Winter has definitely hit Sydney and the nights and early mornings are very cold. Pansies are cool weather flowers and a very hardy Winter variety of flower. The name pansy is interchangeable with viola as they are hybrid flowers from the same species.. Pansies are striking with heart shaped, overlapping petals in bright colours, often bi-coloured. They can withstand frost and some varieties have been cultivated to withstand snow.
I painted this pansy (above left) quite a few years ago - I think it is one of my earlier paintings. I was inspired by the bright colours of the petals and thought the bleeding out of the centre of the petals would make a good subject for a watercolour painting. I would like to paint more pansies and really focus on showing the way the colours bleed into each other and interact on the petals. The above original was sold quite a few years ago but is still available as a print by clicking on the image above left.
Below left and right are two pansy paintings by Georgia O'Keefe. Black pansy was painted in 1926 and White pansy in 1927. Her paintings of pansies focus more on the curving shapes of the petals rather than the bleeding colours contained in the petals..
The kimono is a traditional Japanese garment. The word Kimono literally means "thing to wear". Kimono are T-shaped robes worn to the ankle with long, wide sleeves. They are wrapped around the body and secured with a sash called an obi which is tied at the back. They are worn with traditional footwear and split toe socks.
Today, Kimono are worn mostly by women on special occasions, although a few older women still wear the kimono on a daily basis. Traditionally, kimono are sewn by hand and are made of silk , silk brocade, silk crepe and satin weaves. Modern day kimono are widely available in less expensive fabrics as well.
The pattern of the kimono can determine which season it should be worn. For example, butterflies or Cherry Blossom patterns are worn in Spring, watery designs are worn in Summer, Autumn designs include Japanese Maple leaf patterns and Winter designs include bamboo, Pine trees and plum blossoms.
The photo I took in Gion, Kyoto a few months ago (above middle) is of some tourists dressed up in modern day kimono. The bright colours and yellow flower motif suggests they are Spring time kimono. The fabric is made of cotton, or possibly synthetic fabric, but I was still inspired enough by the bright colours, especially of the striking and beautiful obi designs, to paint them.
Below are some examples of more traditional Spring kimono featuring Cherry Blossom and flower motifs.
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.