The past week was challenging at work and at home. The shop was very, very busy. I also learned that I have a bit of osteoporosis. I found it difficult to reach a comfortable level of free time.
Therefore, what a pleasure to wake up on this day off, without any beep from the alarm clock, and to realize that last night's thunderstorms had left this city with a clear blue sky.
This was a good day for a long walk. Central Park continues to show its transition to autumn colors, little by little.
My destination was a glorious cultural institution, Japan Society, that's located way over on the East side near the United Nations. The last time I visited Japan Society was many years ago, to see a Noh theatre performance. Today's goal was to see an exhibit of the textile designs of a Japanese national treasure, Serizawa.
As I had expected, there were very few other visitors at the time I arrived, and so I joined a group of six folks for a tour of this exhibit given by an excellent museum docent. He was British, spoke Japanese, and clearly was very enthusiastic about his subject, and delighted to find us a receptive audience. I usually steer clear of museum tour groups; today's experience makes me question that pattern.
The exhibit truly covered more than textile design, since Serizawa was a master of stencil art. The graphic design and colors involved in the many items on display were dazzling in their elegance, wit, communication, colorways, delicacy and boldness and variety. The way in which the designs bridged tradition and modernity was remarkable. It really is quite a show, and one that I will remember. I want to do a bit more research about this artist and also about the entire medium in which he worked.
It can be so inspiring to see something creative that is far different than anything you have previously know about ... and yet to feel instantly drawn to it. That is the feeling that I had this afternoon.
As I left the gallery rooms that had housed the exhibit, I happened upon another amazing show. Apparently the museum was also being used this afternoon for a gathering of Japanese families who were presenting their little girls in full kimono regalia. The girls were about five or six years old and so beautiful in their finery. Lots of photographing was going on. I felt that I would be intruding if I took out my own camera. It was very difficult to keep my recording totally in my mind's eye.
It was still quite early when I left the museum, and the day was gorgeous. And so I took a bus for a bit of my return journey, but then did another short detour through the Park. The scene below is just at the southern end of the Park. The tranquility of the view helped me hold on to the beauty of the exhibit.
I also managed a few errands before returning home, and then sat down to experiment with a bit of crocheting, just to continue the quiet, restful spell of the day. It is unusual for me to work with mohair, and I had forgotten that I had this skein of frothy pale ivory mohair/wool. I am playing around with a stitch called string of hearts. It will eventually be a twisty, textured, lightweight strand, that might be wrapped round and round to make a scarf. I surely do hope that the mohair bit won't prove scratchy.
I have also done a few sketches this afternoon in preparation for my annual Christmas card project. I think that I might have incorporated some of Serizawa's vocabulary into my card design. Since I will also have tomorrow as a day off, I'm hoping to pursue creative activities during much of the day, aside from the time I will have to devote to yet another doctor's appointment, and a visit to the dentist.
As we head towards Halloween, I do want to send lots of wishes to all you spirits around the world for a delightful holiday.