summer inspirations

Am prepping for something right now, and have been busy painting away on canvas, so much so that I “killed” lots of my wonderful brushes from Japan and now working with new ones that are not quite the same as the ones I love.  That said, am very happy and grateful to be doing what I am doing.  Because of the larger painting surfaces, am able to do full on compositions that are not found in some of my smaller bubbles painting.  Am sharing with you the inspirations behind my “bubbles–summer” piece.

There are actually two inspirations the first one is of my favourite Japanese festival, Tanabata, Star Festival on Jul 7 of each year. The annual celebration is about the legend of the fated lovers, who are separated by the earth and moon, can only meet on this day every year. I just love the romantic tradition of writing your wishes on tanzaku, a strip of paper, and hanging it on sasa no ha, bamboo branches. The photo is of the spellbinding sasa no ha arrangement I saw at the Main Building of the established Hotel Okura in 2015, which was torn down for reconstruction later that year.  I wrote a blog about it too ( When I painted this painting, I imagined it repeating and repeating endlessly in my mind–just like how it is shown here.

The second inspiration is of the summer wind chime, furin, installation with brilliant colourful streamers at another favourite of mine, Tokyo Midtown, also from a couple of years back. And funny, it was a year later in 2016 that I had my spring bubbles there as their 40 m window and visual merchandising display! I really believe in the “en” of it all!