Portrait of Lady in Green

Featured Art and events

Portrait of Lady in Green Portrait of Lady in Green

Exhibition: All Runs Together Again @ Acros Fukuoka

Featured Art and events

Exhibition:  All Runs Together Again @ Acros Fukuoka Exhibition:  All Runs Together Again @ Acros Fukuoka

Through the Pines

Featured Art and events

Through the Pines Through the Pines

2 Chances to Do Good by A Right Jolly Old Elf

Featured Art and events

2 Chances to Do Good by A Right Jolly Old Elf 2 Chances to Do Good by A Right Jolly Old Elf

Do It In the Lab

Do It In the Lab

Do It In the Lab Do It In the Lab

Portrait of Lady in Green cut paper art by Patrick Gannon

size: 10.6 x 13.8 inches / 270 x 350mm
medium: cut and torn washi and chiyogami paper on wood
private collection

I’ve often been asked why most of the artwork I create features weird and quirky creatures, spirits, or animals rather than, say, people. There are really a couple reasons for this.

The most basic is that I don’t actually sit down with the intention of drawing (when I sketch) beasts. In my mind I’m drawing a feeling or a complicated amalgamation of things that have been bouncing around inside my skull. In the act of translation from abstract idea to concrete paper, these odd shapes are born.

The second reason is more intentional. Our eyes are trained, through experience and genetics, to see anthropomorphic shapes and people everywhere. When we do see these “people”, we often empathize with them and want to feel a more personal connection. The first question on our lips is “Who is this, and what is their name?”. In much the same way that it can be difficult to see past a real person’s face to their interior motives, it can also be challenging to move past the painted portrait to recognize the concept underneath.

Recently, I’ve come to embrace this challenge and dabble with “portraiture” a bit more. The quotation marks are there because, at least so far, these have not been portraits of actual “people”. Like the non-homo sapiens in my work, these are more representations of natural forces, ideas, and emotions.

The Lady in Green, for example, is a woman, certainly. A woman who is growing in self-confidence and recognition of her own power. This growth manifests botanically, organically spreading, rising, and flowering. Even the paper used in her clothing is shot through with actual plants creating that beautiful play of light and dark greens.

The face and hands are from two layers of chiyogami paper. The top is a sakura blossom pattern – another call out to the natural world. Under that is a layer of gold – which, admittedly, I was afraid to commit to at first (fear is often a good sign when making art). Now, the way the light shifts and the face transforms as one walks past the piece is one of my favorite aspects.

Here are some details from the work (which in itself is one of my most detailed works):

Portrait of Lady in Green cut paper art by Patrick Gannon Detail: face

Portrait of Lady in Green cut paper art by Patrick Gannon Detail: collar

Portrait of Lady in Green cut paper art by Patrick Gannon Detail: hands

Portrait of Lady in Green cut paper art by Patrick Gannon Work-in-progress: white collar

Portrait of Lady in Green cut paper art by Patrick Gannon Portrait of Lady in Green, framed

Finally, a quick page of sketches for a small piece which I’m working on right now. Enjoy!

Portrait of Lady in Green cut paper art by Patrick Gannon Work-in-Progress: spark

Asahi Shimbun newspaper article about Acros Fukuoka Exhibition

Many artists do not enjoy talking about their work. In a perfect world, the work would speak for itself and no further exposition should be needed.

I rather enjoy talking about my artwork – which is probably apparent by the length of my blog posts, and the eye-rolling of my wife. One of the most fascinating aspects of showing my work – particularly any work containing hints of ambiguity – is listening to the interpretations and stories spun by the visitors. Often, it contains hints of the original vision, filtered through the eyes of someone who has seen a drastically different world than myself. And then there are the times when their perception is entirely alien to my own intentions. And that’s fine too.

Mind you, I’m not claiming that talking about our work is easy. I long ago realized that thinking too literally about the work makes it stale and stiff. I try to leave room in my own mind for mystery. So, when it comes time to explain the work, there have been occasions when I don’t have a clear answer. Why is there a turtle on the cloud? Because some part of my brain told me that was exactly the right image in the right place. Going back in one’s own mind later and deciphering the symbolism is a compelling process.

For a real challenge, I recommend explaining the work in a foreign language. Preferably one which you are not entirely fluent in. It’s amazing how concise and focused the explanations get when an expansive and vague vocabulary isn’t there to fall back on.

Such is often the case when I show my work here in Japan. A few weeks ago, Acros Fukuoka kindly granted me a space for an exhibition. By happy coincidence, an editor from the Asahi Shimbun, Mr. Shunsuke Nakamura wandered into the gallery. He returned the following day to interview me in Japanese and snap a few pictures. It was intriguing to translate my comments back into English and discover what I had said. Happily, nothing too ridiculous.

I hope you’ll enjoy our attempt at translation:

Asahi Shimbun –Saturday February 15, 2014
A Profoundly Mysterious World of Cut Paper Art – American artist holds a washi and chiyogami cut paper art exhibition at ACROSS FUKUOKA
A collection of cut paper art created by Patrick Gannon, a 42 year-old American national residing in Fukuoka, is now being exhibited in the Message Foyer gallery on the 2nd floor of ACROSS FUKUOKA in Tenjin, Fukuoka.  Over 20 unique cut paper art pieces radiate a mystical feel in the venue.
Gannon was born in New Jersey in the US.  The literature major came to Japan for the first time right after college graduation. He later returned to the US to study Art in graduate school, where he first encountered cut paper art.  After coming back to Japan and spending 5 years in Tokyo, about 3 years ago he relocated to Fukuoka, hoping to lead a more relaxing life at a slower pace.  Now he spends his time creating cut paper art and occasionally teaching.
His art is mystic and mysterious.  It takes you deep inside forests and to the bottom of dark Oceans, where one can see floating spirit-like creatures or colorful dragons, whales and horses, all intricately and precisely cut.  Gannon has a strong interest in myths and fables but his art is nothing like what you imagine you would see in books concerning such subjects.  They are creatures shaped by his thoughts and mind.
He uses mostly Japanese handmade (washi) and patterned papers (chiyogami) for his art.  “They are so beautiful that I fell in love with them” said Gannon.  His cut paper art is sometimes glued atop pieces of natural wood.  “I hope that, when people see my artwork, they can each see something different and unique which expands their imagination” said Gannon looking at his collection of MAKAFUJIGI 「摩訶不思議」 cut paper art.  (by editor, Shunsuke Nakamura)

And here’s the original Japanese:

朝日新聞 2014年2月15日(土)
摩訶不思議な世界 切り絵に - 米国人作家、和紙・千代紙で作品展 アクロス福岡
使うのは、ほとんどが和紙と千代紙で、「本当に美しい。和紙にフォーリン・ラブです」とギャノンさん。輪切りにした木に切り絵を施したものもある。作品群の摩訶不思議な世界に、「見る人それぞれに想像をふくらませてほしい」と話している。16日まで、入場無料。 (編集委員・中村俊介)

Acros Fukuoka Exhibition

The To-Be-Scanned pile is ever so slightly shorter today.

Over the past couple of years, a formidable jumble of exhibition catalogs, books and printed paraphernalia has staked a claim to a corner of the studio. In an attempt to update my website’s Press and About pages, I blew the dust off of my scanner and spent a few hours breaking the spines of pretty books. One of these days, I hope to add a full blown gallery of these to the website.

Until that far-off, utopian dream of a future comes to pass, please enjoy the first few glimpses of yesteryear.

The New Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques with cut paper art by  Patrick GannonThe New Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques by Ayako Brodek and Claire Waite Brown – front cover

The New Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques with cut paper art by  Patrick GannonThe New Encyclopedia of Origami and Papercraft Techniques by Ayako Brodek and Claire Waite Brown – interior


GIAF 2013 Catalogue with cut paper art by  Patrick GannonGyeongnam International Art Fair 2013 Catalogue – Front Cover

GIAF 2013 Catalogue with cut paper art by  Patrick GannonGyeongnam International Art Fair 2013 Catalogue – interior


2013 International Kirie Art Competition in Minobu, Japan Catalogue with cut paper art by  Patrick Gannon2013 International Kirie Art Competition in Minobu, Japan Catalogue – front cover
国際切絵コンクール・イン・身延 ジャパン

2013 International Kirie Art Competition in Minobu, Japan Catalogue with cut paper art by  Patrick Gannon2013 International Kirie Art Competition in Minobu, Japan Catalogue – interior
国際切絵コンクール・イン・身延 ジャパン

All Runs Together Again @ Acros Fukuoka3

Update: Artist in Attendance Schedule | アップデート:在廊日程

Saturday, February 15: I’ll be performing a cut-paper demonstration. Nothing too fancy. Stop by, ask questions, watch me play with knives.

Monday, Feb. 10: I will be present from opening until…
Tuesday Feb. 11, Friday Feb. 15, Sunday Feb. 16 I will be in attendance in the gallery space. Actual time TBD (from noon until closing is a good bet).

The rest of my week is somewhat flexible. If these times don’t work for you, please let me know and I will do my absolute best to meet you at the exhibition space (Wednesday is not possible, sorry).

2月15日(土) 切絵の簡単な実演を行います。もし良ければお立ち寄り下さい!

2月10日(月) 開館時間以降在廊します…
2月11日(火)、2月15日(金)、2月16日(日) 時間は決めていないのですが、おそらく正午あたりから閉館時間まで在廊します。


All Runs Together surges back to life at Acros Fukuoka in February 2014.

If you were able to experience the original All Runs Together exhibition at Gallery Recolte last year, stop by and re-live the cut-paper experience. You’ll be happy to see some new artwork slide smoothly into place in this modal vision of a world where all beings and spirits share a connected energy. If you weren’t able to join us the first time around, I’m thrilled to be able to offer a second chance, with this exhibit of 20 pieces.

I’ll be at the Foyer Gallery a few times during the week – exact days and times TBA. I also hope to be able to present a Paper Cutting Demonstration while I’m there – also TBA.

I look forward to seeing everyone there. Feel free to drop me a line with any questions, and I’ll be sure to update or post again when my schedule is decided.


the details:

All Runs Together Again(オール ランズ トゥギャザー アゲイン)展

dates: Mon. February 10 – Sun. February 16, 2014

times: 10:00am – 18:00pm [closes 16:00 on final day]

Demonstration: Saturday, February 15 (time TBD – afternoon is a safe bet)

Artist in Attendance: February 10 (Mon.) opening~ | Feb. 11 (Tues.), 15 (Sat.), 16 (Sun.)

place: Acros Fukuoka – Foyer Gallery, 1-1-1 Tenjin, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka City 810-0001
tel: 092-725-9100
venue: website
directions: map.

日付: 2014年02月10日(月) 〜 2014年02月16日(日)
時間: 午前10時~午後18時 [ 最後日 午後4時 ]



住所: 公益財団法人アクロス福岡 | 〒810-0001 福岡市中央区天神1丁目1番1号
電話: 092-725-9100
会場: ホムペジ
アクセス: マプ.
All Runs Together Again @ Acros Fukuoka3

Through the Pines cut paper art by Patrick Gannon

size: 8 x 10 inches / 203 x 254mm
medium: cut washi and chiyogami paper on board

Happy New Year! あけましておめでとうございます!

There are times when familiarity can work against us; when deep and specific knowledge of a subject can render it more difficult to delve to the core. As many of you know, I grew up on a farm. On that farm we had horses. Horses, in turn, have personalities. Very distinct and strong personalities. Even though I’ve forgotten many of their names I remember their characters. In my head, they’re similar to the dwarves in Snow White, or Smurfs, recalled only by a group of traits. My horse was young, untrained, exuberant and uncontrollable – not a great pairing for a newbie rider, admittedly. My father’s first horse was clever and spiteful – and hated my mother something fierce. My brother’s pinto was calm and steady. Another was dumb as a fence post.

The point being that it’s tough for me to boil down all of these unique horses into that one iconic animal The Horse.

In the end, this obsidian equine emerged; more a bold and powerful stallion than a dreamy unicorn.

2014 is the year of the wood [木/甲] horse [午], which fits nicely with the Japanese New Year’s symbology of the pine. The pine [松] is long-lived, steadfast, and brings good fortune – things which I wish for all of you in the coming year. As with all of my zodiac pieces, the animal, it’s spirit, and nature are one. The horse is the evergreen out of which sprouts the horse.

I was surprised to realize that this was the first time I’ve cut a Japanese-style pine tree. Weird, considering my penchant for twisted and curvy shapes. The billion-and-one pine needles might have had something to do with it. I’m sure it won’t be my last time, though.

It would be a dreadful bit of absent-mindedness if I didn’t mention that this horse features prominently on the January page of the 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar, which is available in the shop now.

Through the Pines sketch for cut paper art by Patrick GannonOriginal sketch – note the ambiguous pine

Through the Pines cut paper art by Patrick Gannondetail – the mane, the pines & a bit of horsey kanji [午]

Through the Pines cut paper art by Patrick Gannondetail – hooves

2014 cut paper art calendar now available

One of the unexpected benefits of making art is that, every once in awhile, I’m approached with the opportunity to do a tiny bit of tangible good in the world.

This holiday season, I’m lucky to be involved in two such endeavors. I hope that you will consider helping me contribute to these two very worthy causes.

The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar:
Making a Difference by Making it Count

Crisis Recovery International partners with local nonprofits to purchase items that enable women to generate an ongoing sustainable income to feed and educate their families. They often act in locations which have been impacted by tragedy, providing labor and resources for necessary community projects.

I’m proud to be partnering with CRI on The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar: Making a Difference by Making it Count.

For every 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar purchased from the special page in the shop for $29, $5 USD will be donated to help CRI achieve its goals. While the 2014 calendar is also available sans donation for $26 in the regular shop, please think about kicking in the extra three bucks (and I’ll happily hand over a couple dollars of my own).

Read more about The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar: Making a Difference by Making it Count.

100 Santas:
Charity Art Project for the Philippines

A Right Jolly Old Elf cut paper art by Patrick GannonA Right Jolly Old Elf (His Eyes—How They Twinkled!)

size: 3 7/8 x 6 inches (approx.) / 100 x 150mm
medium: cut and torn washi and chiyogami paper on board

ADMAD stands for Artists Do Make A Difference, and is a group of artistic and creative people who have joined together for the purpose of supporting charitable causes.

The current project, 100 Santas, seeks to collect 100 Fathers Christmas contributed by a bevy of talented folks in Japan and all over the world. Above, you can see my contribution, A Right Jolly Old Elf (His Eyes—How They Twinkled!) – the first piece I’ve completed since digging out from the avalanche that was this year’s Kickstarter campaign. He is just one of many fun and fantastic Kris Kringles spreading holiday cheer.

At the same time, they are raising money to help mitigate some of the destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.

Check out all the ‘Ol Saints Nick at the Artists Do Make A Difference: 100 Santas Facebook Page.

And please consider Donating what you can.

cut paper art calendar campaign on Kickstarter.com

The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar Kickstarter Campaign

Running from Now until October 7, 2013

The 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar: 12 months, 365 days, a dozen eye-popping art images, infinite imagination, and a whole lotta paper.

Here in Fukuoka, Summer is still hanging on with it’s teeth and nails, steadfastly refusing to give way to Autumnal coolness. 90° temperatures are still fairly normal, interspersed with the occasional respite; typically following in the wake of a typhoon, or at least the threat of one. Naturally, this leads one to think of the coming new year…

At least it does if one wants to print a calendar which people will receive in time for the coming new year!

I’m thrilled to announce the launch of the 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar Campaign on Kickstarter!

This will mark our 3rd year using Kickstarter to pre-sell the calendar. At the same time, we are also offering up a host of, we hope, truly awe-inspiring rewards packages including postcards, giclée prints, laser cuts, original art, petite paper people, and more to our wonderful backers.

There’s a fairly silly video to watch, some very nice pictures, and a lengthy explanation of the whole affair. We also think it’s high time to adopt a new cover for the calendar, and we’re letting the public choose from 3 options! Perhaps most importantly, my goal is to get the calendar (and, with some luck, all the rewards) out the door in time for the holiday season.

So, hop on over to the campaign to reserve your 2014 calendar!

How It Works

I’ve posted a goal of $2200 USD. That amount will cover the cost of printing 100 calendars, shipping materials and postage. I’d love to print more, but that will depend on how many calendars get snapped up. The deadline is October 7, 2013. The Kickstarter system is pretty straightforward:

You CHECK out the Project and decide that you adore it.
You PLEDGE money – however much you choose.
You pick a REWARD.
Then you WAIT.
IF the project FALLS SHORT of the goal, you pay nothing.
The project has already reached it’s GOAL, so your credit card or Paypal account will be charged the amount you pledged after the campaign ends.
I’ll CONTACT you for your contact info., your choice of rewards (where applicable), etc.
Then I’ll SHIP out the reward you chose.

Stretch Goals

Should we be lucky enough to surpass our goal, it will allow us to refill our supplies of rewards, print a larger cache of calendars, PLUS we’ve got some very cool ideas to make this project even more fun!

If we reach $3,000, the extra support will go to reprinting Postcard Packs 1 & 2

At $3,500, we’ll add the first Thank you gift to all rewards which include the 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar – we’re thinking of a magnet featuring my artwork (if printing’s a problem, we’ll go with a sticker instead).

$5,000 will allow us to create the Year of the Horse limited edition Laser Cut Print. There will be 200 made in total, half of which will be offered as a new reward tier for a nice discount.

If we get super-lucky, at $6,500 and again at $7,500 we’ll add a second and a third Thank you gift to all rewards which include the 2014 Cut Paper Art Calendar – I’m hoping to do a set of 3 magnets (or stickers)

Do It In the Lab cut paper art by Patrick Gannonclick here or the image for the big freeze

size: 10.7 x 14.9 inches (approx.) / 272 x 378mm
medium: cut washi and chiyogami paper on board

It’s been awhile since I’ve dipped my toe in POP!-py waters, let alone a pop-comic-book-Tokyo-parody. It took one of my favorite Batman villains – and Patrick Washburn – to chase me back into that brightly colored world of modern day references. Originally begun about 2 years ago for American Comics Exhibition 2010 ~Bad Guys~ from SuperVillain to Anti-hero at Gallery Kopis in Tokyo, I only got around to finishing the poster lettering a little while ago.

My Tokyo-dwelling fans will have no problem recognizing the parody and, perhaps, getting a chuckle from the cultural collision. Those of you who haven’t experienced the pleasures of the Tokyo Urban Metro Subway system may need a little more guidance. Since we all know that lengthy explanations of humor only serve to make it funnier.

Tokyo Metro Manner Poster by Bunpei YorifujiTokyo Metro Manner Poster by Bunpei Yorifuji

From 2008 through 2010 – a span of 3 years – each month Tokyo graphic designer Bunpei Yorifuji created another one of these brilliant yellow and black manner posters, instructing us passengers on proper subway etiquette. Often hilariously funny and true to life, I used to look forward to every new poster – even after the obvious rude behavior had all been covered. The thought of creating a parody poster crossed my mind pretty early in their run, but the right opportunity didn’t crop up until the supervillain exhibition.

Bunpei Yorifuji talked to the Tokyo Reporter about the inspiration behind these posters in a great little interview.

For the whole run of 36 posters, check out the Gakuranman blog.

Bunpei Yorifuji’s website and assorted work.

Plus some other places to see the posters, just in case: The Verge, Rocket News

Mr. Freeze has always been my third favorite Batman villain (Two Face takes spots one and two). Of all the many incarnations of the character, the original Batman: The Animated Series version will always be my favorite. The sense of loneliness and alienation, coupled with the determination to turn tragedy into strength – even if tainted with ruthlessness – always made Victor Fries one of The Bat’s most sympathetic and human foes. Who among us has not wanted to feel a love and longing so intense, the rest of the world be damned?

Just remember, if you must revert to super-villainy, please refrain from freezing other passengers unnecessarily.

Do It In the Lab sketch by Patrick Gannon

Do It In the Lab sketch by Patrick Gannon

Do It In the Lab detail by Patrick Gannon

Wonderous Scenery: Night Sky, Dream Series by Angelina Buonaiuto

Grand Prize Paper Cutter – The Great Cut Paper Creation Competition 2013

Wonderous Scenery: Night Sky, Dream Series by Angelina Buonaiuto | in progress 2013
10×20 inches
medium: paper, paint, print, glue, time & love

see more of Angelina’s work at Haruka Dreams Illustration
Facebook | Instagram: harukadreams |Twitter

It’s been an amazing few years making paper art, thanks to the support & inspiration of a lot of great humans. I’ve learned so much about paper, art, people, and life. Now, it has been an honor to share my obsession – to give people who aren’t artists and who don’t usually have the opportunity or the impetus to get creative a chance to try something new.

These are the winners: 2 honorable mentions, 2 runners ups, one Kid’s Grand Prize Paper Cutter, and one Grand Prize Paper Cutter. Congratulations to all, and to everyone who took the time to make excellent paper art!

There were so many great entries that we felt obliged to expand the prize pool. Initially, the plan was to reward only the Grand Prize. That idea went out the window as soon as we saw the quality and diversity of the artwork. When selecting the winners, we (yes, this is not the sort of decision one makes solo) looked at a number of factors, including creativity, adventurous and experimental use of the paper medium, cutting skill, and awesomeness. Overall, we picked our favorite pieces – so, yes, this was totally subjective.

It is my hope to hold another competition like this again in the future – perhaps even annually. Paper is such a versatile medium, and so conducive to creativity at all skill levels. I’m eager to see what even more talented people can slice, snip, and glue together. Perhaps I can even recruit an panel of (paper) celebrity judges.

Semi Nude by Takayuki OOkawa

1st Runner Up Paper Cutter

Semi Nude by Takayuki OOkawa | May.31.2013
medium: water color paper, color drawing paper & textured tracing paper

John Hancock Center by Peter Sullivan

2nd Runner Up Paper Cutter

John Hancock Center by Peter Sullivan | 2013
medium: cut paper and mat board


Octopus by Rowan

Kid’s Grand Prize Paper Cutter

Octopus by Rowan, Age 5, USA | 2012
9 x 12
medium: construction paper

My Dad’s art page


Honorable Mention Paper Cutter

Pintu by MARNI ZAINODIN | May.29.2013
8.3 in × 11.7 in
medium: blue plastic & paper


The World by Bridget Robbins

Honorable Mention Paper Cutter

The World by Bridget Robbins | 2013
8.3 in × 11.7 in
medium: blue plastic & paper

Artist’s Blog | Artist’s website

Artist’s commentary: Historically, in certain sects/spiritual groups, neophytes were expected to illuminate and/or design their own tarot decks as a way to develop a deeper understanding of the cards’ symbolism. Some of the cards I create were whimsical in tone and theme initially, as the deck progressed they became more thoughtful, serious. I feel the themes presented in tarot are universal, the building blocks, chapter outlines in the story of life.

怪 @ Gallery G2, Ginza,  August 8 - 13, 2013
In Japan, August is the month of weirdness. That’s when all the creeps, spirits, monsters, and unseen lurking horrors slink out of the shadowy woods, fetid bogs, and treacherous mountain paths to… visit their relatives, actually.

Putting aside the O-bon holiday, where the sweltering cities empty out their masses who take that long train trip home to visit their families, both living and deceased, it’s no surprise that deep summer is a haunting time. This summer, in particular, has been so unrelentingly hot (at least in Fukuoka) that everyone is shuffling around like a horde of sweaty zombies anyway. The ghasts and yokai are just trying to take advantage of the air conditioning. I’m right there with them.

For the third year in a row, both 怪 [Kai] and cut paper return to Gallery G2 in Ginza, Tokyo. Nine artists have conjured up a host of mysterious and wicked creations. I myself am loosing 2 new pieces which have never before stalked the streets of Tokyo. Visit… if you dare. Muahahahaha. ahem.

the details:

怪 [Kai]

dates: Thurs. August 8 – Tues. August 13, 2013

times: 11:00am – 18:00pm [closes 16:00 on final day]

place: Gallery G2, Chuo-ku, Ginza 2-8-2
tel: 03-3567-1555
gallery: website
directions: map.

日付: 2013年8月8日(木)〜8月13日(火)
時間: 午前11時~午後18時 [ 最後日 午後4時 ]
住所: 東京都中央区銀座2-8-2日紫ビル1F
電話: 03-3567-1555

怪 @ Gallery G2, Ginza,  August 8 - 13, 2013

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