Genesis Art Workshops of Jerusalem and Tokyo

Turning art lovers into artists and book lovers into writers

Browsing Posts published by Liane Wakabayashi

22554987_10156212894421756_919567096553509288_nThis week I don’t know what makes me happier. That I became a new Israeli citizen or that after months of being locked out of this website I found the elusive password! Both bring tears of joy to my eyes.

Seriously, now that I am back in the wordpress saddle, I’d like to tell you about what’s ahead as I shift gears after 30 years in Japan to a new life with my kids in Jerusalem.

Genesis Art Workshops will continue as before. You can still do online private sessions internationally with me as a way of developing your intuitive art skills and take precious time out to refocus, recharge, and concentrate your energy on painting and drawing from the world within. Now with so much of our attention gobbled up by the world-without — social media, online news, youtube and the like — we need more than ever the tools and discipline to help us return back to our true self. This self is incredibly resourceful and creative, given the chance to demonstrate it’s stuff. If you are curious, I’m offering from now until December 31st, a special online one hour introduction to Genesis Art: one hour for $50, regularly $70.

If you have the Genesis Cards, and even if you don’t, this one hour session will give you an opportunity to focus on a creative goal you want to achieve in the months and even years ahead. You’ll take a few minutes before we speak to draw a colorful sketch, following simple instructions I’ll send to you, and then over the session, you’ll learn techniques to interpret what you’ve drawn in ways that help you move into high gear and take action.

As someone who has just left Japan after 30 years, I can tell you how elated I feel to have realized a dream that I have drawn over and over in my art, which was to move to Israel. Drawing what you love brings it closer to you. I’d be thrilled and honored to show you how.

Private session are offered Sunday through Thursday at times throughout the day and evening. Please contact me with specific time and date requests at

Love from Liane from our new home in Yemin Moshe, Jerusalem

Today here in Israel I heard an incredible story about a young woman called Rachel Joy Scott who very very sadly was the first to be massacred in the Columbine shootings. She was a talented actress, and also used to draw in her journals.

On the morning of her death, she drew in her journal a set of eyes with 13 tears raining down onto a rose. She died at lunchtime in a hail of bullets when a boy who she knew since kindergarten, holding a gun to her head, asked her if she believed in God.

Deeply religious, she said yes. A month after her death a pastor by the name of Frank Amedia from Florida couldn’t get a recurring dream out of his head. He saw in his dream that Rachel had left behind a drawing of a set of eyes with 13 tears raining down onto a rose–the same number killed in Columbine.

So he called Rachel’s father, having no idea that in her journal was the image he had seen in the dream.

Okay, there’s a formula here. A dream and a drawing that connects two spiritual souls who never met in this life but met in dreamtime over a work of art.

Art can be that powerful. A healing force in life and in death.

Note: To see the artwork Rachel drew of the rose and find out more about this extraordinary 17 year old life, see:

HIgher Self  through the Genesis Cards

HIgher Self through the Genesis Cards

This is today’s post on Medium.. if you can’t read it on this link I’ve attached it below.

Who is this Higher Self — anyway?
When did I stop referring to this me with a halo as the “higher self?” Was it before I started painting intuitively? That would have been more than 20 years ago.

Or was the banishment of this “higher self” from my everyday vocabulary the result of some greedy impulse? It’s true that I wanted to take ownership of everything I thought, said and did — as if there were no help from the higher realms guiding the story of my life.
Yesterday I was teaching an art and writing exercise done through the Genesis Cards. These 44 cards can cut through stuck thinking. That’s what I teach others — as I’m the creator of these cards. To follow what I teach is a bit trickier because stuck thinking itself is the greatest of tricksters.

I had set before me random cards in a row and strung words together as I identified imagery on each card that tugged at my heart. As I did this, my thoughts shifted from stubborn refusal to change my thinking to a deep exhalation. Afterwards, I asked myself what just happened? What was it that could make me think “absolutely no way” one moment and “well perhaps there is a way” the next.

Words matched with soothing imagery struck down hurt feelings. The words that came up to the surface by randomly choosing a few Genesis Cards and stringing “nonsense” sentences together created a messages that shed light not on the difficulty I’m having now in my relationship with my mother-in-law —but the way to overcome it.

“She’s a queen. You’re a queen. We are brought together through conception: her son, my children — they’re hers and they’re mne. We are here to learn in this life how to soften our edges. Flowers were at one time our shared pastime and entryway to communication. Don’t forget this to be true, the flowers are everywhere — a lotus pond is in your urban backyard! Thinking this way brings physical mastery.”

Higher Self has made a comeback — only she had been here all along. a higher realm of knowing and generosity to see the good in others and in myself.

To find out more about the Genesis Cards, Liane’s original approach to developing both artistic and intuitive abilities from higher wisdom, see

I was at the post office yesterday, went up to the counter and asked for some stamps. The postal worker went right to work. She slammed open a drawer, fumbled for a sheet of stamps, tore off two with a flourish, and handed them to me with one hand, taking change with the other.

You’d have thought there was a long line behind me. Or a few. Or even one other person in the post office. But I was the only one. The nervousness was infectious. I dug fast and deep into my wallet to produce some coins and get the heck out of the post office as fast as I could.

What is it about Tokyo society that turns us into speeding trains? I can get things done, for sure. Just don’t stand in my way or stop to chew the fat because I’m on a schedule, a tight schedule. I’ve got to get home and check my Facebook account. And send out a Tweet or two. And some guy in Ein Hod wants to friend me on LinkedIn.

This skewed relationship to time, to enjoying life at a sane and leisurely pace wasn’t always this way in Japan. Zen Buddhism stills teaches how to stop to smell the roses or at least appreciate the rapidfire song of the cicadas without feeling the obligation to join at their pace.

This is why I return to my creativity for short breaks, for meditative pauses
to step outside the speed of a life that feels increasingly out of sync with my heartbeat. When I draw or write, I can forget about the pressures of the fast life and enjoy doing things really, really slowly. Like selecting a paint brush so small and thin, I’m covering the paper with the detail of another world, another reality.

Drawing in community is great fun too. There’s still a few weeks remaining before summer break to join me in Tokyo at a Genesis art workshop –with a stopover to draw in beautiful Ueno Park. For details see Workshop schedule

I have a soft spot for George W Bush’s new book, a monograph of his paintings paying tribute to injured veterans who served the country while he was president. It takes a big man to apologize and an even greater one to linger over a canvas with a wet paint brush while faces of these still recovering former soldiers become etched in his brain forever. What leader has ever done that?

Well, Winston Churchill was an avid painter–and Bush’s role model. But not to this extent. Painting abilities aside, even factoring in the fun he’s having with his creativity, Bush found for himself the best painting instructors he could in Texas and dedicated himself to honing his craft. His subjects come from real life and display a humility. For George W Bush to go for a visual message to deliver his apologies is mind blowing to me.

I wish that we lived in a world where media didn’t get rich from making laughing stocks out of the strong or weak –people who do dumb things even when we hold them up as smarter than ourselves.

I will order George W Bush’s book, Portraits in Courage, not because I ever liked his administration or the way he handled himself in government. But because the opposite is true. What can I say? As one painter to another, as one portrait artist to another, as one whimsically inclined colorist to another, George Bush and I are finally on the same page.

Genesis ArtIf you’re like me, you have countless photographs of sakura. How can we not resist the temptation to snap away? And yet what becomes of those photographs? Well, I think I’ve found a happy solution–paint them!

Come join me for a relaxing few hours where I’ll show you a technique for painting flowers that will blow your mind. If you thought it impossible to draw sakura or any flower for that matter in a beautiful way, this technique you’ll learn in a matter of minutes will open up the world of painting nature like never before.

For this session please bring 3-6 of your favorite photos of sakura and a B4 Sketchpad. The rest-paints, palettes, brushes and light snacks are provided.

Limit: six participants. Fee: ¥3,000 for two hour session

To register: email or call 080-7743-8531

img_8050At Ueno Zoo 10/30 I had a drawing experience like nothing I’ve ever had before and it made me mighty uncomfortable. I had chosen as my “power animal” a rather jovial duck who struck me in taking a pose I know well from yoga–Vrksasana, or tree pose.

An interesting aside about tree pose. The great yoga master B.K.S Iyengar once pointed to flamingos at the San Diego zoo to demonstrate to yoga teachers how well balanced these enormous pink birds were when in “tree pose.”

Well, here was my well-balanced duck who kindly maintained its pose for long enough  to draw it without effort. Just as I’m finished with the quick sketch what happens? The duck collapses into a heap on the dirt and vomits. I can’t believe my eyes as it struggles to get up but can’t. It struggles for several minutes while my eyes are popping out from the tension of watching whether my “power animal” actually gets up or drops dead in front of me. There is nothing that upsets me more in this whole world than stumbling upon a dead bird–a phobia kept under check in Japan by a fastidious society that removes unsightly non-moving objects instantaneously. 

Drawing by M. Emoto
Power animals suggest beasts that are strong, powerful, confident and rulers of the animal kingdom. Interestingly. four out of five of us drawing at the zoo chose birds as our power animals. And it wasn’t as if we were drawing eagles or vultures. We were drawing skinny legged laidback everyday birds, like ducks.

My particular duck for reasons I will never know made a spectacular recovery and just as easily as if the whole spectacle of its struggle hadn’t happened, it picked itself up after a few minutes and resumed a lackadasical tree pose.

Art mirrors life–I believe. Animals mirror people–especially those we are drawn to. Drawn to watching, drawn to sketching.

There are moments in my day when I feel like that duck that is struggling to get up. I am immensely cheered that in the end my duck rallied. It did find the inner strength to carry on.

Liane with self-portrait drawn from imagination

Liane with self-portrait drawn from imagination

Make a self-portrait that you will just love hanging on your wall!

Self-Portraiture is such a pleasure when you realize that you don’t need a mirror to catch a likeness of who you really are.

This is one of my favorite exercises, as it reaches to the heart of Genesis Art –cultivating the inner smile. This smile that we offer ourselves can be like a cure for the parts of our lives that need a bit more kindness, light and understanding.

Join me this Sunday November 6 when you’ll have a chance to draw not only yourself without a mirror, but your partner for this exercise.

dscf4226As always, you’ll have plenty of time to talk and share deeply of life through randomly chosen Genesis cards. These cards are like amplifiers from the soul, opening us up to speak from the heart about the things in life that matter. As we focus on our creative selves, this is your time to let go of every other concern and recharge yourself with bright colors and feelings of well being. And while doing so, you may step out into Okachimachi’s warren of streets with a smile, new friends, and the memory of their wonderful smiles.


Location: Genesis Art Studio 2-26-8 Taito, Taito-ku, Tokyo

Phone: 090-4122-6626

Time: 1:00-4:00

Fee: ¥3,000

For reservations: email






There’s an exercise we do at the zoo for drawing our “power animal” and it’s surprising to see what animals that artists unconsciously choose to guide them back to recognition of the immensity of their intuitive awareness.

Here’s one beautiful story about how an artist drew flamingos after circling the zoo looking for a “stronger” animal to represent her power. After shopping around—so to speak—she ended up drawing the original flamingos.

Flamingos are symbolically rich in feminine and emotional meaning and with their long graceful necks have a lot to say about how we express ourselves from the throat.

I asked the artist if recently she’s been seeing  flamingo in other areas of her life. She laughed at the preposterous notion that there would be flamingos in her urban neighborhood but then her face suddenly changed in recognition that she had in her closet a bag that looked like a flamingo and the shoulder strap actually looked pink like the neck of the bird

Genesis Art Workshop Online

Genesis Art Workshop Online

… Here’s her lovely story:

Thank you for the fantastic session! I’ll share the memory about the flamingo bag below as I can recall it. Well, I chose to buy this eccentric bag (see below) at the advice of a kinesiology reader. Kinesiology  is a way to access our subconscious mind through subtle muscle responses. I do kinesiology myself, but I also like to receive a reading at the start of each year to seek guidance. And from last year “Oshare na kaban” – a stylish bag was suggested as lucky for me. I’m a very private person and don’t like to call attention to myself so I was surprised to hear this! Without that guidance, it was very unlikely for me to buy this sort of flamingo bag. In fact, I didn’t use it for one year  until finally this summer for the first time. And when I happened to pick it up in the closet yesterday morning after choosing the flamingo to draw in the park, I thought to myself “Wow.” And I used the bag yesterday!

Moral of the story: What we welcome and draw toward us is what we unconsciously draw on paper.

flamingo_bagThe next Drawing at the Zoo workshop makes place this Sunday from 10:00-12:30.

Location: Starbucks Cafe meeting point in front of Ueno Zoo

Workshop Fee: ¥2500 (park entrance ¥600)

To sign up: email or call 090-4122-6626

When: Sunday October 16th 1:00-5:00 pm

Where: Shinjuku Gyoen, Sendagaya and Genesis Art Studio, Akihabara

Fee: ¥3,000

Reservations accepted till Saturday night 12 pm.


Outdoors Genesis art workshop in Meiji Shrine
This time of year is magical. The days are getting cooler. The colors of autumn are firing the imagination. Join me this Sunday October 16th for a spectacular afternoon drawing and painting in Shinjuku Gyoen. We’ll meet by the Sendagaya gate at 1:00 and walk to the Japanese traditional garden, seating ourselves on the hill facing this beautiful pagoda inside the garden.

Today’s theme will be “Paradise in the City.” I think we probably all carry within us our own quirky, interesting criteria for paradise. What makes your vision of paradise different than mine? We can learn so much about ourselves by drawing in a garden that has such a strong pull on our senses that we lose track of time and don’t want to stop drawing. I’m drawing a pagoda set in a garden. You’re drawing a bird high in a tree. And we both call what we’re drawing paradise.

This intuitive art session, like all Genesis Art Workshops, is for all levels and ages. Come with a B4 Sketch book and a smart phone or camera to take pictures. If you have Genesis Cards bring them along. The rest of the materials will be provided.

1:00-2:30 Drawing in Shinjuku Gyoen

2:30-3:00 Take the train 15 minutes to Akihabara station and 10 minute walk to  Genesis Art Studio to continue drawing indoors.

3:00-5:00 Drawing, painting, and open discussions with the Genesis Cards. I offer you tools to grasp your own intuitive understanding of the artwork you make to help you  live more freely and creatively in many aspects of your life.

Genesis Art Workshops are small to allow for more connection between participants.

5 (1)To reserve your space: email or call: 090-4122-6626