Plum Blossoms and the Moon
after Hokusai

The friends of ours bought a new apartment last year and they did the entire renovation. They wanted something similar to A Red Plum Branch against the Summer Moon after Hiroshige for their bedroom.

For a view I proposed Plum Blossoms and Moon after Hokusai (from the album Fuji in the Spring) that is in composition similar to A Red Plum Branch.  The main problem was the size of the canvas. I couldn’t paint it in the same way I did A Red Plum Branch. I needed to do a more detailed textures and more impasto relief. I have enlarged the Moon and gave it a detailed surface that I covered with reflexive white and pearl metallic color. This will change the shading of texture of the Moon depending on the amount of light it receives. For the branch I did heavy silver impasto relief with painting knives, almost like waterfall effect, that I painted over with Prussian blue, giving the branch more materialization and the feeling of rustiness of the plum tree. In contrast to the branch, the flowers are done in a flat, comic- like way. Since the canvas is wider than original (hand painted) book print I did an additional change to design by adding a few small branches in the lower left corner to even the composition. In the end I have made the entirely different painting from A Red Plum Branch although they both have the same elements. I think that the branch now is dominating the first plane and it is giving more to a viewer to explore, while the Moon in the second plane, is giving a nice contrast to the raggedness and the darkness of the branch and they both give a center to the painting in the space where they interact. Nice piece to let your mind wonder into the sleep.

p.S -Painting was well received and ended up being displayed in the living room.

Technique: acrylic on canvas

Size: 115 x 65 cm

Year: June 2020

Availability: 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.“