Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Floating cherries and chairs

James Strickland has just finished two beautiful paintings which I wanted to share with you. The pictures above are close-ups of the paintings, I wanted you to be able to see the delicious detail he has captured in these particular areas. The floating cherry painting, 'Pure Land', is inspired by an Haiku by Issa which is written on the paper beneath the gorgeous cherry...

From the white dew-drops
Learn the way
To the Pure Land

......my photograph does not do the painting justice, it is delicate, luminous and has the feeling of the resplendent illustrations by Joris Hoefnagel from the Mira calligraphiae monumenta (the Model book of calligraphy).

The floating chair...do you sense a theme here?...is based on a Chinese poem by Wang Feng-yuan (1032-1059)...

In April flowers fade and fall and more appear
swallows fly below the eaves back and forth all day
the cuckoo cries at midnight as if it's voice would break
convinced it can still call the East wind back

In China the East wind represents spring or youth so this poem is quite melancholy pining for things that have already passed us by........to reinforce this sombre mood the pear (which also represents Autumn) refers to a day called 'The day of cold food' which in Asian symbolism celebrates wisdom and old age.

These two paintings are from James' latest series of paintings which he calls 'Skyscapes'...in reality the colours on these paintings are almost surreal in their brightness.....I'm excited to see where he takes us next. It is a great honour to see these paintings in progress but sometimes I think it dilutes my final viewing of the artwork because it doesn't have the impact for me that it does for someone who sees it fresh and new for the first time...alas, we cannot have our cake and eat it too!!!!

PS James says the next one may include cake...I'd better get baking!

1 comment:

acornmoon said...

I love James's paintings, especially the red chair, very Chinese. You are a very talented couple!