Watercolor painting of the last sunlight of the day

Painting the last glow of the day

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.

Watercolor painting of gnarly trees by a temple gate

Where I find some of my best paintings

I used to think that I had to travel quite far to find beautiful places to paint. However, after 16 years of painting, I have found that some of my best paintings have been done within a short distance of my house.

Watercolor painting of Japanese haystacks

Watercolor painting of Japanese haystacks

Today I was just going to sit in the studio and paint. But then my wife suggested that I go out and paint as it was such a beautiful day. My relaxing day suddenly became a hectic one. Now, I was planning a trip and wondering where would be the best place to go.

Watercolor painting of a high-rise building under construction

Watercolor paintings of construction work in a small Japanese city

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.

Watercolor painting of a beautiful sunset over Mt Yufudake

Outdoor painting nightmare on a mountain

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.

Watercolor painting of an artist painting on top of a mountain

Romantic peaks and foolish painters

What is the first thing an artist needs? I’d say passion. And that is something I have in abundance. And it’s a good thing. It means I’m doing the right thing. Passion though makes you do foolish things as you will read in this story.

Watercolor painting of the sunlit interior of a Japanese train

Watercolor painting of the sunlit interior of a Japanese train

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.