Inspired by | Kyoto

inspired1It’s the 10th today! And that means Riikka and I have been creating something with a particular theme or thing in mind again and it’s time to reveal the results in a new Inspired by post!

For this month we chose to be inspired by a far away city in a far away land: Kyoto, Japan. We were both lucky to visit it individually. Riikka stayed in the city a couple of years ago, I was there more recently.

My visit Kyoto was very brief. I guess I was there for a mere 6 or 7 hours on a mostly grey Saturday last November. Needless to say: I only scraped the surface of what Kyoto has to offer:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

I have so many more photos of that day… I’m planning to create a photo book with all the photos I took that week in Japan.

Scrapbooking this trip seems too overwhelming right now. And one scrapbook page about this day in Kyoto definitely will not do. So for this Inspired by, although I certainly could have, I deliberately chose not to scrapbook.

But what was I going to do then? Well, I first thought about the things that stood out to me thinking back. And this is what I came up with:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

It’s all comes down to colours, smells, tastes, sounds, patterns and textures…

I was there the end of November, so there were beautiful fiery red maple trees everywhere. The sun came out in the afternoon, but before that it was kind of grey and gloomy. It made the red of the maple leaves, but also the red of the temple buildings and especially the colourful looks of the maiko/geiko in Gion look almost neon coloured to me.

I love incense, so I distinctly remember the smell of incense. I remember the chopstick and ceramic souvenir shops. Bamboo… A kimono shop… The (zen) garden at Ginkaku-ji… More maple leaves… I also remember it being really crowded with people, especially at Kiyomizu-dera.

OK, so I still hadn’t decided what I would do. But then I was trying out some of Finnabair’s mixed media products for Prima Marketing and the Art Extravagance White Sand Texture Paste reminded me of a zen garden!

I decided to add Liquitex soft body (neon) colours, a couple of stencils that reminded me of maiko attire, my sumi-e brushes, black ink, silver Tulip Pearl 3D Fabric Paint and a couple of different paint markers into the mix:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

And here’s the triptych:

Marsha Valk | Inspired By: Kyoto

Conclusion: I really seem to like this fairly small rectangle format, so that’s why I used it again.

I’m not really sure if I like the white paper maple leaves… In hindsight I think I should have created them out of paper clay. I might still go back and do that.

I loved using the texture paste! It provided me with a bit of a challenge for the following layers, but it was fun!

And last but not least: I really hope I can go back to Kyoto some day. There is still so much to explore!

Now that you’ve seen my Kyoto, it’s time to visit Riikka’s. I’ve heard some of her Kyoto adventures already, I also know she has scrapbooked it in the past, so I’m really curious to see what she has come up with! You can see it for yourself here!

3 thoughts on “Inspired by | Kyoto

  1. Oh wow. I love love love these! I though that we were going to do something very different, but it’s amazing how we both did canvas(es) and used black for instance! There’s same elements yet again in our works!
    But back to your pieces – I love the contrast the black and white have with the vibrant orange and red. And the patterns are so perfect!

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