Japanese Symbolism

As you know I am very much influenced by the natural world. However, I have found over time that another influence seems to have made many an appearance into my work, and that is Japanese symbolism.

Although I have travelled a lot around the globe, I have never been to Japan, if you have been fortunate to visit this amazing place, please let me know.  I would love to know your thoughts on the country, the culture and your experiences. 
Lets start with Ensō....

Ensō is a Japanese word meaning “circle” and a concept associated with Zen.

It's a moment when the mind is free to simply let the body & spirit create.

It represents enlightenment, strength, elegance, the Universe, and the void.

Here are a few of my Ensō inspired artworks:
"Ensō part 1"

I can't even begin to explain how much this piece means to me.
It started as a single circular stroke of blue and then evolved into this richly laden artwork of sea blues and greens. I could meditate on it for hours.
The textures marry up so beautifully too, like tiny pebbles in a tranquil pool.

 "Ensō part 2""Shadow of a shadow"My next influence is Kintsugi.Kintsugi is the Japanese art of putting broken pottery pieces back together with gold. Using a precious metal such as gold highlights all the scars and cracks in each piece and showcases the beauty of them.

In "Autumn retreat" I wanted to create an image that was highly texted but with fairly muted palette. I was then inspired to 'fill' some of the textured gullies with gold acrylic enamel to make the whole piece pop!
The philosophy of Kintsugi is that you embrace the flaws and imperfections of an item. By doing this you can create an even stronger, more beautiful piece of art.

I personally think it is a metaphor we can also use for ourselves.  By encompassing our flaws and how we 'mend' ourselves, we create a more beautiful version of ourselves.

This really resonates with me.Over the years of being an artist, I have often had the joy and privilege of being commissioned to create work for many special occasions. 

Here are just a couple of examples where the Japanese influence has made an appearance.

On the left we have "Love and Prosperity". This commission was a wedding gift for a couple in Greece. My client wanted an artwork to capture their love and to wish them all the best for their future together.

Koi are said to symbolise good luck, prosperity, strength, and perseverance. A perfect message behind a wedding gift.

On the right we have "Ronin". My client wanted a leaving present for a colleague. In this particular case, her colleague had been a mentor and she wanted a unique gift for him.

He was leaving to set up his own consultancy company called Ronin. A Ronin is a masterless Samurai, someone who is a warrior without a lord to serve. A very apt symbol for someone who was leaving to walk their own path in business.

Right then, I think we'll stop there, there are lots more examples, so by all means pop over to my website and have a good nosey round the shop to see more.

I really hope you enjoyed that little tour of my Japanese symbolism.