Sunday, November 22, 2015

Maximize your Imagination and Capture Ideas Wherever you Find Them

(Sumo Wrestlers between rounds)
I used to wonder where the wild critters came from in fantasy and horror movies. Now I know. They are inspired by the real world and a vivid imagination.

When I am out walking with my husband, he sees leaves, trees, and flowers, while I see strange creatures waiting for me up ahead or hiding in the shadows; shapes of animals that would seem very comfortable on the pages of a Dr. Seuss book or a in a Jurassic Park flick.

I can't help myself! I see faces and budding cartoon characters in the plush shadows of carpet and in the loops of shag rugs. I always say I'm going to create a painting from one of them some day, but the images are quickly forgotten. Why? Because I forget to jot them down.

Well this time, I decided to hold myself to my promise. A shag throw rug was my canvas, and in it I saw a large Japanese face; but not just any face, a cubist shaped face that only a mother could love. 

I saw vivid and bold colors in orange reds and browns with accents of blue and green. I knew I wanted Japanese lettering, and I took it a step further and imagined the words of a recipe scrawled across this abstract scenario.

After sketching a very quick rough idea of what I wanted, I began to do my research. I ended up with a Sumo Wrestler for a model because I had clearly seen his ebony "topknot" right there in my shag carpet.

I am still putting the pieces of this composition together. What I didn't know at the time was why a recipe, and why a Sumo Wrestler?  Then a lightbulb went on in my head! The title of my painting would be "Stir-Fry." It paired nicely with what wrestlers do as they twist and turn their bodies together and slam them down on the matt.

Now if I can just see my vision clearly enough to paint what I desire. For me, ideas are the fun part of creating. I can see what I want in my head, but sometimes my skill level hasn't quite reached that pinnacle of perfection. I hope in the next few weeks you will enjoy this creative ride with me!

Yasai Itame

1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 tsp ginger, minced
5 oz (150g) pork, thinly sliced and cut small
7oz (200g) cabbage
4oz (120g) bean sprouts
1/2 carrot
1/2 onion
1/2 green pepper
1/4 -1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp soy sauce

1.    Cut cabbage into 2" squares, and cut carrot, onion, and green pepper into thin slices.
2.   Put oil, garlic, and ginger in a wok, and heat at medium heat. After the wok is hot, add pork and fry for a couple of minutes, stirring until brown.
3.  Add vegetables, turn to high heat, and cook stirring constantly until vegetables wilt (but do not over cook).
4.   Add salt, pepper, soy sauce to taste, mix, and remove from heat to serve.

Making Japanese Stir-Fry