Cherry Blossom Modern Art

May 18, 2011

Working at East Wind, you tend to have cherry blossoms on the mind, not just because of their singular association with all things Japanese, but also because, well, they’re everywhere in the store. On the plates, in the pictures, on the clothes, etc.

Even my journal has a 17th century Japanese painting of cherry blossoms. There’s just no escape.

So naturally I decided to try my own hand at it. The effort being to capture what my one boss, Neil, calls, “The Eastern Randomness”. Every time he sees me do a design that’s rigid or sysmetrical he chastises me and says that’s not what Zen gardens are for.

Well, I like to do my own thing. But I can see his point. So every once in a while I try something that has no rhyme or reason. Maybe someday I’ll be more comfortable with freestyle work like this, but I think for most part I like to keep things planned and orderly.

I mean, it’s not like acting, or music, or writing, where it you freestyle and you don’t like it, the sound, or the performance, or the words are out, and gone. With the zen garden, every mistake means erasing the entire picture, establishing a functioning set of baselines, and then starting over, afraid to screw it up because it sucks to break it down and start over.

I feel bad for painters, or anyone in a medium that once it’s screwed up, it’s screwed up, and you either try to mask it, or work with it, or you’ve just lost a day’s work, and countless dollars in supplies and man hours.

Anyway, I hope you’ll agree that I achieved what I set out to do with this one. It’s crazy how not thinking sometimes produces the best work.

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