Friday, December 28, 2012

Final Update of the Year

Today was supposed to be my last working day of the year, but the paint on the working canvas is not dried yet, which means I have to wait until tomorrow.
So I decided to update my last blog of this year.

Semishigure (Chorus of Cicadas)
24" x 31 1/2" (61cm x 80cm)

Seseragi (Murmuring Brook)
24" x 31 1/2" (61cm x 80cm)

As I always do when creating a painting, I took pictures of natural scenes which later become sources of my inspiration.
Images of these paintings are derived from landscapes in summer; Sun moves so high, everything is lush green, hot and sweaty but quiet afternoon in summer.
At times like that, cicadas suddenly start to sing, and a bleeze gently blows through on a brook which carries cold water.

I gave them Japanese title, because I wanted to keep subtle feeling of which the words of "Semishigure" or "Seseragi" hold; Small but a joyful discover in nature.

With best wishes for a happy new year!





Friday, December 21, 2012

Relaxing time with "Les Misérables"

Finally ( i should say so?), bought a whole series of "Les Misérables" ! (Japanese version, no doubt )(^ ^)
I also bought a expository book entitled "106 stories of Les Misérable"by Shigeru Kashima;It has a lots of beautiful illustrations by wood engraving, so makes me much easier to understand the whole story as well as the social landscape and religeous views of France at that time. 
Probably I would not read through without this text. Wonderful book!

inside of expository book

As with many foreign literature, "Les Misérables" start with long introductionary part which sometimes seems nothing to do with the main story; I am now reading the life of a catholic priest who later helped the main character Jean Valjean, although his name has not even been mentioned yet.
Still far to go, but I am planning to read all of them during holiday season.

In addition, I will go to the movie "Les Misérables" with my husband tomorrow. Already reserved the best seats in the theather. Sounds too much? Maybe, but this is my fad in this winter.


ついでに鹿島茂氏の解説本「レ・ミゼラブル 百六景」も。
まだまだ先は長いですが、年末年始の お休みの間に読むつもりです。


Friday, December 14, 2012

New Surroundings

It had been my happy routine for a long time to enjoy a nap after lunch.
It is now but a dream of the past since I moved here; Backyard of my new house is facing to the playground of a junior high school, and therefore, my naptime came to be disturbed by the chimes which ring every fourty minutes to announce the start/end of the classes. Ummmm..

The chimes, however, is useful for me, too; It tells me when to start working and when to take break. It regulates my studio hours.
I also love to hear the students chanting "Fight, Fight" or "Go for it" etc. while PE class or club activities in the playground. Sometimes their practice starts as early as  eight in the morning; It makes me realize that is also the time me to start working or housekeeping (sometimes)  leaving PC.
Although some artists hate to be tied down to clock, I like this way of working a little more than a little which my new environment affords me.  At least, it prevent me to become lazy.
Sorry for my poor English, as always.(^^)


Thursday, December 6, 2012

New Studio

It is over two months since I posted last blog here.
Spending most of my time for packing/ repacking for moving, finally settled in my new home and studio!

 I feel very happy with this new studio; It is much more spacious than the old one, very clean and neat, equipted with new air conditioner, and;

 has a big storage room!!!
Inspiring room for creating artwork, don't you think so?


Saturday, September 1, 2012

New Paintings

New paintings.

Flowering Tree #2, oil on canvas, 16"x16"(41cmx41cm)

花咲く木 No.2、キャンバスに油彩、41cmx41cm

Flowering Tree #3, oil on canvas, 16"x16"(41cmx41cm)

花咲く木 No.3、キャンバスに油彩、41cmx41cm

I derived the image from light reflections in flowering trees.
By outfocusing the actual image of the trees, I try to depict invisible things existing between the object (trees, in this case) and me.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Studio Update

This is my studio mate.
As you may be aware, this is originally designed for light duty work such as sketches, not for heavy canvas paintings, but I have been using this for over twenty years since I got it from my friend for free who also was given it by a owner of an art supply store.
So it may be a cheap one, but actually it can hold pretty heavy and large canvases and is easy to move around- just right for me!

元々はスケッチなどの軽いものを載せるためのもので、重いキャンバスを使った油絵などには使わないのですが、ここ20年来私の アトリエのイーゼルはこれだけ。友人が画材屋さんからもらい受けたものをまた私がタダでもらいました。
安物(?)ですが、一応重いものもそれなりに乗る し、何と言って軽いので動かしやすい。結構使い勝手が良いのです。

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Great News

Great News!
WAH Center in Brooklyn, NY purchased my work and two of my paintings became their permanent collection.


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Show Announcement

I am pleased to announce my two person show with Kenzo Nishimura at Spectrum Gallery in Osaka from June 21 through July 3.
I will be showing some of my recent oil paintings from my "Garden of Spirits" series.


Spectrum Gallery
Date: June 21 - July 3
Gallery hours: 12:00 - 19:00 Mon-Sat.
12:00 - 17:00 Sun. and final day
closed on Wed.
2nd Fl. Sou Building
1-6-2 Kawaramachi, Chuo-ku, Osaka
phone: 06-6710-4648
*Take Tanimachi Subway from Osaka and get off at Tanimachi-6 Sta.
Go out exit 4 and walk down "Karahori Shouten-Gai". 
Turn left at the corner of Supermarket Tamade.
I will be at the gallery on June 22, 23, 24, 30 and July 1.
Opening Reception: 18:00 Sat. June 23
I am happy to meet you!

(大阪市中央区瓦屋町1-6-2 惣2階)

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Great Help

It is always great to have an assistant who knows the needs of the artist without a word. My husband is very supportive and today (Saturday morning !) he helped me to take pictures of my recent paintings. I usually do this job by myself, but for larger painting I need an assistant to hold it.
Some will say that I should have professional setting for lighting and shooting in my studio so that I can take pictures regardless of whether.  However, I still believe that best lighting for shooting paintings is sunlight between 10 am - 12 noon. Howsoever I came to know how to set up artificial lighting, I end up with shooting outside under the sun. I feel that natural sunlight is still the best to reproduce the colors of paints and it gives the most even light to the surface of canvas. And the best of all about assistant husband and sunlight, they both are free!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Studio Update- April 20

Almost finished one of the large paintings that I intend to exhibit in my summer show.
While feel a bit relieved, but I still have some paintings to go. So I made a start on another large painting, on which I have already made grisaille with white and black paint.
It is always fun part among all process to paint first layer in color. No pressure and full of possibilities.

Today's schedule:
whole morning and until 4 PM - painting in the studio
then preparing for weekly badminton practice at night

Finished one is in the back, upside down to dry.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Show Announcement

I am participating in "Spring Fling" a group show at WAH Center in Brooklyn, NY.
I am so excited to be included with such awesome show held in the historical landmark building in Brooklyn.
Although I am not in there during the show, please stop by if you are nearby.
Two of my recent paintings below will be showcased.

The show Spring Fling coincides with our Spring Festival, featuring music and performance series, Taste of Williamsburg smorgasbord from delicious local eateries, as well as an artist market, flower show, and other special programs.
Date: Sat. Apr. 21 - Sun. May 27, 2012
Opening Reception: Sat. Apr.21, 4-6PM
Venue: WAH Center, Brooklyn, NY
Gallery Hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday 1–6 pm
Phone(718) 486-7372 or (718) 486-6012
WAH Center Website and Map 

ブルックリンの歴史建造物であるWAHセンターにて「Spring Fling」展に参加いたします。下記の油彩画を2点を展示いたします。作家本人は渡米いたしませんが、お近くにお住まいの方は是非お越しください。

オープニングレセプション:4月21日(土) 午後4時から6時
場所:WAHセンター (ブルックリン、NY)
お問い合わせ: (718) 486-7372 or (718) 486-6012 

After The Rain, oil on canvas, 2009, 18" x 21

Tree Fairies #1, oil on canvas, 2011, 13" x 13"

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Perfect Packaging

I think that most artist do not like the tasks other than actually making their work, such as accounting, promoting, or record keeping. Blogging or Facebooking (there is no such word, but i made it up!) and other social networking is OK, but very time consuming stuff. How about making package and shipping? I did not like it when I was not get used to do it, but since I need to send many packages to galleries or other venues domestically or sometimes internationally throughout the year, I am getting interested in making Perfect Box which is beautiful in appearance and sustainable for international shipping. 

Here are some tips:
1. Buy corrugated board (preferably 5mm thick= slightly thinner than 1/4 ") and make your own box rather than buying premade box.
   In some cases, you can recycle cardboard boxes, but I do not use those when sending to my collectors, because I think that if the packaging looks cheap, my painting may look cheap, too.
IMO, single wall is better than double wall because it is much easier to cut. For providing the box with structural strength, I usually attach another cardboard to inside of the box.

2. Use different tapes for each stage. I use 4 different tapes for each purpose. First, when I wrap canvas with paper, I use masking tape. Second, when I wrap the paper packed canvas with bubble wrap, I use either masking tape or Yojo tape (less adhesive than masking tape) so that it makes easier to open without tearing up the bubble wrap. (Bubble wrap is often reused.)
Third, when I assemble a box, I use duct tape, not use craft gummy tape . Duct tape can be laid over and over, but craft tape cannot 'cause wax-like stuff is coated on it. Forth, when I close the lid and complete the packaging, I use craft gummy tape. You can use duct tape instead, but  craft gummy tape is less expensive at least in my country.

3. Indicate where is the top and where to open so that the person who open the box opens it properly without damaging the work inside. Also, indicate "handle with care, please" and "fragile". I am not sure whether the transportation companies will read these, but try to politely ask their kind handling and caring.

Well, you can call me paranoid!




3.どこが上(top)で、どこから開けるべきか指示すること。少しでもダメージが少なく開けられるようにするためです。それと「取扱注意してください(handle with care, please)」「コワレモノ(fragile)」 を書き込むこと。輸送業者さんがこういうのを読むかどうか分かりませんが、丁寧な取扱を頼む文言を入れるようにしています。


Monday, March 26, 2012

Studio Update

Working on three paintings concurrently -which I don't do usually. I prefer to work one by one, but sometimes situation forces me to be a multi-tasker; I am expecting two person show and  group shows in summer, and these new paintings are for those shows. Do you think the summer is still far to go? No. I work hard but very slow, and I paint on canvas with thin layers of paint over and over, which is very time consuming.
For the purpose of productivity, I have to learn creating more paintings within a certain time frame. Hope to establish a schedule with deadline for all my studio work, but have no time to  work out on it. Will work even harder!


three paintings in progress
sneak peak before the show!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Advice from Chuck Close

You may know it already, but I want to share this wonderful quote by Chuck Close:

“The advice I like to give young artists, or really anybody who’ll listen to me, is not to wait around for inspiration. Inspiration is for amateurs; the rest of us just show up and get to work. If you wait around for the clouds to part and a bolt of lightning to strike you in the brain, you are not going to make an awful lot of work. All the best ideas come out of the process; they come out of the work itself. Things occur to you. If you’re sitting around trying to dream up a great art idea, you can sit there a long time before anything happens. But if you just get to work, something will occur to you and something else will occur to you and somthing else that you reject will push you in another direction. Inspiration is absolutely unnecessary and somehow deceptive. You feel like you need this great idea before you can get down to work, and I find that’s almost never the case.” ~ Chuck Close

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rainy Tuesday

Got a text message when I was just about to leave home for my Tuesday morning routine -badminton lesson. Text was from the coach that today's lesson was canceled because of leaky ceiling in the gym! What a pity! I got a bad cold all last week and could not go to badminton lesson which I look forward every week. 
So, suddenly given a free Tuesday. I decided to rework on a painting that I would have finished a month ago...

 "Chrysanthemum #5" in progress (detail)

My chrysanthemum #5 painting is still unfinished. I have been trying many colors and types of brush touches, but I cannot still find the best ones or at least the ones somehow satisfying.


Facing to the painting in which I got stuck is not pleasant work. For me, the hardest time in painting is the time when a painting is close to finish; I have to pay attention to every detail of the surface. Delicate and weary moment. In order to neutralize such feeling of oppression, when a painting is close to be done, I start a new one-in which I can just enjoy, and do not have to be fussy about any details.
This is the one I am going to show in my two person show in summer in Osaka.  



Monday, February 20, 2012

Snowy Days

Snowed for last week, but I feel the spring is coming to my door:
Every morning I go out to the entrance at my apartment building to pick up news paper and it had been still dark at 6:30 in the morning in the recent months, but it seems to me the sun appears earlier in the last 2 days. (^^)smile
I have finished 2 small paintings of which I took the images form winter sceneries- icy blue sky, trees in the cold wind, sparkling surface of water.
I used my favorite pallet for the paintings -subtle and neutral colors. They interact on each level of layers and change the mood of surface just with a drop of paint.
I put the title "Winter Days". Maybe too ordinary?? Help me if you come up with a better title.
Hope to paint two more in the same size so that the four small paintings makes a bigger square picture.

Winter Days #1
13"x 13"(33cm x 33cm) , oil on canvas
冬の日 #1、キャンバスに油彩

Winter Days #2
13"x 13"(33cm x 33cm) , oil on canvas
冬の日 #2、キャンバスに油彩

view from studio window (snowing!)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012's Resolution

Started studio work of new year with signing up a fresh painting.
This is one from my "Drops" series.
新年のスタートは新作のサインから =*^-^*=

Flowers 2 (tentative)
oil on canvas, 53cm x 53cm

Then continued to work on another chrysanthemum painting in progress.

Have worked this chrysanthemum series since last year and this is the fifth in the series.
Until a year ago, I was not very much interested in painting a particular flower, but as I get old and become aware of the roots of culture and the way of thinking of my country, I started to think that I want to make paintings that represent my country.
For avoidance of doubt, these paintings does not involve any political statement, although chrysanthemum is the national flower of Japan as well as cherry. Painting it is simply a measure of self exploration as an artist.
Somebody said that working in series are like making LP, and working in artwork one-by-one is making single record. Personally I prefer to work in series. I hope these chrysanthemum works will reach to mature this year.

Here is my resolution of 2012:
1. Work, work, work- Studio work is the priority
2.Better badminton player- I hope to participate in any official game in my city!
3. Develop more recipe using more vegetables- hope to loose some weight!


3. 野菜を使ったレシピで、多少とも痩せたい。