This is unlike anything I've drawn previously. The ink drawing (with gold leaf details) of St. Michael fighting the devil was commissioned by a priest of the Maryknoll Missionaries, an order with a long history of missionary activity in Japan. He asked whether I thought it possible to create an image of the archangel in the style of traditional Japanese art without the result being kitsch.
I was certainly willing to make an attempt. While inculturation is not something that I have consciously attempted in the past, I was eager to explore some of the illustrative ideas in Japanese woodblock printing. Utagawa Kuniyoshi, one of my favorite artists, provided most of the inspiration here.
I was also curious to see how successfully I could maintain the western iconographic traditions in the content and arrangement of religious pictures while using an eastern style of illustration.
I am pleased with the result - enough that I am now thinking about making more religious drawings in this style.
The drawing is approximately 5.5" wide, and 8.5" tall, centered on 8"x10" paper.
Here is a description of another of my recent drawings. I drew this on commission in May, and issued a limited-edition print of it as well.
Posted by Daniel Mitsui at 7:42 AM