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Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Japan Trip, Matsushima Part 3


Hi, Friends, I’ve been working on the images and a storyboard for the picture book project funded by Australian Gov. I visited Entsū-in known for a beautiful garden, Godaidō on an island,  zen temple Zuiganji (瑞巌寺), etc, to collect the visual images and data in Matsushima. Temples have been a community centre in a local area like church in Western countries. It was crucial for Basho and Sora to visit there, connected them and ran their haiku workshops to establish a new literature, haikai in Edo era. 

Entsū-in in Matsushima has a beautiful architecture and a "karesansui" garden that shows waterstreams by rocks. 
Godaidō: Temple on an Island just next to the pier in Matsushima. An author Libby Hathorn and I visited there at the beginning of a summer. Haiku poet Basho (1644–94) loved Matsushima’s moon and the beautiful scenery in his travel poem diary. Like him, I've rediscovered the beauty of Japan in the trip.
Zuiganji (瑞巌寺) is one of the most famous Zen temples in Tohoku area. Basho and Sora visited temples and shrines. Btw the 2011 tsunami had damaged many trees I realised on the way to the main hall entrance, below. Zuiganji was having a rock or pop music (?) freebie open concert in the evening! Certainly, a temple still plays the role of a community centre like church in Australia. 
A kitchen in Zuiganji, in the past. The kitchen and the hall are Japanese national treasures. In my memory, a museum is near to this kitchen. Libby and I learned about a Japanese history.
Matsushima is so beautiful that has a sea, mountains, historical architectures and a museum. People are so kind to us, visitors. 
Those images and experiences have become great inspiration for me and I'm creating illustrations. I hope my inspirations will bloom out in this project.
Friends, happy painting!  



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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Japan Trip, Matsushima Part 2

Certainly, I enjoyed "graffiti" in a lovely Italian restaurant, "Toto," in Matsushima! I drew the managers (*manager Kanji Abe, Chef Mai Miyachika) on the wall! They loved my work and added an "extra" stuff on my plate. Yam! It was great! I always wanted to draw on the wall freely. A wall should be, the bigger, the better. With jealousy, I would look at a huge graffiti along the railway lines walls to uni, ahaha?! Now, my dream came true. Here we go. 
manager Kanji Abe, Chef Mai Miyachika. Kanji executes the shop well and offers a very good customer service. Mai creates splendid dishes I love. It was a wonderful break for an artist in a research trip in Japan. 
Btw, my tips of caricatures on walls are... "guts" and that's all! You know, regarding graffiti,  there's no way back in drawing on a wall. But paradoxically, a relaxed mind is essential to produce lively drawings. Yes, if a hand gets stiff from a high tension, she only creates a dull work. 
The best moment was celebrating my graffiti with all the people in the shop. The wonderful dish is on the table. Can you see it in the photo below? We have become friends after this and keep in touch. Wow, another bonus from a trip!  
Author Libby Hathorn on this project
Thank you very much for great food and wonderful time!
I'm sure Basho and Sora, too, were setting up networking in a northern part of Japan by their trip on feet. Not easy to make friends with others though, it is a joy in life. Our trip continues to explore Japan. 
Friends, Happy Painting. Draw everywhere and anywhere. 


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Monday, July 8, 2019

Japan Trip, Matsushima Part 1

Thank you very much for your patience! This post shows landscapes in Matsushima. There are mountains, rice fields, a sea and islands, all together at once! In the trip, I was very keen to collect the images of countrysides and traditional houses, temples and shrines. In Matsushima, Basho and Sora produced haiku in beautiful landscapes and to the beautiful moon. They connected the local haiku poets and promoted the new literature, haiku in a Japanese northeast area. I admire Basho's enthusiasm and dedication for haiku. A following post will show famous temples. I wanted to feel the similarity and the differences between Japan and Australia, too. 

I tried to feel my being in Matsushima with all my senses like Basho. I projected myself onto the poet in Edo era. What did he feel in that taste, a breeze, an early summer etc, etc? The experienced feelings have become the catalyst to create drawings and paintings. 

Azaleas humbly, yet, beautifully bloomed out, being left over, at the side of a road between rice paddies. All quiet. No one. I walked around and along rice fields, forests, some hills and a sea. 
Walking in green is so lovely. Unlike Australia, trees have "rigid" shapes in Japan. Plants, too, are different. Wild flowers and trees interested me most. 
Matsushima means "pine tree islands" in Japanese. Indeed, so many pine trees are on little-dots-like islands in Matsushima Bay known for beauty. It was said that even a master of word, Basho had been at a loss for words when he first saw the hundreds of pine-clad islets scattered in Matsushima Bay during a 17th-century journey to the Tohoku region. Also, residents told me those tiny islands had protected them from the tsunami or shock waves from a big earthquake in 2011.
What do you feel about these landscapes? Some readers are in a southern hemisphere. Do you feel difference of nature in a northern hemisphere? 
The collected images have become the great references for illustration ongoing! I'm delightedly and confidently working on the storyboard, the illustration and becoming very busy with many projects and the documentation of the trip, too. I thank for your support and the Australia Council for the Arts.  
Friends, Happy Painting and Illustration!   


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