Wednesday, June 30, 2010

recent events

I went to a party at Bellinin's in Saijo. It was filled with beautiful people, as always. Here is the smoking room I painted.

As part of my job I got to help show some American highschool kids around Matsuyama. We were lucky; we got to see the castle in the rain. Matsuyama castle is the best in Japan. I took the boys to Dogo Onsen, the first bathhouse in Japan. We got naked and found the bath filled with a highschool track team. They were excited to see us, and we ended up washing each other's backs. It's Japanese culture.
And I went to Tounaru, the copper mine ruins in Niihama with some friends and their baby. We ate lunch on a Jungle Gym on top of a mountain overlooking the city .

We hiked through the mountains, by the waterfalls and snakes...

We found an old house lost in the woods..
We even saw a monkey! Can you find the monkey?

And here is a scroll I dumpstered from a shrine near my house. It's a fascinating shinto-buddhist hybrid of Fudomyo. And there is the bouquet of flowers some teachers gave me at my farewell dinner, as well as the koyasan painting all packed up to ship to Terri.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


im sorry ive been so absent everyone; been working in my studio, trying to finish these commissions. I've got 4 more to go before i leave japan. What's nice about commissions is that they are ordered, in all meanings of that word. im told what to do. less chaos..I dont have to think about content so much...This person wants her horse in the same sky as the frog. Ok, done, and fun. And i can relive "the feel of the real" sky and real horse and make them come alive...but its also time-consuming work--sanding, glazing, and once i have the colors mixed and oil prepared i have to work nonstop while the oil dries, usually 4 hour sessions. And one painting usually takes between 5 to 10 of those sessions...Commissions are also a huge ego-boost. And i need the money for school. sorry guys. please forgive me.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Green Green Festival

I went to Hiroshima with Daifuku this weekend to participate in the Green Green Music Festival. We rode hs little moped to the great bridge, and then Hitched it across to Fukuyama.
The festival miraculously took place at a Rinzai Zen Temple complex (!) deep in the mysty mountains. we had to take a thirty minute shuttle ride through the forest just to get there. . It rained on and off all morning.All the bands were good, really good, mostly rocksteady ska and old school reggae. There was Spinna B-ILL, a Lenny Kravitz-mixed with Saul Williams artist, this bad ass Japanese african dancer, the handsome Ucoca, really great ska.. I met Rickie-G sitting alone writing in his journal by the meditation hall, pictured at the top of this blog. I descended the stairs behind him and immediately noticed he was white. I thought i was the only one! But he writing in Japanese. I started bothering him..turns out he's half, near perfect english. I had a thousand questions but didn't ask. 'found out he's the headlining musician, performing as the last act at the festival, kind of a big deal in the japanese ska world... I had no idea...It was fun meeting him not knowing who he was though; a seriously lovely man, glowing....

ill give you all a more detailed account of my home stay experience and the music later.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Bike Ride to school

Here are a few scenes from my bike ride to school yesterday.

Tadpoles swim in the rice feilds now. Hurry up and grow! The water is receding.
I pass by a dozen shrines on my way to is one.
Poor baby. what a beautiful form though. This is going to be a painting.
I found a tree in Firefly Park that at first appeared to be shimmering, but turned out to be filled with butterflies, thousands of them, mating and emerging from their cocoons. I took video.
I found a chicken farm by the school. Putrid stench. dirty, sickening, but the light was beautiful.

After school I found some students playing in the river. I joined them.

I worked on this new painting all evening yesterday. It's a new view, with more ground.

Saturday, June 05, 2010

sailing to shishi island

photograph of the sea by Hiroshi Sugimoto, mounted on a 13th century bronze buddhist reliquary fragment.

Two of my best friends decided to take me on a sailing trip to see a sacred tree.
Our captain: Ty Curtis.
His boat, Watermelon.

Shortly after pushoff, an old fisherman pulled us over, told us to stay clear of his nets, and then gave us some really nice fish (kurodai). We ate them for lunch the next day.

That's me.
We sailed into the night. Strong wind, sweet sake.
In the morning we landed on the tiny island Shishijima, home to a 1,200 year old camphor tree. Only about 30 people live on the island. Near the top was a large abandoned temple, housing beautiful buddhas and deities. It's a real shame there is no monk there to take care of the place. I dream that I will come back to the island and be the monk for the large temple next to the 12oo year old tree. Have you seen The Fountain? It would be like that, mixed with Spring Summer Fall Winter Spring.
The first thing we saw on our way to the tree was a seriously strange cemetary...tiny shrines all brightly painted with bamboo screens covering their doors. I lifted a screen up; there was nothing inside...The shrines were all empty.
Here we are next to the abandoned temple. After a short hike through the town and up the hills we reached the tree.
Due to a mud slide many years ago, most of the tree's trunk is underground, giving us a great view of its body. It's like we got a bird's eye view of the tree.
standing on the hill looking down at Ty. That blue through the leaves is the ocean.
That is shikoku seen from the island. This was easily one of the best trips of my life.
God. Please enlarge these pictures to see all the detail.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I went to Osaka this weekend to visit some friends. First thing I saw was a horrible accident.

"I am always in improvement."
That's my bike helmet. Daifuku drove me around on his bike all weekend.

May all beings be Free and in Love.

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