Thoughts while stranded on a long bus journey from the mountain province of Sagada back to Bagio; checking out interesting name titles of passing jeepneys keep me glued to the road. Some of the most intriguing and funny/odd names on the jeepneys were -
D'Best of Us
Help me Hold on
Help me Hold on II
God and God Alone
Monday, January 26, 2009
Friday, I boarded a plane for the week-end to attend my reception at the State Museum in Juneau. My solo exhibition titled Sunday's Threads was nicely attended. Pictured is my video that welcomes the viewer into the room that hosts my scrolls and tapestries. These works are experimentations; predominately a painter, I often go off the beaten track to try to discover freshness with my expressions and seek other ways of working to uncover new ideas. I was interviewed on public radion that aired at KTOO that Friday, January 23. The museum will be buying a piece of my artwork for their permanent collection.
The next day, I hosted two workshops in scroll making. The students did a wonderful job collaging and painting on the surfaces of verticle pieces of fabric. Below, you can see how complicated and intricate some of the pieces became. The children were quite involved for a good two hours; a feat in the world of working with young people and keeping them inspired is always a challenge.
I was also fortunate to get a tour by one of the local residents and see the town of Juneau and it's immediate surroundings. Juneau is a lovely town littered with quaint homes of character that lean right up against the mountains. Flying into the town was dramatic. Below I got to see the splendid (and diminishing) Mendenhall Glacier. It was quite impressive.
Monday, January 19, 2009
On our way up north to Central Luzon, we stopped at the Rama Beach Resort in the Zambales Province, located about four hours from Manila. One of the best ways of getting to know the country is being with the natives. Roger, an Australian expatriate and owner of Rama Beach Resort is married to a Filipino, and we became fast buddies during our stay. Roger showed us his environmental project - saving the baby turtles eggs that are often found on the beach by the natives. They bring the eggs to Roger; he buries the eggs and after a period of incubation in the sand, they are released out into the the vast South China Sea. Above, you can see them scurrying for their lives. I got to let a few go and wondered how the hell these tiny little creatures were ever going to make it.
The shells eggs were very soft and I was lucky to hold a few and let the tiny turtle work his way out of the shell. Some are still born, and chances of them swimming their way successfully into the ocean and surviving is about 10%. You can see part of the shell toward the bottom of this photograph.
This is a sight of the Zambales shore often lined with nipa huts. It is a rugged coast, rolling mountains with a vast sea horizon. The South China Sea was very calm that day. The Philippines are known for their tremendous typhoons. Also, this is the area that Mount Pinatubo erupted in 1991. I collected some pumice stone still laying throughout the beaches.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
I am showing pictures from my favorite spots from our recent travels. The Philippines wasn't our greatest venture, but I received some wonderful insights which triggered inspiration and excitement for new work to create. The rice fields above are like a quilted pattern; immensely beautiful with subtle colors. This is in the northern part of Luzon, in a small town called Sagada. Every morning at 4:30am, the church bells would ring loudly for mass. Ninety percent of Filipinos are Catholic. We met some lovely villagers one day and Ken and I had a magical moment of a ride in a jeepney (the standard mode of vehicle which is like a long wagon) with some of the elders all adorned with original headdresses and regalia from their regional tribe. Priceless.
I discovered that I love to leave a place and get onto the next destination. We bring our pack backs and go pretty light; although possessions get heavier as time passes. This is me at a bus station in Baguio, located in the northern area of Luzon. Bus rides were very rocky; lots of winding up steep inclines and dizzying sights from below. You were in deep denial most of the time or looked the other way. Both ways worked! Bus rides were L-O-N-G; sometimes close to 8 hours long.
This is an underwater shot that Ken took. I love it because is looks like an abstract surreal fabric print. We loved island hopping. You needed to rent a banka (a flat light weight motored craft with extended rudders on each side) for the day (which cost around 40 bucks) and you went from one place to another, snorkeling, looking at the wondrous shell life to soaking up the sun. It never got too immensely hot on the islands. It is the cool time in December. I never got too tired of the water, which relaxed me and soothed my soul. We picked up some beautiful shells to add to our collection. This shot was taken on Palawan Island, on the Sulu Sea.
And lastly, we spent some time in a colonial Spanish town called Vigan. Around town you would come across these wooden religious icon figures. I loved these painted reliefs and this place inspired me to work at some carvings for my next projects. I have in mind to make abstract wooden figures and adorn them with the shells, trinkets and curios that I picked up. Stay tuned.