In the 70s and 80s I was working in textile surface design – at first creating one-off designer garments and ensembles, and later making pieces for walls to wear.
In 1987 I received a generous Arts Council study grant to work with master indigo dyers and shibori artisans in Japan.
It was in Kyoto that I learned about the ancient technique of tsujigahana, researched and redeveloped by Itchiku Kubota.
At an exhibition of his kimonos in Kyoto I was almost unable to stay on my feet in front of the beauty and power of the works. They were simply breathtaking. I came home with a treasure of a tome, resplendent with glorious photographs of these silk masterpieces.
Years later, when working with toxic dyestuffs was a thing of the past and I was delighting in the possibilities of tube colors, pastels and brushes, I decided to make a study of a panel from one of Kubota-san’s kimonos.
It was the beginning of a new series of paintings – the aquascapes.
360 x 820
acrylic paints on textured canvas
mounted on canvas covered panel (not shown)
Private collection, Hawaii
[Imagine my delight to be ‘Featured Artist’ in the new issue of ONE: the magazine.
Since the editor used a tiled version of this aquascape as the background to my page, it seemed timely to post it here, with a little background information.]
painting on textured card and watercolor paper, assemblage
cardboard box, Arches watercolor paper, shade cloth, threads, twig, watercolor and acrylic paints, canvas board
460 x 460
This piece began as a watercolor study in the upper garden (kami-no-chaya) of the Shugaku-in Rikyu Imperial Villa in Kyoto.
I loved the pond with its border of perfectly rounded stones, and the way their forms were echoed in the carefully clipped azalea bushes.
recycled cardboard boxes, acrylic paint, Japanese washi, found object, sealing wax, linen thread
Forget your perfect offering
there is a crack in everything
that’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen
dip-dyed handmade washi, graphite, drawing, acrylic paint, stitching, textured card
Creativity is more than just being different.
Anybody can play weird – that’s easy.
What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach.
Making the simple complicated is commonplace – making the complicated simple,
awesomely simple – that’s creativity.
– Charles Mingus