Monday, July 14, 2014

The delightful etegami of Dosankodebbie

It was a banner week at the Otto Mailbox last week. I received several Postcrossing cards, including one from Onni, a tiny dwarf hamster who lives with his family in the Arctic Circle region of Finland. Onni "writes": "I love eating, sleeping and running in my runwheel. Here at my home live also four gerbils and our mom. She plyas with us and studies to be a primary school teacher."

I also received in the mail an unexpected surprise from Japan. Artist Debbie Davidson (aka Dosankodebbie) mailed me a pair of her original etegami creations, including this jaw-dropping, hand-painted owl...

What is etegami? I'll let Dosankodebbie describe it herself, in this excerpt from her blog:
"Etegami (e= 'picture'; tegami= 'letter/message') are simple drawings accompanied by a few apt words. They are usually done on postcards so that they can be easily mailed off to one's friends. Though etegami has few hard-and-fast rules, traditional tools and materials include writing brushes, sumi ink, blocks of water-soluble, mineral-based pigments called gansai, and washi postcards that have varying degrees of 'bleed.' They often depict some ordinary item from everyday life, especially items that bring a particular season to mind."
Check out Dosankodebbie's fine blog for more information and wonderful examples of etegami. She has even written A Beginner's Guide to Etegami, which is available for purchase as a traditional book or e-book.

Here's the other etegami postcard that she sent me.

On the back of this one, she added: "Meaning of this Japanese saying: don't let the euphoria of victory make you careless."

If you're interested in purchasing some of Dosankodebbie's artwork, check out her Etsy Etegami Emporium. And you can follow her on Twitter, too —@dosankodebbie. Let's support talented independent artists!

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