Paul Binnie, Scottish, b. 1967

Four Seasons: Spring
(Shiki: Haru)

a beauty in a kimono decorated with cherry blossoms holds an umbrella tilted forward as protection from streaking mica rain; the title, Haru, in gold at upper right, and red seal Mihon (sample) at upper left, signed at lower left in gold kanji, o ju (by special request) Bin-ni, followed by artist's silver seal Binnie, and signed in pencil on the bottom margin T/P I (test print), Paul Binnie, ca. September - November 2005

dai oban tate-e 19 1/2 by 13 in., 49.5 by 32.9 cm

This particular design plays homage to two famous shin hanga bijin ga designs: Ito Shinsui's Fubuki (Snowstorm, 1932), with the titled umbrella offering protection from the windy elements; and Torii Kotondo's Ame (Rain, 1929), with the sharply streaking rain conveyed primarily by 3 bold diagonal lines cutting across the composition.

This test print provides an interesting opportunity to consider the artist's process in determining the palette of an edition of a print. With this early test print of Spring (Haru), Binnie utilizes nearly the same colors as the final version, although in a much softer palette of pastels. Binnie adjusted the colors to a stronger palette at the request of the collector who commissioned this series. And while the original series was very well-received, certainly this lovely impression does beg the question of whether Binnie will consider re-issuing this print in a version more similar to this test print, with a more subtle palette as he originally intended.

Paul Binnie: A Dialogue with the Past - The First 100 Japanese Prints, 2007, p. 125, no. 88 (darker palette)



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