Spring air -
and plum scent.
- Matsuo Basho (Japanese Poet)
This portrait is of a Japanese bride, wearing a simple, floral kimono and a delicate flower-motif hair ornament, kanzashi, made of silk plum blossoms. The plum blossom holds a special place in Japanese traditions: it represents spring, a time of new beginnings, and is associated with beauty, purity, hope and the transitoriness of life.
Many came to celebrate the launching of The Red Lantern and viewing of the oil paintings, the basis for all the illustrations in the book, at the Firehouse Theater. Thank you Judy at Towne Center Books for suggesting and offering your space for the book launching party; thank you Julie at the Firehouse Theater for showcasing the oil paintings all month long; and thank you to all my dear, dear friends for coming out to support me this morning.