a little Japanese inspiration..

30 Jan

I was pleased to receive a message from my aunt which stated she would like a card made by me for her birthday. I love painting, especially with water colors. All my family member’s birthdays (and holidays) have been a good excuse to paint at least once or twice a month. So, with excitement I jumped on this task. Of course, I could not just only send a card. She deserved a gift as well. The first place that came to mind was Japantown in San Francisco. If I was going to give her a gift, I wanted it to be something she couldn’t find back home in Oklahoma.

The first store my boyfriend and I wondered into was called Townhouse Living, found in the Japan Center (mall). It is tiny and cramped with lots of items, most which you have to dig for. This is actually a very interesting store, given its name you would not believe some of the things you would find in here, such as:  Japanese kokeshi dolls, tea cups, geta (wooden sandals), pillows, socks, koi pond, etc. Half searching for a gift for my aunt, and something for myself : ) I came across this beautiful koi cup next to all the other tea cups. I showed it off to my boyfriend, and we both decided we also needed one for ourselves. So we purchased two. The best part of this find was the stamp ‘made in Japan’! I noticed other items made in China, but sold in Japantown. What the ^%$#@?? The cup was made with great design in mind, the interesting shape of the cup is meant for better gripping. I cannot wait to fill mine up with this new berry tea I bought.

Well, I got the gift now how about that card? It was quite ironic in my mind that the one creature I had been sketching over and over for the last couple of months happened to be found on the gift I was giving my aunt. The koi fish. For some time I was inspired to do a painting of those beautiful beings often found in ponds at Japanese gardens. I have also been interested in doing a sumi-e style painting. The koi fish was my experiment. Being even more influenced now by the cup, I finally finished a koi painting in my version of sumi-e. Instead of the traditional black and grey colors used, I had to add a couple of real colors. Here is the completed result.

Happy Birthday Aunt Susan

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