Sometimes it seems as though I have all the time in the world to plunk out a blog post, and then life just happens!
First, Thing 1 and his girlfriend went to prom.
They went with like a million other kids in one freakin’ large vehicle.
The advantages to living in a small town? Remembering what most of these kids looked like on the first day of Pre-K.
Saturday started off cloudy for my bike ride. And we stopped a lot along the route–a garage sale, the farmer’s market and then coffee! I was feeling a bit down before the bike ride as I had misstepped on a friend’s deck after the prom party and took a spill. My left ankle was sore, and even sorer on Saturday morning. ”Suck it up, buttercup,” I thought to myself. ”Get your shorts on and GO!” So GO! I did (albeit with all those stops). It was the right thing to do for my ‘making a mountain out of an injury molehill’ inner voice, as I let two friends convince me to sign up for the Jersey Girl Tri on Aug. 4. Yep. I’m in! I have to say, I’m a bit excited. Especially about the potential for new gear (tri suit anyone?)
I spent the rest of Saturday icing my ankle and trying to flex it. It got more moveable as the day went on, so I committed myself to keeping up with my running plan–7 miles Sunday morning, which comes far too early after such an exciting episode of Orphan Black. Here’s a shameless, unsolicited plug for BBC America: best network out there.
Sunday I awoke to the pitter patter of rain on the roof. It didn’t sound so loud, so I got dressed and headed out. I was noticeably the only one on the street. But I kept plugging away. The ankle felt great. The right hammy, not so much. But that’s typical. At mile 6.5, my phone rang–it was the Mister. ”Hey, you know we’ve got to leave in about 20 minutes for the city for brunch,” he said.
Oops. Totally forgot. Sped (relative term here 6.5 miles into my longest run since coming back after my injury) home, showered, and changed. Off we went to
the city Brooklyn. Yes, Brooklyn is part of the city, but it’s also, although neighboring, LIGHT YEARS away in terms of traffic! Even more so on a rainy day!
We were meeting up with a friend of the Mister’s who’s an contemporary/pop artist–Tomokazu Matsuyama. First stop, his gallery.
A sight for color-deprived eyes:
I’m not an art historian, nor have I ever played one on TV, but let me tell you this: SO MUCH FUN! to visit an artist in his studio without gallery representatives, art historians, art collectors, etc. For nearly 90 minutes, Matsuyama-san showed us different pieces he was working on, how he came up with his ideas, how he went about representing them, and then the nitty-gritty business behind the whole thing.
Here’s what I found so fascinating about his art: there are a couple of techniques prevalent in Japanese art (again, not an art historian, just
shit stuff i know): asymmetry, that ‘flat, single dimensional’ perspective and use of pattern. The piece above (which is HUGE–about 5 ft high x 15 ft long maybe) has the awesome white w/ red floral backdrop (sorta like the japonisme you see in the american impressionists like Mary Cassatt), and the work is a single dimension–no one color or shape takes the foreground or background. You know what–each color on this piece was painted between 18-25 times to achieve that flatness. Symmetry? what’s that? The piece is called Senbazuru (1000 Cranes), which is a traditional Japanese theme. I didn’t have time to count. Nor did I need to. The Japanese are precise like that.
Especially pleasing on such a gray, gray, rainy day though were the paints
Matsuyama has staff. As he paints, his staff record (by number) the different colors so that he can replicate additional prints. Each of the big rubbermade tubs is sorted by specific color (say, red) and shade (say, 1-25). As he creates his art, he takes laser prints of the pieces, and sorta like color-by-number, identifies each of the colors in the piece. Then the laser print and self-made paint chips go into a binder for safe-keeping. He has one piece with over 106 shades of purple. I like knowing that about him–he’s taken a calculated approach to reproduction, but he’s also completely identifying his creative process. I found it quite interesting. Sorta right brain/left brain.
Also fascinating (at least for me) was that the minute I saw his color gradations, I thought of Noro, one of my most favorite fiber artists. Noro spins and dyes his own yarns in these phenomenal fiber combos, and then his colors? Ah-mah-zing!
As I got my bearings in Matsuyama’s studio, I couldn’t help but notice how similarly he and Noro gradiate their colors. Sorta cool.
After 90 minutes in the studio, I was about to drink the paint (no time for refueling before we left NJ), so when we got to the brunch locale, Parish Hall, I helped myself to Deviled Eggs, french toast, two eggs over easy and two sausages. Plus an IPA. And then a coffee. I could have gone on, but I tried to show restraint. It was delish.
All this activity made Monday almost relaxing.