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Japan is an inspiration

We came back from Japan on Oct. 6.  I t was a fabulous trip.  Japan is an inspiration.  Japan is organized, orderly, clean, pristine, everybody operating on the same page.  The subways are spotless and the opposite of New York, which is chaotic, dirty, disorganized.  People line up at the appropriate places (where the doors will open), wait until the people on the train get off, and then move into the train in a relaxed orderly fashion. No rushing, no crowding, no elbows, no pushing. Just calmly moving in and waiting for the doors to close. Amazing.

The toilets are equally amazing.  Like the subways and trains, they are clean (spotless), and without smells.  The signs are  in Japanese and sign language (pictures) telling you exactly what to do (or not). Simple, easy, painless, and odor free. My husband says that if you like to go to the bathroom, or you have to go often, Japan is the place to visit. He’s not kidding.

Meanwhile, as an artist, I’m impressed by the gardens, Mt. Fuji, the museums, modern and ancient art, marquetry, gold leaf art, the tea ceremony, shrines everywhere, ground minerals and glue making incredible paintings, noren (doorway hangings) designs, the way outside fire escapes are made architecturally interesting, thatched roof villages, the way narrow streets are somehow free of cars at night so people can easily walk from subway to restaurant to whatever, the harvest moon reflected in the river seen from the restaurant.  You name it, I’m impressed.

So I’ve started trying to paint some of my impressions.

First Mt. Fuji, the world-famous symbol of Japan.  We saw it from the highway and from the lake.

Mt. Fuji, my first painting after Japan

It’s clearly not exactly what Mt. Fuji looked like, but rather my impression.

Then, the flowers seen against the mossy ground in Ainokura.

Ainokura flowers, my first attempt

Ainokura flowers II










The same inspiration, very different paintings.