SPARROW'S SPRING ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAME SPRING 2019
The arts of Japan are a never-ending source of inspiration to my art. I think it’s because I have a deep love of the natural world and the changing of the seasons—two elements entwined with not only the arts but also the culture and philosophy of the Japanese people. Japanese textile designs as well as the many house sparrows and newly-opened blossoms that this spring has brought to our neighborhood were the inspiration behind this painting. Sparrows were not typically a motif used in Japanese art until the Edo Period, when with the rise of the commoner class, the lowly sparrow became an image widely used in ukiyo-e prints, paintings, and kimono patterns. This flourish of sparrow activity surrounded by the blooming flowers of spring is a celebration of those common but frequent experiences that can make our lives richer if we just take the time to see them. I used a tarashikomi effect inspired by the works of Rinpa School painters for the blossoms. 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.