Yearly self-portrait with noren. 2018

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Yearly self-portrait with noren. 2018. J. Harms. 29x39cm. Acrylic on red paper.

This year’s portrait was more difficult to paint than the previous years. I painted and discarded several before finally painting this one. Ten years ago, almost to the day, I left France to go to Japan, where I lived and worked for a year and a half.

It was a tough yet rewarding and meaningful experience. It was there that I found my artistic language among the many colors and lines of the cityscape of Nagasaki.

While living there, I got to witness traditional holidays, and seasonal events. I also visited craft shops, I began collecting art too, and sent home many things, like this noren, a detail of which I painted in the background. It now hangs in my bedroom.

Today Nagasaki

And a Happy Birthday to Sayaka Takahashi, one of its citizen, English teacher extraordinaire, who, a couple years ago, while I was working in Nagasaki, found a painting spot for me near my appartment, and by that actively participated in helping me find my artistic voice. Domo arigato Sayaka chan !

Japanese Police Car 2010

Police car. J.Harms

Japanese Police Car 2010. J.Harms. Acrylic on red paper.(Private collection).

It was so easy to be inspired in Japan. All I had to do was sit and watch. Which is the story behind this painting. A police car stops at a red light. I take a picture. I sip my coffee. I forget about the picture. A couple months later, I find it among the hundreds I took. I remember the day I was sipping my coffee and looking out the window, that’s when I really start looking at it. I find it pretty. I think it looks like a super-hero !

Les Mimosas De Mesubenomori 2013

Les mimosas de Mesubenomori. 2013. 80x120cm. Acrylique et pastel à l'huile sur papier.

Les Mimosas de Mesubenomori. 2013. 80×120 cm. Acrylic and oil pastel on paper.

In Nagasaki, I often went to Mesubenomori park. Around it bloom beautiful mimosa trees. I first began painting this picture in 2009 at the XXX Indies Art Club in Nagasaki. A small place where artists can rent a space to paint, meet other local artists and exhibit. I never could render the small coton like flowers of the mimosas, though. So I rolled up my picture and brought it back to France where it stayed in a corner for 4 years. A couple months ago I began using oil pastels. I like the rich texture of them. They’re wonderful to use. It didn’t take long before I made the connection between the softness, the rich yellow tone and the powdered flower. And Voilà !

Late Kimono 2010

Late kimono. Julie Harms

Late Kimono (2010)
Acrylic  on canvas – 40×65 cm (private collection)

Late for her meeting… most probably back from her tea ceremony class…her friend waits patiently at the famous café down town. Another is looking for a place to sit… Mostly women come during the day…

Near Meganebashi 2010

Near Meganebashi. Julie Harms

Near Meganebashi (2010)
Acrylic  on canvas – 97×130 cm (private collection)

In one of the many streets leading to Spectacle bridge, modern buildings and older buildings pile up. On the roof of the house on the left, a tree stands… Often gardens grow above the electric lines.

Second O-Kunchi 2010

Second O-kunchi. Julie Harms

Second O-Kunchi in Nagasaki (2010)
Acrylic  on canvas – 81×61 cm (private collection)

My second O-Kunchi…. Same street, same balcony… A boat crosses the street. The sun is bright… The boat disappears… The sound of drums…

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