WordPress Weekly photo challenge “Monument”

StJohn_photo by JeanVengua

My writer friend, Marianne, better known as Kanlaon joined the WordPress Weekly photo challenge, so I thought — Why not? My camera’s broken, but I still have a lot of images that I have yet to post. Here’s my entry to “Monument 3.” Who or what does this statue represent? Big hint: the statue is in the little town of San Juan Bautista, northeast of where I live.

On Decreasing Online Presence

Copy of Okir-Analog_4-06-2013_JVengua

I am slowly trying to decrease my extraneous online presences. Since I’ve been doing stuff online since the late 1990s (I wrote my first blog completely in html), I’ve hopped onto a lot of Net bandwagons without disengaging myself later. Now I just want to reduce it to just several sites where I would have to put more time and thought into any one post (thereby creating a bit more cognitive space for myself, as well as real time)–as opposed to, say, responding shallowly to the baits and appeals for attention by online aggregators, and well–just, everybody. Don’t get me wrong; there are people out there that I want to continue interacting with (online, as well as face-to-face), but if they are worthwhile, then they are worth communicating to with a bit more thoughtfulness on a platform that isn’t plagued with distractions. Also, it has come to my attention that the time I spend on shallow internet interaction is time spent feeding the machine, and getting pretty much nothing in return–not just money, but nothing in terms of useful or interesting interaction.

Anyway, I can see that this paring down process is going to take some time and thought. So be it.

Paper, pen, and a broken camera

Some thoughts about drawing. First, my cute little pink Sony Cybershot digital camera is broken, and looks like it’s not fixable. I’ve gotten so used to the whole upload-the-digital-media routine when blogging or posting on Facebook etc., that I hardly give it a thought. I think I’m a pretty decent photographer too, at least for online purposes, so I kind of miss that tool. But then, today, I was thinking, “I’m an analog artist too — why photograph, when I can draw?” Why not, at least, for awhile, just try illustrating my blog posts, instead of uploading photographs? So maybe I’ll do that. Maybe starting with the next post.

Third, I just bought a packet of Khadi papers from India. They’re a bit too expensive for the type of doodling/sketching I’m thinking of doing for the blog — but drawing on good paper, even a decent sketch paper: that’s a pleasure. I’ll say it again — drawing on good paper is an effing, beautiful, sensory pleasure. So why not incorporate that into LocalNomad? I’ll give it a try…

This post is part of the thread: Local Art – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Verses Typhoon Yolanda

I guess I’m thinking a lot about Filpina/o poems and poets today. So the other thing I’m thinking of is Poems Typhoon Yolanda: A Storm of Filipino Poets, edited by Eileen Tabios. These are poets writing to help victims of the latest climate disaster in the Philippines. Purchase your copy now…

VERSES TYPHOON YOLANDA: A Storm of Filipino Poets

Editor: Eileen R. Tabios
Meritage Press (San Francisco & St. Helena, 2014)

Retail Price: $20
Page No.: 220 pages
Online Orders: http://www.lulu.com/shop/eileen-tabios/verses-typhoon-yolanda-a-storm-of-filipino-poets/paperback/product-21515174.html

To order directly from publisher, contact MeritagePress@aol.com
Book Site Info: http://versestyphoonyolanda.blogspot.com

This post is part of the thread: Filipina/o American Writing – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

F*ck Yeah Pinay Lit

I was recently sent a link to this tumblr site, F*ck Yeah Pinay Lit, set up by Barbara Jane Reyes. It’s beautiful. I didn’t even know you could do that sort of thing on Tumblr. And nice to see a site dedicated to pinay writing; admittedly nice to see my book, Prau, there, too! But check it out, and all the great writing by pinays that’s available.

This post is part of the thread: Filipina/o American Writing – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Little Book of Haptic Drawing

Screenshot 2014-03-09 16.03.12
Little Book of Haptic Drawing_by_Jean_Vengua_3-18_14

My art book, The Little Book of Haptic Drawing, is now available! It’s in pdf format. You may read it for free online (see the link above this paragraph), or download it. Although it’s not required, a small donation of whatever you can afford (just click the donation button in the sidebar) would be appreciated. It may take a few seconds to download. I am working on an expanded ebook or print edition which will be available in the future.

If you do read the book, please write about it, review it (Library Thing, Good Reads, art forums, etc.), link to it, try the drawing exercises, and/or give me your feedback, which will be useful to me as I prepare the expanded version.

What is “haptic”? To learn more, read Eileen Tabios’ article about my haptic drawings in Our Own Voice.

You can see some examples of haptic drawings on my blog, Okir: Analog.

An excerpt from the first page: The haptic [drawing] process depends upon sensory experience―interior and exterior―as a touchstone to the drawing. This does not leave out the thinking process, but it allows the senses to lead. Filipina/o Kali artist and teacher, Michelle Bautista, writes, “artists in my particular style of kali emphasize touch over sight and strive for a level of sensitivity in touch that allows them to ‘see.’ Because we emphasize the need to develop our sense of touch as much as possible, the greater the sensitivity, the greater the ‘vision’ of the world.” The term, “haptic,” has often been associated with “touch therapy,” where healing and creativity occurs through empathic touch. While we may not necessarily touch the object we are drawing, we can sensitize ourselves (through the various senses) to the object. In awareness of the drawn object and our own subjective experience (thoughts, emotions, body feelings), the body translates it all through our hands and into lines on paper.

This is not a results-oriented practice; the point is not to produce a stunning work of line art (although one may hope that the result is personally pleasing), but rather to increase awareness of the object drawn, as well as one’s own body—its creative, aesthetic, nervous and energetic impulses as it responds to objects and entities it perceives. As the drawings emerge, so does awareness of lines―the threads and connective tissue from which we record knowing and draw meaning, personal and communal―the primordial gestures and marks that make up artistic images.

This post is part of the thread: Local Art – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.

Wurlitzer spinet piano

I’m selling my Wurlitzer spinet piano, circa 1955. It’s in good shape, and has a lovely sound. All the keys were replaced in 2006, but it needs a tuning. It was a birthday present when I was a kid; lots of memories good and bad (I wasn’t very appreciative of piano lessons and remember once threatening to run away from home if I had to practice again. On the other hand, I grew to love Bach, later, when I practiced on my own). If you are interested, contact me through comments or the contact info on this website. Now that I’m getting older, I’m letting go of some things. But I’ll hang onto my dad’s Gibson J-160E acoustic (c. 1963) and his ukulele (the latter is a handmade number with no brand, which he picked up on some south sea island).

First Instincts

For several months I’ve been trying to figure out what to do with my completed chapbook-size prose manuscript, The Little Book of Haptic Drawing — which I want to be an e-book of some sort (it’s got color images, so too expensive to publish in print) available for free or for a small donation. At some point I think I’ll want to expand on it and either submit it or self-publish it in print. But that will be later. For now, I’ve been going through inexpensive ebook self-publishing platforms like Issuu, Scribd, Creatavist, and the People’s EBook. In most instances, it’s really a pain to format the mss. and make it uploadable. Finally decided I will probably just (as I first visualized!) make it into a downloadable pdf available on my website(s). When oh when will I learn to trust my own first instincts. Anyway, my Little Book will probably be available within a few days.

This post is part of the following threads: Local Art, Writing/Publishing – ongoing stories on this site. View the thread timelines for more context on this post.