Tiger, Lion, Mukade

Diary 2008.10.10



A few more pages from my sketchbook.
A few days ago Karin, Pat and I had dinner at the Miyagi family’s house. This is a drawing of their kitchen.
Mariko Miyagi saw my drawing of the Cocksec Mosquito coil box and gave me this mosquito coil box to draw too. It’s called Lion and Tiger Mosquito Coils. Not quite Cocksec but still nice to draw.
I drew these sketches of the mukade I captured in my kitchen before painting it for my postcard series. I was trying to understand how it was put together, where the legs connected to the body, how the segments were divided and what the face and tail looked like when studied closely. I still have a hard time understanding how it can coordinate 40 legs– I counted them– when I often have trouble with two. What is the evolutionary benefit of 20 pairs of legs? I also found out that they sting/bite with their mouths not those long spiky things by the rear end.
I was planning to walk up the road from my studio the one that leads to the eery Skiland Hotel, pass by the terraced rice paddies and draw this mysterious little shrine. I wanted to go at a time that is neither too hot nor rainy and on the early side, when mosquitoes are not feeding yet. Today was the perfect day for this. Overcast and beautiful and the tiny box of a shrine on top of the stone slabs looked ancient and lovely. The shrine is on the side of the road among houses, orchards and rice paddies and it appears to stand guard. It also looks like some sort of a gate post, a landmark, a cairn.
Not far from the small shrine was this construction in someone’s yard: a pole surrounded by rice straw and grasses and tied up in ropes and wires. I sat down on the side of the road to draw it. Cars passed me by and some slowed down to check out what I was doing. A nice lady who lived nearby came and asked me many questions which I did not understand, but picked up very clearly the kindness and warmth in her voice. I noticed since I arrived to Kamiyama how much more non-verbal and sometimes unintended communication I pick up since I can’t rely on language. I showed the nice lady my sketchbook and she pronounced the names of the things I drew. Kaki. Kuri. Akebi. Then she left, gesturing for me to wait for her, and came back with a plastic bag filled with chestnuts, persimmons and gingko nuts from her garden. I was so touched. I will make digital prints of some of my drawings, go back and give them to her as a gift.



KAIR2008 Artist

Articles by Andrea


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