A few weeks ago, I suddenly found myself with some free time. It was late afternoon and cold. So I jumped on my bike with my watercolor gear and started roaming the streets looking for a scene to paint.
These pictures are of a small Japanese city that I live in called Oita. They were painted in 2014. Around this period there was a lot of major construction work occurring around the city center. New roads, a new bridge and a new train station were built. And the area around the train station was completely transformed.
In September of 2014 I climbed up Mt Yufudake. I wanted to paint a picture from the top of the mountain. And I took all my painting equipment, even my easel. However, I stayed on the mountain top too long, watching a beautiful sunset. As I descended the mountain my pleasant painting trip turned into a nightmare.
So I was on the train because I went to Beppu. This is the city next to mine which is called Oita. And I went to see an exhibition space in a small hotel. To date, I’ve exhibited in a bank, a green tea shop, a steakhouse, a cafe and a few other places but never a hotel. And this was not a normal hotel. It was a small, old-style Japanese hotel. Such a hotel is called ‘ryokan’ in Japanese.