My friend Haruka is a fine artist in terms of being 1) an actress, 2) a painter, and 3) as someone I can talk to well beyond midnight about art and the importance of interpretation. One of the things I most appreciate about dropping by her and her husband Gabe’s house is seeing her canvasses lined up against the walls. She’s always working on something new and always asking me what I think and what I see. (I own one of her paintings too. It’s of Mont Saint-Michel and I hang it above my desk at work. I’ve gotten quite a number of good comments about it from my colleagues).
She’s having a solo exhibit here in Hong Kong on February. It’ll be named unbeaten by rain after the poem by Kenji Miyazawa. (I helped her come up with that title in English so she can have a line that scans well. There, I just had to say that.) The centerpiece will be a big painting that has fantastic color and presence. It’s her best work to date. I was so impressed by it I asked for the photos she had taken of her progress during the mere few weeks it took her to complete the painting.
I have photos of the completed painting but she doesn’t want them public just yet. (She wants a proper photo of it to show; these were taken on an iPhone.) I’ll put the proper photos up once she sends them to me and when it’s closer to the exhibit date. UPDATE: You can see the completed painting here. In the meantime, I want to try to understand how something like the second picture could turn into something like the second to the last. There’s a freedom and trust in the process that I try to have more of in my own writing.
And also: I’m fricking proud of my friend.