I was walking on the street in Seattle the other night. I was rushing but looked up at the sky and noticed a couple of stars in between the cracks of clouds. Deep blue-black sky and white clouds. It was too bright to see the stars because the street was lit with the lights of homes. Yet, the stars were visible and I just felt moved by the simple beauty.
I have been attracted to things that shine, twinkle, glitter, sparkle, glisten, gleam…and a number of my works including previous photographic series (Sample 1 (Blue Fireflies), 1b and 2 (El Camino)) reflect both natural and artificial light(s).
In recent years, I have found myself drawn to stars…and sometimes the moon.
“The Milky Way #2” (diptych). Collagraph with carborundum and beeswax (mixed media), Misako Oba
Those are very recent works. The concept was developed last summer and I just started to create the works this year. Works on paper, silk, canvas or wood panels. It is on-going the series.
The work is very reflective of Seattle and its sounding areas. When I am in Tokyo or New York, I don’t even think about the stars or sunset. It’s interesting to see a lot of people in Seattle care about the sunset and nature, and would say, “You can see a beautiful sunset this evening.” Or “Today, you can see the mountains.” They would be excited and I AM very excited since I had lived in such big cities with not much nature or visible stars.
Seattle is such a beautiful city that has BOTH nature and an urban element. Olympic mountains behind the Space needle, and high-rise buildings near various lakes. What excites me is that I can see nature and the urban city together in the SAME frame. Especially in good weather, it is breathtaking. I will never be tired of viewing this type of scenery.
I wanted to show you the beauty by photographing the scene. However, I know photographs don’t always capture the reality. The photos can be more beautiful (..yes you can do that…) or less beautiful than the actual scene you see, and I don’t want to ruin what you can see for yourself on the spot. There are feelings, temperatures, and breezes on your cheek kind of things too. Also, the scene changes in a moment depending on the angles, weather and/or light. So, you must see it yourself by coming to visit. I fell in love with the city when I first visited. Yes, Seattle has much rain, but I found it mostly just drizzling. Unlike rain in New York with stormy winds – in most cases breaking my umbrella. Poeople in Seattle don’t even use umbrellas.
People can go to be in nature easily on a weekend, or even after work. If you drive just 30 minutes from downtown Seattle, you can find yourself be in beautiful nature. What a luxury!
And by driving a little further, you can encounter the beauty of God’s creation: forest, desert, open sky with lots of stars at night. I haven’t had much chance to see those yet, so hopefully I would like to explore more. But, I did see the Milky Way for the first time in my life in Eastern Washington. It was not quite as visible since there was a bright moon and it was not summer. However, it was still slightly visible with the naked eye! And as a city person, I was like “wow….” Like a child.
In the future blog, I will talk about the text and technique that I employed.
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