Japanese Woodblock Love



Today is DIY Day over at Kimba's A Soft Place to Land again. So I'm going to post my latest wall art project:) I know, I know...you are probably saying "Doesn't this chic do anything else other than make wall art?!" But I can't help it - its easy, cheap and we got alot of walls to cover, people.

So, remember my dowstairs bath? This wall above the toilet has been empty since we moved in. I never could come up with anything I wanted to put there.

Now, I know there are a lot of schools of thought on artwork for the walls. Some people like only originals or artwork that is very personal. Others wait until they have just the right piece for a space. And I know there are people who are just too scared to make holes in the walls. I'm from this school of thought - I am sick and tired of looking at this blank wall already.

Enter this Cavalliini calendar of Japanese Woodblock prints. I spotted it one day at Paper Source and couldn't get it out of my mind.

{A striking collection of woodblock prints by the renowned Japanese artist, Kawase Hasui (1883-1957), depicting serene landscapes and temples, ethereal cherry blossoms, and the magnificence of Mt. Fuji.}

I've been loving the combo of a cool base with pops of warm colors that I've been seeing lately around blogland - like Jenny's office (Little Green Notebook), Lauren's family room (pure style home), and Layla's kitchen (The Lettered Cottage). When I looked at the images in the Japanese Woodblock Calendar, I knew they'd look great on a pale blue or green wall. And I legitimately thought to myself "Too bad I don't have anywhere these could go." Ha! Idiot.

Thankfully I came to my senses. A calendar, 3 frames, an Xacto knife and tape measure later,
the wall looks like this:

Much better, no?! Now I don't have any personal affiliation with Japan other than the fact that someday I'd love to travel there. But there was something about these prints that I liked. The vibrancy, the simplicity. They seem so peaceful. Almost like a window into another world. I realized while I was framing them that their style also reminds of the way I paint in watercolors. Out of the 12 images in the calendar, I chose these 3 to frame.

{Daigo Denpo Temple, Kyoto, 1950}

{Saishon Temple in Snow, Hirosaki, 1936}

{Kasuga Shrine, Nara, 1933}

All temples/shrines, but one in the sun, one in rain and one in snow. Now as a tryptych, they remind me of how Monet would paint the same subject over and over, but in different light at different times of the day. Like the Haystacks. Or the Rouen Cathedral.

So, I'm with the Nester...it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. It can be pages from a calendar. As long as it makes me happy (and who doesn't love to be happy when they are in the bathroom?!)!!

Where do you guys stand on artwork on the walls? What school of wall art do you belong to? (Don't get me wrong, I think original paintings, family heirlooms, photography by your friends are all amazing to have hanging up around the house. And we have these too.)

Thanks for hosting, Kimba! Seriously, go check out all the DIY projects over there, last week there was over 200!!


  1. Those are PERFECT there! I've used framed calendar art before and my stance on it is, why not? :-)
    pk @ Room Remix

  2. I love the wonderful dose of color they bring in, works beautifully in the room!

  3. They are really lovely there. Calendars are the perfect solution!

    I recently read about this type of print when reading "Loving Frank" but never could picture them. Now I know!

  4. Those turned out so pretty! They really finish the space, don't they!


  5. you're right, they look great on your blue-green wall. I'm from the school of "if you love it, go with it" -- it doesn't have to be so complicated!

  6. I love that bathroom and the pictures really make it pop. The colors in them are gorgeous. I love the beadboard and wall color. Very fresh and clean.

  7. They look really great! I think they work great in your bathroom too!

  8. I love those! and the orange compliments the blue perfectly. Great job!

  9. Smart choice! Calendars and childrens picture books are great, affordable sources for framed art. I love the look of warm on cool too. Nice job!

  10. These look absolutely beautiful in your bathroom, what a lovely result.

    I've also had success with framing calendar pages - why the heck not when they're beautiful.
    I am holding back a bit on art for my walls, in the hope I can find stuff that's meaningful to us as a couple, but I may have to abandon that. A blank wall is a terrible thing!

  11. You made a good choice. I like the warm colors against the cool, too. I have eyed calendars with framing in mind, but I haven't done it yet. One Mary Engelbriet print made it framed ;).


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