Two days ago my soon to be twelve year old grandson came up to me, face to face, put his hand in a horizontal salute at the top of his head and touched mine. He said, “Grandma I’m almost as tall as you.”
Almost every time I see my grandkids, one of them will do and say this to me. Being of Japanese ancestry and having taught kindergarten and first grade, kids did this to me all the time. In addition, I am a mother and a grandmother, so that's forty two years of having my shortness pointed out to me by children shorter than me. Forty two years!
Of course it runs in my family. My sister was an inch shorter than me. If I stand really tall I can round up to 5'1", which is two inches taller than my mom was. My daughter is two inches taller than me. When one of my aunts was in her 90’s, she had to stand on a box to reach the microphone on the podium to deliver her delightful words at my dad’s funeral.
I’ve been watching the tops of my grandkids' heads rise steadily up over these past twelve years. Their hand salutes are getting closer and closer to the top of my head. My "little" granddaughter is twelve now and tall enough that we have to stand back to back our compare heights, and a third party has to make the decision of who is taller. When I see her in a few weeks, I'm pretty sure the call will be in her favor. Soon, she'll be able to call me "her little grandma". How did this happen so fast? It seems like it was just the other day that I was bending over or lifting my grandkids up to plant a kiss on their heads. Now they're looking me in the face and patting the top of my head.
I saw my own children grow up into adulthood. I watched them bend over their elderly grandma and lovingly kiss the top of her head when they saw her alive for the last time. Now I see time flash forward to a future where I live a very long time... I see my grandkids, all grown up, bending down to kiss my head as I grow older and older, until one day, I leave my body to disperse back into the Everything. One day they will find themselves wrapped up in the infinite hug of the Universe, and they will hear their little grandma’s voice say, "Didn’t you know? You've always been this big."
(This blog has also been published in Fred Swan's September Edition of Second Tuesday. Please check out Fred's wonderful collection of articles and thoughts about living and aging.)
What if I let LOVE Paint LOVE? (Wait, is that what I've already been doing, but I didn't have the awareness, understanding or words to say it before?)
What if I painted something completely different?
What would that look like?
What does Love Painting Love look like?
I'm making some big changes in the studio this year. I'm moving out work tables that I had built years ago to accomodate the mosaic work I used to do before I started painting. They've been very useful since I started painting, but I woke up the other morning knowing it was time to move them out. They'll be on their way to the Rebuilding Center soon. I'm in the process of opening up my studio space to make it more conducive to Paint With Me sessions. It's so fun to me - I love to move things around.
This year I'll be doing more Paint With Me workshops, this year two-day sessions to allow more time to honor the intuitive painting process and community building. I'll be posting the dates for the workshops on my website very soon. I already have nine people on my waitlist for the upcoming workshops, so it seems like the right thing to do at this time.
I'm very excited to announce that I'll also be starting a new collaboration with Val Heart, LCSW Intuitive Therapist and Usui/Holy Fire Reiki Master. We will be offering weekend retreats with meditation, reiki, intutive painting and more. Details to be posted soon. If you are interested in finding out about these retreats, please let me know, and we'll make sure you get notified as we set them up. Or check out my website and sign-up for my newsletter and get monthly updates.
I'm super-inspired at the moment - you may be able to feel it through the vibe-waves!
All the best,
Art Life 2018:
I look at all this and think "Wow! That's a lot of good stuff. Did I really work that hard?"
One of the things that really came together in my art life this year is understanding how
doing and not-doing work together, and how to trust that whatever my art and I need will come to us (or we will come to what we need).
The six paintings above are a few of my favorites from the year. These are still available, either in my studio or at RiverSea Gallery. Contact me or the gallery if you'd like a closer look or to purchase.
I'm looking forward to the next year of art-making and all the things that come along with that. We'll see what happens...
What are you looking for to happen next year?
FB @Samyak Yamauchi Art
Pammy, Sammy, Tammy,
Annie, Frannie, Danni,
Terri, Carrie, Mary
and Bob - not in that order... 7' X 7". $50 each.
This was the Year of The Dog, on the Chinese calendar and in my home, because of Dash #dashtheadorabledog. This year's Littles for the Little Things show at Guardino Gallery celebrate pet ownership. See them at the opening Friday, November 23 and through December 30.
Having Dash makes every day a good day. A portion of the sales of my Littles will be given to the Oregon Humane Society for the love and joy they add to the lives of the animals and people who come through their doors.
Samyak Yamauchi, "The Strong One", 26" x 22" framed, $800 @ RiverSea Gallery
I hardly ever paint men. They just don't emerge as freely from my layers and marks as females do. I've been thinking about why that is. I guess it's because I'm a woman, so that's the story I paint.
Like every woman I know, I've had my share of mistreatment and disrespect by males. From childhood through adulthood those men, unconsciously merged with the collective false myth of the male, have said and done really stupid and inappropriate things. When I do paint a male, he's usually paired with a dog, because there's nothing like a good dog to teach you how to be a good human.
I paint mostly women and girls. I paint women and girls who are fierce and funny, strong and smart, and connected to themselves and to others. That's some of what will help move us out of this Bizarro World and into a world that is respectful and sustainable.
It takes a lot of strength and courage to be a woman or man of integrity in this world right now, and I have deep respect for those who are willing to stand up for what is right and for who they are.
This is how we started. Bold, intense, colorful, liberating. It was love at first sight.
Then she started to change. She started getting a little fancy, but I liked it - although she was starting to lose boldness and abstract interest to which I was so attracted. I liked her blue a lot.
So I added more blue. Nice blue, but now the whole picture wasn't not knocking my socks off anymore, and I could tell she wasn't as happy.
We decided to shake things up big time. She had a story about the river she wanted to tell. While I loved what she had to say, I didn't like how she was saying it, so I started making her messy. I realized by forcing my idea on her, she had become far too literal. In my eyes, she lost her mystery. In her view, she had lost her power. It made me feel sad that I had gone too far.
This is how we left it when I left the beach house. When I get back to the beach, I will reassess where we stand and go from there. I'm disappointed about losing what I thought I saw, but know that going forward, something new and even better will be created. Mantras to remember:
This is the process.
Go with the flow, not against it.
Lose my mind to love the world.
Today's the day,
The longest day of the year!
More light to see
what's inside of me
let go of my mind and pray
for joy, grounding and play.
A bucket of water, the beat of the drum,
my heart, my friends,
Waiting, 31" x 31" @ RiverSea Gallery
I wait for the sun to come up.
I wait for the alarm to go off.
I wait for Dash, the adorable dog, to do his morning business.
I wait for an end to my chores and errands, and then -
I paint and I wait for the paint to dry, and then I paint and wait for the paint to dry.
over and over I paint and wait,
and while I wait, I take Dash for a walk
or find a snack.
I sit in the sun or watch the rain or check my phone for nothing important,
and I paint, and I wait for the paint to dry
until my body clock says it's 5:00, and the painting stops for the day.
I eat some dinner. I look at a screen or read a book or play with Dash.
I go to bed, and
I can't wait to wake up and do it all again.
Dash is my joy-is-zen sensai. He teaches me how to sit and relax my mind. He keeps me in the present moment of tug and tag. He reminds me to use all my senses. He makes me get out of the studio to go for walks and talk to strangers. He shows me that food is a miracle. He shows me that black and white is everything.
Painting in Portland, Oregon, and writing about it here...