An Irish Blessing.

“May you have warm words on a cold evening, 
a full moon on a dark night and the road downhill all the way to your door.”
This Irish Blessing is a day late for St Patrick’s Day, no matter as the Irish say "when God made time he made plenty of it" so please forgive my late entry.

I have been experimenting with making masks in Photoshop, like all newly acquired techniques it is easy to become slightly carried away..
This is a computer-aided image, which started life as a watercolour painting. I wanted the look of a Japanese wood block so I layered some previously hand painted textures and patterns together with a bonsai tree (photographed with an added stamp filter). I then applied a wood effect mask and added a decorative border. At least that is the way I remember the process; I suppose I should call it mixed media!

I have always loved Japanese wood block prints, especially the subtle gradations in colour. When we went to the recent Van Gogh exhibition at the Royal Academy we saw how much of an impact Japanese prints had on artists at the time. This influence could be clearly seen in the many reed and pen drawings, which had been assembled for the exhibition. I don't have an image from that particular exhibition but this drawing "Tree with Ivy in the Asylum Garden" 
1889 ; Pencil, chalk, reed pen, and brown ink on Ingres paper, Rijksmuseum Vincent Van Gogh, Amsterdam is typical of the many very decorative drawings that Van Gogh made in his short and troubled life. It seems extraordinary that an artist so prone to misery and despair could leave such a legacy of joyous artwork.