Haven’t shown the final version here yet (some work in progress though). This is a little side-street in Koyto, leading to a Machiya.
The owner there is reading my paper telling in Japanese that an organization sent me to paint some Machiya. Had to capture this bit. I also tried a bit perceptual trickery with the bikes on the left – leaving most as abstract shapes, only adding one or two visual bike elements. Something I want to use more.
“Machiya Gateway”, oil on 30 by 40cm linen canvas.
I’ll give a talk about my images at the Mediamatic Ignite event on May 29. It’s 5 minutes, so I’ll have to concentrate on one part of the experience, which will be the cultural differences – especially when it comes to beauty and art. Here’s a short preview:
Time to post a new painting from Japan… but first up breaking news: This and my other works from the Kyoto Art Residence will be at an exhibition in Amsterdam soon. Starting on the 2nd of March in ‘t Japans Cultureel Centrum with talks by us three artists that went there. It will stay open until the 30th of March.
I’ll update with the flyer and all details in a week or so. Lot’s to prepare still.
For now, here is another artwork of one of the Machiya – it’s a little Bonsai shop in one small street.
“Machiya Bonsaishop”, oil on 35 x 24 cm wood panel 35.02236 135.73397
I was quite scared to start painting, I don’t want to disturb customers. Even though communication with the owner was tough for me (he was quite young, but English-speakers are still rare in Japan), it turned our really nice: I got supplied with lots of coffee. That was well necessary, at the last session I was since two nights without sleep.
My setup outside the shop. Well prepped for the rain!
… and I even got a look inside. And back out again….
If you’re ever in Kyoto, it’s worth checking the “Fukuwaka Dou” bonsai shop out. It’s in a very nice area – with a big shrine right opposite.
I had thought a lot about how Japanese seem to handle beauty differently… and here it really struck me. Something I’ll talk about in my speech at the exposition. Not only were the house, the location and the (somewhat unusual) Bonsai beautiful – but even the tools. As a typical German you would only find the newest and most effective tools, I felt that these were quite different – chosen for their character.
I’m not sure… but interestingly the owner took pictures of my setup for his blog. And he also seemed fascinated by the tools of my trade. Something I didn’t pay much attention to, beyond utility.
That’s why I really enjoyed this trip to the other side of the world – it gives me a different perspective, even on the tools I carry around daily.
Below are some sketches from a visit to a traditional Japanese garden. Has been very interesting – the leaves are turning red, which is a major event for the Japanese. And a heron came really close.
Anyways, I’m way too much in love with the Machiya to pay attention to any trees.
I’ll show the sketches in the exhibit too. And all the drawings for the paintings. They often show the signs of painting action (color splats) and weather (rain damage). Which adds to it.
I’m curious what people will say about those.
I have been updating on facebook, but left the blog a bit behind to save time for painting. Once the exhibition starts, the pressure will be a bit lower, and I’ll start to upload all the pictures – and the final paintings. Got 6 done, 2 to work in progress
…and catching fish.
Small water falls.
View from a window of the park-museum.
Not at the park, but since I was at making pics of the sketchbook… A little scene in the neighborhood.
The Machiya-Art in Residence is going full power! We’re working on the exhibition now. Everyone is welcome to join our exhibition next week (22nd and 23rd November).
We’ll also give a talk on the 23rd beginning at 14:00 o’clock. Japanese detailed info following. If anyone needs more info in English – please contact me. Until then I assume everyone in Kyoto speaks perfect Japanese.
The room still has to be prepared – here’s how it looks at the moment. Annelinde plans to use Japanese paper to transform the room into an installation. Lies will show her drawings and a book she made. And I will show 7 or 8 paintings, depending on how the next days of painting will go.
The Kyoto Art Center Exhibition room – as a quick panorama I put togethers. We still have to figure out how to use it. It looks neat already though.
English: So on the upcoming 22nd and 23rd of November, we three Machiya Artists in Residence will have our exposition. Anyone who can – please join if you can. We’ll give talks about our experience on Friday from 14 o’clock until 16 o’clock.
And as I want to keep the postings short, to have more time for painting, here’s the first finish picture. I might add a little light in the Machiya, or it might stay as is. I have time to decide.
I used the wood panel I posted before – works really nice, so you’ll see them here more often, even when I’m back to home base.
“Machiya with Pots” – 2012 – oil on 30×42 cm wood board
A heads-up from Japan. I’ve spent the first week on the Kyoto Machiya Art-In-Residence program now, preparing for lots of paintings. And also two upcoming joint expositions with Annelinde and Lies – the artists who are also part of the program.
I’ll keep any future updates short, so I can get the work done. But I’ll try to do it regularly on the facebook page of the Uitwisseling-Kyoto-Machiya, the Dutch-Japanese program that invited me.
And I will probably copy those on my facebook page and sometimes here. I’ll have to see how that works out.
More on the background of the project in a later post. I still have five more weeks left here. The first week I already used mostly for settling in, finding painting locations, visiting local artists, seeing the exhibition spot… and most of all preparing art materials.
That proved tougher than anticipated. Japanese art stores are not heavy on oil paint. For some reason they also don’t carry much Turpentine and other things I’m used to… and let me not even start about the communication issues.
I opted for wood-boards instead of the canvasses I’m used to. It’s cheaper and I think it might work really nice for the materials of these houses. But I had to learn how to prepare them, which took me quite some time.
Anyways, all is done – so I want to at least cover all these with good art before leaving. Wish me luck!
About 12 canvasses I prepared for paintings. I’m curious how the wooden boards will work out, never tried that before.
This is a bit of an outlier in the ongoing postings on modern variations of woodblock prints: Those are actually backgrounds of an Anime. I’m not sure which technique they use, but it surely has the woodblock style.
The name of the show is “Katanagatari” – and while the story is stupid to borderline annoying, the beautiful art kept me at it. Simple but striking characters, and those wonderfully executed backgrounds.
If any animation fan comes across here and knows more about the artists of this show, their techniques or maybe art books, I would be curious to hear about it.
They often take their time to pan through these.
This dreamy wood is not quite consistent with the style ...
...but I love that background.
The house from above - unsurprisingly much is transformed to rubble over the run of the show.