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.
Last week, I spent a whole day at my exhibition. I don’t think it helped sales but I learnt about what paintings people liked. On the final day of the exhibition, after I had finished and had packed away my work, I decided that I needed some fresh air. So I drove up the mountain, found an interesting place and stopped.
During 2014 I did a lot of paintings around Oita castle. I should add that there is no actual castle remaining. There is though a moat and some beautiful castle walls. There is also a garden within the castle grounds. And these are all in good condition. The painting above shows one of my favorite views around the castle.
This week I went to the sea. It’s only a ten minute bicycle ride from my house. I didn’t know how it would go though as it was one of those hit or miss days when the sky is very cloudy and dramatic which would be wonderful to paint and yet there is a big chance that at any moment it will rain and I’d have to quit painting and go home.
These spectacular cloud formations are one of the positive side-effects of the heat and humidity in a Japanese summer. During this season I wake up in the morning feeling 90 rather than 43. I have a dry throat and I feel weak, tired and too hot. I start feeling better about six or seven in the evening.
Today was “Marine Day”. It’s called “umi-no-hi” in Japanese and it’s a national holiday. And we, the family, even went to the beach and it was wonderful. But before we came to the beach we stopped the car on route and the family had a sleeping break. While they slept I got out of the car and did a painting.