Gareth Naylor

Atmospheric paintings of Japan

This is a watercolor painting of Yasaka river near Kitsuki town in Oita prefecture, Japan. It is a late evening scene. This picture was painted by Gareth Naylor in April of 2019.

Painting of a beautiful Japanese river at dusk

In April of 2018, I visited a cafe that had a gift shop.

The gifts were artworks by foreigners living in Japan. 

The owner, who was herself a foreigner, had asked me to show some of my paintings there.

I was delighted by this opportunity.

The shop is near Kitsuki town, which is a very rural area in Oita prefecture.

And although I’d been to Kitsuki town several times I’d never seen much of the surrounding countryside. 

It was beautiful.

I had a lovely time there with my family.

And I also now have 4 of my paintings on display in the shop.

We left late because my daughter was having such a good time that she didn’t want to leave. 

She even cried and said that she wanted to live there. 

It really touched my heart when she said that.

But it was getting late and we had to go home.

Fortunately, once in the car her mood soon changed and she was feeling fine.

The journey home was a wonderful experience for me.

As I was driving in the final light of the setting sun, I saw several beautiful scenes. 

One of them was of the river which for a while ran by the side of the road. 

There was one particular curve in the road where I caught a glance of the river.

The view was so beautiful that I had to stop and turn the car around and go back and take some photographs.

Perhaps what appealed to me was the color of the river. 

I could see an enchanting mix of warm orange and cool blue hues in the water.

I was hesitant to do a painting of this scene because normally I paint light.

So there are often rays of light and strong highlights in my work.

But in this scene the sun had set and there were no dramatic and powerful contrasts of edge, light and color.

Instead, this was a soft, muted scene.

I am glad, though, that I plucked up the courage and tried to paint it.

It took several attempts before I got a result that I was happy with.

I’m particularly satisfied with capturing the warm orange and cool blue hues in the water.

I’m also satisfied with the tranquil feeling that the painting conveys.

Sadly, none of my paintings sold at the shop.

I am, though, well acquainted with such disappointments and although it has taken many years of enduring such disappointments, I have become somewhat less perturbed by them.

And do not take that as resignation.

Creativity is a living energy that flows in me and I follow it.

Well that’s all for now,

Gareth.