeper and wider than most surface rivers. The extent of this slow fluid influx is such that hundreds of landowners along this waterway originally used private wells, built right into their foundations, to supply all their water needs.

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