During my wilderness years of getting on my bicycle with my art gear and cycling off into the blue yonder of the Japanese countryside I found a picturesque village called Shonai.
And I think it was around 2011 that I painted these pictures of Shonai.
Looking at the painting above, I find that I like the colorfulness of the sky.
I can see touches of blue, a light orange and even a dash of red in that sky.
It’s very exciting.
And the shapes of the buildings are well painted.
I am disappointed, though, with the trees, bushes and grass.
That said, with trees, bushes and grass you need a combination of softness and contrast and that is difficult to achieve in watercolor.
And yet overall, I like this painting because when I look at it I feel very relaxed.
I don’t know how I managed to convey that feeling of relaxation.
So I have to study this painting and learn how I created that feeling of relaxation.
Then, hopefully, I can express that feeling of relaxation in my new paintings.
This is another painting of Shonai.
I really like this particular scene and I have painted it several times.
I think what I like in particular is that meandering path.
It looks so interesting.
Also, it leads the eye of the viewer into the painting and makes them look towards the distant mountains.
And I’m very happy with my painting of the distant mountains.
There are some nice subtle effects in the distant mountains.
And the sky is bright and warm but also pleasantly softened and subdued.
I’m also quite happy with the trees in the background too.
I managed to paint the shape and edge of them right.
However, I’m a little disappointed with the houses.
They are a little too blue.
If I’d done the walls white or brown it would have been better.
And I think the utility poles need to be a bit thicker.
They look like they will snap at any minute.
But the overall feeling of the painting is very satisfying for me.
And when I look at this painting I experience the feelings of calmness, light and space.
This is a painting of the river that runs through Shonai.
I think this painting captures a little of the ruggedness of the natural Japanese landscape.
And this painting almost works.
The river is quite beautiful and the grass by the side of the river too.
I also quite like the sky and the distant mountain.
But the foliage is not well done.
The shadows need to be softer and a little simpler.
Also the trees in the top left hand corner and the tall trees in the middle don’t look very beautiful.
I think, though, that this scene has potential and if I did another painting of it it might look very beautiful.
Looking at these paintings I had the fancy that it would be interesting and fun to revisit these places in Shonai and to paint them again.
I’d love to see the difference.
I hope that happens but presently I have too many projects.