I was over the moon when a friend of mine gave me this piece of stencil art. It's completely hand cut. He and his wife frequently travel back to China to visit family and they have a beautiful collection of Chinese art. He told me that the stencil art was mostly done by housewives in their spare time. The artist's name is nowhere to be seen on the stencil, which is kind of sad. I'd love to know at least the name of the creator.
I have a big interest especially in Katagami, or Japanese stencil design. I'm planning on taking one of John Marshall's classes. When, I can't say exactly. Hopefully this September, although that's seriously wishful thinking. Next year is a more reasonable goal. That's one long distance trip! Plus if I go that far, I'll have so much else to check out in California at the same time. What a hot spot for the arts!
One of the reasons I'm so in love with the Japanese esthetic in general is probably from my early exposure to it. My favorite book when I was three was "Come Play with Me" illustrated by the amazing artist, Kinuko Craft. She's changed her look to be more realistic over the years. Although beautiful, I still prefer the simpler images. To me there's more room for thoughts and feelings. The moment I first saw it I felt she was showing me a world of something better and more magical than reality.
From drooling over Japanese art and design now, I think I would say the strong appeal to me is that expression of perfection. I guess that's my "grown-up" way of seeing that 'magical' element. IMHO, there is also a boldness I like about it. Yes! I love boldness! Yes! I love great design!
I've also been meaning to tell you about an online project. Eveline Gallant Fournier is collaborating with artists on a book dedicated to those who have lost their life at sea. You can add a "page" to the book by submitting a poem or artwork which she will publish virtually and then link back to your site. Go to her site to get the scoop. It's an international project and the pages make for great browsing even if you don't want to submit anything. Check out this quilt by that theme, by Eileen Doughty. Really nice!! Jason and I submitted pieces awhile ago. Let me know if you do submit. I'd like to see it.