PLUM & PINE IN SNOW ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SPRING 2021
A late snow falls to remind everyone that the season is still winter, although in its final days. The plants have already begun the transition to spring and trees are starting to show their leaves while early spring flowers are just beginning to bloom. In Japan, plum and pine trees are two of the “Three Friends of Winter” (bamboo being the third member), and the layer of fresh snow blanketing them is another reminder of seasons in transition. This painting captures a moment in time when both plum blossoms and snow coexist for a brief period. Rather than an attempt to capture the moment to enjoy for the future, it is instead a gentle reminder of the fleeting nature of life. Such special moments of beauty must be enjoyed immediately for they are short-lived. Once gone, they may not occur again for a long time. The inspiration for this painting came from friends Judith and Kristin who wanted a larger painting similar to one I did earlier this year (Plum Tree on a Snowy Night). Work by Japanese Rinpa artists Sakai Hoitsu and Ikeda Koson were very helpful in creating my design. The tree trunk was painted using a tarashikomi effect, a favored technique of Rinpa artists. 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.