Thursday, October 26, 2006

On Japanese Woodblock Prints

Japanese woodblock prints have influenced my still life watercolors. The French Impressionist collected Japanese prints like mad.They admired the strong abstract areas of black in the prints.Their mastery of balance in composition,achieve serenity and intensity at the same time.
Japanese prints on my studio wallMy studio walls are covered with print reproductions.I love looking at these.
Utter simplicity and wonderful negative and positive shapes here... I bought this facsimile ages ago.
The colors are so soft and delicate, yet the composition is strong.
Artists began making still life prints after Commodore Perry "opened" Japan and the new influx of European painting. I can't resist Japanese objects either;
the shiny, deep reds, pale greens + blacks.
Plus all the wonderful surface textures.
I bought all of these...
The book that got me going:
The Great Wave:the influence of Japanese woodcuts on the French, from an exhibit at the Met. Japanese prints first showed up in France as wrapping paper for shipped pottery from Japan. Their strong patterns and asymetrical compositions captivated the Impressionists.
Van Gogh copied them exactly in oils to better understand them. I started collecting prints after that show
and they still hold my attention...


  1. Anonymous1:21 AM

    And your art is wonderful inspiration to me :-) I was at a seminar yesterday, and as always I brought my notebook to make notes. Suddenly I found myself droodling away with images of your watercolours in my mind :-) Thanks.

  2. Anonymous4:58 AM

    Dear Carol,
    sure you´ll know the two influences on Impresionism painters were the Japonese traditional painting and Velázquez.Renoir and Monet thought that he was the Painter of the painters,not only about his modern concept of painting(they believed that the first impresionist painting was his"View of Villa Medicis garden in Rome")...First of all 'cause his treatment of colours.If you want to find a really exceptional use of blacks...look for it on Velázquez paintings.Also of reds("Inocencio X portrait").Maybe it could be an inspiration for you.
    One day someone asked Picasso if anyone could paint the air.He looked him up and down and answered:"Nobody except Velázquez":)
    Pd-Revisit H.Tolousse Lautrec watercolours in M.d'Orsay.
    Pd-Beautiful painting(as usual)

  3. Anonymous5:09 AM

    Sorry,I've forgotten one important thing,if you're in Paris on Sunday,you can visit the Marché Biologique de Raspail,it´s a food street market that happens every Sunday morning and it´s delicious.Là le pain aux noix...c'est incroyable(aussi,des épices)

  4. Anonymous6:31 AM

    smila I did get to see the Manet/Velasquez show at the MET a few years ago...Thanks :)
    Carolg in Paris

  5. Hmm, I wouldn't imagine there are sushi restaurants in Paris. Sushi would be a pretty subject to paint, LOL.

    I found that to be funny for some reason. Don't mind me :)

  6. i hope you're enjoying yourself! Thanks for beautiful pictures!

  7. Anonymous10:12 AM

    Carol, another great painting day it seems . The Tea pot is wonderful. You really make us look at objects diffrent. I will be going to the houseware shops to see what eye candy will grab my attention.
    Hope your having a wonderful time as it seems from your postings.
    Need to see more painting there the highlight of my day:)

  8. Anonymous2:21 PM

    Dear Carol,
    so you know what I was talking about,but,please,you have to write in the correct and Spanish way,it´s not"Velasquez",it's"VELÁZQUEZ".
    Have you ever been to El Prado Museum in Madrid?And this question reminds me an old one?Have you ever come to Spain?
    I hope you´ll have a great WE.

  9. Anonymous5:12 PM

    I love Japanese teapots! How is it that we have so many similar interests! I have to see your studio sometime. Hope you're having a fab time in Paris!

  10. Anonymous5:54 PM

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee !
    I went to the opening of the Salon du Chocolat tonite!
    The chocolate fashion show was outrageous and went on and could only see it on the big TV screens the crowds were so deep.

    I'll have lots of goodies to show you when I get back :)

    AND I'm going to show my watercolors at the NY Chocolate Show November 10th! So I'm busy doing serious research preparing for the exhibition.

    At the NY show there's much more tasting going on IMO. In Paris they want you to buy the pretty little boxes. But still it's great fun and there are chocolate makers from all over France and many unique creations.

    Anita I got you Pierre Herme's new Fall catalog. Everything is vanilla-oriented. Even the Apricot confiture from Christine Ferbier (made specially for Herme) has sticks of vanilla in it?!

    BTW Halloween is HUGE here! I have pictures of all the pretty windows.

    Time to turn in. I feel like I've been trick or treating tonight :)
    Carolg in Paris

  11. Lucky you are going to the tea salon...lucky we will be to see your results in watercolors!

  12. You have the most wonderful way of photographing your work with solid items. Bravo.

    You are so inspiring.

  13. a terrific post, I'll be looking for this book at the library!

    and oh wow the chocolate show sounds fantastic, I am so looking forward to your posts about it!!

  14. Love all the images in this post! Particularly your *purchased facsimili*
    with grey pink and the white rose! The black tea pot I fancy also!! I was looking at one recently with a friend at Whole foods.

  15. Anonymous11:36 AM

    NatureGirl Look for the Japanese tea pots in the restaurant supply area of where ever you live or else you will pay a fortune. The prices in Paris are ridicul!

    I am fed up with chocolate for the moment...I returned to the Chocolat Salon on Sunday with a CA wine friend, who was thrilled till the enveloping scent of chocolate drove him nutz and we left tout suite. I have yet to become tired of tarte citron unfortunately :(
    I'm painting as much as I can between jaunts to pastry museums. Normally my bags are loaded with books. This trip I am wearing my purchases and it's not clothes or books :(
    3 guesses - I'm heading straight to the pool when I get home and not leaving till a miracle happens..
    There will be another pre-post tomorrow, and a ton more to come once I'm back :) Then you can get fat from looking at the pictures...
    Carolg in Paris

  16. Anonymous4:54 PM

    Dear Carol,
    First of all CONGRATULATIONS for your exhibition in NY(it´s a fair"present"for your wonderful work).
    Even I don´t like much chocolate(desolée,je préfère du fromage ;)),I can´t wait for visit your blog and find your "chocolate-colours":D
    Maybe you´ll think that I´m a bit crazy,but to continue with my family tradition(that consistes in showing our culture to interesting people from other countries)and even I hardly know anything 'bout you except your sensibility...if you find the flight,I invite you to come to Seville whenever you want and stay at home.Just decide it and make me a sign,I´ll send you my mail address and give you all the information you'd like to know about me(I love my privacity and that´s why I don´t give it to you here).
    It will be a pleassure.

  17. Javier From: Im begining in this interesting world of blogger , I like to much your Site ..



  18. You'd be welcome to stay in Seattle anytime. Yes, chocolate does it for me, among other things.

  19. Anonymous9:47 PM

    Hi, I was in passing when I saw the most lovely japanese prints. They are exquisite and have such pleasant lines but not that big on chocolate.

  20. What a beautiful blog. A visual treat...

  21. Ever try the Place de la Concorde looking towards the Seine or towards the Palais Royal in the late evening light after a rain shower? Can be very melancholy.

  22. I loved your blog and will be in gay "Paris" on Tuesday Wednesday. I hope to grap some good stuff for my blog...

    How ho you get the blog pics down the right hand side like that?

  23. That made me hungry...:)

  24. I am a chocolate addicted.

    I love it!!

  25. These are amazing versions! Chocolate and art sounds like a pretty awesome combination to me!


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