Making of a silk dress with a wing painted on it.
With dye in color blue black.
Realistic feathers placed unrealistically.
A long story told as is.
By artist/escapist Yuko Nagai, currently Miss Sore Thumb in a rural Japanese town
who rambles about random stuff as well.
Read on.
Thank you.

September 30, 2007

side-trackin: "memo from turner" (1969)

okay,
i am supposedly
should be
better be
writing an article for a paper
(DL: now)
but

just as any otha ole time when i
have to be doin somethin
i
am
sidetrackin!!!!
yea!

nothin works more wonders like
the last minutes pressure



so
lemme get back on the
sidetrackin track

the previous previous post's title
"see you in san antone..." was from the following tune

(and i've been wanting to
post the song for last 48hrs)


warning:
semi adult content in somewhat dated flavor
but at the same time there is
something very advanced about this clip

besides, the tune rocks and has
delicious "bite" to it


(if you are familier already,
bear wiz me)

(the below starts with very unattractive close up shot of
......an ear!
so
bear with that, too, if ya pleeaase)



from the film "performance"
dir. late donald cammell
(w/ co dir. nick roeg-wat a gloomy pair
-said that as a compliment)
i believe ry cooder is on guitar
whoever it is, the slide sounds
crystalliiiine


this is quite a vacant post
i haven't got nuthin to say
(maybe it's better that way)
i am just avoiding, prolonging

when i don't even dislike writing

it's like playing cat and mouse all by myself



goodnight


tweaker's delight

i
woke up this morning and
checked back on my last post

kinda like returning to the scene of crime
or
my dog re-sniffing her own markings


whichever league my act may be in
i knew i didn't quite like
the color choice i made for
the fonts


so of course i let myself get
sucked in, once again
right into the zen and art of
planting a font at a time


all in different shades and sizes

of course



see?

harder to read, but more
"cooly minty", i'd call it

(i forgot to give opacity treatment
but figured it won't matter much)



i tweak therefore i am

(really?)


this is a light weight act of
tuning into the inner compass
cause every step of the way i am
focusing on how i feel about the pick
i don't know how the finished piece looks (yet)
but the act of tuning in is almost more important


now i am ready to start my rainy sunday right





additional note on jan.2010:
the above japanese blog, which was to be a part of paper issued locally, and was to depict the spoiled "poster child" polar bear mama and even more spoiled kids of hers, has been terminated, due to reasons blog author won't even begin to bother to explain, and you most likely care not that much to know. thank u for those of you who came by.

polarbear progression revealed!!

today, i am revealing the secret of
bear drawing progression

this is for the free paper i talked about
on my previous post

i have a blog in japanese
kind of eco-blog but when i mess with it
somehow it begins to run off of the track
originally intended to stay on


owwwhatever


so for the up-coming issue i will
put up a little banner type of thing
on my humble allotment on the paper
so as to promote my somewhat eco blog

so that's what i am making today


first,
i drew with pencil
a little darker than usual so as to
make it easier to trace it later

(see,
polar "mama"bear is still a scary bear
and characters on the right are
very nervous about being in the same picture with her)


so
this is the "later"
i just traced the above drawing with
caran dache water-soluble pastel

touched up with
colored pencil in equal hue
to give it a finer touch

but tried very hard not to get too
detailed, meticulous,
...timid

i struggle not to be too much of those



then i realized that,
the characters are too close
the bear and the other ones
(those are me and my dog, by the way)
gotta be a little apart coz

i have a plan


so
to stretch out as well as
to rough it up a bit

i cut and pasted (manually)
with another piece of paper

(printed out one, to give it a touch of eco)


then i realized also that
the stretched-out drawing
doesn't fit the maximum scannable size
for my scanner

but i took this as an opportunity

.....ha!

(you'll see what i mean in a minute)


so i scanned in 2 parts

left half here....



and right half to follow


now it's time for the
photoshop magic

yyyyup


below,
i went through minor trouble to
attach the 2 pieces seamlessly
...and as a result i

bored myself


(ow naw!!)


so i went a notch up

this is the opportunity i mentioned earlier
wy don ai give it a little...

edge!

but at this point, i was unsure as to
whether i should go notching bear up
considering the readers' tolerance for
such a thing as the
notched-up bear drawing



well,
postponed the decision making
and
proceeded with background filling

since it will be fairly small when on the paper
i wanted to give it a little impact


make it punchy



so for the right half,
i filled in with lime green
(caran dache again)
pretty thoroughly

i thought if i didn't
it may end up lookin
"busy"


then i went on with the left half
and along the way i noticed that
not-thorough fill in is in fact
giving the background a nice touch

so i decided to leave some white spots

(below and to the right side of the bear)

in fact, i scanned in at this point and
made it smaller to the estimated printed (final) size
and made sure the remaining white spots aren't
looking "busy" or "too messy"

see, below
i filled in corners just to match the right half



then i did the scanning again
by this time i was very sure that
i wanted to go for the "notch up" version
(but toned-down a bit to compensate with
......my anxiety!)

see

nice, huh?


(i think so)



then i did some photoshoppy touch-up
just to flatten (the background) enough

too many details on background will look "busy"

i also darkened the outline for both bear and us (me/dog)



then displayed it in the estimated printed size
and put in the fonts

(one character at a time, all in
different sizes and colors.....oi)

it says in japanese
⎡polar mamabear's northpole log⎦



done for today
nightnight




additional note on jan.2010:
the above japanese blog, which was to be a part of paper issued locally, and was to depict the spoiled "poster child" polar bear mama and even more spoiled kids of hers, has been terminated, due to reasons blog author won't even begin to bother to explain, and you most likely care not that much to know. thank u for those of you who came by.

September 26, 2007

see you down in san antone on a hot and dusty night...

in this issue:
music recommendation from
webmaster pomona


right below you see
a page from a japanese free paper
[orange cafe] is the name
that i have the honor of
contributing as a writer


let me introduce you,
to the subject of the below article:


notes




(sorry, non-japanese readers)




let me tell you about notes:

he has been producing his "tunes"
-quite fabulous, i must say-
for some time now,

and is based in
san antonio, texas
he now has a new line of tracks
that are "instrumentals"
and a new myspace page to go with


since i seem to be lacking the groove today
i decided to let him do the talking
(quoted from his site):


⎡making music with a keyboard sampler, turntable, mixer, jambox and secret weapons//// making the most out of what i got=SPITSHINE PRODUCTIONS i am a producer / mc , One beat a day keeps the doctor away ////////////////////////////////////////////⎦



(miss pomona returns)

however not smooth with words i may be tonight,
i still pride myself with my very hip taste in muzique

(just take my word for it, already?)

and
i highly recommend that
you
go
here




below,
my first ever visit to austin, texas

"show me the way to the......"







September 25, 2007

"idiot wind" blowing through and through....

is it possible to really get through to someone?



that is one of those questions i've been mulling over
since god knows when

even when i feel like i have gotten through
and the other person seem to have gotten through to me as well

those happy moments are somehow still
not solid enough



i'd say
roses are red
but
i can never be sure if i am
sharing the same hue wiz ya
now can i?


and this is the kind of talk that
often badly despised or
be neutralized in haste

at least in my surroundings

(i am not
complaining, i

...understand)


music's been one of where
i seek out consolation in
because of the power of the medium
and for brutally honest lines like these

".....you'll never know the hurt i suffered nor the pain i rise above/ and i'll never know the same about you, your holiness or your kind of love/ and it makes me feel so sorry......"

bob dylan "idiot wind" from album⎡blood on the tracks⎦(1975)

the seeming universality of the
"can't quite get through"-ness
has been the ultimate
consolation for me

and i figure it is
one of the artists' job to
tell it like it is

despite


whatever









September 23, 2007

stir me deeply, dionysus

it's a bit of a japanese thing to
start off every talk with
seasons and weather
i feel like giving in
just for
today
so
here...


autumn is just around the corner



now,
let's plunge forward into oddities


the below 2 images have been
deeply stirring to this particular soul

so
naturally
i wanted to share

nice to contemplate on
images as these
on cool september night


first:
from veruschka "trans-figurations"

the image that made this particular fool
cry in a bookstore
at the first viewing of it



(additional note on march 12th, 2008:
the publisher of the book "transfigurations" japanese edition -the one i have- was named "Libroport" and is no longer there. evidently they've sent out very many art books for art's sake. shame to loose you, Libroport!!!)


next:
arbus "albino sword swallower at a carnival"

this image stops this particular brain in its tracks
leaving it utterly motionless



what these images do to me is
to stir up a deep feeling of
longing to be one with
the dionysian force

and if i talk too much in my
usual, clumsy pitch
i'm afraid i'd
mess up the cool


speaking of clumsy

one of my mediums, clothing
is by its nature tend towards
superficial and self-serving

unless, it is aimed towards
capturing and imparting
such force

or that's how i (have to) think
you know, when it is your medium
it's pretty much inescapable


i see feelings in a manner of
physical sensations

common, i think,
as they say:
heart ache
gut wrenching
spine chilling

and i attempt to capture the
sensation that crawls up my being when
i long to emerge with my
inner dionysus


below:
a drawing of dragon for my "dragon" clothing series

with me and my shadow next to it
clumsy attempt shamelessly shared

(((shy smirk)))


(i am in my wannabeesurfergrrl attire
-doesn't mix well with this line of talk,
i must admit-hence saturation low)


one of my dragon pieces

when worn (by me, at least),
dragon overlaps the
energy path of the
forementioned longing




i am hoping really, that,
what i have been writing here are
making sense to some

sometimes, i feel like a fool
like, a real one



here is my haiku, expressing
what i fear you might think:

what is the
matter with this
idiot

(see how the 5-7-5 syllables
work even in english ?



September 21, 2007

resurrection of kodak dx7440

do you believe
the once dead could be
brought back to.....life?



my dear point+shooter, kodak dx7440
came back to life
not fully yet but i am hopeful
the shutter that has been
dead for some time

now.....

sorta.......


.....working!!!!!



( how i killed it is documented here )



i was just thinking of how to properly mourn the camera
which has been "dead" (ie. shutter refused to work) since early aug.
i tried everything i can think of until i had
given up hope and began looking for another

now
you may wonder why i haven't done most everyone would, which is
to send it in for repair---

well
for reasons i don't care to mention (too long a story)
i decided not to

i said that so you won't think i am totally
mad

(i hope it helped)


below:
wing drawing for the wing dress
as of today




since i had started my research on other digi-cameras
i realized just how much i
liked the features on my
dx7440


more specifically,
its manual setting options
and
shutter speed down to 64sec.


64 seconds!


point and shooter with some
creative wiggle rooms

sort of a bulky charm
a bit rough around the edges


kodak dx7440 is made for u.s.
although it is designed in jp

majority of jp consumer digicams out now are
so slick n slim with fancy-er features
but after a while i began to feel familier suffocation
of looking into the ocean of well-made products for
professional consumers
as if they are saying,

"enjoy your creative image capturing
we've set the realm in which you can experiment
.....safely"




they don't make this model any longer


below:
me making use of that 64sec.
wandering about in dark




September 12, 2007

going all the way: death in vegas "dirge"(2000), jerry goldsmith and more

still talking about other people's stuff
as no new image of my current effort
ready for the viewing
(read: a role of film not finished yet)




let me quote odilon redon
he said

with his work he
aims "to provoke as music does, but not to define"


when i run into something that i can tell
that
the person created it went all the way with "it"
without analyzing
theorizing
or resorting to the safety of intellectual haven

i feel very enlivened


below:
death in vegas ⎡dirge⎦

focus: to present
no holds barred



also refer to
an article from which the video was made


a simple sort of video
even the tune's made simply
(no offence, mr. fearless)

no doubt a low-tech effort
but
done very effectively, indeed

because
they went all the way with it
and let it provoke what it wants to
but in a manner so simple and accessible
without trying to "make it right"





as i think back, i don't think
in my creative attempts i have
allowed the "all the way" thing to happen

(not yet, that is)


all the way cool
all the way agressive
all the way scary, beautiful, eerie or sad


or...better yet,

all the way into the realm of indefinable




instead i
battled with my
resistance to it

kept me busy, and...
away


when i was trying to surf, for example
i'd crouch on board as suggested as it
begins to catch speed

then i'd
look down at my feet
as if to make sure that
i haven't evaporated from feeling so good

(a move not recommended)

and that's when i go head down the tumble
turning into salt

one more thing:

jerry goldsmith, who had done a film score for
"the reincarnation of peter proud (1975)"
-one of those 70's flick that'd
leave you hanging in the unnamable-

(equally semi-obscure as
"the survivor" on my previous post)

had done one fine job with it
complimenting
the almost unbearable emotional quality
that runs througth the film

amplifying it unapologetically


September 9, 2007

sensing the unseen: "the suvivor" (1981)

today, i'm gonna talk about other people's stuff



(then go right into my story)


once i lived by a river, on western outskirt of tokyo
and used to bicycle on dark bikepath at night,
to get to a swimming pool about half an hour away



suburbia vibe dissipates at night as
family types all tucked in safe at home

there was a junkyard, with
piles of scrapped cars along the path
and one day, as i was passing by there the 100th time,
suddenly overtaken by terror
that was almost not of my own
it was as if
it floated about
waiting for someone who's susceptive to it


(me!)



as i rode away, scared but more puzzled
it faded just as quickly

later that night it dawned on me
that
there must have been a bad accident
and the memory of it was brought in there with
the scrap


i sense the unseen
i see it through my mind's eye
when i intuit the sight, it is
no longer of an elusive kind

that is the large part of
my kind of creativity
forever trying to make the vision materialized
haunted by the unseen


the suvivor, directed by david hemmings
is not generally rated as a masterpiece
i've seen the film, the badly cut up version of it,
few times on tv few decades ago and it never left me since
many say the film ruined what the original writing contains
maybe so but i like it anyways because

i think mr. hemmings was after the same thing as i

few critiques stated that the film lacks intensity
-i gather they wanted gasping, heartattack inducing horror

i agree, but i also feel that that is the major charm of it
it has a feel of seeing it all from a distance
the kind of distance the unseen often puts you in

curious about what they say?



additionally:

*robert powell's acting is delicious
**hemmings, played a bailey-type photograper in "blow up" (1967), has a character in this film that resembles his famed 60's role-a borroughed character, like "bonjour tristesse" to"breathless" (a stretch?)
***joseph cotton has a small role that added some deep flavor
****the film is now re-issued in japan on dvd, i believe it is a bit of a cult fave over here.



below:

"when you're strange
faces come out of the rain...."

redon ⎡day le jour⎦,
sensing it all the way.....






and one more:

my redon-inspired drawing before i found out about him
(influence going backwards!)
done some 10+ yrs ago when i wasn't sure if i can draw

experimenting with colored pencils
as i was thinking of mr. (johnny) thunders and
all my friends who left in a hurry---
it explains too much, but is my favorite anyways


September 8, 2007

calling it quits

it looks done to me

i no longer get the "draw a bit here" signal
although i hardly know how this looks to me

that is
as of now, as usual






once upon a time
i was an interpreter in a
"sea-themed amusement park"
overlooking tokyo bay
while it was still under
construction

yup, the park with world famous cheery rodents



i worked with an art director-a rather fiery chinese guy,
and
painters-mostly art school students,
lethargic, some even rebellious japanese yougsters
as the director made fruitless effort
trying to instruct painters


we were allotted a section of
huge hotel complex
to apply faux finish upon mortar
to make the building look "tuscan"
painting in walls, roofs and aging effects
on sculpted mortar


one thing mr. director said repeatedly
-and he had to repeat
because the problem never really ceased-
was this:

you have to spend enough time looking at the surface you are working on,
and you may wanna try standing as far back as you could
until you know for sure what your next task is.
ought to spend more time looking than painting, at times.
whatever you do,
never keep on applying paints without knowing what you are doing.



since i was between them
repeating the message in vain,
i believe i got the most benefit from his teaching.


i think i've always known this somewhere deepdown but
often let the hurried-ness overtake my own wisdom
for if i followed it i may risk appearing as if i was
"not doing anything"

until then....




mr. art director, what he gave me was the assurance
to be still, poise and listen until i hear
i can still recall vivid and clear, his pitch
and excess yellow ocher under tuscany windowpane


time for manual labour

since my (digital) camera's been gone i have been
working not so hard on things i can do with hands

now
just because my photo-taking situation went non-digital
doesn't mean the rest of me have to go analog with it but
i guess i really felt like drawing


growing up, i've always been strangely drawn to palmtrees
note pads from my school days are filled with
palm-scribbles drawn between lines
later, i went a step further and moved to los angeles

palms there i think have seen too much bizarro
looking up at them i could
almost feel what they had witnessed over the years

it was a beautiful sight


today,
i started drawing a leaf from a photo found on net
just a regular photo of a normal joe palm leaf
but i felt the pull so didn't ponder


in a little while
a leaf appeared on paper
sorta pulmonary looking
but no doubt leafy




then i got ambitious
i wanted to break the predictable association pattern
ie. wanted to make it less obvious

or
if i can't suggest a new association pattern,
then at least wanted to break the old

i think after a while my ambition began to
weigh heavy on my stride

or just ran out of energy and focus

now i don't know where i am at
but this is what happened
after probably 5, 6 or 7hrs or so working on it




when it's good, it's like painting by numbers:
where to place how much of lead next becomes so clear
like a light blinking and i just follow
and it feels delightful






below: other palm drawings i did during this summer



below: no, it's not a leo tail




lastly:
a butterfly roadkill, my dogwalk find

so since my digital camera's been gone i've
reunited with my nikon slr

film camera makes me take each pics with
lots of care, i noticed

(sorry, sloppy scan-getting close to bed time)