Watercolor painting of Japanese haystacks

Watercolor painting of Japanese haystacks

Today I was just going to sit in the studio and paint. But then my wife suggested that I go out and paint as it was such a beautiful day. My relaxing day suddenly became a hectic one. Now, I was planning a trip and wondering where would be the best place to go.

Watercolor painting of a high-rise building under construction

Watercolor paintings of construction work in a small Japanese city

These pictures are of a small Japanese city that I live in called Oita. They were painted in 2014. Around this period there was a lot of major construction work occurring around the city center. New roads, a new bridge and a new train station were built. And the area around the train station was completely transformed.

Watercolor painting of a beautiful sunset over Mt Yufudake

Outdoor painting nightmare on a mountain

In September of 2014 I climbed up Mt Yufudake. I wanted to paint a picture from the top of the mountain. And I took all my painting equipment, even my easel. However, I stayed on the mountain top too long, watching a beautiful sunset. As I descended the mountain my pleasant painting trip turned into a nightmare.

Watercolor painting of an artist painting on top of a mountain

Romantic peaks and foolish painters

What is the first thing an artist needs? I’d say passion. And that is something I have in abundance. And it’s a good thing. It means I’m doing the right thing. Passion though makes you do foolish things as you will read in this story.

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.