Monday, June 13, 2011


Kyoto Cherries, June 2011

I sent out my kimono print today. It went out as it appeared in my last post with no additions other than a title and edition number and signature. It will be part of the 60+ prints that will be included in the Baren "Inspired by Japan" benefit portfolio. (individual prints and the entire set should be available for purchase in the coming weeks).

I had been planning on calling it, "The Year of No Cherries..." but this seemed a little too sad and, worse, would have been incorrect. I looked up the traditional dates of full bloom of the cherry blossoms in Japan and found this note:

"This year's cherry blossom season will be overshadowed by the tremendous loss caused by the recent earthquake. However, we believe that the blossoms will serve as symbols of hope and resilience and a source of motivation along Japan's road to recovery."

and it included photos taken by the Sendai representative who went and explored and gave a full report of this year's bloom.
Full Bloom in Sendai was 21-4-2011. ( )

So I thought about it and changed the title to "RIPPLES"
The little waves caused by the falling blossoms onto the blue silk waters of the many ponds and rivers and lakes that enrobe Japan;the outward spreading waves and interconnections of events. Blooms that signal Spring, and rebirth, and hope.
Cherry blossoms that are also atoms--the breeze caused by these petals can be felt across the world and will continue for one-hundred thousand years.

And in this year's new growth and tender shoots, next years buds have already formed.

(note: I attended the 1st International Conference of Moku Hanga in Kyoto, Japan and got back from Japan last night. I took this photograph while walking through the city. The cherry trees were no longer in bloom but were covered with these small fruits, black when ripe that littered the ground with their falling fruit and staining the sidewalks black. I tasted some. They are not sweet and the birds seemed to leave them mostly alone.


  1. Andrew,
    Congrats on being able to attend the conference, and on sending out your "Inspired by Japan" prints. I still have a bit of carving left on mine before I'm ready to print. It is an image of one of the oldest cherry trees in Japan, which bloomed on schedule just thirty miles from the Fukushima nuclear power plant. I was actually considering naming it "Hope" for all the reasons you mentioned.

  2. I was one of just a few amateur printmakers there but it turned out to be a valuable experience just to see so much art up close.
    There were demonstrations of printing--one showed how they were reproducing ink/blotches/bleeding using multiple blocks and focused bokashi and watching some master carvers too.
    Lots of art and little ego--most seemed truly open. Hope to justify the trip by becoming a better artist/printmaker.......