Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Sneak Preview! Unwritten wishes

I'm going to take the advice of my friend, the talented artist Michelle, and take different shots of this piece to see if I can capture the iridescent quality of the gold paint I used for the background.

It's striking how walking past this painting can change how it looks and feels, and the passing of the day has the same effect.

I wanted a picture that had the emptiness I admire in Japanese paintings on gold leaf. Although I was tempted to add a water lily or lotus, I decided to hold back on it this time and introduce another element, the two strips of paper flying across.

In Japan, there's a festival known as Tanabata, which remembers two separated lovers who are allowed to meet once a year on the seventh day of the seventh month. The lovers are represented by the stars Vega and Altair and the river that separates them is The Milky Way. There's also a part about magpies that form a bridge across the river for the lovers to meet which sounds like a wonderful subject for another painting.

Derived from a Chinese tale and festival but taking on a different life in Japan, the Japanese write wishes on this holiday and attach the colorful slips of paper onto bamboo. The paper is later burned, or perhaps blown by the wind somewhere to make the wish come true.

I must be in a wistful mood these days.

Take care,

I.
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