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summer focus areas & color study no. 1

This summer, I've edited everything down to 3 focus areas: catch my breath, reconnect, play & experiment creatively.

Knowing that my energy tanks in the summertime as temperatures rise, I'm trying really hard to release expectations I put on myself and let things slow and quiet around me so I can catch my breath. This has me seeking the ebb-and-flow of both leaning in to things and pulling back from others, and letting this natural fluctuation surge and still without moving to control it.

Sometimes, I feel like I'm waking up from drifting off and all the things that tether me to routine and surety have been cut free while I slept. I feel most secure when there's something to hold on to- some root digging down into the riverbed so I won't be carried away- and recognizing this need, I know it's important for me to reconnect. To secure knots that have come loose, redistribute the weight beneath both feet so I don't totter, and find a sense of connection to my surroundings, thoughts, and aims again.

A part of this is letting the pressure and sense of urgency fall away. There is time for each step- time to make sure each one lands on solid footing- and rushing only wears me out or trips me up. So, when my energy dips, I'm sinking in instead of pushing through. I'm reaching for my sketchbook and resisting the instinct to only make what is productive. To instead play & experiment creatively, without pause or second-guessing.

This is the first of (hopefully) many color study collages. Thumbing through a lovely printed catalog from The Folio Society, I sotted several photographs of books that were displayed in front of the same mottled background. My eyes honed in on the varied hues and dappled texture, and without overthinking, I began to cut and tear pieces, pasting them down on the page without fussing over the positioning, letting my fingers move.

Within a matter of minutes, the page had turned into a study of color and shape and texture. A little color portrait I'm calling, Chai Tea Latte, because it reminds me of chai powder, vanilla foam, and dappled sunlight.

What does it remind you of, friends?

♡ Kimberly Kuniko

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Words, Art + Photography by

© Kimberly 國子Taylor-Pestell


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Welcome to the personal blog of of Kimberly Kuniko, a Nikkei American illustrator, collage artist, poet, and host of cozy, virtual guided creative retreats with a new theme each month.

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