Monday, October 20, 2008

"Asparagus and Water"

Connie Kleinjans fine art6x8, oil on canvas board

During our summer trip to Japan, I was so entranced with the blue and white dish towel I painted (it appeared in two prior posts: August 30 and September 5) that I wanted to look for more. While we were at Narita airport for our flight back, I found some Japanese fabric that I liked, and brought some home. This purple piece has a design on it called a hidari mitsu domoe (hidari=left, mitsu=three, and tomoe=the tadpole design). I was a little hesitant about painting this, since one sometimes sees foreigners using designs from another culture inappropriately. I mean, a lot of Americans might be upset if someone did a painting of the Statue of Liberty with a baseball cap on her head (although it's a pretty edgy idea). But my research showed that this design represents a lot of things, one of which is water, which seemed right for vegetables. And it looked great with the green asparagus.

You probably know that the Japanese are brilliant at fabric designs. Like, my prior post featured a furoshiki. So I went looking for more Japanese dish towels. It turns out that they're called tenugui (I lived there for 13 years and never knew this) and they can be used for anything. In fact, they're often sold as sweat cloths or head bands for martial arts. I found some online and ordered nine. Expect a few to show up in paintings in the next weeks.


  1. Connie, that warm green on top of purple is mesmerizing. I think this is one of your most successful paintings. Love it.

  2. High praise: "One of your most successful." Thanks. I love green and purple, too. I like the Munsell color wheel, which says that they're complements. Good to hear from you.