There are some things that are inherent in a kachou-ga that make it more than a mere image of a flower of bird or animal. These things are hard to define but according to Uemura Atsushi, a famous Japanese painter from a lineage of famous painters, the following is a clincher:
"Depicting natural phenomena as is doesn't make something a painting. To produce a work of art, the artist must give shape to the world he imagines in his own mind and heart" (forgive the translation)
|Folding Screen by Suzuki Kiitsu, "White Crane & Willow Tree"|
Also, Uemura adds that a frequent ingredient in kachou-ga is 「余白」yohaku, meaning "blank space". He says that it is by incorporating blank space in a work, the artist is hinting at this otherworldliness.
|From the series "Birds & Flowers of the Twelve months" by Sakai Houitsu. Left: October. Right: September.|
I'm currently planning new work that follows some of the kachou-ga styles and ideas, this time depicting Major Mitchell's Cockatoos. I'm still in the sketching and designing stage.
Also here's a few images from this week at school. I put up all the pieces I had finished during the spring break to show my professors. They were very positive and encouraging which was nice.