April 16th morning I woke with the usual back pain and stiffness. With a cup of coffee and my kitties fed, I walked up the hill behind the house as the sun came up.It was cold (38 degrees), but the light rain during the night had freshened everything. The grass had jumped out of the ground, and distant trees had more green in various subtle colors. Wisps of fog rose in patches between the hills and fields. A train rumbled north in the cold distance, it whistled a steady yet mournful sound. Clouds obstructed the sun and I practiced my Qi Gong exercises looking out at the expansive view below. This is my favorite spot to practice early morning Tai Chi and Qi Gong in the warmer weather. I have studied with Mark Tolstrup for over eleven years; classes in Tai Chi have been a moving meditation and help keep me limber and grounded.
He has a class on seasonal Qi Gong that has done a lot to improve my life and help me to accept the seasons. It has helped me to become still and look, listen, and feel what is going on around me. This has helped me with my artwork.
I head back down the hill with a light sun on my back. How welcome the brightness and warmth of the sun are and how comfortable I now feel after the gentle circular movements I have completed.
I have been doing some small areas of direct painting on some of my batik. The wax is applied with a tjanting to create lines that completely encloses small areas. The dye is painted in the middle, being careful to not bring the brush too close to the wax line where it could jump beyond. This is very similar to the Serti technique; a French method of painting on silk. The word Serti means fence, and a rubbery substance called Gutta is applied as a resist to the dye and as the enclosed area for silk paint to be contained. When doing my batik these painted areas are coated with wax before being immersed in the next dyebath.