Craig Wisner

Archive for March, 2014

Horse Flats ~ Rock Gardens. 3/25/14

I have to remind myself to stop thinking of this place as a Zen garden; Zen gardens are a poor imitation of this.

Reacquainted with long lost friends, formations, large and small, featured and smooth.  Cold fingers crimp down on a familiar hold, tendons creaking, locking, pulling skyward.

Many a sunrise has been witnessed alone from the top of a boulder here.

A somewhat forgotten fear is remembered, feeling blindly for a hold, freezing, looking down, pulse quickening.  I force myself to climb all the old standards until the fear is gone and my fingers no longer tremble at the top, until I can climb relaxed, until I can purely focus on movements learned and memorized long ago.

It was good to feel strong today.

 

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Spearing, 3/16/14

North of Malibu with Adan, in the water at sunrise.  The boogie board dive float works well; a nice base camp for storing fish, water, and gear.  Visibility wasn’t great, but still doable.  I shot one small perch; not many other opportunities presented themselves as fish were sparse.

The highlight of my diving was discovering an octopus lair.  Deep within a crevice I spot a large pile of empty shells strewn about, the garbage pile of an old underwater recluse piled outside its doorstep.  The the actual lair was too deep to find the creature living inside of it; I tried to stick my head in on successive attempts but couldn’t penetrate the darkness.  I like to imagine an old fellow sitting back in the darkness wondering about me.  I wouldn’t mind being an octopus.

I’m enjoying doing gyotaku, starting to get a feel for things.

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Perch gyotaku.

Perch gyotaku.


Gyotaku.

This is my first attempt at gyotaku, the Japanese art of “fish rubbing”.  It is my understanding that the practice originated amongst fishmongers in the 1800s, fish being printed and posted as advertisements prior to being filleted, as well as being printed as evidence of trophy fish amongst fishermen.  Lacking sumi paper, my first attempt is on 90 lb. Stonehenge printing paper, far too stiff to capture proper detail.  The sumi paper traditionally used is far more flexible, allowing for a cleaner and softer wrap around the fish.  The fish is spread into position, inked, and pressed with paper.  Details are then sharpened/enhanced with a brush.  The following print is a rockfish, just a hair under 15″ in length, taken by polespear after work on Thursday (3/13/14) while solo diving in north Malibu.  Diving visibility was excellent and I thought I had some great pics of the day on my Gopro…only to return home to find that I forgot to put the SD card back in.

I’m anxious to continue developing my skills with this.

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Los Padres Storm. 3/1 thru 3/2/2014

The “worst” storm of Southern California’s “winter”.  Where else should one be but in the mountains?  Snow, sleet, slush, rain, wind, and muddy mayhem with Adan and Michael.  Poetry reading, howling, shivering, strategizing, slumbering, coffee brewing, and menudo eating.  Awakening to coyote laughter at 3Am, echoing through wind and trees. Three thirds complete, what one of us forgets, another remembers.  To start Monday morning tired and cold from the weekend; It’s good to know people as foolish as I.

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