For some years now, I have been employing text in a number of my works and series.
In those pieces, the text is very subtle and in an abstract way. Yet, there is meaning.
“Milky Way #2” (details). Collagraph with carborundum and beeswax (mixed media), Misako Oba.
* The whole piece “Milky Way #2 (diptych)” can be viewed in Drawn to Stars, Behind the Scene.
Je te bénirai et je multiplierai ta postérité, comme les étoiles du ciel et comme le sable qui est sur le bord de la mer; et ta postérité possédera la porte de ses ennemis. -Genèse 22:17
I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, -Genesis 22:17
le mystère des sept étoiles que tu as vues dans ma main droite, et des sept chandeliers d’or. -Apocalypse 1:20
The mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand and of the seven golden lampstands is this: The seven stars are the angels of the… -Revelation 1:20
Une voix crie: Préparez au désert le chemin de l’Éternel, Aplanissez dans les lieux arides Une route pour notre Dieu. Que toute vallée soit exhaussée, Que toute montagne et toute colline soient abaissées! Que les coteaux se changent en plaines, Et les défilés étroits en vallons! -Ésaïe 40:3, 4
A voice cries: “In the wilderness prepare the way of the LORD; make straight in the desert a highway for our God. Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill be made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. -Isaiah 40:3, 4
“Springs Forth” from Desert series, Collagraph with carborundum & Encaustic monotype
(Mixed media), unique, Misako Oba. The text is in lower right corner.
“Stream in the Desert #2” Collagraph with carborundum & beeswax and Encaustic monotype,
(Mixed media), variation 2 of 6, each unique, Misako Oba
“Stream in the Desert #4” (detail), Collagraph with carborundum & beeswax, etching and
encaustic monotype, variation 4 of 6, each unique, Misako Oba
* The whole piece of #4 can be viewed in here.
Ne pensez plus aux événements passés,
Et ne considérez plus ce qui est ancien.
Voici, je vais faire une chose nouvelle,
sur le point d’arriver: Ne la connaîtrez-vous pas?
Je mettrai un chemin dans le désert,
Et des fleuves dans la solitude. -Ésaïe 43:18,19
Remember not the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I am doing a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert. -Isaiah 43:18, 19
When I was thinking if I should move from New York to Seattle, this verse (Isaiah 43:18, 19) came up to me three times within a week. One of my friends referred it directly to me. The phrase even happened to show up in my Newsfeed on Facebook. And, more… It was a mysterious, spiritual and amazing experience. And in fact, there were “rivers” and a “way” that were prepared for me before my move. I feel grateful.
Things are very different in the Pacific Northwest from New York City, or even just the East Coast. People, culture, customs, weather, nature…and more. I feel creative inspiration a little more when I am in an unfamiliar environment. You can find the inspiration in daily life, though. Having easier access to nature became a part of my daily life. It is coming along as the series of mixed media and intaglio – such as the work of stars and desert.
Marc Chagall and the Bible
Recently, I noticed that Marc Chagall (1887-1985) also did the printmaking (Etchings and Lithographs) based on the Bible. He worked on the series of etchings over a 25 year period.
Marc Chagall © ARS, NY, Joseph Interprets Pharaoh’s Dreams, 1957, The Bible, no. 22. Hand-colored etching, The Patrick and Beatrice Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University, Milwaukee.
I cannot compare myself with Chagall. He is a great master in art history and he illustrated the Bible. You can find more of his works and bio here as well.
The Approach to my Art Series and the Bible
My approach is different. I use a visual metaphor based on my personal experience on this earth, and employ the universal human emotions (positive or negative) and objects or locations that we encounter in our lives: forgiveness, deception, grieves, trust, love, eat and drink, stars, desert…
I visualize, think over the meaning, research, apply, synchronize my emotion/experience and then create the image in a semi-abstract form.
I am grateful that I came across the idea that is somehow connected to what he did in his work. He is one of my favorite artists. And I am also thankful that our approach is different.
I was born and raised in Japan, but lived and spent many years in Western culture as well. So, my thoughts, culture background, and philosophy have become very complex.
In my encaustic mixed media series, Truth in Emotion “Beyond Time and Space,” I am incorporating Hyakunin Isshu (百人一首), the collection of 100 Japanese ancient poems called Waka. The text is from 7-11th Century in Japan, and calligraphy in Eastern culture. In my other mixed media series and Intaglio I am incorporating verses from the Bible, that is originally under Western influence.
Both are relating human conditions and emotion through life that we can be connected to even in the modern society. Life is a journey. That is the body of my artwork that I have been pursuing.