Cardinal in August

Cardinal in August

Above a rhythmic cadence of crickets
the young cardinal tries his song
one note at a time,
an adolescent, tentative disruption
of the peaceful pulse.

As darkness yields slowly
to pre-dawn light,
the crickets fade.

The cardinal, more confident,
repeats two
then three,
now four
notes of his song.

This space
and gentle quiet
opens to a voice
remarkably coming from him.

In this way
he reveals and repeats
the notes that unfold sleep,
memory, and longing in me.

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Detail, Spring with Cardinal  (natural pigments on silk) 

© Kit Eastman

Three Views of Spring

Here is some new work using my new Spring stencil. First I created the background water pattern, using the water stencil featured in this post. I pasted my Spring stencil over that background. One of the challenges for me was getting the values dark enough in contrast to the background. This was in part due to my tendency to be tentative with use of pigments. Also, the work looks darker when it is wet; nevertheless I still had trouble getting dark enough values. I painted probably 4-5 layers of pigments and soy. In the top image, the darkest values in the branches and buds were painted on after washing off the paste – a method of fixing it when you wash the paste off too soon!

Another general challenge in katazome, which I really felt while working on this piece, is that the yellowish rice paste resist covers the lightest values in the work, so what you see is not really what you get. This adds to the excitement (and/or disappointment!) when you do finally wash off the paste! I’ve posted more photos of the work in progress in this photo album on my Facebook page.

I stitched the piece to a sheet of  handmade Japanese moriki kozo paper from Wet Paint Art, treated with konnyaku starch (to give it texture and strengthen it for  stitching).

In the example above I added an image of a cardinal before pasting the Spring stencil. The cardinal was dyed and covered with paste before adding the primary Spring layer.

 

A cardinal takes flight from a rain garden near my house – a surprising flash of red that always makes my heart skip a beat!

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