As promised, here is the counterpart to yesterday’s post.
Sadly, it didn’t dry up to 100% today, but as I need to submit it tomorrow there’s really nothing I can do. Fortunately, there’s only about a 3 millimeter area of yellow that’s not dry (everything else is) so it only made a tiny speck on my scanner glass, which I was easily able to wipe up.
They should look nice framed and side-by-side.
This painting was a quick 1-day deal which took over a week to dry… If you saw my Facebook page no doubt you saw me complaining about it. I think it was due to a new yellow paint I used in the background. Everything dried quickly in a couple of days except for that yellow corner. By Monday I was getting worried it would never dry in this humidity (it’s the rainy season now) so I left it under the air conditioner for 2 days. That didn’t help very much, so yesterday I put it outside in the sun all day long. That did a good job, and after one more day of sunning it, it was finally dry. I actually painted a pair of chickens — his wife is on another panel — but the other one is not dry enough to scan yet. Perhaps another day sitting in the sun will do the trick.
It’s a pretty simple piece because of its size. It’s on a very small wood board and I did it for a show/competition next week based on this size image. Hopefully I’ll be able to post the other panel tomorrow. They look pretty good side-by-side. In fact, I think they would make decent men/women restroom signs.
Just to update on my previous post about searching for a new place: we found one!
I’ll be renting an old pre-WWII “machiya” style Japanese house — these are the traditional wooden houses built in Kyoto style with narrow entrances that serve as storefronts and back rooms/upstairs that serve as living quarters. If you’ve ever visited Kyoto or other old towns you’ve no doubt seen tons of these. I’ve always loved these old style buildings, so I’m really psyched to get to use one as a painting studio. Takefu, as I’ve said before, is a really old town that really hasn’t changed much over the decades. It feels like a time warp, and that’s really awesome, especially in respect to old buildings. While the main roads seem to have a 60′s/70′s feel to them, the alleys are pure old-Japan. This is going to be an inspiration heaven!
We also managed to secure an apartment about 3/4 the cost of our current one and twice the size. It’s pretty close to the studio, and much closer to the train station than I am now. It’s also right next to my favorite yakiniku shop from back when I lived in Takefu in previous years. The only downside to this apartment is that it’s a decent ways farther away from my wife’s work. She’s been really great about it thought, and even though I told here there was absolutely no pressure to move if she’s rather stay very close to work, she decided it was time to move (I’m sure the construction trucks 5 feet from our bedroom window helped make up her mind).
Moving there is going to be tough because next month is quite busy. But we hope to be in there by the start of August. I’m really looking forward to sketching and painting in the old neighborhoods.
It’s summer time, and the rainy season has begun, and that means one thing: BUGS!
Fukui’s climate is pretty similar to South Jersey where I grew up, so I’m pretty used to this weather. Hot, humid summers that just make you want to die. While NJ gets impressive thunderstorms and torrential downpours throughout July, here the rainy season starts in mid-June and ends in mid-July and we don’t get so many thunderstorms. But it is very muggy and there are mosquitoes everywhere.
The other day I noticed another summer staple here: a gecko! They come out during summer nights and eat the bugs that swarm all over the windows trying to get inside. I jumped when I saw a white shape streak past my head, and then saw the gecko running about on the window, snatching up the dozens of different bugs all over our sliding glass door. They have the strangest way of walking!
In Japanese, geckos are called yamori. They’re said to protect the house (from what I’m not sure) but seeing them is a very good sign. I tend to agree, if it means fewer mosquitoes attacking me in the night (since they seem to have no interest in my wife, but keep me up all night screaming in my ears and covering me in puncture wounds).
Fukuiraptor at Nishiyama Koen Station
The latest in the Fukuiraptor Riding the Train series is finally dry enough to scan, though I think I got a few speckles of titanium white on the scanner glass.
Nishiyama Koen is a famous park in Sabae city, and one of the more popular destinations among residents of Fukui prefecture. It’s a small mountain (or a very large hill) with a park on top. The mountain is covered in various flowers which bloom at different times of year, and is the pride of Sabae city. It’s also home to the city’s red panda mascots, who live in the small zoo on the mountain top. I’m sure Fukuiraptor would want to go there, if nothing else to see the red pandas (and maybe to eat them).
Again I’ve allowed the no-posting-until-I’ve-finished-a-painting bug to keep me quiet this week. Sorry! I’ve been pretty busy working on the most recent Fukuiraptor painting, and it’s finished now, although I can’t post it for maybe one or two more days until the paint is dry enough for me to scan it.
Early this week I woke up to an unpleasant sound. At first I thought there was an earthquake, but then I noticed it was a bulldozer outside my window! This area used to be all rice paddies, but now it’s under massive development, and now the rice paddy next to my window has been paved over, leaving none around the apartment. It’s a big shame, because I used to love listening to the birds outside, and seeing pheasants, grey herons, egrets, ducks, and all sorts of other birds fishing for tadpoles in the paddy, just a few feet from where I paint.
Without the rice paddy, there’s precious little keeping me tied to this location. It’s become plastic town — this is one of the fastest developing places in the city. All around me are shopping malls and apartments. It’s amazingly convenient for anything I could want to buy, but the downside is that towns that grow up this quickly have no community centers at all. So it’s like a zombie town, unfortunately. And another downside, there are no trees! It has a pretty profound effect on not only the mood of the town, but on the weather too, surprisingly.
So I spent this weekend in Takefu looking at old houses. Takefu has an amazing amount of old, classic Japanese buildings with traditional wooden faces. It’s like a city that time forgot, and I really love getting lost walking down the old fashioned streets. A lot of the buildings are empty, and they can be rented quite cheap, though the condition varies. I found a couple of good ones that I could use as a painting studio, which would be great, but I still need to find a place to live in down there. The search continues, and once I find a good place, I’ll post some sketches and photos of the new neighborhood.
Some time ago a new dinosaur was discovered in Fukui. The other day his name was finally revealed: Fukuititan! That brings to three the number of dinosaurs named after this prefecture: Fukuiraptor kitadaniensis, Fukuisaurus tetoriensis, and Fukuititan nipponensis.
I suppose I ought to include Fukuiraptor’s two friends in the next painting I do.