Recent Sketches October 22

October 19th, 2022 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »


Sketches of Ikebana Flower Arrangements

May 6th, 2020 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

During this time of “self isolation,” I returned to look at a book about ikebana that had been in my library for many years.  Having limited art supplies, I decided to make sketches of some of the arrangements but found myself fascinated not only by the multitude of arrangements but also by the theory. I had studied ikebana during our stay in Tokyo, but in reading through this book I learned a great deal more about the history, styles, and, indeed, the rules involved in creating this art form. Below are sketches from the first part of the book about various styles.  The next posting will be sketches following the theory and instructions on how to make Moribana  arrangements.

There are many schools of ikebana but my understanding is that there are also “styles” of arrangements. The introduction goes through various styles..and often the name of the style is determined by the type of container. Moribana style ikebana arrangements are done in shallow containers using a kenzan and Nageire style are done in tall containers. Seika style is also done in a specific container that determines the perpendicular nature of the Seika arrangement. There are also two level arrangements as well as divided arrangements (kubuwake) as you will see in my sketches. There are also contemporary styles and abstract styles.

The thumbnails do not give the full nature of the arrangement so be sure to click through the whole images. Click on view as slide show and then just click on the image and the following image will appear. 


Lessons in Moribana Ikebana Arrangements

May 6th, 2020 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

These sketches follow the lessons in making Moribana flower arrangements. There are formal, semi-formal, and informal arrangements with 3 variations for each as well as left and right handed arrangements.  Thus 24 permutations! so only a selected number of sketches are shown below. In general there is a progression of openness and fluidity of the arrangement as you go from formal to informal. Left handed and Right handed are determined by the placement of the arrangement next to the Buddha so left is right and right is left for the viewer! 

There are three primary branches(or flowers or leaves; Shin, Soe, Tai) with each having a complement(flower or leaves) and then there are fillers to cover the kenzan or add just a bit of volume but not too much! The Shin is the longest at 2 to 3 times the measure of the container, the S0e is 2/3s of the Shin, and the Tai is 2/3s of the Soe. The complements are 1/2 of their respective branches. The measure of the container is calculated by adding its height plus the diameter. The branches are placed at specific degrees to left or right and forward.  For the formal basic arrangement, the Shin is 10 degrees from vertical and 10 degrees forward, the Soe is 40 degrees from vertical and 40 degrees forward and the Tai is 70 degrees from vertical and 70 degrees forward.  If you divide a kenzan (the needle like holder into which the branches are inserted) into 4 parts, you have positions back, front, left, and right as well as back left, back right, front left and front right! In a formal basic arrangement, the shin is placed at the back(noon) of the kenzan, the Soe is placed on the left(9AM) and the tai is placed in the front right forming a triangle. Different variations depend on where you place each of the primary branches always respecting a similar triangle and the degrees left or right and forward of each of these branches. Where you place your kenzan in the container is also of importance. 

Perhaps you can see what is explained above in some of the arrangements. Frankly, at the end of this project, I began feeling all the drawings were pretty much the same!  But they are not!

Moribana arrangements are done in shallow dishes with the aid of a kenzan (the needle like holder into which the branches and flowers are inserted). There are a couple Nageire style arrangements in the Moribana style.  Nageire refers to a tall container and generally does not use a kenzan.

To see the arrangements, you need click on slide show and then as you click on the image it will move to the next one.