Sunday, August 14, 2011
"Figs with Dragon" oil on canvas, 8"x16" - update sold
"Kutani and Mandarins" oil on linen, 8"x16" - update sold
Here are two new paintings I finished over the past week. I had a third one to post, but really messed it up when I tried to varnish it this morning! It's a small painting of mandarins with a Double Delight rose. The white paint on the rose had not dried completely.....well, you get the picture. I have not done that in awhile! Fortunately, I was able to clean up some of the white mess by gently lifting it off with mineral spirits. Much of the rose had been painted over a week ago - thank goodness it was dry. I'll put the painting aside for a few weeks before I repaint the lightest areas of the rose. Being impatient never pays off....especially when you are an artist.
The tea cup in "Kutani and Mandarins" is part of a collection I inherited from my Grandmother. Though it's a familiar cup from my childhood, I knew nothing about the maker and origins until I decided to paint it. I did a little research. (Isn't the Internet great for things like this?) Kutani porcelain dates back to about 1655. When high-quality china clay was discovered in the Kutani Village (now in Ishikawa Prefecture Japan) a kiln was established to make porcelain with bold colorful designs. Characterized by motifs of birds, flowers, landscape and geometrical patterns, the kiln suddenly closed about a half a century later. In the early 19th century, the local ruling clan, which was enjoying power and influence, revived china making in Kutani. The pottery is celebrated today with many working kilns in the area. (The teacup and saucer I have is from the Kosen Kiln.) It appears to be a very popular place for tourists and they even have a Kutani Pottery Festival each year. How'bout that!