Monday, June 26, 2006

rainy season Dreaming: Ajisai

oil on canvas paper, 12 x 17cm (approx 4.75 x 6.75 inches)

I love hydrangeas, especially when they're in their blue/violet stage. These flowers epitomise the rainy season for me, I've been wanting to paint some for a few years now.

This was painted during a quick window of time that I found myself with.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

lotus leaves - quick sketch

liquid sumi ink on watercolor paper,
23.5 x 19cm (approx 9.25 x 7.5 inches)

I recently passed through Shinobazu-ike in Ueno Park and had a chance to do a quick sketch of the growing lotus leaves with my portable sumi-e brush-pen/waterbrush setup.
Just managed to catch a couple of leaves before it got too dark and then I had to dash off to work. (Apologies for the badly angled photo).

The lotus season will hit full swing during July and August and, time permitting, I hope to spend a lot of time out there at the pond doing more sumi-e style sketches and working in oils.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Fun at Mandala

A couple of conte sketches of composer/producer/arranger/multi-talent and friend, Akira Inoue at his recent Cafe Criteria Vol. 3 gig at Mandala in Aoyama.

This first one was done very quickly, just had enough time to get the basics before the band took a break. (believe it or not he's actually playing keyboard here!).

conte on toned Muse paper, approx 23.5 x 30cm (9.25 x 11.75 inches)

It was quite dark in the venue. When it's like that I'm never quite sure how something's going to turn out, it's a good exercise in working tonally.

The sketch below was done in the second set where I had a bit more time with this one, still I feel I captured more of his "Akira-ness" in the previous sketch.

conte on Canson Mi-Teintes, approx 21 x 32cm (8.25 x 12.5 inches)

The gig was a lot of fun, assorted music of the kind that's right up Akira's alley.

Akira is responsible for the wonderful viola da gamba/flute arrangement on The Last of Lovers on my album Timeless. He also ran the koto session for the recording of Fuji-san, played some kool keyboard tracks on several songs and offered helpful advice and sharp ears for various aspects of the project.

I've known Akira for years. We started out doing demos of some of my songs way back when in the hope of attracting a record deal with him at the producer's helm. Although he never produced the album it was a good beginning and I've learned a lot from this man.

He is also humorously known in certain sectors of England as Akira "20 minutes" Inoue due to his (un-Japanese) fashion of living on Brazilian time.

His lovely wife, Sumi is also a wonderful singer.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I've finally taken the plunge and joined a life painting class in order to sharpen my drawing/painting skills. Here's the first attempt, oil on canvas.