Artistic Inspiration Found in the History and Form of Japanese Woodblock Books

Artistic Inspiration Found in the History and Form of Japanese Woodblock Books

It's hard to pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with antique Japanese woodblock books. If I had to date it, I’d say it must have been about 20 years ago that I discovered my appreciation of the craft. There’s something incredibly mesmerizing about them to me. Beyond just the historical wonders they hold, the character of the covers alone speaks volumes. Each one tells its own story through unique markings of timeless distress and beautiful wear.  I remember the first time I held one in my hands admiring the fading, scuffs and authentic calligraphy; this was the moment that sparked my journey of collecting these distinctive books for this creative series I call Stories.

I'm discovering a lot about my artistic process as I work on this series. As the first piece made of blue books took shape, it began to remind me of the New York City skyline, which I found fascinating because I didn’t have this in mind! I love the art deco charm of the Chrysler building, so I smiled A LOT when I saw hints of this landmark creeping from my subconscious into my latest work. I suppose this is a part of what makes the creative process so revealing. Moments of introspection are fun to me.

The second piece in the series was inspired by one of the many trinkets in my workspace. A fan that was gifted to me by a very much appreciated vendor caught my eye as I began working on the latest work in this series. A glance around my workspace was enough to inspire me this time around. Simple things.

 It's pretty obvious that this series is all about stories. The stories captured in the woodblock books combined with the vertical stories of New York city made it quite easy for me to give a name to this series. Stories within stories, represented in my art. And perhaps leading to more stories as people experience the art firsthand. We shall see!

 I’m always curious to know the unique feelings and thoughts that come to each person as they experience my work. I suppose these individual musings are just more stories that intrigue me all the same. I will forever wonder how people will appreciate the  Japanese woodblock books that I have arranged in these creative new forms. But that’s the beauty of it. We each connect with art in deeply individual and personal ways. And the stories we tell ourselves as a result are treasures all their own. Thank you for joining me in this artistic exploration and being a part of the ever-evolving story.

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