11/50 : Rust called for a double take

I just learned the basics of Japanese painting this summer at Japanese painting stores in Tokyo (about 5 years late).

  • how to make sumi ink with a pressed charcoal instead of pre-made liquid sumi ink
  • different types of Japanese brushes
  • rice paper vs. kozo paper (both of which I've used a lot!)
  • price of natural Japanese minerals for color. yikes.

Here's my favorite find that I had been searching for (at a reasonable price)- what a beauty. It's hand carved and even comes apart! [Clearly I underestimated the number of brushes-- double hanging isn't the norm.]

One of my jet lag projects at 2am was attaching purple string to the ends of the brushes. All come with an indent on the end, but not all with string attached.

Now moving on from drooling over new art supplies...

I made a list of 10 Nagasaki paintings to paint in an earlier post. I wasn't up for detailed architecture today so I painted #6.


I never pinpointed the connection between the very different subjects I choose to paint, from Japanese martyrs to mossy Italian walls, until last night: I'm drawn to less-noticed parts of history. Maybe I relate to feeling insignificant and small, but still having something to say and hoping to make a significant impact somewhere. [I'm definitely not consciously thinking all these things every time I paint!] In the grand scheme of things, [each] "man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow" (Psalm 144:4).

But at the same time,

"Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?...Consider the lilies of the field...even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?" (Matthew 6)

So yes, it's simply a rusted fence. But it pulled me in for a double take. It reminds me to look back. Some things look better with age- time and natural elements caused those contrasting colors (red rust on light blue paint!) and varied textures.

"Stop and smell the roses" or admire the rust.

I'm telling myself to be patient, most things take time.

Even though I pretend otherwise, I actually can't control every circumstance!

"Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." (Psalm 127:1)