This led to a general fascination with all things old and Japanese. For two years I ate everything with chopsticks including Cheerios and ice cream. I got my own Ninja outfit and snuck around the house scaring the living bejeezus out of my mother. I built an ornamental rock garden in the middle of a field. And I got really into traditional Japanese art.
The specific artist I became obsessed with was Hiroshige. My dear old aunt, Annou (also an avowed Japan-o-phile and enabler of my addiction), gave me a book of his work, and I was hooked. It mostly contained landscapes and city scenes:
It also included portraits:
which I then tried to emulate with imperfect success:
Having recently returned to drawing later in life, I started thinking about those pictures again and was just able to reacquire the book (thanks, Mom). Looking at them I realize how much they burrowed into my brain. Although the connection is not deliberate or explicit (and certainly the content is very different) they have clearly had an impact on the pictures I try to create right down to my fondness for narrow, black line drawings and solid, flat colors. And talk about colors, I love Hiroshige's colors, the complex blues and greens and really good greys and yellows. Mmm!
Anyway, I like them. Hopefully you'll like them. There you have it.