Omedeto Rainbow (52 Make-up Week 17)

I’m in Japan for the 25th anniversary of the Aichi branch of my karate school – more on that later. But I wanted to bring the head instructor here a small gift.

tmp_5203-IMG_20170424_232303_941-1171233770

I occasionally play around with Japanese calligraphy; I have no skill or instruction, but it’s fun. I’ve given a few pieces as gifts. To give one of my kindergarten scrawls to someone in Japan would be really cheeky — unless, I thought, I could do something interesting with it.

A rule for art: if you don’t have technique, have a fresh and creative approach.

I had the idea of taking a wide brush and loading different colors of paint along it, using a palate knife. This gave an interesting rainbow effect. The first one came out a little too dark, but the second effort had a pleasing burst of color to it, I thought. So I matted it, and had my students sign the mat. I gave it to our chief instructor as a little remembrance of his friends in Maryland. In the middle of a party, he didn’t get the chance to unwrap it so I don’t know how it was received, but I think the point was made. When making art as a gift, it is the thought that counts.

It says “Omedeto” – “Congratulations.” The word is usually written in hiragana, one of the two phonetic scripts used in Japanese, as opposed to kanji, the Chinese ideograms.

Stay in touch! Like Patheos Pagan on Facebook:
About Tom Swiss

Tom Swiss describes his spiritual path as "Zen Pagan Taoist Atheist Discordian", which usually baffles questioners enough to leave him alone. Over the past decade he has built a reputation as a lecturer on subjects spanning the gamut from acupressure to Zen and from self-defense to sexuality. He is an NCCAOM Diplomate in Asian Bodywork Therapy, a godan (fifth-degree black belt) in karate, a poet, a singer/songwriter, an amateur philosopher, and a professional computer geek. Tom has previously served as President of the Free Spirit Alliance. He is the author of "Why Buddha Touched the Earth" (Megalithica Books, 2013). Find out more about his wacky adventures at www.infamous.net.