I am an abstract painter in the U.S. Gulf South using acrylic with collage and mark-making techniques. I earned an arts scholarship to attend William Carey College with a concentration in painting and pottery. I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with High Honors in 2001. I am a professional artist from Japan who has won numerous juried shows, received several grants, commissioned multiple works and has paintings at several galleries. I enjoy the challenge of creating art.
Although I now find myself completing my life’s work, my journey as an artist began long ago. As a young teenager in the early 1960’s, I walked arm-in-arm down the narrow brick streets of Japan with my father, dreaming of visiting France to see the works of the French Impressionist masters. My education in art began with my father, an Impressionist artist himself, as he taught me about Édouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Camille Pissarro and Claude Monet. Growing up, I enjoyed and valued contemporary cultures as well as the traditional cultures of Japan. I marveled at the images in my father’s vast collection of art books, especially those of Post-Impressionists and Expressionists like Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin, Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse. During my childhood and into young adulthood I took private lessons in drawing and painting and traditional Japanese calligraphy and tea ceremony.
Although I would not pick up brushes until the late 1990s, my passion for art grew following my father’s death in 1985. I knew in my heart that I was the person to carry on my father’s legacy. After receiving my BFA, I devoted myself full-time as a studio artist. My initial focus was on expressionist figures and landscapes in oil, but I had an epiphany while experiencing a Joan Mitchell exhibit in 2010. I was moved to the core by the shockingly large-scale paintings with spontaneous brush strokes. I felt an overwhelming sense of freedom that led me to change the course of my artistic discipline. Studying the history of Abstract Expressionism deepened my fascination as I learned that the movement started with European artists who immigrated to New York. Myself an immigrant to the U.S., I am influenced by the early Abstract Expressionists Joan Mitchell, Willem de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Hans Hofmann, Mark Rothko and Cy Twombly who embodied the American Spirit which tends to be large, visionary, and very individualistic in thought and emotion.
Another big shift in my artistic discipline was changing from oil to acrylic paint. I appreciate the versatility and fast drying time of acrylic which has allowed me to expand my creativity to experiment with adding other mediums to my paintings. My works often include collage with various materials and mark makings - a direct impact from my experience with Japanese calligraphy in childhood.