Gareth Naylor

Atmospheric paintings of Japan

Watercolor painting of a high-rise building under construction by Gareth Naylor

Watercolor paintings of construction work in a small Japanese city

Signs of construction by a crossing - watercolor painting
“Signs of construction by a crossing”

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. 

The street where I live, which is about a kilometer from the city center, was also majorly changed. A whole row of houses were removed and replaced with a very large road which has now become a very busy road.

Although I don’t like living next to this very busy road, it was interesting to witness all this new construction and to experience the intense energy that new construction gives off. Out of nothing, new roads, new buildings and new spaces and vistas appeared. 

And there was for me a positive feeling of new growth.

I did quite a few paintings of this construction work and so I guess you could call it a series. Here is that series.

Watercolor painting of a sky full of cranes 1
“Sky full of cranes 1”

This is a watercolor painting of the construction of the new train station and shopping mall.

Watercolor painting of a sky full of cranes 2
“Sky full of cranes 2”

This is a painting of the same scene but a little later on. You can see that more of the shopping mall has been completed.

Watercolor painting of a sky full of cranes 3
“Sky full of cranes 3”

And here is another view of the new shopping mall and train station. I really enjoyed painting the figures and scooters in the foreground.

Watercolor painting of major urban construction in a Japanese city
“Lines of construction”

Here you can see the new elevated railway line and the building of apartment blocks. I have mixed feelings about these apartment blocks. I can’t say they are beautiful but as big, powerful shapes they can be interesting to paint.

Watercolor painting of a high-rise building under construction
“High-rise building under construction”

This is the view from the other side of the elevated railway line. I really like this particular scene. The church building in the foreground is a very beautiful building and even the highrise in the background is visually interesting. I especially like the way the highrise curves.

Sadly this church building has been demolished, even though it was quite new. It was even more beautiful inside. It has been replaced by a highrise. 

I once went to this building at Christmas time to listen to some gospel singers. It was quite a strange event. All the gospel singers wore white woolly sweaters and every item of food was sweet. Sadly, even the coffee was sweet. However, it was also free. 

I’ll never forget when they sang Silent Night. The sound was ear-piercing. When I left the building I found that I couldn’t hear anything.

If the sound hadn’t been so loud it would have been wonderful.

Watercolor painting of a new road and urban construction
“Cranes in the distance”

This road leads to the highway. I quite like this road because of the feeling of spaciousness and the long vista it creates. Also, the trees by the side of the road make it somewhat picturesque. Although there is no major building construction occurring here there are some cranes in the background. I think they were building a new hospital.

Watercolor painting of a road with a beautiful view of the nearby city center and distant mountains
“A road with a view”

Although there is no construction going on in this one, this is one of the new roads that was built. I am showing it because of the beautiful vista this new road has created. The area on the right is a wasteland but I think it looks beautiful. And luckily they won’t build high-rises on this land. Instead, it will become a park dedicated to the memory of a famous feudal lord called Sorin Otomo who became a Christian. I think his residence used to be here. So hopefully this beautiful vista will stay.

That’s the end of this small series. I hope you enjoyed seeing these paintings,

Gareth.