Write Around PAM: Yoshida Chizuko

En no chōtachi (Garden of Butterflies), Yoshida Chizuko, 18 1/8 x 13 1/2 inches; sheet: 26 x 19 5/8 inches, color woodblock print with metallic pigment on paper. A vertical, rectangular print showing a mass of butterflies in black, blues, white, and gray over a silver metallic and yellow foliage patterned background. The butterflies are massed mostly in the center of the work leaving a border around them at the edges. They vary in type, color, size, and position. Most prominently, there is a white butterfly with black dotted wings at two o’clock, two in shades of turquoise and pale blue at center that overlap and above them is a black butterfly with pale-blue striped wings. They are surrounded by many others seen from the front with wings spread, from the side, and from above. They vary in pattern from dots to stripes to fine lines to intricately patterned wings. This mass of butterflies is superimposed over a dense, silver metallic foliage printed on paper that begins as pale beige and deepens to a bright yellow as it approaches the bottom of the print.

As summer days start their slow slide into fall, we’re lingering here in the light and shadows of Yoshida Chizuko’s En no chōtachi (Garden of Butterflies), noticing the intricate beauty in small things, and feeling and appreciating the abundance of nature.

In both our art and writing, we can enter into the natural world more deeply and notice life and details we might otherwise overlook. This week, we invite you to write, keeping in mind this invitation to notice—from the widest open sky to the smallest butterfly. Before or after you write, take some time to learn more about Yoshida Chizuko’s life and art.⠀

We have some prompts to help you get started. You can choose one, both, or follow your own adventure. Set a timer for 10 minutes and just keep the pen moving.

Lessons from the butterflies… / In my world…

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 posts from Sundays in the summer and look for continuing weekly posts this fall. Please share your work with us! @writearoundpdx @portlandartmuseum #RespectWritingCommunity #WriteAroundPAM  

Yoshida Chizuko, En no chōtachi (Garden of Butterflies), ca. 1980, color woodblock print with metallic pigment on paper, Museum Purchase: Funds provided by Asian Art Auction Proceeds, © Chizuko Yoshida, 2016.130.1

Related Content