Friday, February 8, 2013

static and flow

we had our second lesson in ikebana from helen; this time we focused on a free-form style using curved lines.

there are still aesthetics to follow, and structure, but diana jumped on this right away and was quick to take helen's suggestions on options.  (thinking that it would be a collaborative project between me and diana, i offered input, but it wasn't well-met.  she had her own ideas.  fortunately, helen was prepared and offered me my own bowl and kenzan to work with afterwards).

we started off with a selection of materials that would allow themselves to be shaped, like curly willow and broad green leaves that i cannot remember the name of.  helen said she typically purchases the flowers but brings many of the greens from her own home, and fellow ikebana artists have plenty of curly willow, as it grows invasively.

we started with the tall lines to get a perspective of height, then added lower elements to complement them.  materials that lend themselves to swirling and shaping, with or without use of wire to help keep in place, are particularly interesting to work with.  it's a medium i'd never really considered before.  the splitting of leaves and tucking them back into themselves reminded me, just a little, of simple weaving.

helen helps to wire the grassy bundle diana wanted in a curve.
the unusually-shaped ceramic container was created by a local artist and reflected lovely muted greens and blues, reminding me of lamb's-ear.  i liked how diana's grasses swept below the highest point of the bowl.

we still use flowers in this style, careful to integrate color in a way that looks and feels harmonious with nature.

diana's finished creation. we tussled a bit about having a few more blossoms. she added them because i asked her to, but her sensibility to edit out, rather than having more, resulted in a clearer, simpler, gentler form.  i wisely deferred to her artistic vision.

i especially loved the feel of the leaves, sensing the give-and-take, finding what i could do with each material that still felt like it retained a natural essence, at once being guided by me and guiding me, when i was quiet enough to listen.

i needed a lot more guidance from helen in this style than in our previous lesson, which had diagrams and specific rules.  this style is so much more open and required more patience from me; i sought frequent feedback and edited a lot more.  helen was wonderful and effective in describing and demonstrating to me how little changes, switching things around, looking more at the three-dimensionality and perspective, could result in a representation that reflected the combination of  solidity and movement, static and flow in the natural world.

i was much happier with this once helen suggested a darker flower and some leaves to fill in the gaps.
i am so much of a novice, yet helen's encouragement has made me feel like i can learn to do this.  the right teacher can make all the difference.

helen's efforts are so pleasant and soothing.

1 comment:

  1. I love seeing pictures of you, my love, especially off on the adventures you have!