Hiroshi Yoshida – Monday Inspiration

Hiroshi Yoshida

If you follow my twitter account you may have already spotted my recent fascination with woodblock prints. Especially those of the Japanese artist Hiroshi Yoshida. The subtle colouring and quiet nature of his compositions are rather magnificent. They have been a huge source of inspiration for my recent mountain studies and have helped me find a feel for calming understated colours. Here are some wonderful examples of his work

The Travelling Hiroshi Yoshida

Hiroshi Yoshida was a 20th-century Japanese painter and woodblock printmaker. He is regarded as one of the greatest artists of the shin-hanga style, and is noted especially for his excellent landscape prints. Yoshida travelled widely, and was particularly known for his images of non-Japanese subjects done in traditional Japanese woodblock style, including the Taj Mahal, the Swiss Alps, the Grand Canyon, and other National Parks in the USA.

Apparently Hiroshi Yoshida was trained in the Western oil painting tradition, which was adopted in Japan during the Meiji period. Yoshida often used the same blocks and varied the colour to suggest different moods.

Artist Notes

I think it’s fascinating to see how Hiroshi Yoshida has experimented with his colours. His views of the Matterhorn are magnificent examples of how the same composition can vary with the careful application of colour. It makes you realise how different the outcome of a painting might be.

You only have to look at Tsurigizan Morning to see how the smallest amount of precise colouring (the rose tint as the mountain peaks) can provide a real vibrancy. It’s something I look for in all of the work that gets pinned to my inspiration board… a balance between the atmospheric and dark areas of an image and that spark of light and detail. I think Yoshida’s work has that perfect spark. The fact that he once travelled the same paths across the USA and Switzerland ensures his work will remain an influence for years to come.