SCRUMBLE — A Blog About Pastel Art
Scrumble is a pastel painting technique of lightly touching the surface; the result is visually stimulating and very textural. My blog adapts that technique of scrumble, lightly touching on art and the art of pastel painting.
Mariko (detail Japanese Obi) 24x18, Pastel
New in Japan, my goal was to go to Sogo Department Store at Yokohama subway station. My husband had shown me how to read the station signs, buy a ticket in the right amount of yen and figure the time schedule. Three levels below the street, navigating the subway system, with few signs in English, is not an easy task.
Sogo opens at 10:00 and I was a little early, but so were 200 other people. Hearing a clock chiming, I turned around to an amazing sight. On the left wall was a huge clock, laid out in squares, 5 up by 5 down. The squares were turning outward, each one holding a doll dressed in different foreign costumes.
When all the squares had turned except for the four squares showing the hands to 10:00, the dolls started singing "It's a Small World After All." Just like at Disney, it was magical. The clock chimed ten as one of the world's largest department stores opened its doors.
My journey into an amazing store began: one floor had a huge kimono department; three art galleries; platforms for artisans making beautiful wood carved chopsticks and knives; looms weaving kimono fabric; hand-painted fans. Just too much beauty to imagine, inspiration for the painting of Mariko's obi.
With only four words in English — Sakuragicho (station of origin), Yokohama (destination station), subway, and Sogo — one can go several miles underground across the city, find the way through a maze of shops and signage, surface into a magnificent store and return home. (From the Japan Journal, Thursday, August 11, 1994)