Visiting our studios gives you the chance to go behind the scenes with our community of working artists. To catch a glimpse of works before they’re gallery-ready, and to see how our artists turn sparks of inspiration into the art you see displayed. Today, Sumati’s catching us up on her current projects, and explaining the unusual theme that leaping out at her for this year!
Sumati and the Year of the Frog
This is a frog year!
We started out with a huge burst of activity in Spring: two big art shows in quick succession, and then not even a month between the second and third show.
But in Spring this year, we had half the amount of time to do all of that. It felt as though Michael and I were in the studio constantly, and it was a big effort, but somehow we managed to get everything done. I was just determined. We worked together to make sure everything was finished, and I made a lot of huge frogs.
Then, in the final show of that period, I sold every single one: I’ve never sold so many big frogs.
So… why frogs?
In Feng Shui, and also in Japanese culture, frogs represent prosperity and abundance. They’re considered to attract money back to their owner, and so many people put them outside their homes, businesses, or in entryways.
But I don’t think everyone who bought a frog this year was aware of that symbolism. As with so many of the animal pieces, people are just drawn to them: their expressions, their eyes, the way they look up at you. They’re beautiful pieces to hide amongst flowers or planting pots in your garden. And of course they work wonderfully placed in a natural setting around water features and ponds as well.
The weather also might have been a factor. Everything had been so dry in the Arizona desert, as it usually is in wintertime. And then in Spring comes the rain, and life feels juicy and energized again! Plants and flowers are popping up everywhere, even the desert where the show took place was full of green life. Maybe people felt an unconscious attraction to water creatures, feeling that abundance that comes with the flow of rivers and the life attracted to ponds and lakes. Either way, I was happy my creations were finding new homes.
The circle of energy
Selling the frogs has given me lots of energy to create more. I love talking to people and meeting them; when we have a connection, it’s so rewarding to share my art. And I’m really in a frog phase right now! I like to make different sizes of frogs, but they ended up being similar – most of them quite big. The last one I made came out enormous! I’m consciously trying to make them smaller, but I tend to work quite instinctively: I never know exactly what size pieces will end up being. I’ll have an idea, like maybe I want to make a small frog– then I start and it just gets bigger and bigger. That’s a trend I’ve been noticing actually, my work is getting bigger and people are drawn to the larger scale pieces.
Catch the frogs before they jump!
Drop into the studio and meet Sumati – you might even catch a glimpse of one of her ever-popular frogs in progress! If you’d like to see them for yourself, and maybe place an order for a frog for your home, get in touch and arrange a time to visit. We’d love to welcome you!