WIP • Strangeness Factory

 ⊛   Strangeness Factory    ⊛  Final Drawing (top layers)

⊛  Strangeness Factory  
⊛  Final Drawing (top layers)


The woods are dark, and all manner of beasts dwell therein.

There have been a great many developments in my life away from the paperknife.  I was tempted to call it my "non-art life", but that would be dishonest.  Its inevitable that every change of any real weight in my personal life make an impression on my art, informing the strangeness that comes slinking out of my brain.  

Typically, these inspirations are subconscious, subtle, surreptitious, sneaky.  I might see them out of the corner of my eye while working, but they are easily dismissed.  It's often not until weeks, months, maybe years after the work is complete that I begin to connect the dots that my hand has already drawn.  Heck, sometimes it takes a friend to point them out to me.

This odd manufacture, this quirky industry spoke quite loudly.  

Not clearly, mind you.  No, these inspirations, whether they whisper or shout, are always irritatingly nebulous.  But even while I was drawing and cutting - times when my brain is typically happily wandering far away - I couldn't help but wonder if I was drawing the things which were transforming my life into something new.

Speaking of irritating vagueness, all of these allusions to Major Life Changes™ are probably exactly that to you.  I apologize.  I'm just never sure how personal I feel comfy getting here. 

Incidentally, this work is currently hanging in the Old Jaffa Museum in Old Jaffa, Israel as a part of the Paper Creatures exhibition.  Read More Here


The Cultivation of Enlightenment


⊛  The Cultivation of Enlightenment    
⊛  cut paper + washi + chiyogami / wood  
⊛  6 x 4 in • 150 x 100 cm


You would be forgiven for thinking that a person who suffers from severe pollen-based nasal distress would have a more negative take on the theme of flowers and gardens.  The truth is that I have fond memories of the gardens on the family farm.  Admittedly my fondness comes more from scarfing down the tomatoes than from tilling and fertilizing, but still.

The Cultivation of Enlightenment came into being as a commission for a long-time collector - actually, she always comes up with such inspiring themes that she's more of a collaborator.  She mentioned that she's been spending time in the garden recently, and my art mind took off at a sprint.

Based on the idea of the garden as an organic font of wisdom,  this piece ties nicely into my regular themes of enlightenment from chaos, and the concept that thoughts and wisdom can be contagious and passed around - and not always from person to person.

After a bit of research, I found some funky, weirdly beautiful flowers that I fell in love with called Bladder Campions. Not the prettiest name in the world, to be sure. Apparently they can be found in both Europe and the US (where they are considered weeds), but I really responded to the shape, the oddness, and how interesting they would be to cut.

Our protagonist - the recipient of this (super?)natural sagacity,  is a reflection of the shapes and colors of the flower.

Speaking of colors, I was looking for a paper that seemed to represent the idea of a garden without being a literal representation of one. I think the paper I picked does the job nicely, implying nature and colors, perhaps just out of focus.


The Cultivation of Enlightenment • WIP

 A very colorful background (seriously, this paper is gorgeous and I wish I had more chances to use it) which evokes an out-of-focus garden; a pretty bit of chiyogami to cover the ragged bits on the back, which no one will ever see; and the base cut layer for this small commission piece.

The piece, and these oddball flowers (which are absolutely real, by the way) start to take form, petal-by-petal.  All that’s missing is our mysterious protagonist in the bottom corner (Who could they be?  What is their connection to this strange flora?  What ominous and/or benevolent motives guide them?  Do they suffer from pollen allergies?).

Extra points if anyone can ID the weird dangly flowers.

Gallery Show: 『 花鳥風月』Exhibition @ Arts Rush, Daikanyama


Tokyo was a concrete labyrinth.  One of the reasons we moved to Fukuoka was to be closer to organic, growing things.  Now, a five minute walk will find me in Odo park, strolling alongside the ocean.  Or making my way through a somewhat creepy pine forest.   My ultimate goal is to be on a hike from the moment I stumble out the door.  Until then, I'm thankful for the fairly easy access to the natural world that Fukuoka provides.

That natural world, it's wonders and beauties, and the epiphanies it visits upon us puny mortals are the concerns of KachoFugetsu.  花鳥風月 (Kachofugetsu) is a  yoji-jukugo (四字熟語), a collection of four Chinese/Japanese kanji characters that make up a sort of minimalist idiom, saying, or poem.  花鳥風月 are, literally and in order:  Flower, Bird, Wind, and Moon.  Together, these four icons of the natural world can be found in an uncountable number of Japanese paintings, calligraphy, poems, pottery, and more.

This month, 10 artists, including myself, will try their hand at reinterpreting these symbols and the motions they evoke.  Come see where nature leads us at Arts Rush Gallery in Daikanyama, Tokyo, Japan. 

= Participating Artists • 参加作家 =

パトリックギャノン(切り絵)•  Patrick Gannon
牧瀬 茜(絵画・造形)• Akane Makise
原 政人(造形)
ささきりえ(金属造形)•  Sasaki Rie (metalwork)
ヒナゲシヒイロ(装飾作家/配色家)•  Hinageshi Hirou (fabric / clothing)
ポオ エ ヤヨ(細密水彩画・アクセサリー)

『 花鳥風月』 • Kachofugetsu Exhibition

dates: Wed. March 30, 2016 - Mon. April 18, 2016

times: 11:30am - 8:00pm [doors shut 5:00pm on Mondays, closed Tuesdays]

place: Arts Rush, 1F 2-14-10 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 〒150-0021

tel: 03-3770-6786
gallery: website
directions: English map
directions: map (Japanese)

日付: 2016年3月30日(水)〜 2016年4月18日(月)
時間: 午前11:30時~午後20時 [ 月曜日は午後5時閉店 火曜日定休日 ]
住所: アートラッシュ • 〒150-0021 東京都渋谷区恵比寿西2-14-10 トゥワォン代官山103
電話: 03-3770-6786
ギャラリー: ホームページ
アクセス: 地図

Gallery Show: 『 来るものはサル!』Exhibition @ Arts Rush, Daikanyama

 『 来るものはサル!』@ Arts Rush • 12/26/2015 - 1/18/2016 • For all your simian needs

『 来るものはサル!』@ Arts Rush • 12/26/2015 - 1/18/2016 • For all your simian needs


Please pardon me as I slip into a tweed jacket; the one with leather patches on the elbows.  Of course, I also need to pack the tobacco into my pipe.  There we are.  Scholarly air achieved, the lesson now begins.

Those of you who have been following this blog for any amount of time or paid attention to the titles of my works have likely realized that I adore a good play on words, and give big hugs to puns.  『 来るものはサル!』is a little bit of Japanese wordy cleverness. 

  • 来る (kuru) means "to come"
  • もの (mono) is a thing (physical, not conceptual).
  • は (wa) is a preposition.  Don't worry about it.
  • サル (saru) is where all the fun is because:
    • 猿 or 申 are the kanji symbols for "monkey" (the first is the normal everyday kanji, the second is for the zodiac sign)
    • BUT, 去る (also pronounced "saru") is a verb meaning "to leave".

Therefore, The title of the exhibition can be read as either "The Monkey Cometh".  Like the Iceman, but hairier and likely a bit more fun.


It can be read as "That which comes, leaves" ("Coming and going"?)

Wordplay like this warms my heart almost as much as being invited to participate in the exhibition does!  Seven artists are participating in the exhibition, all with unique styles applied to the celebration of the most playful and anthropoid of Zodiac signs. 

Gallery of the Art

= Participating Artists • 参加作家 =

パトリックギャノン(切り絵)•  Patrick Gannon
そのだ正治(鉄造形)•  Masaji Sonoda
きりえや高木亮(切り絵)•  Ryo Takagi Cut Paper Art
なかひらまい(絵画)•  Mai Nakahira
Bird Deco(造形)

『 来るものはサル!』Exhibition

dates: Sat. December 26, 2015 - Mon. January 18, 2016

times: 11:30am - 8:00pm [doors shut 5:00pm on Mondays, closed Tuesdays]

place: Arts Rush, 1F 2-14-10 Ebisu-Nishi, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo 〒150-0021

tel: 03-3770-6786
gallery: website
directions: English map
directions: 地図

日付: 2015年12月26日(土)〜 2016年1月18日(月)
時間: 午前11:30時~午後20時 [ 月曜日は午後5時閉店 火曜日定休日 ]
住所: アートラッシュ • 〒150-0021 東京都渋谷区恵比寿西2-14-10 トゥワォン代官山103
電話: 03-3770-6786
ギャラリー: ホームページ
アクセス: 地図


『 来るものはサル!』@ Arts Rush • 12/26/2015 - 1/18/2016 • For all your simian needs