I often get comments from people asking about the Eastern, particularly Japanese, influence in my work. While it has never been intentional, I have always been drawn to the prints of the Japanese masters Hiroshige and Hokusai and their influence inevitably finds its way into my own work.
I find the rhythm and structure of Hokusai’s wave prints very appealing. There is a great combination of quietude and motion in the prints, brought to great effect with the use of gorgeous colors and impeccable design.
Along with this dichotomy of quiet and movement, there is a omnipresent sense of the immense force of nature over man. Hokusai often has Mt. Fuji in the distance behind the curls of his powerful waves, reinforcing the power and sanctity of nature. The finger-like quality of the edges of the breaking waves seem like the hand of mother nature reaching out to slap at the reaching hands of her children, the boatmen. Again, reinforcing the dominance of nature over man.
There is a lot more I could say about Hokusai’s work but so much of my appreciation for it is almost indefinable. The work allows me to enter and translate it easily and thrill in the beauty of the lines and hues of the picture plane without determining why I am drawn to it. This unquantifiable ease of translation may be the element of Hokusai’s work that I desire to see in my own work.