Gareth Naylor

Atmospheric paintings of Japan

A terrible watercolor painting of a Japanese river

A terrible watercolor painting of a Japanese river

A terrible watercolor painting of a Japanese river
“Japanese river boat”

I would have thrown this painting away long ago but there was a good painting on the other side. 

So this terrible painting got preserved by accident.

I came across this painting when I was organizing my large collection of artwork. 

But I was happy to discover this painting because despite being a terrible painting it is a very old painting and it is interesting to see my old work as much of it I have thrown away and forgotten.

I’m not sure when I painted this picture but I think it was around 2010.

It is now 2021.

The style and feeling of this painting is very different to my later paintings of this river.

This river is called Oita river.

It is one of my favorite painting spots.

I can see beginner mistakes in this painting such as trying to add too much detail to the background mountains.

This painting reminds me that I tried so many times to paint a good picture of this river.

And so many times, I painted a bad painting such as this one.

The first ten years of learning watercolor painting, which is when this picture was painted, were difficult and full of frustration.

One other thing I like about this painting is the Japanese boat.

These long, flat bottomed Japanese boats are very beautiful.

This boat is no longer there.

When I first came to Japan you could often see these boats.

They were often in a bad condition but I found them interesting.

And seeing this boat in the painting reminds me of an ​older Japan.

And I feel a little sad because it feels like that older Japan has gone.