KARAKAMI SQUARE #1: CHERRY TREE ACRYLICS & MICA POWDER ON KARAKAMI WASHI SPRING 2016
Earlier this year I was introduced to the Japanese art of karakami and the beautiful patterns created by using wood blocks to print mica paints on to handmade washi paper. This inspired me to use mica paint to produce a similar effect in several of my paintings. I was able to purchase some karakami online from Kira Karacho to see some of this elegantly patterned paper first-hand. I purchased a pack of 50 sheets (10 patterns with 5 colors each) of karakami from the Kyoto atelier who has produced karakami since 1624. The washi squares are so beautiful that I decided to create a series of small paintings on the karakami. The first of these paintings shows a cherry tree and was done simultaneously as my Spring Screen: Cherry Trees and Finches. I mounted the karakami on a larger piece of handmade paper which had been glued to a square of red cedar. I used acrylics to paint the tree and added mica to the paint for the blossoms. I also used a tarashikomi-like effect on the tree itself. I made the frame for this painting 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.