KARAKAMI SQUARE #5: LA CONNER SCENE ACRYLICS ON KARACHO KARAKAMI WASHI W/RED OAK FRAME WINTER 2017
While watching programming on NHK TV 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 karakami for my paintings and I was able to buy some online from Kira Karacho. I purchased a pack of 50 sheets (10 patterns with 5 colors each) of elegantly patterned karakami from this 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. This painting is the fifth in the series using karakami as the medium for the acrylics and is done on a pastel-green square of Karacho karakami washi having a mica-printed pattern reminiscent of Rinpa School water designs. The karakami is mounted on a larger piece of handmade paper which had been glued to a square of red cedar. The iconic Rainbow Bridge in La Conner always presents itself as a wonderful subject for painting. Seeing a moored sailboat silhouetted against the bridge in the gray light of winter inspired me to make this small monochrome work. It evokes the spirit of sumi ink paintings from the past. 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.