House 2

I thought I would continue trying to do a weekly post about the ins and outs of what I have been up to - not interesting to everyone but good for me to keep track and update friends and family who are interested.

Where I left off in my last post I had arrived at Ikisan Station, tired and happy. Katsura from Studio Kura came and picked me up at the station and took me to my new little home for the next four weeks, House 2. 

A couple of other new artists arrived in House 3 on the same night so she kindly took us to the shop to get groceries and I spent the evening gently settling in and meeting my two lovely housemates Soleil and Laurence, I got a pretty early night.

SUNDAY 05.03.2017 Each person at the house gets a bike to use so I spent Sunday settling into the house and getting my head around the new bike. I haven’t done so much cycling since the surgery on my eyes last year and my depth perception still is not very good. I think the cycling is great practice though, but I had a bit of a shaky start and a couple of collisions with inanimate objects over the first week. I think I have finally got the hang of it. On Sunday I biked for a few hours going a little way in each of the roads leading away from my house, seeing the coast on both sides.

I should mention that I managed to pick up some sort of bug over the last week which was just starting to hit me on Sunday and after being very snuffly, the area generally being very cold and my temperature spiking a little I headed to bed pretty swiftly again. 

MONDAY 06.03.2017 We had a morning meeting on Monday with the other new artists to go over the important dates, and sign our contracts and obligations during our time here. Afterwards I went home and finally started to get some artwork done. I wanted to do small illustrations during my time here but I also want to push myself. I had made the decision to just work in watercolour which took me outside my usual pen-based comfort zone. I have been churning out a lot of artworks but all are just getting scope for the exhibition so far, rather than exhibition works.

On Monday afternoon I cycled into town to check out what was there and pick up a few essentials from the 100 yen shop (by essentials mean various cat-themed Washi tape, very important).

TUESDAY 07.03.2017 By Tuesday my cold was quite problematic so I spent most of the morning fast asleep. At around midday I got up and went for a bike ride and then came back to do some more prelim sketches. I talked to my parents quite a bit who are as always massively supportive and my absolute favourite people. I also face-timed with my cats who are basically totally non-plussed about my sudden disappearance. Meow.

WEDNESDAY 08.03.2017 The whole group met up on Wednesday morning for a trip to the Sakurai Shrine where we will be exhibiting on the 20th. It started to lightly snow while we were there which was beautiful, and chilly! After heading home and getting some work done a few of us went out for dinner to the Yakitori restaurant which is pretty much next door to our house. It was delicious and even better, really warm!!

THURSDAY 09.03.2017 On Thursday morning my housemate Laurence and I caught a train into Fukuoka city to buy some art supplies. After a couple of directional false starts (adventure - yay!) we found what we were looking for: Bumpodo, an amazing mecca of art supplies. I bought…too much stuff, but at amazing prices: a bunch of Copic Sketch markers, opaque white ink, spare nibs, masking fluid, a couple of brushes and a tonne of paper. I already want to go back it was at a massive discount compared to buying these supplies back home (because they are Japanese manufactured). 

I then spent Thursday afternoon basically locked into my room playing with all the new supplies, huzzah!

FRIDAY 10.03.2017 On Friday after a little cycling and a lot of art making, Danny arrived for the weekend. We went out to the Yakitori restaurant again before a night in watching Japanese reality shows.

SATURDAY 11.03.2017 We had toast and marmalade for breakfast (mentioning this because I have a new found love of marmalade), then Danny had to go into the city to book his next train ticket. While he was out I did a bit more painting and had a breakthrough for my exhibition.

Once he got back we had a massive homemade bento style meal then went out for a bike trip into the village. In the evening our house had Da rai and Angela from House 1 over to our house for nibbles and drinks and all hung out in the lounge, Danny even played guitar for us!

SUNDAY 12.03.2017 Danny headed off to Hiroshima and I prepared some copy on my show, which I have decided to call ‘Dust’ because of reasons. I am going to be blending some short bits of prose I have been writing with small colourful illustrations, hopefully which will all come together to tell a story.

So thats pretty much where things are at so far, i am feeling a little more secure in what I am doing art-wise and will hopefully be able to set up a couple of interviews for my research in the coming weeks which I am really looking forward to!



JapanMary-Beth Acres