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Lago Maggiore III, Italian Landscape Painting


Lago Maggiore, Italy III

 

I was looking out the window from a train into Northern Italy when I had a glimpse of the picturesque town of Stresa by Lake Maggiore.  I remember the amazing colors of blue green water as a backdrop of red, sun-lit roofs of the houses and lush green landscape there.  From the fast-moving train I was able to enjoy the almost dream-like view for only a few seconds, but the image was so ingrained in my mind I was determined to get off a train there if I ever had another chance.

 

A few years later, very unexpectedly my wish came true and I did have an opportunity of returning to the Lake District in Italy.  I went to Stresa as I had planned, and even ventured out further to visit Isola dei Pescatori (Fishermen's Island), one of the islands on the lake...

 

 

Lago Maggiore, Italy III (Isola dei Pescatori)

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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The Second Annual Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art


Journey Home XVIII

 

Journey Home XVIII will be on display in the Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 20 - May 20.  I am honored that the latest from my Journey Home series has been selected to be in the 2nd Scottsdale Salon of Fine Art.

 

Artwork by selected artists is predominantly oil, and as one of the few watercolorists in the group, I am particularly delighted to participate in this prestigious show.

 

 

Click here to see the show online.

 

 

Journey Home XVIII

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches (36 x 54.5 cm)

Frame/Mat: Yes

Purchase: Through Gallery

Please send me an email for details.

 

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California Artist of the Year by Twin Cities TOSCA


Santa Barbara, California VII

 

Exploring TOSCA is a beautiful quarterly arts and culture magazine and the most comprehensive guide for art events in the Twin Cities region (Minneapolis-St Paul, Minnesota).

 

Last year they launched the American Artist Series where one artist was chosen by the editor-in-chief to represent each state.   In their current issue (winter), I am extremely honored that I am being featured with the title of "California Artist of the Year."

 

(click to open pdf file to see TOSCA winter issue)

 

Arts and culture thrive in this part of America's Heartland.  I didn't know this but many sources point out that the Twin Cities have more theatre companies per capita than any city outside of New York, for example.

 

Incidentally, I am going to St Paul later this year to teach a workshop at the Northstar Watercolor Society (October 15-19), so I am especially pleased with the feature in the magazine and looking forward to visiting there.   For more information on my workshops, please click here.

 

 

 

  

cover                                            ... and my feature in the 2012 winter issue

 

 

 

Santa Barbara, California VII

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches (36 x 54.5 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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Japan Watercolor Society Second Exhibition in Yokohama


Le Panier, Marseille, France I

 

I am pleased to announce that I have two paintings, "Le Panier, Marseille, France I" and "Orvieto, Italy VII" included in the Second Exhibition of the Japan Watercolor Society (JWS).  The show starts on February 1 and ends on February 7.

 

All the paintings hung in the show are original watercolor works by 24 members of the JWS.

 

 

Venue: Gallery Dada, Yokohama Sogo Department Store 9th Floor, Yokohama, Japan

 

Merchandise: Two sets of postcards (with images of artwork of the exhibitors) available for sale at the Gallery or online (order form).

 

 

 

 

Postcards with images of the artists' work - already selling quickly

 

 

Le Panier, Marseille, France I

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 29 x 10.25 inches (74 x 26 cm)

Frame/Mat: Yes

Purchase: Through Gallery.  Please send me an email for details.

 

 

Orvieto, Italy VII

 

 

Orvieto, Italy VII

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 29 x 10.25 inches (74 x 26 cm)

Frame/Mat: Yes

Purchase: Through Gallery.  Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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More Paintings of Palm Springs, California Landscape


Palm Springs, California VI

 

In a land that was once called Agua Caliente ("hot water"), the sun first awakens sleeping mountains that surround the town of Palm Springs.  It is so amazing to see colors of the mountainside change virtually every second as the day breaks.  Then the nearby desert begins to show colors as if it was breathing again.  And streetlights in the glitzy downtown Palm Springs go off, one by one...  Here one can embrace the magnificent natural beauty and the sophisticated glamour and style that make the town a magnet for celebrities - life in Palm Springs is unlike any other.

 

 

Palm Springs, California VI

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

 

 

 

  Palm Springs, California V

 

Palm Springs, California V

 

A larger digital file available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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Carmel Valley Village I, California Landscape Painting


Carmel Valley Village, California I

 

Panoramic views of the river valley, misty mountains, enticing vineyards… meandering through idyllic scenery like these, I found driving into this small village to be a pure delight.  Carmel Valley Village can be reached from the mountains or from the coast.  Either way, watching what unfolded outside my car windows made me want to stop many times for quick sketches.

 

However, this village and the surrounding area is a popular travel destination, so traffic can be heavy and people drive pretty fast (You really have to keep your eyes on the road).  In this painting is a restaurant near the village center - a small glimpse of life on the little bit quieter side of the popular Monterey Peninsula.

 

 

Carmel Valley Village, California I

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 15.5 x 11.5 inches (39 x 29 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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Journey Home XVI


Journey Home XVI

 

Every painting I create is an emotional response to the subject, so it is important for me to be able to feel connected to it from the outset.  But it is sometimes difficult to go beyond the initial stage of my creative process if I already feel too strongly about it.  When the intensity of such emotions is overwhelming, I have found that they don't allow my creativity to freely interact with the subject.  Sometimes I push on and other times I don't.

 

Journey Home is a series I started back in 2005 when I had just begun painting seriously.  About a street scene in the first painting in the series, Journey Home I, I said, "something about the scene pulled me strongly into it... the emotion I felt instantly connected me to my past, my childhood growing up in Japan.  (The painting) opened up a part of me that wants to explore deeper into my heritage. "

 

This series has been going on and off since then.  I must admit that I have avoided painting those familiar Japanese scenes especially when I felt too sentimental.  However, I am learning, little by little, to detach myself from strong emotions in order to communicate my artistic vision more clearly. 

 

 

Journey Home XVI

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 21.5 x 14.25 inches (54.5 x 36 cm)

Frame/Mat: Yes (31 x 23.5 inches)

 

 

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watercolor-world.com


Clermont-Ferrand, France XI

 

I am happy to announce that some of my paintings are represented by watercolor-world.com, an online gallery of works by professional watermedia artists.

 

Please visit the gallery's facebook page to become a fan and learn more about participating artists and their works.

 

 

Clermont-Ferrand, France XI

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 21.5 x 14.25 inches (54.5 x 36 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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Malibu I, California Landscape Painting


Malibu, California I

 

Shopping, wrapping, decorating, sending out holiday cards, entertaining... Is your to-do list too long, and you're feeling a little stressed-out?  If you find yourself not really enjoying this special time of the year, then it's time to do something just for yourself.  If you are a watercolor painter or love the medium, I may have a suggestion.

 

Next Sunday I will be doing a painting demonstration and lecture in Los Angeles.  Please come and enjoy as I finish off the 2011 watercolor seminar series organized by the Watercolor West.

 

 

Sunday, December 18, 1-5pm

Brea Civic Cultural Center, Los Angeles, California

For more information and registration, visit Watercolor West website.

 

 

Malibu, California I

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches (36 x 54.5 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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North American Watercolor Artists presents "Stepping Over the Line"


Please email me to receive an invitation.


I am very pleased to announce that North American Watercolor Artists (NAWA) will have our very first show in America at the prestigious Strathmore mansion in N. Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.A.

 

 

STEPPING OVER THE LINE

January 7 - February 4, 2012

Opening Reception: Sunday, January 8, 2-4PM

 

Known for their forward thinking approach and unexpected points of view, NAWA members Kathleen Alexander, Carol Carter, Mark Mehaffey, Thomas Schaller, Nicholas Simmons and Keiko Tanabe, push boundaries and break through the traditional definitions and restrictions of media and artistic genres.  Whether through the unique application of color, the subtle laying of media or the intimate focal point of subject, each artist delivers a forward thinking and unique viewpoint.

 

The Mansion at Strathmore

Strathmore Hall Foundation Inc.

10701 Rockville Pike

North Bethesda, MD 20852

Phone: 301-581-5109

 

Gallery Hours:

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 10AM - 4PM

Wednesday, 10AM - 9PM

Saturday, 10AM - 3PM

Sunday, Closed

 

All six of us of NAWA will be happy to meet you at the opening.   Please send me an email to receive an invitation.

 

As the show's theme "Stepping Over the Line" indicates, each of us will show 3-4 pieces that are unique and edgy.  During the show, we will also have our show catalog (a beautiful book) and some prints available.

 

 

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Milano, Italy XI, Italian Landscape Painting


Milano, Italy XI

 

Not all sunsets are created equal.  Some are more colorful, more dramatic, more poetic, more... well, beautiful.  But then again, everyone's perception is different.  If we ask anyone where they would go for a beautiful sunset, their answers will vary.  I, for one, like spending that glorious last hour of sunlight, surrounded by the bustling cityscape.  In Milan, Italy's trendiest city, I had one of those exciting moments -- The last rays of sunlight kissing the city's skyline good-night was simply irresistible beauty to me.

 

I am pleased to announce that I will be a featured artist demonstrator at the Watercolor West 43rd Annual International Exhibit in Brea, California.  My demonstration is scheduled for Sunday, December 18, 1-5pm, in the Council Chambers at the Brea Civic Cultural Center.  This painting is currently on view at the venue by courtesy of the Watercolor West.

 

 

Milano, Italy XI

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches (36 x 54.5 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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Gwanghwamun, Seoul, Korean Landscape Painting


Gwanghwamun, Seoul, Korea

 

The 20th Exhibition of Asian Watercolour Confederation came to a close on 23 October.  For 9 days, about 110 watercolor paintings from 11 Asian nations graced the walls of the bright and sleek Han Jeon Art Center located in "new Seoul," the southside of the Han River.  I was honored to be an invited artist for this special exhibition, perhaps the last one presented by the Asian Watercolour Confederation (AWC).  AWC will undergo some changes and will be soon launched as a new organization which will spearhead the efforts to promote the watermedia in the entire Asian region.

 

I was very happy to show my work at the show.   More significant this year was that I was offered a wonderful opportunity to witness the closure of one chapter and the birth of a new organization of Asian watercolorists, together with representatives from Korea, Malaysia, Thailand/Myanmar, Taiwan and Singapore.

 

As a small memento of a symbolic visit, I painted Gwanghwamun in Seoul, the newly-restored main gate of Gyeongbokgung Palace, as it stood proudly under the city lights.  The reconstruction was a major project for the Koreans as it was left in ruins for many, many years, but their commitment and determination made it possible to have this massive structure in its original form at the original site.

 

"Through old things, we learn new things." - Korean proverb

 

 

Gwanghwamun, Seoul, Korea I

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 12 x 16 inches (30 x 40 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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Prague (Czech Republic) Paintings


Prague, Czec Republic II

 

Despite a threatening sky, streets in the heart of Prague were full of life.  Here in the city's Old Town, tourists moving about with their travel guidebooks were everywhere, proving that Prague is one of the most visited cities in Europe.  Many squares and alleys, surrounded by magnificent architectures, were also crowded with shoppers, diners, street performers and onlookers.

 

This elegant quarter in Prague has such a wonderful atmosphere I wouldn't be surprised if there was quite a large number of artists in the crowd who traveled there for new inspiration and ideas.  I thought, like Rome and Paris, almost anything in this part of Prague could make an attractive painting.  The hardest part may be of course to go beyond the cliché, or to find the truth behind attraction.  Or, should I just paint what I loved without being too analytical?

 

"When the heart speaks, the mind finds it indecent to object".  -- Milan Kundera, Czech-born writer and author of The Unbearable Lightness of Being

 

 

Prague, Czech Republic II

 

Click for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

 

 

 

Prague, Czech Republic I

 

 

Prague, Czech Republic I

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

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Monterey and Carmel Beach Paintings


Monterey, California I

 

"What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

 

-- John Steinbeck (From Travels with Charley: In Search of America)

 

 

In the U.S., when Labor Day comes around, we feel summer is coming to an end.  Or at least some of us seem to be mentally programmed to believe so.  At a day's end on this small beach near Cannery Row in Monterey, shadows thrown by the setting sun were getting longer every minute, looking as if they were playing with waves.  Who said summer never ends in California?  As days get shorter, we do feel a chilly edge in the salty wind and want to reach for a warm cup of coffee to walk with.

 

I am pleased to announce that Zantman Art Galleries, the oldest fine art gallery in Carmel-by-the-Sea, is now representing some of my original watercolors.  When you're in the vicinity, I'd like to invite you to visit there.

 

 

Monterey, California I

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches (36 x 54.5 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

 

 

 

Carmel Beach, California I

 

Carmel Beach, California I

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches (36 x 54.5 cm)

Purchase: Through Gallery.  Please inquire.

 

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International Watercolors.com


Another Day, Kyoto, Japan I

 

By kind invitation of Roy Fuller, the Founding Editor of International Watercolors.com, I am very happy that I am now included as one of the artists on his site (click here to see my entry).

 

International Watercolors.com is a website dedicated to watercolorists, both amateur and professional, and is designed to help them gain more exposure on the international art market.  I am honored that Roy and his panel of jurors took the time to review my work and kindly extended an invitation for me to participate in the site and join other respected watercolorists.

 

 

Another Day, Kyoto, Japan I

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 22 x 29 inches (55 x 74 cm)

Purchase: Temporarily unavailable

 

 

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Award at San Diego Watercolor Society 31st International Exhibition


Road to Eiheiji Temple, Fukui, Japan IX

 

I am very happy to learn that my painting "Road to Eiheiji Temple, Fukui, Japan IX" has been given by juror Carrie Burns Brown the Benbrook Family Award in the upcoming San Diego Watercolor Society 31st International Exhibition.  It will be on view at the SDWS Gallery, San Diego, California, from October 1 through October 31.

 

The opening reception will be held at the same venue on October 7, 5-9pm.  This year there will also be a preview night on September 30, 5:30-8pm, for a chance to see the show before its official opening (limited to 250 tickets).  The award ceremony will take place on the same evening.  I look forward to seeing you there if you plan to attend!

 

A chance to win my original painting: Read related post here to see another painting of mine "Oceanside Harbor, San Diego I" - this will also be displayed in the SDWS International Exhibition.

 

 

Road to Eiheiji Temple, Fukui, Japan IX 

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 20.25 x 28.75 inches (51 x 73 cm)
Frame/Mat: Yes

Purchase: Please send me an email for details. 

 

 

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More Paintings of Istanbul, Turkey


A View from the Galata Tower, Istanbul

 

In Istanbul, it doesn’t take long for any first-time visitors to notice a loud melodic male voice coming from a mosque several times a day.  My Turkish friend told me five times a day this Islamic call to prayer is announced via a public address system.

 

Since there are so many mosques, or camii as they are called in Turkish, chances are you are almost always within an easy reach of one, especially in the old part of the city.   As soon as you hear the "song," you will see many local people, mostly grown men and some boys, cleanse their hands and feet and enter their place of worship.

 

The first painting is a stunning view from the top of the Galata Tower on the Asian side of the city.  Over the hill on the European side, so many tall minarets are visible, explaining just how many mosques were built there.  The second painting shows one of the most famous mosques in the city, Aya Sophia.  Click here to go to the previous post to see more paintings of Istanbul.

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey IV (A View from the Galata Tower)

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 15.5 inches (29 x 39 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

 

 

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey VI (Aya Sophia)

 

Istanbul, Turkey VI (Aya Sophia)

 

Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

 

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey III

 

Istanbul, Turkey III

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

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Istanbul - where the East meets the West


Blue Mosque, Istanbul

 

The land where the East meets the West… Istanbul has been the crossroads of cultures for many centuries.  For someone like me who grew up in the Far East and has been exposed to the western culture almost all my life, it is simply a fascinating place.

 

Bosphorus River that flows from the Black Sea runs through the city, and people in Istanbul often refer to one side as European and the other Asian in their conversations.  In fact, they may live on one side and go to work or school on the other; and they may cross one of the bridges or take a boat to do errands or go shopping on the other side.  Where else in the world can you have such an almost surreal experience?

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey I (Blue Mosque)

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 15.5 inches (29 x 39 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey II

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey II


A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey V (Kadikoy)

 

 

Istanbul, Turkey V (Kadikoy)


A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)

Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 


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Road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto II, Japanese Landscape Painting


Road to Kiyomizudera Temple, Kyoto II

 

The air is hot and sticky.  The late afternoon sky often threatens thunderstorms.  With each passing day it gets more unbearable to stay indoors without an air-conditioner as the temperature soars.  Outside ladies are walking with higasa (parasols) and in yukatas, more casual summertime kimonos.

 

In quiet back streets, the sound of wind chimes brings back childhood memories.  Traditional Japanese confectioneries around town are displaying minazuki, triangular-shaped sweets eaten only in June.  And people crave for hamo (pike eel), a seasonal delicacy popular in the western part of Japan.  And, this muggy weather sends me to my favorite tea room for big scoops of green-tea ice cream.  Welcome to the summer in Kyoto.  I am home.

 

 

Road to Kiyomizedera Temple, Kyoto, Japan II

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14.25 x 21.5 inches (36 x 54.5 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Temporarily unavailable.  Please send me an email for details.

 

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Point Fermin Lighthouse I, California Landscape Painting


Point Fermin Lighthouse I

 

It was one of those perfect bright sunny days when I went to the Point Fermin Park, the southernmost point in Los Angeles.  This beautiful park with tree-shaded lawns sits on the steep cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  And I had a good time despite the sea breeze that was a bit too chilly for me and some overly friendly squirrels trying to chase me.

 

I came here for the spectacular ocean views and also to see the historic lighthouse up close.  Point Fermin Lighthouse was built in 1874 and had been guiding ships into the harbor until the light was extinguished in 1941.  Built in the Victorian architectural style, it adds more elegance and beauty to the surroundings.

 

 

Point Fermin Lighthouse, San Pedro I

 

A larger digital file available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

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Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego, California Landscape Paintings


Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego X

 

When I get up in the morning, I don't question whether or not I'm going to paint that day because I know my answer.  I paint every day.  Each day is different as I may spend 6-8 hours painting one day and maybe just 20 minutes the next.

 

It is true, however, from time to time, there are days when I just can't feel inspired enough to get started.  Ideas are not flowing and the creative spirit is not there.  Even if I manage to force myself to paint, I struggle.

 

At a time like this, one thing I like to do is to take a break from the routine and walk in the nature so the creative mind will be freed again.  Torrey Pines State Beach is only a few minutes away and one of my favorite places in all of San Diego.  For me to feel inspired to paint again, a brief visit there always does the trick.

 

 

 

 

Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego X

 

A large digital file available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

 

 

 

Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego IX

 

Torrey Pines Beach, San Diego IX

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

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Kenninji Temple, Kyoto I, Japanese Landscape Painting


Kenninji Temple, Kyoto, Japan I

 

It was a peaceful day.  As soon as I walked through a gate to enter Kenninji Temple, I felt I must have stepped inside a different world where one could forget about all the worries.   Although it's situated right next to residential and commercial streets and quite close to the famous Gion geisha district, I didn't see many people inside the temple precincts.

 

It's been almost 800 years since the temple was founded by Zen master, Eisai, making it the oldest Zen temple in Kyoto.  May peace prevail for another 800 years and more...

 

 

 

Kenninji Temple, Kyoto, Japan I

 

Click here for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 15.5 inches (29 x 39 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

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Gardanne, France III, French Landscape Painting


Gardanne, France III

 

Gardanne is situated just south of Aix-en-Provence.  Compared to the more famous and lively sister to the north, it is a sleepy, small village most travelers seem to pass through.  I went there, knowing that this is the only village painted by Paul Cézanne, as I wanted to walk on the same streets and feel the air.  He actually lived here briefly during the years he stayed in Provence with his family.

 

Most of the village is built on and around a hill.   It was a very hot day and I tried to stay in the shadows of the houses as I climbed to the top.  From there I had a pretty good view to the east of Mount Sainte-Victoire, which was often the painting subject for Cézanne.

 

"There are treasures to be taken away from this country, which has not yet found an interpreter worthy of the riches it offers." -- Paul Cézanne

 

 

 

Gardanne, France III

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Please send me an email for details.

 

Click here to see another painting of Gardanne, France.

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Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence, French Landscape Paintings


Cours Mirabeau, Aix, France I

 

Le Cours Mirabeau is a main thoroughfare built on the old ramparts in the city of Aix-en-Provence.  Houses on both sides, constructed by wealthy families, are from the 17th and 18th centuries.  Many are elegantly decorated and they are beautiful.  I think Le Cours is one of the most attractive avenues in all of France, so it doesn't surprise me that it's always crowded with visitors and locals.

 

When you arrive here and see busy sidewalk cafés, shops and restaurants, you may immediately feel like you are transported to the Champs-Elysées or the Left Bank in Paris.  But this is Provence.  Start strolling under tall plane trees or grab a chair under one of the colorful umbrellas to have a drink, and you will notice the light shining through is definitely that of the south.

 

 

Le Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence, France I

 

Click for an enlarged view of this painting.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 14 x 21 inches (36 x 53 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Through Gallery.  Please send me an email for details.

 

 

 

Le Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence, France II

 

Le Cours Mirabeau, Aix-en-Provence, France II

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Sold

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La Grande Dame de Paris, French Landscape Painting

 

Old Neighbor, Paris II

 

 

People living on this street have had this brown, 324-meter-tall neighbor for quite some time.  She just celebrated her 122nd birthday on March 31.  One of the most popular iconic symbols of Paris, she's often referred to as the Iron Lady (la dame de fer) or La Grande Dame de Paris.  At the foot of the Eiffel Tower, thousands of people from all over the world line up every day to pay tribute to her.

 

Having such a famous neighbor could mean a lot of traffic or visitors to this area, but for the residents on this street and many others around here, life goes on, no matter what takes place on the Parc de Champ de Mars where she stands.  They go to work every day and take their children to nearby schools.  They manage to park their cars literally bumper to bumper just outside their apartments.  They go out every morning to a bakery for a freshly baked baguette - often with their pooch in tow.

 

 

Old Neighbor, Paris II

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 15.5 x 11.5 inches (39 x 29 cm)
Frame/Mat: No

Purchase: Through Gallery.  Please send me an email for details.

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Retour de la série «Paris Café»

 

Paris Café LI (Montmartre)

 

 

Paris Café was the series of mostly small works depicting different cafés in the city of Paris.  I started it in 2009 and, after making 50 paintings, I announced the end of the series.

 

I am happy to say most of the 50 paintings found a new home and that I still hear from visitors to my website that they continue enjoying viewing the images of those paintings.  In fact, after the announcement, I myself couldn't stop painting scenes involving Parisian cafés, bistros, bars and restaurants, and occasionally showed them here on my blog (see my Paris, France category).

 

Without doubt, sidewalk cafés are among those that symbolize Paris, and I must say they do so in a very intimate way.  As someone who loves the city, I have decided to bring back the Paris Café series.  Through my new café paintings, I look forward to conveying flavors of various cafés.  I also hope to depict the distinctive atmosphere of different neighborhoods so we can actually feel like getting around Paris.

 

 

Paris Cafe LI (Montmartre)

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 13.5 x 10.5 inches (34 x 27 cm)
Mat: Yes (15 x 10 inches; white)

Frame: No

Purchase: Please send me an email.

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Gondolier X, Venice Italy Painting


Gondolier, Venice X

 

San Bartolomeo is a church tucked away behind the Rialto Bridge.  Some time after its foundation in the 9th century, it became the church of the German trading community that enjoyed an active commerce in this area.  The bell tower was constructed when the church was rebuilt following the 1688 earthquake.  The onion shaped dome with an octagonal drum is visible from the Grand Canal.

 

The traffic on the Grand Canal, Venice's main waterway, is always very busy near the Rialto Bridge, with all kinds of boats going up and down and across the corridor.   But skilled gondoliers would just paddle their gondolas through them all while serenading.

 

 

Gondolier, Venice, Italy X

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 21.5 x 7 inches (54.5 x 18 cm)
Mat/Frame: Yes (27 x 12 inches).  Please ask for details.

Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Santa Fe Depot, San Diego Paintings


Santa Fe Depot, San Diego II

 

I can't think of a better place than Santa Fe Depot (Union Station) to welcome visitors to San Diego.  It's such a beautiful place and I even think making a trip to see just that is worthwhile.

 

The architecture, reflective of the city's Spanish Colonial heritage, is breathtaking.  When passengers get off a train and walk alongside the historic building and rows of majestic palm trees, I see them just smiling.  Once inside, then the interior makes anyone stop and say wow.  The high ceiling, brilliant tile work throughout, cozy benches, and a little cafe... all create a very inviting atmosphere.

 

As light comes in from huge windows and bounces off the floor, the entire place looks more like an art museum than a train station.  Click here to see another painting of Santa Fe Depot.

 

 

Santa Fe Depot, San Diego II

 

Click here for an enlarged view.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 15.5 inches (29 x 39 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Sold

 

 

 

Santa Fe Depot, San Diego I

 

 

Santa Fe Depot, San Diego I

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 12 x 8 inches (30 x 20 cm)
Mat: Yes (18 x 12 inches; off-white)

Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Calanques, French Landscape Painting


Calanques, France I

 

The coastline that stretches from Marseille to Cassis, called the Calanques, is incredibly picturesque.  Massive, jagged white cliffs that were formed a long time ago rise almost vertically from the turquoise water of the Mediterranean.

 

There are some small inlets which are accessible from the land and the sea.  It is surprising to see a variety of vegetation on these white limestone rocks but they are the kinds that thrive on the abundant sunshine, wind and arid conditions.

 

The area around the Calanques has long been a favorite for artists such as Paul Signac and Paul Cézanne.  It is so easy to be consumed by its natural beauty and gorgeous light, but be aware of dehydration if you attempt painting en plein air.

 

 

 

 

Calanques, France I

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Outdoor Market in Vence, France


Vence, France II

 

Sharing a street with like-minded shoppers, admiring fresh produce, sampling artisan bread and local cheese, savoring the aroma of lavenders...  During a travel in the south of France, a visit to a lively outdoor market on a sunny day could be an ultimate joie de vivre experience.  Surely the charm of French markets lies in the simple pleasure of being a part of the scene but it also provides a rich artistic inspiration.

 

Vence is a small medieval village on the hill, not far from Nice.  Whenever they have a colorful outdoor market, the Old Town inside the walls is bustling with shoppers and vendors.  When the light fills everywhere, deciding whether to sketch or to shop can be tormenting to an artist.

 

 

Vence, France III

 

 

Vence, France II

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

 

 

Vence, France III

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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New Watercolor Workshop in San Diego


Firenze, Italy IX

 

I am pleased to announce that my new class has just been added to the San Diego Watercolor Society's workshop list.

 

I'll be teaching "Landscape and Perspective" in the SDWS Education Center, May 9-11, 2011.  Each day duing class I will also do one or two demonstrations, such as this painting (a demo from my recent workshop).

 

For a class description and more information, please check out My Workshops and register online at www.sdws.org.

 

 

 

Firenze, Italy IX

 

Click here for an enlarged view.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 21.5 x 14.25 inches (54.5 x 36 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

 

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Nice, France VI, French Landscape Painting


Nice, France VI

 

Nice just glows at sunset.  If you look from the top of the hill east of the Old Town, a sweeping view of this beautiful city reveals orange rooftops of the buildings, mile after mile.  Brightened by the last rays of sunlight, they seem to be almost burning.

 

For this small painting, I zoomed in on the section of the Old Town where the majestic Cathédrale Sainte-Réparate stands.  Things are quiet up on the hill as a night approaches, but down there in many restaurants and cafés it's going to be another busy night.

 

 

Nice, France VI

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25inches (29 x 21 cm)
Mat/Frame: No

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Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy III, Italian Landscape Painting


S. Margherita Ligure, Italy III

 

Right next to Portofino, Santa Margherita Ligure is another lovely town by the Ligurian Sea.  Lured by the region's picturesque scenery and all that it offers, many tourists visit here.  The popularity of these towns are attested by crowds at their beaches and waterfront promenades.

 

But if we go further inland a couple of blocks, what we will see is just local people going about their ordinary life.  Children playing soccer, neighbors chatting in a square, moms busily shopping for dinner, a pizza delivery man on a Vespa... I just love seeing slice of life stories like these unfold.

 

In a residential neighborhood like this, there's no fancy pizzeria but I'd be happy to find an old snack bar behind a row of parked scooters.  A slice of pizza the owner warmed up for me tasted better than anything I might have found at a pricey restaurant where a waiter would recommend a tourist menu in several different languages.

 

 

Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy III

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Portofino, Italy V, Italian Landscape Painting


Portofino, Italy V

 

One of the rewards for traveling is that we realize there are many lessons to be learned out there. We can read or watch dvd's about different places, people and cultures, but the first-hand experience makes it so much easier to learn about them that it often doesn't feel like we are making a conscious effort.

 

For example, Portofino is a perfect place to understand the meaning of la dolce far niente, the sweetness of doing nothing, that I heard the Italians had perfected as an art form.  Sitting at a cafe near the harbor surrounded by brightly-colored houses, the blue ocean and green mountains, and doing really nothing else but savoring the moment to appreciate what we have in life...  Doing this well is not as easy as it sounds especially if you are used to a fast-paced and hurried life.  But I think we can assume this is a lesson eveyone would love to learn.

 

 

Portofino, Italy V

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Awajishima (Sumoto), Hyogo, Japanese Landscape Paintings


Awajishima (Sumoto), Japan II

 

There are several beaches on the Awajishima Island and I really liked Ohama Beach in the town of Sumoto for its beautiful white sand and rows of pine trees.  It was so quiet and the water was crystal clear.  It was strange that not many people ventured out to enjoy this jewel, but I figured, in winter time, the idea of soaking in onsen (hot springs), which Sumoto is also known for, must be what attracts most visitors to the town.

 

In both of my paintings today, I used Mt. Mikuma as a backdrop.  Using fairly thick mix of greens, purples and browns, I dropped paints quickly on a moist surface to create the illusion of a lush mountain.

 

There is a castle on top of the mountain, which was originally built almost 500 years ago during the Sengoku (Warring States) Period, a time of long civil war and political upheaval.  Looking up at the remains from the beach gave me a meditative moment about how times have changed.

 


Awajishima (Sumoto), Hyogo, Japan III

 

 

Awajishima (Sumoto), Hyogo, Japan II

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Sold

 

 

Awajishima (Sumoto), Hyogo, Japan III

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Kanazawa (Ono), Japan


Kanazawa (Ono), Japan I

 

Ono, a small village with a fishing port within the city of Kanazawa, was very quiet.  In fact, there was not even a soul walking when we got there in the late afternoon.  The chilly drizzle and freezing wind were enough to send even townspeople indoors, it seemed.  With nobody to ask for directions, we started exploring the town anyway, but we knew getting around could not be difficult in a small place like this.  So we first walked along the Ono River that flows into the Sea of Japan.

 

Along the river bank, fishing boats that had been long back from the sea were lined up neatly.  There were only a few fishermen mending their nets and cleaning the decks of their boats.  I couldn't help but imagine how busy and lively it must be in the morning when all the boats come and go.

 

Ono is also known as a major soy sauce (shoyu) manufacturing town.  Here and there we can spot family-run shoyu factories, and we can sometimes detect the flavorful smell of shoyu while walking on the streets.

 

 

 


Kanazawa (Ono), Japan II

 

 

Kanazawa (Ono), Japan I

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Sold

 

 

Kanazawa (Ono), Japan II 

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Takayama, Gifu, Japan


Takayama, Japan I

 

Over the mountains and past small villages, getting to Takayama can be an enjoyable trip in and of itself.   During winter months, thick snow can be seen on the ground, and the frigid temperature can often be expected.  A fairly large town in the remote region in the northern part of Gifu Prefecture, Takayama welcomes visitors with its unique charm that has especially attracted those looking for the image of Old Japan.

 

In all of these three paintings, everyday scenes in the old section of the town are depicted.  The bright red bridge (Nakabashi) in the first painting, is one of the town's landmarks; Takayama Castle used to be on the hill in the background.  The other two paintings show narrow streets where traditional merchant houses are lined on both sides.  Some are sake breweries and some are craftsmen's workshops.  Even though many of these houses sell souvenirs for tourists who come here during a day, there's just silence and a few lights on these streets after nightfall.  Time does seem to go by slowly here.

 

 


Takayama, Gifu, Japan II

 


Takayama, Gifu, Japan III

 

Takayama, Gifu, Japan I

 

Click here for an enlarged view.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Sold

 

 

Takayama, Gifu, Japan II 

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

 

 

Takayama, Gifu, Japan III

 

A larger images of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

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Road to Eiheiji Temple, Fukui, Japan


Road to Eiheiji Temple, Japan VIII

 

I've been on this road before and here I am once again on my way to Eiheiji Temple in Fukui Prefecture, Japan.  My last visit here more than 6 years ago was around this time of the year as well.  Winter has just begun in Fukui so the weather is far from the severest, but I have been spoiled by a year-round mild climate of San Diego.  As before, I find myself shivering from the freezing temperature and occasional snowfalls.

 

Eiheiji is one of the most important zen temples in Japan and visitors come here literally from all over the world.  Although I am going on a pilgrimage, this journey is not purely for a religious reason but more for a personal one.  I wanted to come back to a place that helped me decide to stay on a journey as a painter.

 

Back in 2005, I was painting day in and day out various cityscapes and landscapes, struggling to find a way to create works that could tell my stories and convey my feelings.  Doing this for almost a year without any satisfactory results was discouraging, to say the least.

 

As a beginning watercolorist, I knew I lacked skills to execute such a painting but a goal for me was to produce a painting "from the heart" rather than a technically good one.  Inspired by a spiritual trip to Eiheiji a year before, I did a series of paintings of that experience at the end of 2005 and the beginning of 2006.  I don't know how I did it differently but I was able to feel my emotional involvement in those paintings for the first time.  So I am here again to say thank-you for the encouragement that I needed desparately.

 

 

Road to Eiheiji Temple, Fukui, Japan VIII

 

Click here for an enlarged view.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 11.5 x 8.25 inches (29 x 21 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Sold

 

 

 


Road to Eiheiji Temple, Japan VI

 


Road to Eiheiji Temple, Japan VII

 

 

Road to Eiheiji Temple, Fukui, Japan VI

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Sold

 

 

Road to Eiheiji Temple, Fukui, Japan VII

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

 

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San Diego Workshops


Barrio Logan, San Diego II

 

Last weekend I had so much fun with a group of 25 very enthusiastic students who attended my workshop at the Education Center of the San Diego Watercolor Society.  I did four demos over two days and in between everyone was busy painting, learning, critiquing, exchanging ideas, socializing and inspiring each other.   Here are some photos and some of my demo paintings.

 

I am scheduled to do another weekend workshop, Capturing Light and Atmosphere in Watercolor, at the San Diego Watercolor Society in September, 2011.  Register early at the SDWS website.

 

 

    

 

 

  Firenze, Italy IX

 

  Julian VII

 

 

Barrio Logan, San Diego II

 

Click here for an enlarged view.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 12 x 16 inches (31 x 41 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

 

 

Firenze, Italy IX

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 21.5 x 14.25 inches (54.5 x 36 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

 

 

Julian, San Diego VII

 

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 12 x 16 inches (31 x 41 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Sold

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Siena, Italy VIII, Italian Landscape Painting


Siena, Italy VIII

 

Sometimes we wonder how in the world we could survive life before the internet.  But somehow we did.

 

In those days, traveling far from home meant a difficulty to stay current with the news, and a traveler would often feel isolated for better or worse.  While in a foreign land where there was a language barrier, TV offered little help.  Placing an international call home was a luxury, especially for a young backpacker on a budget.  Sometimes I had my family and friends from home send letters for me to a place like the American Express office in a country where I was traveling, and I would pick them up when I got there.

 

During my first visit to Italy, I learned a quick stop at a newsstand could satisfy my need to know the world's biggest news if I could just skim the headlines of any English-language newspaper they carried.  When I saw this newspaper kiosk in Siena, nostalgic memories of those days came back.

 

 

Siena, Italy VIII

 

A larger image of this painting is available on request.

Media: Original watercolor on paper
Image Size: 8.25 x 11.5 inches (21 x 29 cm)
Mat/Frame: No
Purchase: Please send me an email for more information.

Click here to see more paintings in my Italian Landscapes Collection.

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