A Red Plum Branch against the Summer Moon
after Hiroshige

A Red Plum Branch against the Summer Moon (after Hiroshige) was supposed to be in the first series of 100 Views of Ukiyo-e, but since I already had two Hiroshige´s prints painted, and they were of much more importance than this one, this print was waiting on my desktop for the last 7 years. I chose it because of the simplicity of the composition and the tendency in printmaking to preserve a brush like strokes on the branch. I wondered how uchiwa-e (a decorative image for the fan production) will look transferred on almost 5x bigger canvas. Instead of energetic brush strokes I used a painting knife to reproduce much thicker and opaque color fill of the print. Obviously I have under painted everything except circle of the moon with gold, and I did it to have warm background instead of having just the cold blue gradient. Here the whiteness of the Moon has this white cold attribute that was enhanced with the reflective white color. The entire composition has tranquilizing effects on the observer and it is not affected by the daylight conditions.

Technique: acrylic on canvas

Size: 120 x 177 cm

Year: June 2019

Availability: Commissioned / In Private Collection

100 Views of Ukiyo-e: Volume II (2019- )

The first Volume in this series I did as a part of my Magister´s thesis. I started painting in autumn 2009 and finished 25 canvases in the autumn of 2011.  Since then, I have presented the paintings from this series in Europe, US and Japan. But I didn´t continue working on new canvases. I needed some time to distance myself from academia and academic way of thinking. For example, every detail needed to have a reason, to be explained and you end up overthinking things. Freedom and flexibility become lost to a certain degree and the way of thinking and developing of the artwork becomes rigid and empirical. I am not saying that this is bad and I am still methodical in building my artwork, but this leaves a small chance for errors and errors are the ones that bring life to the artwork. Without errors, without a chance of something unexpected, the artwork becomes dull. So I started working on my Great Wave series, which helped me to move away from academia, and also to learn some new “street wise” things. So now, in 2019, I am able to move forward with my 100 Views of Ukiyo-e series. There are no specific techniques, or formats, or themes, or genres, or artists that are predetermined for the second series. I will build it as it comes.

So this is my updated statement – “100 Views of Ukiyo-e is my life mission to re-create new originals of selected 100 Ukiyo-e prints (as) new original paintings in new oban size. It is divided in 4 Volumes of 25 canvases, some of the forming diptychs or triptychs.“