This week I went to the sea. It’s only a ten minute bicycle ride from my house. I didn’t know how it would go though as it was one of those hit or miss days when the sky is very cloudy and dramatic which would be wonderful to paint and yet there is a big chance that at any moment it will rain and I’d have to quit painting and go home.
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.
On this day, there was a beautiful silvery sky. I was so moved by this scene, that I rushed home and got my art equipment. However, when I came out of the house the sky had become dull. Disappointed but not defeated, I decided to cycle to the sea with the hope that at some point the sky would brighten up again. And it did a little and I ended up painting one of my favorite sea paintings.
I went to a small tourist town called Yufuin. I intended to help my friend take down his exhibition and to collect two of my paintings that were in his exhibition. But, this didn’t happen. And at first I thought that my trip had been pointless. However, whilst there I saw the next exhibition and it was amazing. And on the way back home it was raining and the atmospheric scene inspired a small series of paintings.