Thursday, November 28, 2019


Leaving Hokkaido (and our nephew and his wife who had to return to Hong Kong), we took a local flight to Tokyo and then on to our spectacular hotel in the main business district of Shinjuku. The Tokyo train system is a bit overwhelming and took a bit of getting used to. Thankfully our niece Emma and her husband Jack met us in Tokyo and took over as tour guides. They were very helpful in generally getting us around and we went on a few trips outside Tokyo on most days. The first was to the Southern town of Kamakura, somewhere I had always wanted to go due to Yabusame (Japanese archery from horseback). There was so much to see there and is a popular tourist site. The main temple in the town was outstanding (with views overlooking the sea) but I managed only a few studies as there were so many other places to visit. This view is of a temple roof facing south towards the coast, again, size is 5" x 7".


At lake Utonai looking right and into the sun, I saw how the lakeside foliage was back-lit and the way that the sun reflected off the water created a wonderful effect that I couldn't resist trying to paint. This smaller study will be the basis for a larger painting that I'm working on at the moment. It too will have geese in flight with hopefully the same lighting effects as this one. I did this watercolor a little larger that the others. Lakeside study, Lake Utonai, 6" x 9".

Wednesday, November 20, 2019


As mentioned earlier, Lake Utonai was a wonderful place to visit and I certainly didn't run out of things to paint. Here the view is looking across the lake to reed beds nestling below the tree line. A few geese while away their time near the far bank. I'm planning a larger version of this scene with geese in flight heading down to the far end of the lake.


Nearby the Hokkaido Shrine were a number of mature trees, some of which were ringed with ropes and paper motifs. My study of one such a tree had a younger oak growing amongst the roots of a tall tree and I wanted to show the differences between the young sapling and the older oak.