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March 2005: Paul Binnie announced his latest design 'Sankeien' from the series of 'Famous Views of Japan'.
Here is the original text of the announcement by Paul Binnie:
As you may know, I have been working on a series of landscape woodblock prints called 'Nihon Meisho Zu-e' or Famous Views of Japan, of which three have been released already; Aka Fuji, Miyajima No Torii and Himeji Castle. I have now completed the fourth in the series, Sankeien, which is a view of the famous Sankeien Gardens in Yokohama in the snow.
I visited the garden in April of 2004, and of course it was cherry blossom time, which was extremely beautiful, but unfortunately Yoshida Hiroshi did a view of these very gardens with cherry blossom (Abe 191), so I decided to use some artistic license and make it a snow scene, in shades of blue, lilac and grey-green, which tones well with the horizonal image of Himeji Castle, also in blues: in fact, these two were conceived as a pendant to one-another.
I have used gofun printed over the entire lower area to make a very snowy white, rather than keep the paper blank as many printmakers do, and I also have used mica to highlight the ice on the frozen edge of the lake, which gives a silver sheen to the surface. One thing which you may not be able to see in the attached scan, but which adds greatly to the effect of the print, is a line of embossed footprints, walking past the lake edge, seemingly compressing the snow underfoot. If the print is handled, or hung on a wall, these appear in subtle shadow, and add an extra dimension to the design. As always in this series, there is also the blind-printed 'Binnie' in the bottom margin, and the format is identical to Himeji Castle: Dai-Oban Yoko-e, 29.5 x 40.5cm� (11 1/2 x 16 inches). The edition is as usual 100, and the price is the same as all the other Dai-Oban prints.
As always, I hope to hear reactions to the new designs, and will be delighted to answer any further questions you may have either at my website, www.paulbinnie.co.uk or by email on email@example.com.
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