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.
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.
So today I went to paint by the river. When you paint outdoors you never paint alone. There’s always something that happens. Often some kind of annoyance or discomfort. It could be a freezing cold wind or it could be an insect such as a mosquito or little flies that want to explore your nostrils. And of course there are always people.
In 2014, I visited a place called Ogata. My purpose was to paint a beautiful display of tulips. However, I was too late and most of the tulips had gone. So I wandered around this place looking for other painting subjects. Luckily, there were some beautiful painting subjects. And I painted a suspension bridge, a waterfall and a Japanese Torii which was in the river. It ended up being a great painting trip despite my initial disappointment.
Today was a beautiful sunny day in January. It was a perfect day for outdoor painting. But maybe not if you have a one and half year old toddler. I had a plan though. So, I took my toddler, Annie, down to the river where we could play. But I also took my sketchbook so …
I live very near a river. It is called Oita river. And I love to paint this river. I have done many paintings of this river over the years but most of these paintings were not very good and I binned them. Here though is a small collection of early paintings of this river which I didn’t throw away because they are quite good. I think that I did these paintings around 2013.