The Place I’ve Been Before

 

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The Place I’ve Been Before, by Rachel Urista, 2017   Acrylics, spray paint, origami papers, acrylic markers, colored pencil, oil pastel on birchwood panel.

 

This is the first finished painting from the batch of four 48″x48″ panels I’m working on. Rather large and heavy for me- but I felt the deep need to work larger than I have before.

The piece went through many transformations, as much of my work does. It moved from abstract color, texture and expression, to cities in the wind, to mountains where the wisteria grow, and sacred shrines are hidden. I felt the sense of place and atmosphere come together with this one- and felt it was a space I know. Curious feeling! Though not unknown, perhaps, by other artists and poets, whose work carries them to a certain obscure, yet familiar territory.

felt the sense of place and atmosphere come together with this one- and felt it was a space I know and have visited before. What a curious feeling! Though not unknown, perhaps, by other artists and poets, whose work carries them to a certain obscure, yet familiar territory.

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An Artful Journey Retreat, Santa Cruz

This is a long post! Lots of pictures, and they only hint at the beauty, magic and intensity of the retreat. I spent a total of five days up at the retreat center and traveling, three of which were filled day and night with art-making, close-friends, new friends and self-reflection…Travel, and travel with art especially, can really do amazing things for one’s soul.

I chose Jesse Reno’s workshop at this retreat “No Limitations.” It was a three day immersion in painting, magic, & intuition. You can see his work here JessseReno.com its really amazing art!

As we built up layer upon layer of paint, mask like faces and familiar creatures & symbols surfaced. Learning the power of intention, the power of letting go, painting without a pre-conceived notion was not easy, but was true gift to practice. My pieces came out more personal and powerful than I had imagined…This workshop was incredible and I am excited to see what the future holds!

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Jesse Reno works on a demo

 

The Retreat Center

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We had tables but eventually, I worked on the floor too. More space, new point of view!

img_2634Celebrating outside at the end of the workshop


JesseRenoWorkshop2013_RU-3One of my paintings…rich with personal symbols and familiar creatures.

JesseRenoWorkshop2013_RU-1Second one of my paintings from the workshop, and a close up below…

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JesseRenoWorkshop2013_RU-14A third piece of mine from the workshop, and close up below.


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Spread 006 – Kazoku-Family

Found images, Acrylic Paints, printed family photo, Japanese maple leaves, ink

There is so much more to be discovered about my family history. I’d really like to journal about each one of the stories my Grandma has told me about her life in Japan.

I know so little but the more I learn of history, the more I realize what a remarkable time she grew up in and raised a family in. My Grandmother was born in Fukuoka, Japan about 1930 and came to the United States in the early 50s, with my mother (then just a baby) and her American husband.

Some of the papers in here are written by my Grandma – the only papers of her handwriting I have. In these writings, she lists out our family tree. Unfortunately, I couldn’t read much and had trouble following. I really hope someday I can learn more and have clarity about our family. For now I have a few images mixed with my imagination, pieced together from the stories my mother and my grandmother have told.

**Updates** My mother just gave me this update: “Your grandmother was born on March 25, 1924 in Dazaifu, Kumamoto-Ken, Japan.” Thanks Mom!

 See where Dazaifu, Japan is on a map here

Spread – 003 A Family Tree of Sorts

Printed Family photos, Acrylic Paints & Ink

This is a family tree of sorts, from both sides of my family.  This tree has so many many more branches to fill in, each with their own stories. I wonder if I extended the roots down or out, where they would go, and who would I meet?  I wonder about my roots, even the nearest branches are still a mystery to me. For now, details are cloudy and silent images remain. I hope to fill in this tree and give voices to the photos.

How do you celebrate your family tree?  Send me a link and let me know how you save your history and create your own family tree.