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Mystique Series #11 : printing steps 17~19 ... she's done!

Posted by Dave Bull at 4:06 AM, February 17, 2011 [Permalink]

So let's finish this off today - the collectors are waiting!

I asked in yesterday's post about what people thought might be coming up, but I doubt that anybody would have guessed this one (nor would I have). Seki-san depicted our hero in traditional fashion, with a kind of 'skirt' wrapped over his kimono. (I have no idea if this is an item of traditional fisherman's clothing, or is something related to his adventures below the sea; I'll have to ask her when I see her tomorrow for our 'signing session'):

Back when I first introduced Seki-san here, I mentioned that she has studied ukiyo-e prints and considers her work to be in the same tradition. Well, with the addition of this next impression, you can certainly see where she is 'coming from'!

And I think that'll just about do it. There are other things that could be added, as was mentioned in the comments yesterday, but this is where we'll leave it. Any further complexity would - I think - just be a bit too much for a small 'simple' image like this (not to mention 'time vs money', etc. etc.).

So I'll just add the marginal embossings ...

... and call it done. This one was fun!


Following comment posted by: Marc Kahn on February 17, 2011 11:32 PM

A lovely print! Hopefully, this will be the first of many collaborations with Seki-san.

One small nit to pick. The backgound profusion of bubbles makes no sense in a natural marine environment. It does make sense in an aquarium where air is pumped below the gravel bottom and used to oxygenate the water. Since most peoples' experience of marine environments is limited to the observation of aquariums, the bubbles will feel good and seem "right" to most. But, as a scuba diver with many hours of bottom time, I have to tell you, there is no source of that many bubbles in the sea.


Following comment posted by: Dave on February 17, 2011 11:41 PM

profusion of bubbles makes no sense ...

But a guy riding a turtle - and with no mask of any kind - is OK?

Actually, the thing I have been worried about (that's not the right word, but you know what I mean), is that people might think this one is too 'childish'. That's the feedback I got from 'somebody' here, and I suspect that perhaps there might be more among the Japanese collectors who are thinking along those lines.

But I have never really understood too much about the line that supposedly sits somewhere between 'illustration' and 'art', and didn't let it bother me too much ...

Following comment posted by: Christian Mueller on February 18, 2011 12:08 AM

Even without an air pump you can see bubbles in an aquarium that is properly taken care of, because photosynthesis produces oxygen and this oxygen leaves the plants in the form of bubbles.

Following comment posted by: Barbara Mason on February 18, 2011 12:48 AM

The skirt does indeed make the image "pop", I still want to know the story behind this, even if it is a children's story. It is still a great print

Following comment posted by: George Jarvis on February 18, 2011 11:37 AM

If you google "Urashima Taro" you will find several charming translations/versions of this
Japanese Rip Van Winkle. You can still see this kind of skirt on the u-kai or cormorant fishermen
on the Nagara River in Gifu prefecture. I can see where some collectors might find this rather tame
among the literally hundreds of interpretations of this very popular folktale.

Following comment posted by: John Becker on February 18, 2011 11:42 AM

I don't see why anyone would have a problem with a woodblock print depicting a story from Japanese folklore. These stories run through the history of prints.

Hey, Dave -- how 'bout an attaboy for a correct guess on one of the things that was yet to be added? ;-)

Following comment posted by: Dave on February 18, 2011 11:46 AM

Because that was no 'guess' .... you saw it on the webcam! (probably)

Following comment posted by: Marc Kahn on February 19, 2011 2:31 AM

people might think this one is too 'childish'

Yes! That's it. It's got a childish innocence about it that is IMHO charming.

Which kicks me into suggesting an entirely impractical idea. How about Dave and Seki-san creating a new children's fairy tale book, inspired by and as a tribute to the Hasegawa Fairy Tale Series, using the Hasegawa font of carved text, with a woodblock print illustrating each page of text? How expensive would that have to be to be economically viable?

I guess that the lesson is about how inexpensive labor was back when Hasegawa was doing his thing. I've got a photocopy of an old (circa 1919) Hasegawa catalog where the books of the Fairy Tale Series were offered at $.60 each. Yikes!


Following comment posted by: John Becker on February 19, 2011 7:55 AM

It was a guess, but I didn't see it on the webcam. The water looked like it needed something.

Following comment posted by: Dave on February 19, 2011 8:20 AM

looked like it needed something ...

Fair enough ... you get your 'bonus points'!

Following comment posted by: Marc Kahn on March 10, 2011 10:41 AM

Received mine today. A very successful print!

Following comment posted by: Dave on March 10, 2011 11:33 AM

Received mine today ...

So late! What's going on! Sorry that it took so long ...

But glad that you like it! (I'm just now finishing up the final impression of the second batch. Now that I can get away from the bench for a bit, there should be some posting both here and in the Mokuhankan Conversations over the next couple of days ...)

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