Posted by: miki | June 10, 2008

drawings and inspiration

Today I wanna tell you about the last exhibition I have seen and what come after =).

I have a close friend called Fábio (also known as Sassê, maybe you have heard about him, he works with Renatinho). We used to have drawing classes together, but he had to give up in the beginning of 2008… He is very talented and I miss his companion, the possibility of exchange ideas and his sensitive comments about our drawings.

So Fábio was in vacation and he invited me to go to Pinacoteca to see a Japanese prints exhibition. It was an entire event showing Utagawa Hiroshige production about Mount Fuji. He made a set of 36 (!!!) views of Mount Fuji, can you believe it? My first impression was that it could be a boring visit to see 36 views of the same subject, but I was wrong. Well, I think the correct description is that I made a superficial judgement :-). I simply thought that he would paint the mount far or closer, from a left or a right view. I was very innocent (or nasty ;-)!

The views told the life of a village and the Mount Fuji was a part of it, almost always represented as if it was an Entity. Sometimes, you could ever forget about it! There was waves, shores, country workers, beautiful women in typical and luxurious kimonos, weeping willows, blossom trees, horses… an incredible variety of scenes around the theme “Mount Fuji”. Amazing!

We loved it so much that we’d like to return once more with our drawing teacher (his name is David).

But what we didn’t know was that this exhibition would close soon. Another friend of mine has told me the day before the end and, unfortunately, Fábio was traveling and this time he couldn’t come with us. So me and David went to see Hiroshige in the last day.

My teacher has a deep knowledge in Fine Arts and he is also a very humbling person and this is a quality that I really admire. So we became friends not only because of this but also because we have a lot of interests in common. And because he is a very pleasant person.

In this occasion, he teached me that this kind of paintings is called Ukiyo-ê and it has some particularities in comparison with Western prints. The “artist” is the one who makes the drawing. After that, there is a professional called “master-printer” (I don’t know if I can translate like this, the name in Portuguese is mestre gravador). The “master-printer” is responsible to transfer the draw to a wooden matrix and after that there is also another specific person who makes the prints from the matrix. (Fábio has also told me about this process in our first visit to Hiroshige).

David told me that they printed a lot of copies of an engraving and they wrapped porcelains with them o.O. I just could not believe it! Those japanese people are pretty crazy (hihi). I think I have found where my craziness is from =).

Well, after this live class of Japanese prints, in our next meeting, David suggest that I could make some drawings inspired by it. He also took a catalogue of Ikko Tanaka, a very popular Japanese designer.

I have been working in a series of drawings about my beach’s first season before and I think the drawings inspired by the Japanese prints are a natural following from it. I’d like to share this drawings with you, Pat!

geisha, japonesaria 1/2

Originally uploaded by miki w.

Hope you enjoy.
Love, Miki


  1. Lol. This is pretty cool :]

  2. Dear Miki,

    First of all, I would like to say that I loved “Japonesaria”. Your point of view is elegant, the colours are intense, the bird’s face is keen, the geisha’s hair is impeccable, her kimono painting or embroidery looks intricate and graceful, the overall atmosphere is quiet but profound. You are a very talented artist, and your works are always delicate, intelligent and beautiful.

    I’ve heard about Sassê before, he is the designer who created Ana Carmen’s web site. On the occasion, I read his blog and saw some of his works.

    Utagawa Hiroshige, ne? I found some of his work online. =) I will research more during the weekend, to learn also about Ukiyo-ê. Thanks for introducing Utagawa-san!

    So, they printed many copies to use as gift wrapper! hihi. Since it was a copy, I would dare say that it shows the Japanese attention to detail and attempt to make everything perfect or, at least, special.

    Ikko Tanaka! I’ve to research about him also.

    I will write more later, sweetie. I visited your Flickr account yesterday and could see some of your new illustrations. They are beautiful.

    See you online. xx, P.

  3. While writing the quick response above, I used the word “works” a lot and think we could replace some of them for: “illustrations”, “drawings”, “paintings”, “designs”, “artistic creations”.

  4. Oh, dear!

    Thank you so much about your kind comments! I’m very happy that you like my drawings. It has being an exercise that I’m trying to make daily, but I’m still adjusting my routine! David asked me to try drawing every day even though for only 15 minutes a day. He thinks that I could enhance my drawings this way.

    Fabio is a special friend! I like him very much.

    I hope you have funny time with Utagawa, Ikko and Ukiyo-ê!

    Love, Miki

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