January 12, 2012

New art by Michiko

This afternoon I met my friend Michiko for a walk around Nexen Beach on another crisp and sunny day. We hadn't seen each other for a couple of months as she'd been to Japan to visit her family and got back just as I went to see mine in the Netherlands. Then there was Christmas and New Year...

Michiko, an oil painter, had kept me posted on her latest works via email and I was keen to see them in person. Yesterday, as I passed by the Adventure Centre toward the end of my run, I had quickly stopped to admire her second-last one, Before the Sun goes down, exhibited there.
"Before the Sun goes down" by Michiko Splinter (11x14")
After our walk, we dropped by her place to see her recent works. Her latest piece might be my favourite yet. It's superb. It's the largest canvas she's done in Canada - and the largest in 40 years; as a high school student in Japan, she did a couple of huge (about 75x90") paintings. This one was inspired by scenes of a walk we did together last fall along the trails in Valleycliffe, though it didn't start out that way.

"I had this canvas for over two years but I couldn't figure out what to paint. Then finally I started painting last October, a little stream in the middle and many trees around it," she says.

Then she lost interest and didn't return to the canvas until the end of November, and worked on it almost every day until finishing it two days ago, on January 10. "It turned out that there was no stream but a stump covered with moss and a lot of trees around it," she says.

Michiko's daily routine, when in Canada, includes painting and walking, and goes as follows: "Get up at 8:30 ... have a cup of coffee then start painting until noon ... have lunch and go for a walk for a little over an hour ... watch Japanese news on TV and cook supper ... take a bath ...watch TV having a glass of wine ... go to bed at 11:00. What a lazy person I am. But I love these lazy days," says Michiko.

The photo below does not do the picture justice; it's a spectacular painting that will soon be exhibited in the Portico Gallery here in Squamish.
"Undergrowth" by Michiko Splinter (24x30")

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