BOOKEND SWANS ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME WINTER 2020-21
Spring is fast approaching, and soon the swans will be moving on to their summer homes. However, there is still time to see these magnificent birds in the Skagit Valley. Nothing is as nice as having the chance to simultaneously see swans and tulips dominate their respective fields. There is something very pleasing to the eye to see white swans on a green background carpet of grass. It sure beats muddy swans in newly plowed fields, which is often the case in mid-winter. My painting was inspired by two greats of Japanese art, Nonomura Ninsei and Maruyama Okyo. A master ceramicist and pioneer of Kyo-yaki,, Ninsei’s painterly approach to surface decoration is unmatched to this day. His incense censers shaped like pheasants were particularly helpful in designing my swans. Late Edo Period painter Maruyama Okyo’s Cranes were also influential in helping me with the swan detailing. Otherwise, the design for the swans was inspired by both Northwest Coast Native and Celtic art traditions. The Rinpa School technique of tarashikomi was used in painting the grassy background. My water also owes a debt to Rinpa artists like Korin and Hoitsu. 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.
DIMENSIONS: HEIGHT: 17 ½ inches WIDTH: 26 ¾ inches