perjantai 29. elokuuta 2014

About Japan

I have never visited Japan, I wish I will some day though.
 I know a few random things about Japan, such as  cherry blossoms, the mountain Fuji, Manga and  sushi but I do not know Japan. I feel Japan is pretty much a mystery for me.
However, I do know that the old printing technique, wood cut, has got its origins in Japan ( and China ).
Some Finnish artists like Ellen Thesleff and Helene Shjerfbeck were inspired of Japanese wood cuts (as many other artists all over Europe those days ).

Thyra Elisabet, Ellen Thesleff, 1892,oil on canvas, 42 x 25 cm.
 The Great Wave of Kanagava,1729-32, Katsushika Hokusai, woodcut print, 

Smiling Girl, Helene Shjerfbeck, 1921, oil and mixed media on paper


 The themes of my wood cuts and mixed media works have something to do with memories, associations and identity.
 My grandma was a dressmaker and the threads of this work are hers. 
She passed away a long, long time ago but somehow I can feel her strong personality and presence even now. She was a creative and unique personality, always wearing elegant hats
 and smoking constantly.

the theme of this week´s drawing challenge is Japan and our charming host is Nadine, see her fascinating blog Tiny WOOLF for more.

In a Dressmaker´s Family, 2014, acrylics, wood cut and threads on canvas, 60 x 90cm

12 kommenttia:

  1. That's just beautiful Leena. I've never been to Japan either, although my son lived there for a while and my youngest daughter is off to live there in a year or so. The Japanese culture is really strong in Vancouver and so it's easier for me to be part of that world. Can you tell me which wood did you do the wood cut into? I tried maple but that's as hard as a rock and so it became a wooden spoon! I tried a woodcut into a sort of plywood apparently made for woodcuts but wasn't happy with the resulting image. Anyway, hope your weekend turns out to be a wonderfully happy one. :D

  2. i love your modesty about japan. it really is a mystery, is it not? and yet, small this and thats trickle our ways and we can be fascinated.

    the story about your grandmother whose presence you still feel, she must have been quite the phenomenon. it makes me think about how it is that i do not have these feelings, since my grandparents were mostly unknown to me. i think it is a loss, but nothing to do about that.

    the soul resides in your work. the threads tell the story, so fragile, so pure. the vintage colouring makes my heart sing. so honest.
    thxs for playing, leena!

  3. my heart made a little jump when reading Helene Shjerfbeck
    i just love her work
    i also LOVE your woodblock print, it's a beauty!
    and it fits this theme so well
    her sweet face, that color (and shape) of her dress
    and the thin lines of the threads
    a fine work, in print and words


  4. Beautiful combination of woodcut and threads. It gives your piece a special touch.

  5. how wonderful that you have your grandmother's threads and used them here, this piece is fabulous.

  6. Hi everyone, thank you so much for visiting my blog and the kind comments! I have used a birch plywood plate for the wood cut

  7. I love the connections you've made here- and the spirit of Japan is there yes- in the simplicity and quiet poetic way your made this piece- really nice :)

  8. Dear leena, I really love love your wonderful artwork it is such a exquisit combination of matieral and subtle colors and texture and fits perfect into the japanese theme and what a wonderful story about it. Very very nice, like it a lot!
    barbara bee

  9. I have to agree on your thoughts. There's nearly nothing I know about Japan, apart from many snippets on the surface. But I love your artwork and the influences and inspirations you gave! Great great piece you've done!!

  10. I love that you still have some of your Grandmother's threads and could use it in this beautiful artwork.
    Thank you for introducing me to the work of Helene Schjerfbeck!
    Her work is stunning - to me it seems like a wonderful mix of Modigliani and Mary Casset.

  11. i'm touched with your post about Japan.....
    and how you've put it all together, specially with your woodblockprint! it's a "strong" piece of art!
    it touches my heart.....

  12. Congratulations!!! i am looking at your work and i'm speechless!! really!
    Thanks for your comment!!