Friday, September 21, 2007

Day 16 - Diversity

It is the diversity we bring to each other. Where I live is culturally diverse and I am all the better for it. I love to travel and would hope to do much more of it, but I am grateful for the exchange of culture when I have the opportunity. We experienced Goytaku, which means fish rubbing at a friends house. Her father who is visiting showed us this art. I love the brush!
First you prepare the fish by cleaning off the slime. Wine gets rid of the smell :-)
The fish is carefully painted with sumi ink. The eye is usually left unpainted.
Carefully place thin paper, rice paper here on top and begin to gently press the paper, making sure to get all the details of the fin, mouth. We used a sponge.
Gently pull the paper up and....
tada!!! Fish print.
Keeping with the theme we ate a Japanese restaurant in town (a gift from 2 yoga students). Delicious.
Thank you to Kei and her mom and dad.


We had a wonderful time at Kei's house, sharing this experience of fish printing. Kei's father, visiting from Japan, demonstrated it for us and so generously carved a stamp for each of us - a character of our name or the sound closest to our name. My character is (sounds like) Doe or Door meaning Earth or Grow. We carved the character on another block in the reverse, cutting it in the negative to his positive. Kei's mom cooked some dumplings and it was such a wonderful and fun evening with such generous and gracious hosts.

Gyotaku (pronounced ghee-oh-tah-koo), the Japanese art of fish rubbing, is believed to have originated in the mid-1800s (though other forms of nature printing date back to at least the time of Leonardo DaVinci).
In brief, a fish is caught, then meticulously cleaned of all mucus, blood, dirt, etc., and dried thoroughly. The fish is then positioned as it would appear in life; that is, each fin is propped open in the swimming position. Next, the fish is brushed with ink (with the exception of the eye, which may or may not be removed prior to inking) and a sheet of paper is carefully pressed or rubbed over it. When the paper is lifted from the fish, a highly detailed image is left on the paper, in much the same way you might leave a fingerprint. In traditional gyotaku, only the fish's eye may be painted by hand. Although Japanese anglers originally created the rubbings to record precise data of specific catches, they soon recognized the aesthetic quality of the works. Gyotaku has been practiced in the United States only since the 1950s--but never widely.
The first gyotaku were created using sumi ink (a natural carbon-based ink) on handmade paper (washi). Today, various media are used. Many practitioners use water-based block printing inks, but prints are also made using oil-based inks, acrylic paints, and watercolors. (Printing with nontoxic inks or paints allows the fish to be eaten afterwards.) Although fine papers are still widely used in the fish-printing process, fabrics such as muslin and silk are also employed.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Zoo Day :-)

Went to the Bronx Zoo today. Next time we leave earlier... and I bring a camera with a bigger zoom lens. Missed the butterfly house and the gorilla house. What we did see: Jungle World (always a must) and the Bird house which always seems to be the last on the list. This is probably good, because you want it to be quiet in there - no screaming kids. We saw a very entertaining polar bear, and very active tigers. Monkeys on the other blog with the tiger...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Blue Light magic

Last night we went to Annie's Cafe and of course I brought my camera. I bring it every where. I was taken by the blue glow of the candle and started taking some shots.
Thinking this one of John is good for Halloween. One of our discussions was about getting a new camera... oh yeah, I am loving that conversation!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Penis Envy

Last night some relatives brought by the zuccha longo but of course we had to play with it first before it got cooked.

Me at Play

"We are the ocean - vast, deep, powerful and rich.
Nourishing and nurturing.
Dive down into the dark stillness of being.
Sense the rising and falling of surface thoughts and emotions... sometimes gentle, sometimes violent.
Always shifting.
Always in motion.
Draw back and watch the waves of your life at play.
Know you are the unfathomable depths -- surface agitations can't disturb you. Know that you are bigger than the little things that aggravate you."

The above came in my mailbox... Daily Guru maybe.

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.(Lao Tzu)

John took these and scanned them. Oh yeah. I am thinking of giving him my digital camera and buying a new one!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Backyard beauties

took a break from all the errands today to check on the fish. Before that though, I had to take pictures of the sunflowers.
Surprise! The lily was in bloom.
So, here ya go Johnny.... your baby in bloom!
6 healthy fish as well.