Art Journal 2018

Paintings and Stories of a Watercolor Landscape Artist Living in Japan


Watercolor painting of a city scene entitled "Stark Light". This painting is number one in a series of 100 watercolor paintings of city scenes. 99 more to go.

Stark Urban Light

I saw this beautiful but harsh clash of brilliant sunlight creating a gritty, sparkling patch of light on the road surface and emphasizing the grayness and darkness of the city surfaces.


100の都市の風景の絵のプロジェクト。これは9番のスケッチです。タイトルは "Morning Cyclist".

Early Morning Cyclist

I live in the city and I am often looking for interesting streets. This is one of those interesting streets. I like the dynamic feeling of this road which is created by the curve of the road and the barriers. I also like the elevated railway in the distance and all the poles and lines which create an interesting skyline. I must admit I did add a few more palm trees for aesthetic reasons.


The Beautiful Rocks at Oumi-jima. In March I went to Oumi-jima in Yamaguchi prefecture with my family. Oumi-jima has a beautiful coastline with rocks going into the sea. Although it was March it felt like a summer's day.

The Beautiful Rocks at Oumi-jima

I went on a family trip to Shimanoseki. On the second day of the trip we went to Oumi-jima where there is a beautiful coastline with many interesting rocks protruding out of the sea. There is a coastal path that we walked along and from the path I could see the view above. I could have walked along that path the whole day but sadly my family didn’t feel the same wanderlust. This painting has an oddity. I didn’t see it until somebody pointed out that one of the protruding rocks looks like a hand with the finger and thumb pointing up – can you see that too?


A watercolor painting of a beautiful Japanese river at dusk in Kitsuki, Oita prefecture. I came upon this river by chance during a family trip. It was such an enchanting scene that I just had to stop and take some photos - which then led to this painting.

Calm River at Dusk

I went to a gift shop in Kitsuki where the owner sell crafts created by foreigners. She was interested in showing some of my paintings. We had a lovely time there – especially my daughter who is 6. On the way back I saw this beautiful scene of a river at dusk. I took a photo and later in the studio painted this picture.


Semi-abstract watercolor painting of beautiful fir trees at evening time in Kuju. Kuju is a national park in Oita prefecture, Japan. In 2016 I went to Kuju and saw this scene of beautiful fir trees.

Fir Trees at Evening Time

I suddenly got serious about painting fir trees. I had a photo of some fir trees in Kuju which I had visited this or last year. I used that photo as a guide. I ended up painting many pictures of fir trees and eventually felt like everything was a fir tree.


Watercolor painting of a stony path in Kuju, Oita prefecture, Japan.

Stony Path in Kuju

I had done a previous painting of this path and originally I hoped to do a copy of this painting which I had sold but really liked. I was using a photo of the painting for reference. But that isn’t exactly what happened. I ended up making lots of paintings of this path, none of them really like the original painting except for one and I was a bit disappointed with that one. It was though a very creative endeavor and I painted an amazing variety of different paintings of this one stony path – so that was fun. No doubt in the future I will try and paint that original painting again and hopefully I’ll be more successful. I actually visited this place a year or so before and took quite a few photos – some of them were of this path.

Road Crossing at Evening Time

This is a very ordinary, even mundane, crossing near where I live. But I just liked the arrangement of shapes and the lighting – which I did exaggerate a bit. This led to a series of paintings of this crossing. I also like the sun catching the corner of this building which led to me emphasizing feelings of warm and cool.


Amphitheater in Cartagena, Spain

We had a very “eventful” holiday in Spain. It was wonderful but also at times very stressful. We visited Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia. The most inspiring place was Valencia. Yes, as you can guess, it had an old town in it full of beautiful, ornamental buildings and marble squares. This was the first time for me to see anything like that. It was wonderful. My greatest delight was to come upon a side street and see down it a 3 story towers – the whole scene was so beautiful.  I felt the same kind of joy as when I first read a novel by Jack Vance. I still haven’t done any good paintings of Spain yet – but one day I will.


Ariel View of Aso

Last year I went to Ubuyama for the first time and was surprised by the beauty of this countryside landscape. This time, after Ubuyama, we went to Aso which as a caldera. High up on part of the caldera we saw lots of tiny fields and houses below – it was so beautiful. There were hang-gliders gliding off the top of the mountain – incredible.


Yufuin River at Evening Time

I visited Yufuin. At the end of the day as I was returning to my car and going back home I saw a beautiful scene of the river and the light catching the top of the trees. Attempting to paint this scene led to a series of paintings.


River Gazing

This is Oita river in Yufuin. It is a beautiful river that I have painted many times.


Rickshaw in the Snow

Rickshaw in the snow. Every year I do a Christmas for my family of a snow scene. I like to give it a Japanese feeling. This year I did a rickshaw in the snow.


Yufuin at Evening Time

This original image led to a series of painting of this scene. I even turned it into a snow scene. And I will make a mini-gallery at some point.