On My Art 3

On My paintings of 2018

by Goro Shintami in early spring 2019


I'll tell you on my paintings made in 2018.
Lately I've been working with water color. It's an easy and fast tool that suits me, when my paintings are sketches at this moment. When the ideas come, I have to put them in memory and have to try whether the idea works or not? I'm thinking that I am going to paint big paintings sometimes, when the right moments come.

In January
Two paintings were made, entitled "Life Stream". I started them previous year, but they were only finished after the New Year´s Day, so they are here. I also painted two "Life stream" paintings previous year. This time I wanted to make the paintings a little more colorful than the previous year.

Life Stream (1) 40x60cm

Life Stream (2) 40x60cm

In spring
I started planning following works. I was making three mermaid sculptures and they are almost finished. I wanted to make paintings next. It made sense for me to continue the theme of my old paintings again.
One of them is the Mandala series made with libbons, which I started in 2004 and continued until 2013. I had made a total of 22 mandala. When I no longer know what to do in my art or my life, Mandala appears in my paintings. In other words, I want to paint mandala when I need a break. It calms my mind and at the same time I can meditate on things.
The second idea was the "Guardian of Life" series, which I started in 1998 and continued until 2001. In these pictures babies are also main characters. Baby theme often appears in my art. I have a clue that I like to paint babies when I feel that some big change is coming in my art or life. I have made a total of 10 paintings of it. I had also joined theme of life guardian to the theme of the ribbon mandala in 2013, but I did not remember it when I was painting this time. I noticed it only later, when I started to write this text.
The third thought was goddesses. I like to paint sacred characters. The characters of the guardians, angels, or the goddesses belong to this group.

Ribbons of Lotuses (2) 2008
Watercolour on paper 30x30cm

Guardian of Life (3) 1998
Acrylic on paper 42x66cm

Goddess in Temple 2003
Acrylic on paper 22x30cm

In April and May
I started reviewing my old paintings and also drew very rough sketches for new paintings and I made drawings ready
on other papers. I usually draw on another piece of paper first, and then I draw the ready drawing on a real paper later. It is a very common traditional way. I drew two circles with a ribbon and put two female characters inside them, one of them upside down.

In June
Summer began vacation. I worked as an art teacher then. I had time to paint in the summer without hurry.
Two Circles Mandalas: First I started with a naked figure in the same way as in 2004 painting. In these, the characters hold hands together. The characters were without cloth and also with clothes in the paintings this time. In my art, people are nude very often. I didn't want that the age appear, nor the area in my art. Clothes are made by people. Through them we can see where it was made and when it was. The advantage of clothes is their much more complex shape and more complicated color than the naked human figure. In addition, the claims also have dignity.

Magic of Looking-Glass 30x40cm

Day and Night 30x40cm

Mandala of Two Goddesses 30x40cm

In July
I made four mandala paintings. The numbers of rings made of the ribbons grew to three, four, nine and 13.
Three-Circle Mandala: There is a different world inside the circles. I painted the green mountain and the blue sky in three circles in Mandala.
Four-Circle Mandala: When I painted a four-circle mandala, different colors came into the mountains of different circles. Six main colors of the color circle have been used. Looks very colorful.
Nine-circle Mandala: In it the background landscape didn't need any more. Just color tone, from light to dark, from colorful to colorless, fits better with the task. A mandala with a central character pleased me.
13-Circle Mandala: Here are the a Mandala of 13 circles. Exactly 12 small circles and one big circle in the middle. Inside the big circle, two characters came upside down and overlapped. This two-headed and four-handed figure is mystical even to me. When I was planning the colors, I noticed that the ribbon was not one, but three. So far, I have tried to draw circles with only one ribbon. So the three-color ribbons was a coincidence, but I liked it. The colors looks happier, circusy.

Mandala of Three Goddesses 40x40cm

Mandala of Four Goddesses 40x40cm

Mandala of Nine Goddesses 40x40cm

Soul Sisters40x40cm

In August
Hands of Goddess: When I painted 13 circles of mandala "Soulu Sisters", I came up with the idea, "Goddess character can be place here." When the month changed, I started painting the Goddess character. This time, she became the Goddess of Thousand Hands, who saves people from suffering. In East Asia it is a fairly common figure, although it is a generally feminine male figure. In this picture, the importance of the ribbon is disappearing behind.
Guardian of Life: In the next painting I combined the ribbon mandala with the Guardian of Life theme. I drew two pieces of 13 circles and combined them. The number of ribbons is three, such as 13 circles. The Guardian of Life is similar to the character of my Maria sculpture. which I made in the previous year.
Ganesha: Here is "Ganeshan and Me". I have three background stories on this picture.
The first is my wife's dream. My wife told me about her dream over10 years ago. In her dream, I rode and calmed the raging pink elephant. That dream remainded in my mind and made me feel like going to make an elephant someday.
The second is a story in a book that says that God looks at the world through everyones eyes. God is behind our gaze. When I was thinking about this thing, my back was warming up like someone behind me hugging me. I realized that behind this story could be such experience.
The third is the Netflix TV series Sense8, where Indian Indian Kala recalled her childhood experience. She was perhaps eight years old and went to the Ganesha festival with her mother. There were lots of people and many big Ganesha statues drawn by the cart, and there she got lost and met a boy. The boy took Kala into a big Ganesha statue. And she saw outside world from inside of the statue. Kala saw the world through the eyes of Ganesha.
In this picture, the girl is not inside Ganesha but in his lap. And they look at the world together. When I painted this, I felt warm energy on my back again as Ganesha or some spirit is hugging me. It was a significant spiritual experience for me. When I looked at this painting later, a similar experience happened to me several times.

Goddess of Hands 40x60cm

Gardian of Life 40x60cm

Ganesha and me 40x60cm

In September
the second Thousand Hand Goddess was made. This time any circle made of ribbon did not come out. When the image is quite symmetrical, you could call the style of this painting as a kind of mandala or maybe you don't have to call it any more.

Goddess of Thousand Hands 30x40cm

In October two small paintings, Goddess Playing an Angel and Goddess Playing a Batterfly, were completed. The "Goddess of Thousand Hands", painted in September, looked like a butterfly and also an angel with wings. I developed those ideas forward.

Goddess Playing an Angel 22x30cm

Goddess Playing a Batterfly 22x30cm

In November four small paintigs, Fairy and Flower, Fairy and Babies, Guardian Angel and I and Joy of Christmas were completed. The butterfly of the previous month looked like a fairy, so I made a mind to paint fairies. I painted the fairy with the flower first and then the fairy with the babies. In the latter, I combined fairy with "Guardian of Life" theme. The previous month's "Goddess Playing an Angel" turned into a real angel character with a girl to protect. Lastly there is a Santa Claus who shares the joy of Christmas, not Christmas gifts. Black short beard looks handsome.

Fairy and Flower 22x30cm

Fairy and Babies 22x30cm

Guadian Angel and Me 22x30cm

Joy of Christmas 22x30cm

In December four small paintings were ready, Swan Lake, Black Swan, Blue Angel and Me and Green Woman and Me. The angel's wings reminded me of the swan's wings and it gave me an idea to connect an angel and a swan. It became Swan Lake. The angel of Black Swan has no wings anymore, he looks just a man, who support. If necessary, every person can help others like angels help. The angel character is an enlightenment assistant in the following Blue Angel. The green forest spirit also helps enlightenment.

Swan Lake 22x30cm

Black Swan 22x30cm

Blue Angel and Me 22x30cm

Green Woman and Me 22x30cm

In the beginning of 2019
In January, I made four paintings.
Motherland and Tree of Life and Fire Peaple: I wanted to get the power of life for myself from earth, tree and fire.
Ganesha and Us: I wanted to feel the blessing to our marriage from higher spirit.
Guardian of Life: I wanted to get happier colors, lighter colors in this than last year's painting.

I have a feeling that I am going to develope paintings with mother earth theme and tree of life theme in the spring. But I don´t know yet, what will phappen.

Mother Earth and Tree of Life 30x40cm

Fire Peaple 30x40cm

Ganesha and Us 40x60cm

Guardian of Life 40x60cm