There is a lot of construction going on in the city where I live.
It’s called Oita city.
The changes to the city are really big.
For instance, where I live they have removed a whole row of houses and built a completely new road.
This new road connects to a newly enlarged road.
And this newly enlarged road connects to a new bridge.
This construction work has created a new spaciousness to the urban area.
This new spaciousness is sometimes unintentional and probably temporary.
For instance, by the newly enlarged road there is an expansive wasteland area.
And I find the wild golden brown grass that is growing upon this wasteland along with a few wild trees very beautiful.
It also gives an unobstructed and beautiful panoramic view of the city.
And the newly enlarged road has become a place where I like to paint.
The path is very wide by this road so there is plenty of space to set up my easel and paint without feeling like I’m obstructing passersby.
In Japan you really appreciate paths because the old streets don’t have any.
I’m hoping that it will be a while before they do any construction work on this wasteland area.
Normally in Japan every bit of space is crammed with buildings.
The result can be visually suffocating.
The painting above doesn’t truly capture the beauty of this panoramic scene.
And I will paint this scene many more times in the hope of capturing as fully as possible the beauty of this scene.
And I will mention one strange encounter I had here.
So one day, while I was painting this road, a strange man came along.
He had long greasy hair, a very brown sunburnt face and was wearing shabby clothes.
He was carrying two big shopping bags.
I was expecting him to simply walk past me.
But he surprised me when he suddenly stopped about two metres from me and started unpacking one of his bags.
I was even more surprised when he produced a paintbrush and a pad of paper and started to paint.
I nodded at him in a gesture of camaraderie but he didn’t acknowledge me in any way whatsoever.
I might as well have just been a road sign.
I noticed that he painted with great gusto.
It was almost as if he were pretending to be an artist.
And maybe he was mocking me.
But I couldn’t be sure.
Especially as he really seemed to be deeply focused.
After about twenty minutes or so he stopped and packed up.
Then, he turned around to me and asked: “Are you bilingual?” “A little”, I replied in Japanese.
Then, he remarked, “Mmm… I wanted to do a collaboration with you. But I am too busy. Sorry”.
With that he walked away.
I was left with a bizarre mixed feeling of rejection and amusement.
It was as if a girl at the bus stop that I’d never met before had suddenly approached me and rejected me as a boyfriend without me even asking her out.
That’s all for now,
These two stories were written in 2014.
I edited them and joined them together.
In the first story I had written about drops of rain falling on my painting.
But I found no painting with raindrop marks on it. Alas!
So I must have thrown that particular painting away.
However, I had another two paintings of this road that were painted in the same year.
Also, both stories were written in winter time.
And these two paintings were most likely painted around the same time as I wrote the stories as both paintings have that beautiful golden brown winter grass.
The first story was originally entitled: “Seeing the Magnificent in the Mundane”.
I thought this title was too pretentious so I abandoned it.
Also, it wasn’t very clear what I was talking about, which was the amazing panoramic view created by the wasteland area by a road.
It was written on the 20th of January, 2014.
And the second story was originally entitled: “Rejected by a Homeless-Looking Artist”.
This second story was written just a few days after the first one on the 23rd of the same month.