Yesterday, I posted about my visit to the Geidai craft-dyeing and weaving studios, but I also had a chance to peek into the painting department. Painting is my first love, so I was excited to see what the students were working on.
Some of the second year painters had recently visited a forest in Northern Japan and are now making paintings inspired by the trip (above).
Another painting inspired by the forest. It’s always interesting to see the range of images that result in looking at a similar thing.
The students are trained in traditional Japanese painting methods and I was surprised to see that the techniques were much different than what I learned in art school. Most of the students were painting with dried pigments that are mixed with glue made from cows. The glue is heated up (above left) and mixed with the dry pigments in small bowls. The pigments don’t react well when mixed together. Some can cause cracking or other problems. As a result the students don’t mix their own colors. The pigments are used straight out of the bags (below left), but there is a wide range of hues to choose from.
This student sits in front of his very large painting. He laughs when he realizes I’m taking a photo.