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 […]

The Money Crunch

I’m writing this post in response to reading a post by a writer who is deeply upset that she can no longer pay the rent by writing. Who ever told us that we had to make our money through just writing? Who is it that demands us artists to pay the bills from our art? […]

Signposts on the Journey of Life

The art on this Lesley College application form stunned me — as I opened up this page just hours after Shoko Yatabe painted this beautiful oil at Genesis art studio yesterday, December 5th. Life is a road with signboards telling us to stop, to go, to pay attention. These signboards that especially appear through art […]

When the Drums Beat On

During a peaceful day of painting with Shoko Yatabe, we were so focused on making these abstract mandalalike patterns that it never occurred to us to think of drums. But life is so much about connecting the dots. In this case, downloading the oil painting photos onto the computer along with a photo of Seiji’s […]