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Expression of Western Artist - Japan

  • Saturday, November 5, 2011
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  • Expression of Western Artist - Japan 

    Sankeien Gardens

    copyright Paul Binnie
    March 2005: Paul Binnie announced his latest design 'Sankeien' from the series of 'Famous Views of Japan'.
    Here is the original text of the announcement by Paul Binnie:

    The First Lunar Month, 1993

    The Sankeien Gardens in the Snow, Yokohama

    As you may know, I have been working on a series of landscape woodblock prints called 'Nihon Meisho Zu-e' or Famous Views of Japan, of which three have been released already; Aka FujiMiyajima No Torii and Himeji Castle. I have now completed the fourth in the series, Sankeien, which is a view of the famous Sankeien Gardens in Yokohama in the snow.
    I visited the garden in April of 2004, and of course it was cherry blossom time, which was extremely beautiful, but unfortunately Yoshida Hiroshi did a view of these very gardens with cherry blossom (Abe 191), so I decided to use some artistic license and make it a snow scene, in shades of blue, lilac and grey-green, which tones well with the horizonal image of Himeji Castle, also in blues: in fact, these two were conceived as a pendant to one-another.
    I have used gofun printed over the entire lower area to make a very snowy white, rather than keep the paper blank as many printmakers do, and I also have used mica to highlight the ice on the frozen edge of the lake, which gives a silver sheen to the surface. One thing which you may not be able to see in the attached scan, but which adds greatly to the effect of the print, is a line of embossed footprints, walking past the lake edge, seemingly compressing the snow underfoot. If the print is handled, or hung on a wall, these appear in subtle shadow, and add an extra dimension to the design. As always in this series, there is also the blind-printed 'Binnie' in the bottom margin, and the format is identical to Himeji Castle: Dai-Oban Yoko-e, 29.5 x 40.5cm  (11 1/2 x 16 inches). The edition is as usual 100, and the price is the same as all the other Dai-Oban prints.
    As always, I hope to hear reactions to the new designs, and will be delighted to answer any further questions you may have either at my website, or by email
    Paul Binnie
    March 2005


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