The Wagamama Side of the Story

Over the last year and a half I’ve been working on a memoir that I am finally ready to share with my dear friends and readers who have known me over the years in both incarnations. Writing came first. I’ve been a published writer and editor since 1983 and while my passion for art has […]

Thinking in Black and White

This is an annoying discovery: I think in black and white. I am in the thick of writing a memoir about my nearly 25 year relationship with my Japanese in-laws and I’m having the hardest time imaginable seeing images. All the colors, shapes, textures and depth I bring to painting are sequestered from the writing […]

The Best of Intentions

When Oshiki peninsula was destroyed by the tsunami, out went the unsightly stuff as well. No billboards anywhere. No neon signs. Nothing to disturb the peace except for a growing crop of storage containers painted by well-meaning volunteers who come armed with pots of paints and spray guns and a mandate to bring color back […]

When Volunteers Go to Oshika

Our host Caroline Pover is brilliant at slipping into the Oshika Time Zone and in the coldest months of the year gets a superhuman amount done by zeroing on whatever she can do to restore some semblance of normalcy to the lives of people whose villages have vanished in the ‘shinsai,’ the tsunami that followed […]

Who Really Benefits from Acts of Kindness

Montana King Ramsey put it this way. When you’re making music, you’re reaching inside to discover yourself. When you’re making art you’re finding out who you are. We had quite a crowd in Okachimachi–more than a dozen artists, musicians and a few kids too. Gathered around two tables laid out with big rectangles of washi […]

When Art Encourages Accidents

When Art Encourages Accidents. . . This is a very strange topic, one that I’d rather not discuss, especially since it strikes so close to home. But here goes: a new discovery in how my ten year old son’s not-so-innocuous hobby of playing Bike Rider downloadable games set up the mindset for a very dangerous […]

The Art of Collaboration

The Art of Collaboration . . . For details of the Art of Collaboration scheduled in Tokyo for Sunday March 3rd see: https://www.facebook.com/events/159716720847781/ His question hit me between the eyes. My husband Aki looked up from his manuscript, papers spread all over the dining room table. We were picking apart his book sentence by sentence. […]

Genesis Art Workshops travel to Tsunami-hit Oshiki

A proposal to offer a Genesis collage workshop in one of the hardhit tsunami-destroyed towns in Miyage prefecture (Oshiki) has been accepted! The theme will be Spring Seeds–creating collage with fine washi papers as a way of generating hope. Looking forward to seeing what these mostly old people, along with some families and children ‘grow’. […]

The Art of Taking a Weekly Rest

I’ve begun celebrating the Sabbath here in Tokyo as a complete day of rest. No television. No phone calls. No computers, no Kindle or iphones or text messages. And if I forego Facebook my son is ready to forego his computer games too. And my daughter doesn’t turn on the stereo. And my husband too. […]

Inner Peace

What is the world coming to? Lego Corporation has jumped on the card-production band wagon and created its own ‘spiritual’ line of cards. They arrived in the Ninja Lego kit that my 10 year old Seiji just received as a gift. Ironically, Seiji has just renounced Battle Spirit cards. This was an expensive hobby that […]