A watercolor artist friend of mine signed me up to a twice-weekly newsletter that I am really enjoying. The newsletter's author, Robert Genn, is an accomplished artist. As well, his style of writing is thoughtful, intelligent and wide-reaching. This is more than a newsletter for the painting artist, but is an insightful, thought-provoking, teaching newsletter that covers all spectrum of the creative. I've learned so much, including terminology that apply to arts of all kinds.
Like "shibui." From Mr. Genn's May newsletter "Shibui is a broad term that can mean irregularity of form, openness to nature, roughness of texture, and the naturalness of daily life. Also known as Shibusa, it refers as well to the Japanese "Seven aspects of being," which are simplicity, implicitness, modesty, silence, naturalness, roughness and normalcy. It's seen in raku pottery, architecture, folk crafts, haiku, gardens and painting. Shibui is worth thinking about no matter where you are or what your art."
Sharing this particular newsletter topic with my road trip buddy, Carroll, she began lamenting that she had zero artistic tendencies. I vehemently disagreed. She is a fabulous cook, putting the term "shibui" into play with each dollop of cream or sprinkle of herb. Rarely does she use a cookbook, choosing instead to pull culinary masterpieces together from what's in the cupboard on any given day. She does this successfully day after day with yummy results. THAT is artistic, as are her cottage gardens that are delightful paintings of blossoms sprouting up randomly and sporadically through flagstone pathways. Man...can you get any more artistic than that? I think not. Cooking and gardening are shibui in action.
Had I known of this term before I might have titled my blog "Shibui." Many of you are aware of the inner struggle I'm having with whether to keep my blog random or reign it in to one subject. However, Life blesses me with so many lessons each day that I just can't hold it all in. One day I'm compelled to write about a family member and another day some bold insight comes to me during a walk and I have to share it. My thought process is irregular in form. Obviously, I'm extraordinarily open to nature. I'm drawn to roughness of textures, whether tree bark, surfaces of stones or pollen covering a bee's legs. These details and patterns tell a deeper part of nature's stories and reflect the naturalness of daily life.
My blog is an artistic outlet for me. Blending music and photos with writing feeds a need deep within my soul. Further, communicating with like minds and meeting people around the world deposits another layer to my personality and character. My blog shall remain random and will remain Giraffe Head Tree as the concept of shibui will always be in the back of my mind.
If you are interested please do check out The Painter's Keys and sign up. I promise you will not be disappointed.