I've been drawing thumbnail and finished sketches and throwing them out as fast as I produce them. Most of the ideas haven't been too bad; it's just that they've been either too direct and blunt or just not nuanced enough to be interesting.
I received a fair number of emails and private remarks about my last post and ultimately decided to listen to what seemed like good advice from others closer than I am to Japan.
My favorite of the rejects was this:
I was interested in the the stillness of the usually hand-painted nature scenes but this would have had this big, rolling wave instead of the usual seasonal landscape. I got as far as this finished watercolor sketch (lots of other drawings with more or less insistent waves on them) but ditched it as just too insensitive to do at this time with so many people dead and missing.
My other ideas involved carving and printing this seismogram reading taken off the coast of Sendai and recording the enormous earthquake near its epicenter. I had hoped to work it in as part of a print but found it didn't add much beside a macabre sense of tragedy and didn't like the drawings I had done that included it.
Ultimately, I just started carving.
The sketch I chose does involve a kimono, cherry blossoms,
water, a gentle reminder of the the passage of time and the fragility of life and a probably too-subtle nod to unstable atoms and electrons.
But it's not obvious and risks being if anything too banal.
Hope to finish carving the keyblock tomorrow as good or bad, it will be a crunch to get it done on time.