Gareth Naylor

Atmospheric paintings of Japan

Watercolor painting of a small boat on a Japanese river

Watercolor painting of a small boat on a Japanese river

Watercolor painting of a small boat on a Japanese river
“River boating”

This picture was painted around 2011.

At that time, I was getting on my bicycle with my art gear and cycling off into the Japanese countryside.

I call this period my wilderness years.

And one of my favorite cycling routes was this river.

It’s called Ono river.

The path by this river is in very good condition and it goes deep into the countryside.

The views along the path are interesting and sometimes beautiful.

Eventually the path takes you to a very rocky place.

It’s a bit creepy.

I wrote about this place in another story that you can read here.

I’ve even cycled to the end of this river path a few times and then started cycling by the side of the road. 

This is not as pleasant as cycling by the river.

By the river it is flat.

Whereas by the road it can become very hilly or mountainous.

And I remember one time coming off that river path and starting to cycle on a road.

After a short while, the road slowly started going up a mountain. 

I must have been cycling up that mountain road for about 30 minutes before I decided to quit. 

I realized that if I got to the top then I would come down the other side but that I would have to cycle back up it in order to return home.

Although I had a lot of stamina in those days it would have exhausted me because after the mountain it was still a long way to cycle home.

Anyway, the painting above is one of the scenes I saw along Ono river.

I remember painting this picture and feeling pleased with it.

I was especially happy with the rendering of the rocks.

This scene depicts a part of the river where it starts to become more rocky.

I loved the little island of rock in the middle of the river.

For me, it was quite unusual and an interesting subject to paint.

There were also some people launching a boat onto the river on the day I saw this scene. 

And that probably made me paint it as they completed the scene by acting as a focal point in the painting.

That’s all,

Gareth.