Friday, January 25, 2013

Oh Great...Another Interest!

Yep, you read that right. I have another new creative interest. That AADD (Art Attention Deficit Disorder) is sure giving me a hard time lately. Thankfully, this one is easily combined with several of my current pursuits. What is this new venue? Etegami. Etegami (think Spanish for the vowel sounds and you will be able to pronounce this) is a Japanese Folk Art form. Simply stated it is E - picture + tegami - letter. So, put them together, a picture-letter. There is more to it such as how they are traditionally made, materials used, etc. But for my purposes here I will just say they are hand painted postcards that are not truly Etegami until it is sent to someone. I will refer you to Debbie Davidson's blog for a much better introduction to Etegami than I can give you at the present. Etegami by dosankodebbie  and her intro to Etigami post.

So naturally with the words painting + Japan + letter writing in combination I had to learn more. I spent one evening this week reading and viewing every single post on Debbie's site. I started with her first post and worked through to the most current. Though I lived in Japan for two years, I really don't remember running across Etegami. I wasn't really into sketching or painting at the time. So, it is no surprise that it didn't go past my radar. The style is simple and yet there is an element of elegance in the simplicity.

I grabbed my sheet of Moulin du Gue, (rough, heavy, art paper) torn a section off and then split it into smaller "postcard" sized pieces. I figured it felt similar to the descriptions of the Etegami paper and would work for practice and play while I find the right combination of tools...

Here is my first attempt.
The writing says, "the apple is delicious." or at least something close to that. Also tried to use my hanko (personal signature stamp) but my ink is all messed up. It is about 30 years old. Time for new ink.

Today, being a rainy day at school, I decided to share Etegami with my students. Because it focuses on drawing AN object rather than all sorts of details it seemed easier for young kids.

We used white construction paper and Prang watercolor paints. I wasn't sure how these tools would work. I had them only do the black outline. We went to lunch and then painted the color. I did the two Etegami above as my examples for technique... Here are some of the pictures my students created. You will notice some chose to just copy me. While others sought out their own images.

(OK, FINE....I cannot get the picture to load properly. Sorry they are upside down and sideways. - I will edit this post when I find a way to get them to cooperate.)

Even upside down, you can see that some of my students understood the idea of one object, minimal details and no background... But some just could not resist the urge to add more.

 I played some more while they painted and cleaned. My chosen subject, Leafy Sea Dragons.

Then I just had to try the technique again. I headed to my favorite hangout for coffee and some me time. I tried painting Sleeping Beauty in the style of Etegami. I was working in my journal so I had a 7 x 10 page to work on.

I like it. but it is too big, about 1/2 page. I want to try doing a postcard sized piece so that I am forced to focus on part. It was too easy to get carried away with adding to the picture. I think I am going to like this addition to my repertoire. Maybe some of you will even receive an Etegami from me in the near future. Off to order real paper... for just such purposes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i am NANCY come from Taiwan
a postcrosser too
i am sorry that i send you a package last week
would you got it >''<
i am so worry it will lost
can you send a message would you got it ?
thank you so much