Monday, April 16, 2007



Waiting at the bus stop…
Walking with canes they sit beside me.
There’s a red headed woodpecker. She says.
Where? He asks.
They speak slowly.
On top of the post, it has a black body and red head. She says

Hokusai learned landscape perspective and chiaroscuro, new to Japanese art and tradition, from Dutch artists. Dutch trade goods were wrapped with newspapers illustrated with engravings.

From the news, a madman guns down students at a Virginia university.

Later. Van Gogh and other Impressionists learned color and flat picture techniques from woodblock prints used to wrap Japanese trade goods.

Last night on PBS back to back shows, first a documentary on Bin Laden, the madman behind 911, the second the beginning of a long documentary on Auschwitz, and the madmen behind the genocide.

A Navy office during the holidays erected a 12 foot menorah in one of Saddam Hussein’s palaces.

In the Great Wave by Hokusai the fisherman sit serene in their long sleek boats, dwarfed, as Mt. Fuji is in the perspective distance, by the great wave.

"From the age of six I had a mania for drawing the shapes of things. When I was fifty I had published a universe of designs. but all I have done before the age of seventy is not worth bothering with. At seventy five I'll have learned something of the pattern of nature, of animals, of plants, of trees, birds, fish and insects. When I am eighty you will see real progress. At ninety I shall have cut my way deeply into the mystery of life itself. At a hundred I shall be a marvelous artist. At a hundred and ten everything I create; a dot, a line, will jump to life as never before. To all of you who are going to live as long as I do, I promise to keep my word. I am writing this in my old age. I used to call myself Hokosai, but today I sign my self 'The Old Man Mad About Drawing." – Hokusai

Hokusai was disappointed not to reach one hundred.

Something of the pattern…

In the mist, on the big steps to Vernal Falls, I try to manually focus the 200 mm lens on a ground squirrel running down towards me…this is impossible. The digital point and shoot with a 12x telephoto auto focus lens is the next purchase.

For a fine essay on Hokusai see this site:

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