On Different Lines – An Exhibit

Gallery Nekogameya

“When you find the small building with the red door, please enter and sign in.” said the invitation.

Guest Book at Gallery Nekogameya

Outside Wakayama, Japan,  a group of artists held an exhibit at the Nekogameya Art Gallery.

Launa MB Karasuno, my sister, was one of the artists displaying her work.  Her series of black ink drawings on homemade paper was titled “On Different Lines”.

I rarely bother her when she is getting ready for an exhibit.  Like all artists, she gets stressed and works long hours finishing up her paintings before the opening.

On Different Lines, 2011 by Launa MB Karasuno

On first glance, her work looks so simple  and I wonder why did it take so long to create this?

But as I stare, the detail and the meaning begin to emerge.  And instead I wonder does she sit in front of her easel staring at the blank sheet, waiting for a shape or an image to grow in her mind?

Puddle, 2011, Launa MB Karasuno

As High as It was Deep, Launa MB Karasuno, 2011

Cavernous, detail, Launa MB Karasuno, 2011

Or does it come from her dreams?

Different than the decorative art we hang in our house, her work is difficult for me to describe.  Modern, simple, organic, minimal, from the soul are some words that come to mind but they inadequately convey the depth and detail.

She sees something in the world that I do not.

a big one detail, Launa MB Karasuno, 2011

She appears to be describing her feelings or perhaps the culture she lives in.

Too Heavy, detail, Launa MB Karasuno, 2011

Tethered - not, Launa MB Karasuno, 2011

She’s a kind of poet, solidifying her entire expression into one thin line, describing her life in images.

Went Another Way, Launa MB Karasuno, 2011

When We Are Old and Still, Launa MB Karasuno, 2011

I think Japan is the right setting for her work.  The exhibit has the feel of a Japanese choka, a brief 5-7 sound unit poem that reverberates with feeling.

My sense is her creativity is not based upon what she sees.  It seeps from the very silent dimensions within her mind.


Nothing Ever Comes Out of Negative Thinking – Pearl’s Wisdom

Wishbone Tree by Pearl Fryar

“It wasn’t important to me to create a garden.  I wanted to create a feeling that when you walked through you felt differently than you did when you started.”  Pearl

When I need inspiration I watch A Man Named Pearl, a documentary about self-taught artist Pearl Fryar.  Pearl’s living art can be seen at the South Carolina State Museum or at his masterpiece, the backyard of his home in Bishopville, South Carolina.

Pearl could not move into the white neighborhood because the neighbors were afraid a black man would not take care of his yard.  Ironically it was his sharecropper father’s advice “You must find a way to rise above average” that spurred him to find his passion in gardening.

He moved far beyond planting petunias to growing plants the nursery threw away and turning them into forty-foot topiaries.   Pearl’s inspired pruning eventually got him the Garden of the Month award, but more importantly his hard work has inspired children, his neighbors, aspiring artists and gardeners – and me.

“He made me feel like there are no limits.  My age would not stand in my way.”

Pearl Fryar

This 72 year old man’s energy is regenerated by living his passion and working with nature.  The miracles he grows are simply a reflection of his belief to “make sure you use that creative ability in some way.”

And his positive energy has extended out to his community.  Pearl donated several of his trees to beautify the town.  His contribution has helped revitalize the local businesses as busloads of tourists weaving through country highways to catch a glimpse of Pearl’s garden stop to see his creations.

If you ever go to South Carolina, make the effort to see the garden of Love Peace and Goodwill.  “You can feel some kind of spirit within it,” explains one visitor in the film.  “He’s not just doing it for show.  It’s something within.”

Love Peace and Goodwill - Pearl Fryar's Garden

Only the French have Dolls Like These

Arabian Princess from Tiny Us

How do I manage to find myself in a yoga class with a whole team of lithe French women?  And to top it off they are all interesting.

One of the most darling is Virginie Dreyer – equestrian, business owner, artist and yoga enthusiast – who has come up with a business model for the 21st century.


Virginie is the mind behind Tiny-Us, a paper doll company.

Paper Dolls? that is so 18th century.   Not the way Virginie is doing it.

First her Arabian and Japanese princesses, Cowboys and adorable animals are special.  They can be ordered as cards, invitations or prints.  And she will personalize them for you no matter where you are in the world.

It is so easy because you order, pay and download everything online.

How is this a new business model?  You pay however much you want.  All the proceeds go to her favorite charity – a school for young handicapped people in France.

Presence in La Seyne sur Mer

Virginie is a social entrepreneur; someone who makes money so they can put it towards a social or environmental good.  She uses the internet to make connections, builds a following with her blog, provides quality products then puts the profits towards the school.  The school not only gains funds but their profile is raised as people read about Virginie.

I wanted to write about her before October passed.  She has a series of very cute Halloween cards.

And she has a fabulous blog with lots of modern photography.  Enjoy!

Seana and Beauty Walk to the World Beat

"Beauty" by Artist Seana Mallen

Beauty is an invisible essence certain women exhibit as they walk through the messiness of life.  Whether in a crowded market or an elegant café, it is how these women light up the space around them even in the noon sun.

Rushing to my 10am yoga class, I opened the door into the World Beat Fitness Center’s sunny café when BOOM I suddenly found myself whirling in Seana Mallen’s universe.  Seana was swirling around hanging up her paintings for the opening of her In Celebration of Women exhibit this afternoon.

Dedicated to her mother, a breast cancer survivor, who “lit up a room when she entered it, both by her positive personality and by bright red lipstick” Seana’s exhibit draws upon her mother’s inner beauty and all the anonymous women who color her world.

Seana is truly an ARTIST with a real CV and commissioned works around the world.  How did an international artist end up in Bahrain? – like many expat wives, her husband took a position here and she accompanied him looking at it as an opportunity to travel, paint and educate.  Here her gregarious nature and love of energy and color has turned her life into one bright spotlight.

A gifted teacher Seana set up Awali Arts as soon as she landed.  Under her guidance, many of my friends have grown from primary school type sketching to artists in their own right.  But Seana doesn’t just focus on unemployed housewives; she volunteers her time around the world helping school children create murals.  Or you might accompany her on a travel holiday painting in India, Africa or Jordan.  Or you may take a cruise and take a watercolor class from her.  And if you pop over to my house, you will see the one of the many sets of commissioned family portraits she has created.

But the easiest way to meet Seana today and until November 10th is to go have a coffee at the World Beat Café and gallery.  Maybe you will even get the chance to meet this strong, funny, enthusiastic fire-cracker who inherited all these qualities from her mother.


Tales by Chapter

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