For the last four or five days it has been raining but today the sun came out. It was like a blow torch on my back. And so I scuttled back into the house like a louse scuttling under a brick.
It’s getting humid in Japan. I call this the soggy season because it rains a lot. But you could also call it the sticky season because everything becomes sticky. It is quite unbearable.
However, I am having a great time being in the house because I have been messing around in my studio (also known as the kitchen table). I seem to be going through a creative period.
Perhaps it’s because I am painting over the top of failed paintings or scrap paper. And it has released all my inhibitions. I highly recommend it.
Presently, I am interested in a drawing I have of a beach called Itogahama. I have no idea what the name means.
Maybe it means “dumping ground” because this beach is covered with rubbish.
This is sad because this is a very beautiful beach. It has some lovely features such as a dramatically steep cliff face topped with trees and beautiful outcrops of rocks going into the sea.
Below are some of my experiments on scrap paper. If you look carefully you can see the pencil marks of previous drawings on most of them.
These experiments led to the painting below. The thing I like most about this painting is the surface of the beach.
There are a lot of layers in this painting. There is a distant mountain range. Then, there is a distant outcrop. And then in the final layer, there is a nearby outcrop of rocks with trees.
Painting this final layer was the most difficult. The reason is that after painting this final layer then I wet the whole beach area and waited for the best moment to paint the beach shadows.
Choosing the right moment to apply the paint is very tricky.
However, it is also fun.
And while this was still slightly wet, I created lines of light through those soft shadows on the surface of the beach with a damp brush. This gives a beautiful sheen effect.
After finishing the beach area, I did some dry brush marks for the sea using a very light grey-blue color mix. I was careful though to leave a white gap between these dry brush marks and the beach. This white patch is the sea foam.
I became so infatuated with this scene that I did another painting of it.
And then I did another and another. This must be called striking a creative vein!
I couldn’t help adding this extra and totally unrelated story.
I went to the library today with my toddler. She’s one year and nine months old and a handful.
Today, she was throwing books off the shelves, arranging them in a line on the floor and then walking over them. At least she didn’t rip a cover off today.
When I went to put the books back on the shelves, she would run off to another section and repeat the whole process.
She has this wicked little laugh, a rich chuckle, as she runs off to get up to more mischief. I love the way she sees it all as a game.
The librarians have a different attitude. And the security guard even came by at one point. However, he just smiled. Is that nice or what?
I originally wrote this in June of 2014. I am editing it in 2021. I am very happy with these beach paintings.