update: almost September:

+ Listened to Wicked (the audio book, not the musical) on the way to & from OCNJ
+ Now reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & the eighth issue of Annalemma magazine
+ Been thinking a lot about “the making of” a witch & the shapeshifting nature of a story & what the little things mean for big things
+ Enjoyed Fright Night much more than previously expected
+ Learned how to play Crazy Rummy, Rummy Cube, and another game I can’t remember the name of thanks to my Gram
+ Sold a total of six paintings from the circus series (which comes down tomorrow)
+ Beginning new projects involving books, a zine, stitches, and/or paint
+ Playing the piano everyday as per a pinky swear agreement
+ Feeling that September will be a very good month – hard, but good

Kwaidan: Hoichi, the Earless

Hoichi, The Earless, the third story in Kwaidan was perhaps the most visually and conceptually engaging to me. It explored a lot of things that I think about almost daily.

A story is not about facts.

And, and, and…

Kwaidan: The Woman of the Snow

The second story in Kwaidan was The Woman of the Snow, about a ghost that can claim the lives of mortals. She appears to blow onto their faces, freezing them to death, and the victims are later described as having no blood (or something like that). Despite her desire to kill people during snowstorms, she is not entirely absent of other desires or pity. The cold, frightening, powerful ghost compared to the subservient, warm, loving wife is interesting, but most especially after you can see where they overlap and how her sense of power and compassion affects her speech.

In this story, the theatrical nature of the environments are heightened one step further. There are scenes where the environment does not look real at all, and surrealism takes over to depict the true feeling of the moment. Visually speaking, that was perhaps my favourite part of this story. The movement of the trees during the snowstorm (along with the music) and the first meeting of the ghost woman were, of course, not really something I could represent in a single screen shot. Or even multiple. It was a strange combination of stillness or silence, and specific, graceful, unhesitating action.

At the end, I thought a lot about identity. You might not want to read this part if you haven’t seen the movie. On the surface, she decided one night to test his vow of silence. He failed her test, and she didn’t kill him because of their children, but she did leave them immediately. Given the context, it’s not surprising at all that he would tell his wife about that night. So, really, why did she suddenly decide to leave?

It reminds me of other stories I’ve read about female ghosts, entities,spirits and so forth that match up with men, then suddenly leave and “return” to their dominant identity.

it’s okay

I’m in the process of getting a website put together for my work, and while that process is going on, I’m also making work and collecting things for my projects. I wanted there to be a home for it all because, based on my experience, everything counts toward the “real” work. It may not be clear right away. I may hate what I’m currently working on. Everyone else might think it’s garbage. But I know how castles are built. Perhaps that’s presumptuous. I’m okay with that, too.

Mostly I’ll be posting pictures and seemingly harmless thoughts. Occasionally there will be a dose of self-promotion. This or that show. Sketches after the fact.

My mom told me and my husband a story once about when I was a little girl. She would secure me in my car seat and then after driving for a while, I would jump out between the two front seats and exclaim some happy ah-ha in the child language. I knew I wasn’t supposed to do it, but I did it often and enjoyed it every time.

This interaction strikes me as being very representative of my relationship to people and the sharing of information.

Just don’t swerve too much and it’ll be okay.