Cherry blossoms in DC are scarce. A long cold winter seems to have scared them off. I did find a few this last week on daily walks to and from work, and I made some time this weekend to make some etegami. I found when I started painting my “control” of the ink and the color were rather off. Just like the cherry blossoms don’t seem to want to come out, I just wasn’t really feeling up to working with both sumi and watercolor.
In this first card, the first one I did this weekend, you can see the sumi is all over the place. Granted, I was painting on super high-bleed paper, but I could just tell I didn’t think I was going to play well with watercolors. So, I came up with the collage idea. Rather than paint the flowers, I used some marbled paper I bought in Florence, Italy, to create collages (paper purchased as Il Papiro). First I inked with sumi the branches, chose some poems or phrases, then cut up the paper and arranged the flowers.
This first card features a haiku by Basho and reads “Haru kaze ni fukidashi, Warau hana mo gana,” and translates to “Oh, the flowers that burst into laughter in the spring wind.”
Some of the cherry trees in DC are like the next coupld of etegami — bare branches save for a few lonesome blossoms. The first haiku is by Buson and reads “Sakura hitoki / Haru ni / Somukeru kehai kana,” translating to “A cherry tree / seems to neglect / the spring.”
The next one is a haiku also by Buson and reads “Sabishisa ni / Hana sakinumeri / Yamazakura.” It translates to “Maybe it bloomed / out of loneliness / — a wild cherry tree.”
The last two cards feature the title of a song I’ve used before, Sufjan Stevens’s “That Dress Looks Nice on You.” I post both of them because I’m not sure which I prefer. The second has a secret — I put flowers over some Japanese text I had originally put on the card. I just didn’t like my writing. It wasn’t much worse than the above examples, but just a little bit worse.