A TRIBUTE TO ITCHIKU KUBOTA: OZETTE SUNSET ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SPRING 2015
For a long time I have loved the beauty of Japanese kimono and recently was influenced by the textiles of Keisuke Serizawa to paint a kimono-based design (Serizawa’s Kimono, summer 2014). We had been talking about Serizawa to friend, Sue D., when she mentioned the beautiful kimono designs of Itchiku Kubota. This led me to research Kubota’s work and introduced me to his kimono landscapes. Thus inspired, I decided to pay tribute to Kubota by painting a symbolic “kimono landscape” myself. My simple painting is a visual reminder of the great patience and determination which was required of Kubota (using his “Itchiku Tsuiighana” technique of dyeing the silk) to create his landscapes. I chose to do the representation of a sunset as my choice of landscape for two reasons. The first reason is part of my tribute to Kubota as he spoke of how influential seeing sunsets, while a prisoner of war in Siberia, was instrumental to his kimono creations. Secondly, I will always remember the amazing sunsets that I saw while living at Cape Alava and the Ozette site. I never before or since have seen sunsets as vibrant and exciting as those seen from that westernmost point on the continental U.S. The time I spent at Ozette was so important to who I am and was instrumental to my growth as a person. There Leigh and I first met, and our connections to the site directed us to become teachers and move to Neah Bay, where we lived and worked for 23 years. The landscape depicted here shows a sunset seen from the site, with Cannonball Island (Tskawahyah Island) and the “Eagle Stack” in view to the right (north). Those sunsets at Ozette were often so spectacular and the colors so vivid and brilliant that my painting can only hope to act as a cartoon of their beauty. I made the frame out of red oak using pegged, hand-joined, mortise-and-tenon construction methods. I used the Japanese technique (shou-sugi-ban) of charring and oiling the oak to finish the frame.