Or rather, Kiyoshi Saito meets crazy chicken lady meets crazy chicken lady’s unemployed boyfriend meets the alley-facing back of our garage.
But that wouldn’t fit in the title area. And it probably wouldn’t make a lot of sense. Not that the name Kiyoshi Saito necessarily makes a lot of sense either, unless you’re a fan of sosaku hanga.
Anyway, I have a Kiyoshi Saito woodblock print of two roosters called Competition for a Charm. I love it. There are other prints of his that I covet fiercely and can’t afford, but I remember this one from my childhood, when it hung in my parents room. It went with me to college and it has been with me in every place since.
And of course, now I have become a crazy chicken lady with a boyfriend that has too much time on his hands. Not, you understand, that I’m complaining. “We need some chicken art on the back of the garage,” he said the other day. “I know what I’ll do!”**
**Steve credits his inspiration to Joy Wants Eternity. If anyone should feel so inclined, he would love free tickets.
Last night’s auction was pretty incredible, and it was also emptier than usual. So I lucked out. First, I snagged two Danish modern teak bed side tables–the exact tables we needed for our bed (the platform kind with all the storage). Only difference is that these are about 50 years older. I think they might even be solid teak.
Next, I also snagged a Junichiro Sekino woodblock for next to nothing. It was in a terrible frame, and the colors seemed pretty dingy. But it lightened up without the grimy glass–and it was framed flat on painted plywood, so it’s still in pretty good condition. I found it in the Sekino reference book Elias gave me (thank you): It’s Minakuchi from the Tokaido series.
These were little nothing prints–I can’t even remember who they’re by–that I think will become more collectible as time goes on.
My mother let me filch this one .. oh joy …
Funnily enough, my mother bought another one in this series, while I have these two:
Picture doesn’t do this justice at all, but it was one of those eBay gambles that paid off and led me to get the second one.
I had been coveting this print for a long time–although completely unrelated, it reminds me of that part in Harry Potter where he’s swimming through the lake to rescue Ron ….
And then there’s this little guy:
Wow, I am SO behind on posting new woodblocks. Aside from the fact that the blog has been languishing, the last version of WordPress I was using wouldn’t upload images properly. Anyway, this is what’s I’ve gotten from Artelino since I last posted:
Morning after the First Snow
Mountain Stream at Oirase
Now doesn’t THAT sound all art gallery-ish.
I have a ton of unframed prints I haven’t posted up at the house. Those that come with frames, I lug down to the shack and put up on the many bare walls. Which is where I am, and where my digital camera is, so ….
Eichii Kotozuka. I’m not a huge fan, with the exception of a couple of prints. She looks so young and tense, and the way her kimono is depicted is lovely. That said, if this hadn’t been dirt cheap, I probably wouldn’t have bought it:
Another one I wouldn’t have bought if it hadn’t been dirt cheap. But I have another print with a girl and rabbit, and it appealed to my whimsy to have two. The frame and glass are terrible, but the print itself is in good shape, notwithstanding the fact that someone folded the margins to make it fit in the frame. It looks much better outside the frame–but I have other prints I would rather spend money on framing, so back in it went.
Oh yes, this is Shuzo Ikeda.
Sometimes, one (that is the royal one, one understands) does not pay very close attention to the size of what one is bidding on–and one ends up paying a lot for two little “nothing” prints rather than not very much for two prints one knows nothing about but likes.
Sigh. I love Toshi Yoshida’s less representational stuff. Pencil titled, signed, and dated 1954. It needs to be reframed at some point, but I rather like it as is:
I just bought this Toshi Yoshida …
… and this Kiyoshi Nagai …
… and it occurs to me that I haven’t posted any of the prints I’ve bought in the past 6 to 8 months. So here they are.
A Mikumo print–which confuses me, because I thought Mikumo was a publisher. I like this print, but the main reason I bought it was because my great aunt Elaine had it. It reminds me of her little house in San Diego, with the huge deck built into a little green canyon.
I think I’m over the Tokuriki phase. The prints are quite pleasant, but some of them are just not very appealing. Like this one:
On the other hand, I really like this little Teruhide Kato:
Ditto Maekawa Senpan:
And I don’t really know why I ended up getting these three Kaoru Kawano prints at that auction house I like going to–other than the fact that they were dirt cheap. I don’t like Kawano. Every time I look at them, I get a creepy feeling. But here they are:
A while ago, I got an e-mail from someone who wanted to buy this Sekino print, which he had seen here:
I wasn’t that interested in selling, but he was really nice. We started e-mailing about Sekino prints. I sent him pictures of the other four I have, and he encouraged me to post pictures on the blog. So here they are:
Dont know the title … Boy with Owls?
Don’t know the title, but think this is from the Tokaido series
And to make a long story short, he’s a serious collector who has been looking for this print for 10 years (in other words, he’s not a dilettante like me) and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. And while I like the print enormously, the fact is that he will get much more enjoyment out of it than I will. So I’m sending it off to him.
And I think I’m going to buy one of those Saitos I’ve been coveting.
I bought this during the last Georgetown Art Walk ( a month ago) and just picked it up tonight. The artist is Mark Lafalce and once again, my pictures don’t really do it justice.
Well, maybe one and a half. There is masking tape residue and staining at the top, but it’s pretty localized and the tape itself peeled up easily.
I have coveted this one for a while.
I like this too.
This one I wasn’t quite so wild about at first–it was part of the lot–but it’s now growing on me. Kind of like what appears to be a fungus on the upper lefthand margin.
My excuse for buying this Noda Kyuho print is that it’s for Steve, who sails.
Kamisori in Hakutashijoro Rochin
From The Complete Works of Chikamatsu Monzaemon
Once again proving I am out of control, here are three prints I just had framed. BTW, I wasn’t sure if the Toshi Yoshida was pencil signed; it is.
Mom also sent me this Sekino bijin-ja for my birthday. Apparently, it was my grandfather’s favorite print. Hmmm, wonder why …
Also, Steve got me all sorts of great gifts for my birthday, but by far the best was Helen Merritt’s Guide to Modern Japanese Woodblock Prints. I am thrilled with it. On the other hand, you know you’re getting old and boring when you start requesting reference materials for gifts.
I can’t seem to scrape off all the glue without digging into the washi. I think I’m done. Let’s face it, these aren’t worth what I paid. Live and learn. I will still enjoy.
The cardboard backing of this one had 2-22-53 scrawled in pencil. This makes sense; according to the Doi publisher’s seal, was printed around the same time.
So those two Koitsu prints I bought off eBay? Stupid. They are completely glued to backing.
I am now performing surgery.
I’ve been a little out of control lately.
In addition to the Sekiguchi, I’ve also bought two Koitsu prints (either a really smart eBay buy or a really stupid one–I won’t know until I get them), a strange little bijin-ja that I know absolutely nothing about, and a Toshi Yoshida (a lifetime strike, but don’t know whether it’s pencil signed or printed).
And it occurs to me that I haven’t posted everything I’ve had reframed or bought. So here goes.
Reframed the Saito. The picture doesn’t do it justice. (Actually, none of my pictures do justice to the prints. Bear with me.)
Recycled the Saito frame on this Kiyoshi Nagai print.
Reused the existing frame on my beloved hot spring print, but added conservation materials to the inside. It’s on the wall next to my side of the bed, and I love looking at it.
Reframed the Narazaki (Nazaraki? I always mix it up) print. This was a hard, hard print to frame, and I’m still not completely sure I like it. Covering the margins seemed like a good idea at the time — it was very difficult finding a mat color that didn’t make it look weird — but I think I’m regretting it.
This lovely Seiichiro Konishi print has not been reframed at all — though it was probably framed in the seventies and needs its innards replaced with conservation materials.
There isn’t much information available about Seiichiro Konishi. If anyone knows more about him than is available on artelino, or can read the following, please let me know!
**UPDATE July 2009–Found this print on Artelino. It’s called Shinbashi in Kyoto.
I’ve finally managed to articulate what it is I love about Japanese shin hana and sosaku hanga prints. Looking at them induces (in me at least) that sense of being nostalgic for the very moment you’re in. Just like autumn.
In any case.
Picked this lovely Sekiguchi print.
This guy is amazing; I love his woodblocks, which I found in the McClain’s gallery a few months ago. He had sold out of this particular print and I was mucho bummed. It reminds me of those wonderful Sekino self-portraits, but with a more contemporary twist. Now he’s found one.