If you have consciously or serendipitiously arrived here, welcome. I’m Fran, aka Redondowriter, and my interests include family, friends, writing, reading, art, computers, storytelling, spirituality, photography, animals—and exploring the layers of everyday life.
This is a piece I finished a few weeks ago I've called the Pink Victorian Child. There are several collage layers and several mediums in an 8 x 10" format, popped into an 11 x 14" lattice frame. The original sepia card of the child was in a box of cards for 25 cents each at a garage sale. I've scanned it so I can work with her in different mediums. The frame was 75 cents at another garage sale, and some of the ephemera was from garage sales, too. This piece wouldn't fit into my own decor, so I've placed her lovingly into my "gift" box to give to someone later. Maybe I need to start an Etsy shop although I still don't think my stuff is good enough to sell. So, though I've done a creative project of some sort almost every day in January, thanks to Leah at Creative Every Day, I thought I would share this one.
Tonight was the opening of an art show at the Palos Verdes
Art Center featuring the work of Japanese artist Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz called Camp Days 1942-1945; the Henry Fukuhara Manzanar Workshop Group, and the Japanese Americans the Palos Verdes Peninsula, 1905-1945. The work is
truly amazing and I will go back again to view all the paintings, photographs
and memorabilia as the show will run to March 8, 2009. If any of you live in
Southern California, I can’t recommend the exhibition enough—and to think it’s
only six miles from home amazes me even more.
My friends Jenny and Adrian invited me as Chizuko is a
friend of theirs and it was amazing to speak to her up close and personal. She taught art at Palos
Verdes High School for a number of years but then she was introduced to the
work of Henry Fukuhara who became her “mentor and guru.” Her book is at the
link when you click her name in the first paragraph. Henry is well-known in
Southern California artist circles and some of my artist friends go to paint
each year with him at Manzanar Internment Camp. He was incarcerated at Manzanar
as a young adult. Chizuko was interned at age nine at the Poston, AZ
concentration camp and her art, which you can see at the PV Art Center link and running as a slide show above,
recalls those incredibly hard days.
This is Chizuko, 92-year-old Henry who is blind now, and the
man who is his assistant for the Manzanar workshops. It was so moving to hear
Henry speak passionately about his art and workshops.
Families” project at the Palos Verdes Library is curated by archivist Marjeanne Blinn and one gallery is devoted to the
restored photos and memorabilia of the original families who farmed on the
Palos Verdes Peninsula. The library also prepared hand-outs on links to books
and websites about life in the camps and art in the camps.
The internment, in my mind, was a huge blot on American
history and I’m glad so many people are devoted to making sure the generations
to come know about the internments during World War II. What amazes me is how most internees have moved on. They always knew they were Americans.
Not only was the food really good, we were entertained by a
great troupe of taiko Japanese drummers.
I spoke with several people tonight
who had been interned during World War II and they highly recommend visiting the Japanese American
National Museum in downtown Los Angeles. I can't believe I have never been to that museum and will make it a point to do so. Who says there is no culture in Los Angeles?
I have been busy at work all week and busy every evening with an event, so the blog fell by the way side.
I did take time out tonight to watch "Finding Amanda," a very dark and cynical comedy about addictions from 2008 starring Matthew Broderick. I never even heard of this film before and in the beginning I thought I'd picked a loser. Not so. The acting was terrific and the script really hit me in the solar plexus, when I wasn't groaning or laughing. It's not for the faint-hearted, especially if you've watched people you love spin out into alcohol, drugs and gambling. The depiction of Vegas was eerily accurate as I've experienced it.
But, now it's time to tuck in with a book for the night. Cookie, by the way, is doing well, a day at a time, I'm happy to report.
I know a lot of you are still in the dead of winter, but I have begun to notice that several of my bulbs are beginning to come up--including my two Red Lion amaryllis. But it was the tulip tree at the Malaga Cove Library that begged me take photos today. Tell me of some signs and wonders of spring that you are noticing.
Some friends recently sent me a link to Saatchi & Saatchi's UK gallery where there is an incredible video of portraits of women through the ages. I haven't found the embed code, so I include the link here: Saatchi & Saatchi Gallery. I have watched it several times and I find it so beautiful and inspiring. Wow. Egg Man, its creator, really tapped into the collective unconscious with this one.
I went to one estate sale and a few thrifts. I bought a Valentine ball gown for "the mannequin" but I'm working on her accessories. I'll post a photo soon, but wait until you see her Mardi Gras outfit next month.
All afternoon I worked at cleaning up computer problems and reloading drivers et al. Thank God for Nicole, my work tech, and the guys in my Mac user group who offered great tips.
I went with my dear friends Rick and Orma to see Last Chance Harvey and was deeply touched by it. Afterwards we went to dinner at Marmalade Cafe.
I spent the rest of the evening downloading the rest of my SoulCollage cards to my photo albums. Rain suggested that I add "I am the one who---" statements and I will do that eventually. Taking the time to scan all these cards, many I haven't looked at for a few years, has been a real journey for me.
My office at school is in the library. I don't know about you, but these kids sprawled in their bean bag chairs look like they are in my kind of heaven. Children who read together make the world a much better place.
so many Americans and people around the world, I was moved deeply by all of
President Barack Obama’s and Joe Biden’s inauguration. I did manage to watch
the inauguration ceremonies before I left for work and would run into the lounge
periodically to see what was happening on TV once I reached work. It was a very
busy day for me and Elizabeth Alexander’s poem really increased my awareness of
being mindful about all of us going about our routines. The only thing that
happened that I personally found thoughtless was the Rev. Rick Warren’s
inviting all of us to say together The Lord’s Prayer. What about everybody who is not a Christian? The Rev. Billy Graham had always been so cool about being
inclusive when he spoke or prayed at public events. I did take the time last night to write bullet point memories in my journal of the day.
I wanted to take the time to reprint Elizabeth Alexander’s poem, “Praise Song
for the Day,” in this transcript from today’s New York Times.
Each day we go about our business, walking past
each other, catching each others' eyes or not, about to speak or speaking. All
about us is noise. All about us is noise and bramble, thorn and din, each one
of our ancestors on our tongues. Someone is stitching up a hem, darning a hole
in a uniform, patching a tire, repairing the things in need of repair.
Someone is trying to make music somewhere with a
pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.
A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky; A teacher
says, "Take out your pencils. Begin."
We encounter each other in words, words spiny or
smooth, whispered or declaimed; words to consider, reconsider.
We cross dirt roads and highways that mark the will
of someone and then others who said, "I need to see what's on the other
side; I know there's something better down the road."
We need to find a place where we are safe; We walk
into that which we cannot yet see.
Say it plain, that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here, who laid the train tracks,
raised the bridges, picked the cotton and the lettuce, built brick by brick the
glittering edifices they would then keep clean and work inside of.
Praise song for struggle; praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign; The figuring it out at kitchen
Some live by "Love thy neighbor as thy
Others by first do no harm, or take no more than
What if the mightiest word is love, love beyond
marital, filial, national. Love that casts a widening pool of light. Love with
no need to preempt grievance.
In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air, anything
can be made, any sentence begun.
brink, on the brim, on the cusp -- praise song for walking forward in that
Today I've downloaded more SoulCollage cards into my photo album on the lower, right side bar. When I ran across this card I had made a few years ago, it seemed to fit perfectly on the eve of the inauguration of Barack Obama and Joe Biden.
I call this card the American Audacity of Hope although it was originally called America.
I am the one who symbolizes this nation of freedom, compassion, tolerance and diversity. I am sometimes viewed negatively by other nations around the world, but it is a time for new directions and I have infused hope in the millions of people who are proud to be Americans.
God bless America and God bless our new president and vice president and their cabinet. God bless each of us as we reinvent ourselves.
I spent four days several years ago in Washington, D.C. It was January, like it is right now and I remember how very, very cold it was. We did all the tourist things, but the Lincoln Memorial, the tour of the White House, the Supreme Court, the Smithsonian, the Ford Theater and the Vietnam Wall immediately come to mind.