SPRING SCREEN: CHERRY TREES & FINCHES ACRYLICS ON CEDAR W/RED OAK FRAMES SPRING 2016
Recently I have been studying Japanese screen painting and was interested in seeing several painted screens that focused on the changing of the seasons. Folding screens, or byōbu, have a long tradition in Japan, and often six-panel screens were created in pairs to portray a scene. I liked the parallel of the twelve individual screens with the twelve months and thought that they make a perfect way to show the seasons. Thus I decided to do a series of four three-panel screens throughout the year, each representing a particular season. The plan is to paint each screen during the season portrayed, beginning with winter. Each screen will include a seasonal bird and tree as their focus. Also, all four screens will have identically-painted back designs incorporating our “heron mon”, thus showing the screen’s inclusion in the series. The second in the series, the Spring Screen, depicts a group of blooming cherry trees with several purple finches perched in their branches. Spring is such a special time and the early stretch of beautiful weather has brought out the flowers in full force. The cherry trees around town are in their prime and I love how the blossoms fall like snow to cover the sidewalks. The start of spring also motivates us to bring out the bird feeders again, now that the winter rains are behind us. The feeder attracts the purple finches bringing additional color to the front yard. Two painted Japanese screens from Rimpa School artists were influential and of great help in painting this screen. Sakai Hoitsu’s Maples and Cherry Trees was key to designing my cherry trees and both this screen and Sakai Oho’s Autumn Maple inspired me to use a tarashikomi-like effect on the trees and larger flowers. Each of the small cherry blossoms were produced by first stamping the shape, and then painting in the color with my brush. I also mixed white mica powder into my acrylics for the light- and dark-pink cherry blossoms to achieve a karakami effect. I made the frames for each panel 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 frames. Brass folding screen hinges were used to connect the three panels.
DIMENSIONS: EACH PANEL: HEIGHT: 33 ½ inches WIDTH: 14 inches FULLY EXTENDED WIDTH: 43 inches