Write Around PAM: Frank Okada

Image description: 1. Consanguineous, Frank Okada, oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches. A square abstract painting featuring bold colors on a largely deep yellow ground. The lower left corner holds an arc of undulating stripes that dip slightly in their center. The stripes alternate from vivid red to orange then back to red again. A rectangular shape composed of trapezoidal shapes and stripes juts downward into the center space from the top center. The rectangle sits at an angle slanted to the left. It begins with a brilliant blue at the middle top of the painting followed by a thin stripe of deep red, then a dark olive-green trapezoid. A golden yellow that matches the background color follows, forming another trapezoid. It is followed by a cream trapezoid separated by narrow golden yellow stripe from a pale gray trapezoid shape. The textured golden yellow ground is bisected horizontally two thirds of the way down from the top. The upper portion of the painting is the largest segment with the bottom third containing the red and orange arc and three more golden yellow segments. The segments differ slightly in hue. The lightest is at left next to the red/orange arc. The remaining two segments continue to the right with a thin, sharp uneven streak of cream interrupting the yellow ground from the lower right edge. Brushstrokes are clearly visible with the edges of the shapes being slightly ragged and uneven.
Frank Okada (American, 1931-2000), Consanguineous, 1969, oil on canvas, 72 in x 72 in, Museum Purchase: Caroline Ladd Pratt Fund. Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, 71.4

As we enter winter, the days shorten, and at least here in the Pacific Northwest, the cloud cover grows. Soaking up moments of light and sun feels even more important for our mental health. We’re appreciating this painting by Frank Okada, on view in the Hoffman Lobby. The work evokes such a strong feeling of the warmth of sitting in the sun. We invite you to spend some time today capturing this warmth in your writing, so that you can revisit it again on a cloudy day. 

We have two prompts to help you get started. As always, you can choose one, both, or write whatever else comes. Set a timer for 9 minutes and just keep your pen or pencil moving.

In the sunlight… / I’m holding onto…

Writing in community is powerful. We are grateful to our longtime partner Write Around Portland for the writing prompts and inspiration. You can revisit past Sunday posts and look for continuing weekly posts through the year. Please share your work with us!  @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM

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