This holiday season, we’re excited to introduce Pomegranate, a publishing and printing company that offers its customers “art you can bring home.” In celebration of Pomegranate’s commitment to inclusivity, we’re proud to spotlight some of the brilliant women artists in their catalogue. Read more about Pomegranate below.
Molly Hashimoto is an artist of many media who has had an expansive career across decades of work. With many of her bird prints being sold out, Pomegranate is sure to be proud that she’s one of their talented artists! I had the pleasure of interviewing Molly, and included in this feature are many of the wise words she shared with me.
It might sound strange, but when I first looked at the birds on Molly’s calendar, I felt a sense of loneliness. Save for one of the prints on the preview, all the birds are drawn by themselves, against the depth of a landscape or the void of black, and the repetitive, bold black lines add stark texture that emphasizes that feeling. But I think that loneliness has been fitting of these previous years, especially because of the tumultuous pandemic. Many of us still live with uncertainty about the future, and many of us continue to isolate ourselves not only for our own safety but also out of concern for our loved ones.
Despite the solo status of Molly Hashimoto’s bird subjects, the bright vivid colors she uses for both the birds and their landscapes capture our eyes. The prints close up on the birds and make them the central focus in each habitat, as they partake in activities required for their survival. I find myself hoping that, although we don’t see them, all the other creatures in each of their lives will continue to thrive, too.
While Molly Hashimoto’s bird prints are bold and eye-popping, her watercolors are more subtle and very calming. Also sold on Pomegranate is her Blooms 2022 mini wall calendar, showcasing a collection of flowers in watercolors. These differing styles encompass the many facets of nature – the feeling you get from overlooking nature on a walk or hike, as opposed to a brightly colored bird that tries to ward off predators with its coloring. Molly justifies her styles by saying that catching the sight of a bird is “such a startling experience, that a block print is the best approach, [and a] tree is so iconic it calls out for a bold treatment, but a mountain landscape can often be best expressed by a watercolor.”
Molly’s main subjects come from nature, so it’s no surprise that she loves to spend time outdoors, maintaining her garden, or traveling to a natural park or wildland. Among Molly’s inspirations for landscapes are Abby Williams Hill, Chiura Obata, and Gunnar Widforss, artists who are known for their national park illustrations. Their subtle, saturated colors are reflected in her work, especially in her Full Moon notecards (also available from Pomegranate).
Molly also lists Milton Glaser as a huge inspiration, which can be seen in her bird prints. Glaser’s pop-art uses very bright colors with obvious contrasts and is separated by curves; however, Molly’s bolded lines are more prominent, and her subject matter differs exponentially, having its own natural twist.
Molly isn’t just an artist in the visual sense… Molly is also an accomplished writer.
Molly isn’t just an artist in the visual sense. The artist says that she “see[s] the world as a visual enchantment, and not only [does she] like to paint it, but also write about it.” Graduating from the University of Minnesota with a BA in English and American Literature, and then pursuing graduate studies at the University of Chicago, Molly is also an accomplished writer.
Along with her prints, calendars, and activity books, Molly has written her own artist’s journal (available on her website), advising new artists on how to paint “en Plein air,” and the embrace colors of the natural palette.
But her accomplishments don’t end there. Molly is not only a painter and writer but also a teacher! When I asked about lessons she tells her students, Molly said: “I like to suggest that people use their own experiences as inspiration. That could be their travels, their gardens, the people in their lives. When beginning to draw I ask students to use natural objects like shells, rocks, and flowers rather than cones and cubes. After all, don’t all-natural subjects have geometric shapes? Why draw something lifeless when the world is full of the most beautiful forms?”
A new Molly Hashimoto 2022 Wall Calendar is available for purchase on Pomegranate.com. Check it out here!
Remember, the artist receives a greater portion of the proceeds if you buy directly from Pomegranate!
© Beatrice Viri (12/7/2021) Special for FF2 Media
See more of Molly Hashimoto’s many prints, calendars and books on Pomegranate’s site.
CREDITS & PERMISSIONS
Images from Pomegranate’s 2022 Molly Hashimoto calendars have been provided by Pomegranate and are used here by FF2 Media with their permission. All Rights Reserved by Pomegranate.