Category Archives: Paint + Collage + Craft

collections of visual art including oil, acrylic and watercolour paintings, travel ephemera collage art and even hand crafted party invites

Painting / Haiku ~ exhibit intro and round-up

+ My Painting in Shibuya +

+ Provincial Poetry, Wine and Goats in Shibuya, Tokyo +

A little piece of Okayama in Shibuya. Very proud to see my haiku postbox painting supporting sempei Mac Kobayashi’s display.
If you are in Tokyo area, please consider stopping by to dig it all and tell yer pals (and maybe i’ll send you a postcard print of it #hint).

* Session: Friday, September 18, 2020-Monday, November 30, 2020
* Time: 12: 00-20: 00 (Last Admission 19:30) / Closed on Wednesday
* Place: d47 MUSEUM (03-6427-2301)
渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510
* Fee: Free admission + Advance application: Unnecessary

More info: https://www.hikarie8.com/…/d-design-travel-okayama…

As part of Mac Kobayashi’s Rural Caprine Farm exhibit at “d Design Travel Okayama Exhibition” in Shibuya, Tokyo (right near the famous scramble intersection), visitors can see my painting “Postbox Haiku (blue)”.

Hope folks can see the display for inspiration to visit the goats (and see more of my paintings).

Details:
会 期 2020年9月18日(金) – 2020年11月30日(月)
時 間 12:00〜20:00(最終入館/Last Admission19:30)/水曜休 Closed on Wednesday
場 所 d47 MUSEUM(03-6427-2301)
料 金 入場無料/Free Admission
事前申込 不要
渋谷2-21-1 Shibuya-ku, Tokyo, Japan 150-8510

+ Tour the Farm (with Postbox and Paintings +

Take a tour of Rural Caprine Farm in Okayama in this video by d design travel 編集部 / starting at 5:34. See the “actual postbox” which goes with the painting of the postbox (which came first?) and hear Mac Kobayashi’s friendly voice at my favourite place.

The exhibit book is really nice and my postbox appears 4 times! You can purchase the catalog at Mac’s farm or by emailing dDesign folks (note to self: add email address here).

History: The painting was “just the postbox”, then i found a matching mailbox and installed at the farm, wrote the haiku onto the postbox, and then added to the painting to complete the meta circle. oh then made postcard prints and a book and mailed to the postbox… 

haiku on a postbox, and a painting of a postbox with a haiku / which came first? 

the original is unfaithful to the translation.

Today – a Letter!
Written as you ate a peach
In last weekend’s SUN

everything comes together!

Tsuchida Cottage Art Gallery (in process)

New addition by Jean Smith (see also: Mecca Normal) / this lady reminds me of someone, somehow… do you know who?

Needs properly hung but wanted you to say “hello”.

Also, glimpses of:
* Miyake Noriko
* Grateful Dead pacific Nw box by Roy Henry Vickers  (thanks Trev!)
* Gravelly Beach series (me)

Elsewhere in house: Michal Korman & many others (this is a note to self to document further)

Note: There is another by Jean who is doing so many interesting projects to build an Free Artist Residency (FB)  somewhere in BC… check her interviews for more of her great story.

Ichiro: gift thank-you cards (vol. 2+) / 9.25~Oct. 13

Continuing on with Ichiro Cards (see vol. 1 of the meta proces documentation if inclined) obsessively custom, handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.

The batches change due to supplies (esp paper stock and printer ink) as well as as we fresh-up ideas… In general include special snaps cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?

As such, some started simple…

and got more “maximalist” as we went along:

Some get a few photos to connect other stories (with annotations on reverse), e.g.:

Or catch up with life and things folks might like:

with “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse metaphorical reasons or have some backstory:

sometimes the assortment doens’t make sense until you receive somehow corresponding items crossing in the mail. In this case, Richard Brautigan is the connective magic.

Sometimes we receive a snap of the delivered mail. In this case, the elegantly placed postal cancellation stamp from the folks at Higashi Okayama post office:

And while i sorta try to take snaps of most of the finished pieces, i invariably forgot most, but here’s a snap of a note which made the journey to California. Thanks JJ:

In general, we are trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times. First was to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.

Here’s another on display on a fridge in Vegas, to which we replied: 

“… fantastic to see! You know we absolutely love making these and seeing them complete their journey, hopefully bringing a smile to the recipient, especially in times of tumult. We truly appreciated your thoughtful gift.” (thanks C &T!)

Update Sept 26:

Ichiro cards batch, Sept 26

Each envelope receives an extra kiss before we send out upon a wormhole journey to points on earth Each one unique (of course) and crafted with affection for recipients… Get so excited thinking of the splendid cards arriving to post boxes elsewhere.

The stamps are chosen with care at the post office. Oddly, the standard international Air Mail rate of ¥110 is challenging to match up so we often over pay in order to get colourful designs rather than boring meters.

Update, Oct. 6:

Another 18 dossiers dropped at post office today (on a stroller walk with lil Ichi-Stan who is neighbourhood famous).

Each dispatch is hand-crafted / unique + that’s “batch 4” for Ichiro-cards, batch 5 already underway (about 23 envelopes) / noting each batch varies by materials available & inspiration sparks (do you want to see them all?)

Note: likely puts over 500 analog mail-outs for the year (including New Year’s cards) > this hobby does get a bit expensive (ink! stamps!) but joy to send a piece of “us” (with Ryoko Olson) is worth every yen. #kokoro

Let’s enjoy international correspondence from global correspondents!

Update, Oct. 13:

Another 18 going out into the world, or was it 23? Either way, another variation on the same idea… inky stamps, franked postage stamps collected around the world, special snaps of Ichi and other treats… scissors, glue, labels, love.

Batch 5, (or is it 6?) of Ichiro cards going out into the world… / hopefully finding hearts which are as grateful as we are. Each made with affection and truly unique. And yes, each is “important“ because the stamp says so.

Note: Persimmon not included

Redundant notes

Further annotations & postal tips.

Get in on the fun by mailing to:

Ichiro Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Fondly from Tsuchida Cottage

Thankful: a Postcard to Pals

Hello You,

Having the best year somehow / full of gratitude for surprising treats, healthy lad, remarkable wife, poetry flowing, paintings regarded, a cottage abode, archives in a sturdy hidden fortress.

So many years lost/hiding in various wildernesses & now pure joy + wonder. (I live with pain but matters less). #grateful

Fondly, dvo/UW

Painting / Haiku ~ on exhibit in Shibuya (representing Okayama Design)

My painting of a haiku on a postbox is representing Okayama design and culture at an exhibit in Shibuya (Tokyo), ergo: 

Detail of the exhibit catalog and the stand ( No. 14) for Rural Caprine Farm & Market

My *post box painting* is featured in the physical exhibit in Shibuya, while the *painted post box* is featured no less than three times in the magazine, including on one of the introduction pages.

Note: The painting and the post box feature a traditional 5-7-5 syllable Japanese haiku poem in English. Deposit box accepts usual mail daily.

I share space with the remarkable Ohara museum filled with post/impressionist art, a coffee roaster housed in the 90-year-old former post office, a couple of brothers bringing youthful energy into the historic denim industry in the Bikan area of Kurashiki, swordsmith, fibre weavers and so on. Plus unique regional restaurants from Setouchi to Hiruzen to add to wishlist.(The magazine features most text in translation to English for your convenience.)

Additionally,.. t he catalog for the dDesign Travel exhibition sharing unique design and culture from my home Prefecture was released in glorious four-color bleed, mixed-paper goodness.

Features so many interesting artists, museums, artisan businesses & unique accommodations (& curious stats about school uniform + riffs about Momotaro legend) plus, you can do a “stamp rally” meaning collect a stamp from each of the locations featured on the map.

Sponsors include my beloved Uno Bus & Ryobi Group.

Hoping to share more of my poetic postal paintings with these institutions & more. Ideas for collaboration or exhibits? Let’s talk.
My thanks to Sempei Mac Kobayashi (in the magazine wearing a black sabbath T-shirt ;)) at the 4th generation Rural Caprine Farm for this chance to contribute to local culture/economy (and, really, life in general).

Really, do you go visit this pleasant hangout (let me know if you have any questions) where you can see more of my paintings amongst other delightful foods and goats.

Grateful to be part of HERE. Let’s enjoy.

Me and the exhibit magazine/map/catalog at Rural Caprine Farm

Painting / Haiku ~ catalog for exhibit in Shibuya

Artifacts from the Okayama design and travel exhibition in Shibuya featuring Mac Kobayashi’s magical goat farm & my postbox haiku / painting. 

In this case: first snapshots (by the farmer himself) of the exhibit’s catalog (or is it a “mook = magazine/book?) with pictures of the aforementioned farmer (shockingly) wearing a black sabbath rather than usual Grateful Dead T-shirt.

Nevertheless, the haiku post box looks splendid and, I am working on the right words for the opposite side. Stay aware.

Photos by Mac the goat farmer.

Update: now have the words for the other side of the post box… follow along for amusement  

Ichiro: gift thank-you cards (vol. 1+) / 8.21~9.19

PS yes i do have 2 Dymo labelers, doesn’t everyone?

Aug. 21: Doing a batch of custom “Ichiro cards“, obsessively handmade of course, to send to folks who sent such lovely gifts from around the world.

Just trying to make a little something extra special special for everyone to brighten up their day in evidently strange times.

Note: Packages are arriving from Canada… Just takes rather long due to limited flights coming across the Pacific these days – Further annotations & postal tips.

Memo: It’s worth noting that with the baby, various big changes in life, postal disruptions etc., I’m a little bit behind in my usual copious correspondence. Please know that every one of your letters is savoured, displayed, properly archived and what not. I will do my best to answer everything eventually. Your anticipated patience is much appreciated.

Update, Sept 3 / Batch one, away! 

Various countries (also Ichi’s Canada Citizenship packet – truly unimpressed with service from Canadian Embassy/ Consular section in Tokyo – ugh rudeness and hassles for a birthright and taxpayer… #stopcomplaining)

Update / Sept 7: Another chance for a session (this sort of project is hard to do in short bursts, doing what we can…) 

Best thanks for all your wonderful notes and thoughts (can’t quite stay up with everything these days).

Note: So glad we are documenting his/this journey. Noting all parents have different feelings about how much to share/ what to share/ permission/ privacy etc. This is all thought through. 

Update / Sept 11

Batch 2 into the wormhole! Stamps carefully chosen naturally (even though the desired designs resulted in overpaying for postage… you are worth it :)). 

Annotation: Pictured (below x2) is the “work stuff” / so many wonderful supplies to play with. Kinda hard to explain but as a project goes on, of course the form evolves and sometimes i worry that the first round isn’t as good as later rounds or maybe the opposite as i am definitely a “maximalist” and don’t do that “design is 99% invisible” flow.

Use all the goodness all the time! My point? I just hope they are enjoyed and care is noticed (so i don’t feel like the family who handmade caramel apples for Halloween just to have them all tossed out when kids return home from trick or treat). Am i making sense? Didn’t think so. #tinybitobsessive  

Even… sometimes include “bonus snaps/items” which simply amuse me for metaphorical reasons and i think recipients will dig – especially “remixd” #meta photos of some kind or another or ones which are the answer to a question never asked (like the significance of a bridge).

Update / Sept 19:

So many treasures arriving for #IchiroOlson / each of course sparks a splendid handcrafted, unique postal treasure in reply. So very grateful.

As such, round 3 of “Ichiro Thank you for gift cards” underway. Changing styles to fit the supplies on hand and a few stationery items recently arrived. Each batch unique, each card… we’ll keep making until whenever. 

Note: the only existing complete analog series of the 43 (so far) Ichiro “#io” cards, cut with dear Mom’s (heavy metal) pinking shears, attached to custom stamped (inky & franked postal) postcards then enveloped with family photo / am I ruining the surprise?

(Redundant note) these are going to the dear folks who have mailed remarkable gift packages, care boxes and cards from around the world in commemoration of the birth of this dude.

Get in on the fun by mailing to:

Ichiro Olson
937-1 Tsuchida, Naka-ku
Okayama-shi, Okayama-ken
703-8217 Japan

Star of the show!

 

Memento: India scrapbook page & poem (RIP Mom), 2016

Memento: India scrapbook page & poem (RIP Mom), 2016

I was in India when my dear Mother died, I rushed back via various flights to join with my brothers and friends.

It was (still is) all a blur, so many details missed up through it all, though as is my custom, I assembled oddities in a scrapbook and made annotations along the way.

As such, evidence, including: a boarding pass for the worst flight ever; a list of tasks to complete rapidly to leave Joy guesthouse in Auroville by taxi to Chennai airport; and a poem which I can’t at this moment remember who wrote/gave to me. Was it you?

There are other things in the scrapbook, maybe another time…

Memento: Set Designs (for an Evergreen College class), 2003

Set design: inside “Stan” parliamentary building

My university journey in general, and Evergreen college time specifically, had many starts and stops taking in total from 1987 at Utah Technical/Valley Community College to 2004 graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Inter-disciplinarian studies at Evergreen in Olympia, WA.

Digression: While there are times I regret not having an “usual” university experience which I had anticipated being an “outstanding student” during much of my school time, there are some advantages of being a non-traditional student of having more diversity of age and background and expectation in the classes.

Anyway, along this journey, my pal Jay Stewart and I restarted Evergreen doing a class (something about Global Management and Leadership) which was held in-person on Olympia campus one complete weekend a month, with online work filling the time between.

[Noting: this was “early days” online learning which was an interesting thing to observe. Plus, the comprehensive weekends allowed you to do a lot of group work in a short period of time.]

Yeah, Evergreen in particular is particularly in love with “group work” and we had various group projects, some of which we could choose our group and some we were assigned a group… Ostensibly to teach us to work with people we weren’t necessarily familiar with or whatever.

Now, my usual inclination is to be that “person who drags everyone with them and makes a fun community out of the whole thing” but I was determined not to do that but, sort of ended up that way as much of the group floundered and spent more time talking about “why they couldn’t do things” than they did actually doing anything, and spinning useless energy on deciding when and how we would meet to talk about how and when we would do things. Generally very frustrating.

On the day of the presentation, some members went completely off script thinking that they were so fucking brilliant and loquacious they should just change everything on the fly because they were super good and a 10th grade debate class or something and I was fantastically unimpressed. (hey look i was learning!)

Our presentation with something about reforming labour laws in sweatshops or building up unions in emerging economies or promoting economies while protecting environment… something like that. So, I wrote a couple of plays (note to self: find these plays and publish them) set in a Central Asian, post-Soviet country (called Stanastan in the finished work) and did my favourite sorta arts-and-crafts part of making giant backdrops on refrigerator boxes with powder tempura paint. They were spectacular – ha!

I was so frustrated at the end of the talk that the prop some cells were left for custodians or late night ravers to dispose of, but in going through old notebooks, I found some sketches of my mock-ups.

Of course the finished works were even more majestic :) and interesting but looking at them brought back the flashback of just dealing with a bunch of hangers-on in the group. Probably a bad thing that that’s my memory but there were some other part of the class I enjoyed I suppose,…

I remember a presentation about poet-dissident-president Vaclav Havel and the frequent requirement of public speaking in the class (obviously) was a benefit for me. Plus hanging out with Jay during our clandestine lunches was cool.

As it goes, I went on to do some more of these kind of weekend classes, in some cases, going out to the Aberdeen campus studying legal/judicial systems, economies and privacy with a notion to go to law school which fortunately, did not pan out.

Set design: oil fields in a post-Soviet, central Asian country

Diptych(ish): from Rhodt, Germany / castle (watercolour + photo)

Once upon a time in 1992, I hitch-hiked around Germany (and other Western European countries) experienced many hi-jinks and met up with my dear pal Trevor in a magical, fairytale town near the Rhine River called Rhodt unter Rietburg.

To earn some Deutsche Marks, we would gather chestnuts in the woods, and sell them to the tourists who enjoyed eating Kastanien, boiled, while drinking the excellent local wine.

While passing time at our “stand,” I painted the local environs.

Now, with the wonders of the Internet, I can find photos of the scenes I only remember has faded watercolour pencil sketches (i did not take a camera).

In this case, one of “crazy” King Ludwig’s summer villa/castle of some kind… Resplendent with ancient grape vines in the foreground.

See also: 3 photos and 1 item & Rhodt watercolours

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 + #daveo50 musings

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 / cover

In my #daveo50 “personal archaeology“ project, there are over 160 posts pre-scheduled (before baby), however there are at least another 100 in draft form and then still shelves and boxes filled with treasures…

Ergo: The other day I popped out to holy barn studio for the first time since the baby came home and randomly picked up this notebook and it’s pure gold… a log diary from a road trip with my grandpa through UT, AZ, NM, Mexico etc / with no agenda, no school, many motels, every national & state park & monument, endless diners (incl his flirting with waitresses). i’m posting it here as an “placeholder“ reminder to myself that this project can continue on all year and beyond beyond… so much evidence, so many oddities, such documentation.

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 / final page detail

I also remember that Douglas Coupland exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery included a display of his notebooks telling me that “the work is the art“ and in this case, this humble $.35 spiral-bound notebook with a mix of my scribbles and my grandpa’s delicious cursive is “the #art” the rest is ancillary.

“So it is written, so it is done”

PS: This note posted elsewhere regarding this “discovery” of personal archeology: 

…My heart stopped so many times while opening up all these archives… I’ve moved so many times and been through so much uncertainty and so much turmoil and chaos in my life that the fact these things survived is truly miraculous and each shred of paper and scribble of handwriting is cherished. My grandpa was a colossal character, a real “big Fish“ type… I’m still not to his country count on my travels or to his level of charm so to see his handwriting and remember that trip is really quite splendid.

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 (final page detail)

See more: artifacts from this trip at: Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa, 3 B&W views (Arizona, New Mexico)

Note: I wrote a story about a bit of the trip and specifically one morning on a First Nations “reserve” with a few observations while waiting for something to open (note to self: post that up sometime) and read some of it in a Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast too as well as a tribute to him in another.

Ichiro: Telegram, rec’d

Why yes, we do accept telegrams here at Tsuchida cottage / No Time Machine required. #io