Wednesday, February 28, 2007

So Yeah!

Happy birthday
To me
Under the Cherry tree
At 33

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Count Down To 33

I turn 33 in 20 minutes. I get to be 32 for two hours longer than I would if I was still in Australia. So technically 32 was a longer year. It is my first birthday away from home. There have been a few times where birthdays did not seem that special, or that much different to any other day. I had the ritualistic 'big bash' for my 16th, 18th and 21st, the first two being really just an excuse for a party and a chance to get drunk. Funnily enough, I was drunk for none of them as I was too busy running around and making sure everyone else was ok and having a good time.

In more recent years I have come to appreciate each birthday as something of a milestone. An acheivement. Each new year, reminding me how fortunate I am to be able to see it in. This year shall be no exception. I am fortunate...fortunate to be here in Japan, and whilst I am far away from many people that I love dearly, I am following a long time artistic and adventurous dream of mine. I have always wanted to paint and live overseas, in particular - in Japan. I am most fortunate to be able to say that I am now doing 32, and soon at 33.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Lullaby + Exile

Sleep would be most welcome right now.

I have had one good nights sleep since we arrived. Last night being the worst. Not a very productive weekend due to developing a 'welcome to Japan in Winter' cold that nearly everyone in Osaka has had, has or is going to get. The heating is department stores and other shops is ridiculous here. So incredibly drying and dehydrating. You go from being incredibly cold outside to being on the verge of passing out from dehydration once inside. It's no wonder 50% of the people out and about are wearing masks...a good indication of how many locals it also effects.

The past two days have been very cold, possibly the coldest since we arrived on the 10th. There is a chill in the air here that chills the marrow in your bones. I have been to colder places at colder times, but I am certainly feeling the cold right now. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I have come from a hot Melbourne Summer where the average temperature was in the low to mid 30's for some time prior to our departure. Still I am glad to be here, although I must say that feeling unwell whilst overseas does make you appreciate good health and the little comforts of home that we so often take forgranted.

I was very fortunate to be able to enjoy a few consecutive days of good weather during this Japanese Winter that allowed me to try out my rooftop studio. Spring is not too far away now, and considering this was apparently a 'mild' Winter, (I would not have liked to have been here for anything less mild), it may even come early this year, bringing the finer, warmer weather with it.

Despite having been to Japan twice previously, it is still somewhat of a culture shock to actually move here. I am carrying a much different mentality this time around, completely different to that of a tourist. It has been an interesting two weeks, there is still much to explore and I am still settling into my new environment, physically and psychologically. There is always an adjustment period. I look forward to settling in a little more as each week passes, and to many more days of painting on the rooftop.

Friday, February 23, 2007

At Last...

Although the weather does not permit me to paint in - or should I say 'on' - my rooftop studio today, we now have a laptop that enables me to upload images. Even if it means I have to walk around the corner and sit on the side of the road as hundreds of people ride past on their bicycles and look at the weird gaijin all rugged up, sitting on her bag with a brand new apple notebook on her lap - as we have no connection in the apartment so I have to piggyback for now. This means looking a bit strange for a while...oh well, so be it. I am just happy to be able to upload some images.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

On a Rooftop, Osaka

My new studio is on the rooftop of our apartment building in Osaka.
It is a temporary set up of course, or a 'mobile studio', as the weather is not always reliable, however, these past two days have been perfect for painting out doors so I have spent the best part of both of them in, or should I say 'on' the rooftop studio. It is much bigger than my more permanent set up inside the apartment and it is abundent with natural light. The view is also fabulous, even if it is rather urban. Now all I need to do is be able to upload photos on here!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Lost in Translation

I am still having trouble working with Japanese computers...
I tried uploading photos to my blog from my data traveler but to no avail. For a minute I even thought I had deleted them all and had a mild panic attack as that little tool is my folio whilst I am over here.

I think I will store it safely away until my knowledge of hiragana, katakana and kanji is a little better...or at least until we get the internet set up in our apartment.

I will keep an analogue blog in relation to my time in Japan until I can sort out something online.

I have set up a little studio space in the apartment and despite the lack of natural light in that space, I am fairly content with my efforts in setting up my own space here is Osaka.

I even managed to prepare a surface on one of my canvases last night and as it is raining here today, I am thinking it is a great day for being indoors and getting stuck into my art.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Happy Camper

I am a happy camper.

Thanks to the internet and Jacob I found a Tokyu Hands store. They only had rather small stretched canvas of not the best quality but I at least felt I was getting somewhere, and with the help of my broken Japanese and the assistants broken English I was directed to a wonderful art supplies store called Kawachi. They had everything I needed and more... needless to say I was like a kid in a candy store. What a massive city this is. I am out on my own today, wandering, picking up a few things before heading back to the apartment to get stuck into my painting. Lots to discover yet! The adventure has just begun.

Now I just need to work out the computer system over here until we get our own connection at the apartment in order to upload images and understand what is on my screen!

Monday, February 12, 2007


Well...I made it.
I am sitting in an internet cafe in Namba, struggling with the Japanese characters on my screen and sometimes keyboard and desperately trying to find an art supply store in the area. I have been here only two days and I miss painting. I am so eager to start painting that I find it hard to sit still.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Final Details