Picture Post Cards


There’s a Japanese art called etegami.  Like all folk arts, etegami is becoming lost and impractical, since it is the art of painting postcards.

Yep, simple postcards like when we were kids.  The ones we sent from Wildwood, NewJersey addressed to a relative with the greeting, ‘wish you were here.’

You remember them, right?

Postcards were like the text messages of the twentieth century. A little scrap of sentiment that arrived from a distance. You read it, turned it over, and used it for anything from a coaster, to a bookmark, to a scrapbook addition.

Postcards represented was a sense of family, community, thoughtfulness, caring and connection.  The postcard may not have been kept…  but the connection was.

According to artist Keiko Parot, ”Etegami is the art of ephemera: a one-time, one-off, simple drawing accompanied by a few apt words. Ideally, the drawing is bold and even awkward, spontaneous, original, intensely observed and heartfelt. It is human. …..a hand brings ink to paper! The paper turns to dust! This is the beauty of our lives, what makes them precious, what draws us close. Nothing lasts but the love for what does not last.”

Do you do etegami?  Do you have an old-fashioned, impractical ways to keep the connections?


4 Responses to “Picture Post Cards”

  1. […] Picture Post Cards (seniorsamurai.wordpress.com) […]

  2. In the pursuit of painting in watercolor and oils, I often practice an approach similar to the ephemera described.
    Quick strokes, to the point, more filled with the emotion of the image or its moment of creation than the image itself.
    Post cards are mostly a vanishing product of a bygone era. One result of today’s modern and instant information is the loss of the excitement and urgency in correspondence and communications.
    The post card from a distant (or not-so-distant) place is no longer needed to conjur images. Everyone has “been there”.
    No more telegrams and their silly lingo. Young people have no idea what you mean when you say “Come at once. Stop. Don’t delay. Stop. Go!Go!Go!. Stop”
    Like the telegraph and the motion picture projector, these things must fade into history.

    Be at peace,


  3. […] Picture Post Cards (seniorsamurai.wordpress.com) […]

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