This huge 700 year-old Katsura tree stands like a guardian over the Kogane-Yu hot springs hotel, about an hour's drive from my house. I painted this in late fall, when almost all of the yellowed leaves had fallen from the branches. The shimenawa rope around the tree marks it as a venerable object of spiritual significance. The little stone statues at the foot of the tree represent Jizo, Buddhist protector of travelers and children, especially miscarried, aborted or stillborn infants. The words I added are a quote from the poem Envoi by Kathleen Raine.
Etegami (e= "picture"; tegami= "letter/message") are simple drawings accompanied by a few apt words. They are usually done on postcards so that they can be easily mailed off to one's friends. Though etegami has few hard-and-fast rules, traditional tools and materials include writing brushes, sumi ink, blocks of water-soluble, mineral-based pigments called gansai, and washi postcards that have varying degrees of "bleed." They often depict some ordinary item from everyday life, especially items that bring a particular season to mind.