For the latest collaboration with our favourite artist, a very talented illustrator and a lovely friend Flora Waycott has created a set of beautiful paintings with the "Japanese four seasons" as the theme. Flora was born in the UK and she spent her childhood years living in Japan with her family and so she has a very special love and understanding for the Japanese culture and lifestyles. I always thought it would be wonderful to collaborate with her for a long time and now we have a very special item thanks to the lovely Flora who has drawn each of the four seasons of Japan that we celebrate from the perspective of an artist with both Japanese and western backgrounds.
Uguisu, a green bird that we see a lot in Japan. When Uguisu bird starts singing in a very distinctive singing voice we often see it as a sign of spring arrival as well as the blooming of the plum blossoms that come out earlier than the cherry blossoms.
When I saw Flora in Tokyo when she was here in summer this year, I had bought a hydrangea bonsai just before meeting her. Flora remembered it and she drew it for the summer card. Hydrangea is a very popular flower that are seen all around Japan in the early summer. The bamboo curtain sudare in the background, is one of the popular summer items seen in many older Japanese homes.
What Flora has drawn for autumn is Otsukimi, literally "moon-viewing", also known as Jugoya, refers to Japanese festivals honoring the autumn moon, a variant of the Mid-Autumn Festival. The celebration of the full moon typically takes place on the 15th day of the eighth month of the traditional Japanese calendar; the waxing moon is celebrated on the 13th day of the ninth month. These days normally fall in September and October of the modern solar calendar. *more about this tradition see wikipedia
Not all areas in Japan would be covered in thick snow during winter time, but in many areas in the country side a scene like this can be enjoyed like Shirakawa-go in Gifu prefecture where there are beautiful traditional houses like Flora has drawn here. To me this looks very much a beautiful style of Flora's artwork, and this probably would be my favourite out of the four.
Each card is A5 size, which is much bigger than a post card, it is printed on a thick 265kg fine paper so it stands well if you want to display it on a shelf as an artwork. It would also be perfect framed. The four cards are wrapped in a special Japanese paper folded like an envelope with Flora's winter artwork printed in gold ink. Perfect for a special gift!