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 !

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