All posts by Yuko Nagai

2019: Blank Pages Ahead.

Dear Visitor, Happy New Year!!

A Creative Journal, with Lily Petals and the Ocean.
A Creative Journal, with Lily Petals and the Ocean.
A Creative Journal, with Lily Petals and the Ocean.

May your pages be filled with what makes your heart swing.

A Creative Journal, with Lily Petals and the Ocean.
A Creative Journal, with Lily Petals and the Ocean.

This year, for the first time I bound my daily planner, crafted it in just the way I wanted.
With uneven edges and unfinished stitches, even let the stamped numbers dance, too!
All for the purpose of gifting myself daily, with a reminder that in Creativity there is, inherent, inviolable freedom.

The journal is photographed with dried spider lily blossoms from 2 autumns ago, with overlaid images of the ocean photographed during the first few days of this year.

What broken wings?

The year in review.

Winter Shore with a Water Bird.

November 19, 2018.

On a walk back from an institutional concrete structure known as a big hospital, I noticed a path through withering weeds, barely beaten, consisting of short uneven steps and pebbly unpaved soil. I turned with my whole torso due to recent neck injury, feeling newly discouraged but still curious, to examine the difficulty level of passing through it.

Full Moon of January, with a gull.
Summer Sunset with an introvert's chair.
A Cormorant, a portrait, profile.

Being the type to always try a new route, I’d made no exception and carefully taken steps. Immediately I noticed, on dried spikes of stickers a dragonfly, ornamented like a fine art installation waiting to be photographed.

Find!! I thought, with a surge of excitement that I wasn’t as forsaken by luck after all. Carefully I lowered my trunk solely with leg muscles and looked down only with my eye balls, and snapped off the stem in length enough for one of my glass bottles. Just as I started to plan on camera angles however, a surprise slight movement tickled my hand.

The insect, with three out of her four wings got spikes the size of her torso ripping through them, was moving her legs, as if to oppose to my photographic agenda taking place in my head.

No idea how long she had been that way, how had she kept her hope, is she a master of law of attraction, what are the odds of having someone like me, always on a look out for a ‘find’ like her, on foot moving slow, taking a notice of a barely noticeable path, and her predicament?

Out of sheer respect for this chance encounter I, at once, dropped my agenda and gotten to work tackling to break her free with minimum damage to her delicate wings.

As I removed the spikes one by one, she shook her wings off of them, the movement so full of life it was hard to believe she preserved her zeal for however long it took to manifest me.
Turned out one of her wings was more than half gone, another one badly ripped, and my heart sunk, recalling my own, one too many encounters with impossibilities of life. It was a warm day with not even a breeze, and the midday sun encompassed the two of us in a freeze-framed moment, as she rested on my knuckles, freed, facing me. Then with a sudden stamp of her tiny feet and the startling hum of her wings she flew away, leaving the power of her takeoff imprinted on back of my hand, into the field full of silver grasses and their sparkles, as if nothing’s lost, as if to state the most absolutely apparent:

“Broken wings? What broken wings!!”

The First Light of the year, with an unknown plant.
The First Light of the year, reflected on the shore.

Neck is nearly healed at the time of this writing (late Dec ’18). I hurt my neck editing photos – stationary for too long in bad “chin forward” posture, pinch nerve, very painful. Forced me on foot for over a month, which, as you can tell, turned out to be quite fruitful.

All photos are from 2018. Bottom two taken during the first sunrise of the year. They are at the bottom because, like waves the dawn always returns, anew, each day.

Creative Process, September 2018.

Creative Process, September 2018 - Work in Progress.
Creative Process, September 2018 - Lily Geometry.

Creative Process, September 2018 - Pencil Drawing.
Creative Process, September 2018 - Pattern Tracing.

Creative Process, September 2018 - Lily Jizou.
Creative Process, September 2018 - Butterfly Lilies.

The project: Spider Lily Red.
In progress is the second of the two piece series called “Flare”.
Images are from this past September, captured moments during the precious three weeks I get to spend every autumn with my favorite lilies, my muse, taking in as much, their familier red to last me for a year.
The photos are in sleepy smoky monochrome, because I am saving up the stored red so as to pour it all into the second piece I will be painting in the coming months.

Thank you for your visit, and Happy Holidays!!