Friday, April 30, 2010

Etegami at the Drawing Stage

Mushrooms from Akizugawa

My students and teacher, Kojima Sensei grow mushrooms at their school, Akizugawa Elementary School. It is a wonderful place, they have a rice field, sakura, ume, many flowers, tomatoes, cucumbers and other vegetables. The Elementary School and the Junior High School are beside each other and share the land. I made this drawing for Kojima Sensei who with the fifth and sixth graders showed me how they grow mushrooms and let me pick some.

Sawabe's Strawberry

This drawing is of a strawberry from Sawabe's garden. They are beautiful and delicious. I help in the garden sometimes and am constantly amazed how the fruits and vegetables grow in such a short time and taste amazing.

Postcard Series "Bicycle Friends"

Bicycle Friends Elephant

Bicycle Friends Frog

Bicycle Friends Tiger

Bicycle Friends Rabbit

I have been making mail art for friends and family and also starting to learn to make the etegami (see prior post) I have had fun combining the stamps for a new image. I like how they are narrative and each has their own personality.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Fishing Fisherman Fish and Fish Tags for Jessica

Fishing with Prices
watercolor and ink
Jessica, Steve and I ate lunch on Thursday at Akihei, my new favorite restaurant. On our walk back to the office, we passed a corner fish market. Jessica remarked about the fish having prices on them - there are single small pieces of paper with numbers that rest on the fish's side indicating its price. Choi, as Steve likes to call her, said something like, I imagine the fish coming up with prices already on them and the fisherman determines if he wants the fish based on the tag. We laughed and mimicked what the fisherman might say upon seeing the tags on his catch. Later, I was thinking of this remark and sketched an idea for an illustration. Pyar and I had seen a print in Yuuasa that we both liked of a fisherman on top of an enormous fish. I have been thinking about the print since, and thus here is my take on both ideas.
Thank you, Jessica.

Study for Fishing with Prices

Combining My Stamps for New Originals

Cycling in Kyoto During Hanami
original stamp prints on postcard
The bicycle stamp is intended for Pyar. He has a great bike from Surly called the Karate Monkey. He ordered it from the states and put it together here in Japan. The bike fits his tall frame and is b.a. Tim and Lindsay and Pyar and I rented bicycles in Kyoto a couple of weekends ago, it was a blast. We rode along the Kamo river looking at Hanami.

Elephant in Hanami
original stamp prints on postcard
Baby elephant enjoys the Sakura on a little walk.

Panda in Hanami
original stamp prints on postcard
Panda loves Sakura.
The season is nearly over for this year and so she savors each falling blossom.

Chinese Zodiac

Atsuko's Mouse
I have been attempting to make etegami in the last week. Etegami is a beautiful traditional Japanese art form. My first attempt at combining words with a painting was somewhat successful, though I wrote the Japanese incorrectly and in the wrong direction, I liked the painting. So, with that thought, I am beginning the series of the Chinese Zodiac with etegami. This first one is for my amazing teacher, Atsuko. She and I squealed a bit like mice when we learned that we are the same zodiac. For now, it is simply a painting, I have to work up the nerve to write in Japanese alongside the mouse for my Japanese teacher.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Panda in Japan

Panda visiting Fuwaru (and now pouting) for Lindsay and Tim

I stamped panda on a piece of cloth that I got from a great coffee, tea, clothing house in Tanabe called Fuwaru. The shop is exquisite and the owner is incredibly generous and knows how to treat guests with love and coffee. The fabrics I purchased are from traditional kimonos. Lindsay and I tried on a few while Tim and Pyar tried on some traditional men's clothes. It was a blast.

Landscapes of Tanabe

watercolor on wood
The wooden circle is sitting to the side so a little off the horizon.
The beginning of a new series.

Tanabe Tree study
This tree was a golden and green glow in the afternoon light just down from our home.