Friday, February 19, 2010
Winter is not kind. At least not in northern Japan. Not to those of us with weary bones and rusty joints. But winter is the season for dried persimmons, and that makes up for a lot. I draw persimmons throughout the year. I draw them when they're green. I draw them when they're ripe. I draw them whole. I draw them halved. I draw them sliced. And in the winter I draw dried persimmons, which is a whole 'nuther challenge. I got the faded color and wrinkled texture of these dried persimmons just right, only to "ruin" the balance of the piece when I added the words with my ink brush. So I cut the persimmons out of the card, and pasted them onto a yellowed, brittle page from a very old book of Japanese singing poems (shigin). Finally, I glued a printed version of the words into the remaining bit of open space. I'm afraid the background gives the piece a busy feel that is contrary to traditional etegami. But the combination of words, wrinkled persimmons, and the page of shigin poetry are meant to evoke an image of graceful aging, rich in flavor and culture.