An original 10" x 10" mixed media painting on a cradled wood panel, The Only Treasure I Wanted is part of a collection of work based on the poems of Miho Nonaka in her book The Museum of Small Bones.
The Only Treasure I Wanted is inspired by the poem Beetle Shrine. I made a list before I started painting of all the things I thought I might include: the color green, beetles, dark pink, a temple with tigers, a flashlight, a first kiss. I took the title from a line in the poem, "The only treasure I wanted was to see at Horyuji Temple, a miniature shrine..." I included the letter T for "tiger" and for "treasure" in gold leaf. I also engraved some subtle X marks, thinking of treasure maps, and then realizing that X can sometimes mean kiss too. I made some lighter shapes reminiscent of the triangle of light from a flashlight, and of course there are plenty of emerald green beetles. I glazed the work with an antique bronze color to lend the feeling of time passing.
I hope that my painting reflects in some way the sense of memory and yearning for something precious that the poem also creates.