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.

Watercolor painting of Yufudake mountain

Don’t go painting outside in holey sandals

It’s time to say goodbye to my sandals. My holey, not holy, sandals that is. And I learnt you should never take a walk in nature with holey sandals. But this is what I did and I stepped on something full of tiny needles. One of God’s wonderful creations!

Watercolor painting from a walk in the mountains of Beppu

A painting from a walk in the mountains of Beppu

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.

Watercolor painting of a morning fisherman walking home

Being a ghost at my exhibition

Once, quite a few years ago, at one of my very first exhibitions it was a requirement that I was there the whole duration of the show acting as the ‘host’. It was not a pleasant experience because at that time I found meeting other people quite a stressful experience.

Watercolor painting of the street by Oita castle

Watercolor paintings of scenes around a Japanese castle

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.

Watercolor painting of a rough sea

Watercolor painting of a rough sea scene

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.

Watercolor painting of a giant column of clouds

Watercolor painting of a giant column of clouds

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.

Watercolor painting of boys playing on a beach

A wonderful day at the beach

I was running like a maniac at the sea and falling into the high waves and it was wonderful. I did it again and again. Then I ran into the sea and dived into the waves.

Watercolor painting of a fishing boat in Kitsuki estuary

Meeting a water rat while painting Kitsuki estuary

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.