Maybe you don’t have forsythia blooming in your home right now, so as usual: relief block printing to the rescue! If you’re looking for
color wood block prints of flowers, the Japanese printmakers are the obvious first stop. Like my January forsythia, these flaunt their yellow in an essentially colorless space; they provide all the color in the world. The second piece here, by contrast, places the flowers inside in a vase, just as mine actually are, but without such a wintry feeling. I’m not sure what technique Kirchmeier used - multiple blocks, or perhaps one block with multiple colors plus a black-inked key block. Shodo and Keinen used the traditional Japanese printmaking techniques of multiple blocks with multiple colors on each, inked with watercolor washes.
I hope these flowers bring you a smile today!
[Pictures: Forsythia, color woodblock by Kawarazaki Shodo, mid-1950’s (Image from The Hanga Gallery);
Forsythia 2, color woodblock by Ruth Kirchmeier, 2009 (Image from Ruth Kirchmeier);
Yellow Forsythia, Long-tailed Tit, color woodblock by Imao Keinen (carved by Tanaka Jirokichi), 1891 (Image from Davidson Galleries).]