Hello blog! It’s officially summertime in Japan and I have some things I would like to post about!
To start, here’s a piece that I painted based off of a sketch I did before I came to Japan two years ago. It has an important meaning to me, and completing the painting actually took me quite some time because I felt so strange bringing these emotions to life again in this piece. I think this is one of my favorite pieces I have completed so far this year.
Next, I want to talk a little about my trip to Okinawa! I went on a long weekend trip with a friend for the first time in the middle of May (sorry I haven’t sat down to make an update sooner! I have been very busy!). On the plane to Okinawa, I was able to see a great view of Mount Fuji! Also, look how cute our plane was, there was a little heart on the wing!
When we got off the plane we rushed to the famous Churaumi Aquarium. I don’t want to post too many photos from there, but I really love the colors in these two photos and wanted to include them here.
Being vegetarian in Japan can be difficult at times, but I had no trouble finding good vegetarian options in Okinawa! On the left is a dish called tofu chanpuru (I’m honestly not sure if thats the correct translation haha) and on the right is umi budou, which directly translates to sea grapes! The tofu dish had beansprouts and scallions and a yummy sauce. The portion was so large I felt like I was in America again haha. Umi budou are a type of seaweed! Both were very delicious Okinawan dishes!
The ocean in Okinawa was so beautiful! I have never seen water so blue and clear. I wish we could have stayed at the beach all day, I had such a nice time.
We swam for a while before having lunch by the beach.
For lunch this day, I had Okinawan soba topped with ginger and scallions (those white things are some sort of fish cake that I gave to my friend) and on the side I had a delicious agemochi, or fried mochi! We also enjoyed shaved ice. I got mango flavor!
If you know me well you know I love plants. Soon after I got back from Okinawa, it was my birthday! I had a great time celebrating with so many friends and I got a few new plant babies from them! Here are some (soon to be) strawberry, lavender, and (soon to be) basil plants! I get a lot of inspiration for my art through nature so I love to have a lot of plants always in my room.
After all the Okinawa and birthday fun was over, I finally had more time to sit and draw. The sketch on the left is an idea I’ve played around with before; I haven’t perfected the thought yet but sometimes I just need to keep trying and trying before I feel like I can really get it right. For anyone who maybe has been following me and my art for a bit, you probably have noticed a theme of the moon being somewhere in most of my sketches. This is actually a way for me to mark time. When I was a senior in college, my thesis was about lunar astrology and how the moon phases affect us and our lives. When I am working on a sketch, I usually include the moon as a way to mark what phase it was in as I was creating the piece. I don’t always do this, but most of the time, thats why it’s there!
I would like to share some photos from when I celebrated Litha, or the summer solstice, with a close friend. We had a picnic in a spacious imperial garden in Tokyo. We made sun water and flower crowns. The weather was perfect, not too hot and no rain.
This was my first time making a flower crown, and it was much more difficult than my wreath I had made for the first day of spring!
I love spending these kinds of days with people who are close to me, and I had such a nice day. This is my friend Nolita and you can find her on instagram at @confettibastard!
Nolita was working on a photography assignment for class and this is one of my favorite shots that she took.
The hydrangeas by now have mostly all wilted, but in mid/late June they were beautiful. I wanted to take so many pictures with them in it! And for the sketch… I have a fascination with the shape of ginkgo leaves. I think theyre so charming.
This weekend was tanabata in Japan so I went to a tanabata festival in Shitamachi! If you’ve never heard of tanabata, please look up the history! I walked down this street and there were so many colors, food vendors, and trees where you could hang your own wish (you write it on a piece of paper and hang it from the tree!). I walked around for a while and enjoyed my time.
I like doing these small sketches because I feel like its a great way to get out some ideas in a time efficient but still polished manner. It’s been on and off rainy here in Japan.
On July 9th I went to Asakusa for a Chinese lantern plant festival! The windchimes made such beautiful sounds!
浅草のほおずき市へ行った！七夕祭りのとき、chinese lantern plant festivalのポスターを見て行ってみようと思った！
The plants were very beautiful and so unique! They sold them like this, as pictured above, and even by the single bulb (is bulb the right word…?)
Completely unrelated dahlia (and tooth, haha). Also related to flowers, as I browse through flower shops I have been finding so many beautifully colored dahlias lately.
The festival was right next to Sensoji-temple. Nearby the many many stalls of these plants, there were also many food stands! You could buy so many kinds of foods such as yakisoba, fried meats, candied apples, chocolate bananas, shaved ice, baked potatos, etc.! But I chose to buy one of these little buns with pickled greens in it, and it was amazing!
So I believe that is all I have to update about! I have been quite busy lately so I haven’t had as much time to be as productive as I would normally like to be. I also had a few friends visit from overseas over the last few months and I will actually be returning back to America for a few weeks soon! I will probably update again either right before my trip or right when I come back. Thank you so much for reading this blog entry, check back again sometime! Have a great morning/day/night!