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Beauty in the Ordinary

Landscape Day at the Coco Winery

Another landscape painting day became an art class. My guide, Asuka, took me to the Coco Winery in the mountains above Sano-shi. The setting was fabulous for painting.

Coco Winery Japan Painting Seamus Berkeley
Coco Winery Japan

The discussion this day focused on the intent of a painting. Asuka had asked me how to describe the receding appearance of the mountains. It was a great question since that was the most outstanding characteristic of the landscape. This led us into a discussion about the intent of a painting. Paintings are not photographs, rather a visual commentary on the world – hopefully well conceived prose or, perhaps, poetry.

The weather was the hottest and most humid here so far. The big surprise of day was that paint dries more quickly here than in Taos. My expectation had been that the paint would take days to dry in this very humid climate. Quite the contrary; within minutes just a wash of color was already dry on the canvas to the point where it was beyond removal. And the paint on the palette had turned to thick gum within half an hour! Yikes!

Next: First Portrait Painting in Japan

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