Join me for a two-hour workshop in two of Tokyo’s most lovely nature sanctuaries — Baji Koen (Mondays 10:30-12:30). This workshop is for all nature lovers — to delight the senses, arouse intuition, and heighten your sensitivity to plants, flowers, trees and the creatures who make these settings home.
Learn simple and fun drawing techniques. The start each session is a word that guides you to seek out something in the immediate vicinity that expresses that word, such as ‘power’ or ‘acceptance.’ Drawing an aspect of nature, such as a tree, with the consciousness of ‘power’ can be a life-transforming experience. Learn to interpet and be uplifted from what you’ve just drawn using your own power of observation and the Genesis Cards. Please prepare to bring along a sketchpad and camera–cell phone camera is fine. The rest of the art supplies including high quality European pastels and Neocolor crayons and Genesis Cards are provided.
How to make the most of a hot summer’s day in the city when all I wanted to do is sit in an air-conditioned room? I took myself to the park instead and found me the most beautiful location imaginable, inside the pagoda in the Japanese garden of Shinjuku Gyoen. Before I began, I listed all the reasons why I chose this spot–the practical ones-a good perch to lean my sketchbook on, nice shade, a slight breeze from a pond– and the aesthetic reasons too–the symphony of greens, the velvety lawn, the perfect pom-pom shaped azaleas, the elegant matsu pine trees with their manicured tops. Then there was the man, an artist sitting amongst all the green with his easel doing the same thing that I was doing in reverse. I wrote all these observations on the back of my picture and then I began. What’s fascinating to see afterwards is how these elements play out in the picture. The elements I thought were casual, like the artist with his easel, becomes central to the picture. The pond which drew me to the spot in the first place plays a minor role in the final rendering. And so, how you draw out elements from a landscape is a fair approximation of how you draw out elements from your life. Do you give yourself the things that most give you pleasure? When art becomes an exercise in self-nurturing, the process is sweet, and so blissful.
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