BETTY GRISHAM ~ Playing the Koto

(At The Ikebana Show)


                Copyright.   Original artwork by Betty Grisham.




        Playing The Koto

(At The Ikebana Show)

18"H X 24"W

oil on canvas (framed: 25.5" H X 32" W)


This painting is based upon a photo I took during the Biennial Ikebana Show at The Art League Gallery located across the hall from my studio. Ikebana is the art of Japanese flower arranging.

Artwork of a variety of media including vases made by Torpedo Factory Art Center and The Art League artists were selected by members of the Washington, DC branch of The Sogetsu School. Ikebana arrangements were then created by them to accompany the chosen artwork highlighting shared elements of colors, shapes, forms, textures and emotions.

The koto is a traditional Japanese stringed musical instrument, similar to the Chinese zheng, the Mongolian yatga, and the Korean gayageum. The koto is the national instrument of Japan. Koto are about 180 centimetres (71 in) length, and made from kiri wood. They have 13 strings that are strung over 13 movable bridges along the width of the instrument. Players can adjust the string pitches by moving the white bridges in the picture before playing, and use three finger picks (on thumb, index finger, and middle finger) to pluck the strings, otherwise known as plectra. During the event members of the Washington Toho Koto Ensemble performed reflective music on koto.

The ceramic kimomo on the wall behind the musician os a likenss of a creation by Torpedo Factory artist Marcia Jestaedt in Studio 13.