nihonga


(nee-hon-guh)

...literally translated, means “Japanese-style painting”. It dates to around the 1890s and continues to be a beautiful, slow process art including hours of preparation before one ever begins to paint. Dry ground mineral pigments like lapis, azurite, malachite, along with oyster shells are hand mixed with slowly prepared hide glue, and then ultimately applied to woven paper or marble gesso. The paper itself is a wonder - kumohada, or “cloud skin” - still handmade by only a few remaining master crafts people in Japan.

The layers of pigment sizes vary from talc to sand or pumice. This allows them to reflect light differently and begs the eye to touch the work. The brush, the materials, and the surface relate, release and commune to speak. Traditionally a narrative medium, I'm working it abstract. I have found it to be the perfect marriage for my math-major meets art-major brain - I am a chemist responding to chaos. Suddenly, I am right at home!