I Consume Libraries (Japanese-Style Etegami Watercolors)

This series of cards was painted for National Library Week, in April 2013. They are perfect little gifts for a book-lovers or librarians.

The hand-painted postcards feature a variety of scenes. A couple show a girl sitting cross-legged reading a book, surrounded by other books. The quotation is a snippet from from David Foster Wallace's novel, Infinite Jest: 'I read,' I say. 'I study and read. I bet I've read everything you've read. Don't think I haven't. I consume libraries. I wear out spines and ROM drives. I do things like get in a taxi and say, "The library, and step on it."' Another shows the same girl, with the quotation from Marilynne Robinson: "Books are good company. Nothing is more human than a book." The last card shows a stack of books, with one open on top, and the quotation from novelist Alberto Manguel: "Chance is a good librarian and the encounters she allows don't follow any preconceived order or method."

These are all an original, hand-painted etegami postcards, not prints or reproductions. Etegami is a Japanese folk art that combines hand painted images, using sumi ink and watercolor (Japanese gansai watercolor) with some thoughtful words. In the tradition of etegami, I painted this card on washi (a soft porous card), outlining the image with black sumi ink, then painting with gansai Japanese watercolor. The red stamp is my signature.

Colors on etegami tend to be more soft in person than in scanned images.


Dimensions of each card: 4 x 6 inches.

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