Recently I have been working on a series of paintings that involve a natural, shifting process, which I call “Patina Paintings”. Each evening, without conscious thought I use natural pigments, acrylic and bee's wax on wood panel to create a base. The next sunny day, this panel is then set outside. Looking at certain trees behind the temple, with a brush I then begin capturing the light and reflection of the light, as I see it in both my vision and mind.
On the hill behind the temple where I played every day as a child, the graveyard is surrounded and enveloped by leafy trees, which when looking up, changes the sky color to green. However, on May 29th, 1945, these trees, as well as our temple buildings and home were completely destroyed by fire in a massive, devastating air raid on Yokohama.
“ Shiki” 色 ( visible objects in terms of Buddhism) is what I see appearing in the sunlight. I quickly and randomly paint the reflection of the sunlight on the trees and branches with the color of gold, representing the phenomenon of nature.
The base of the painting becomes the shadow of this “shiki” and the golden color becomes the light.
My "eye sight" is the way I experience and capture nature and my "mind sight” captures the phenomenon of transience and being in the universe. I experience the transience of nature and life as a meditation that is happening in front of me, into infinity. Similarly, my paintings are never finished, or completed works in the traditional sense, as the patina will constantly continue to change over time.
Using a gold made from brass and bronze powder as pigment I then add water and ammonium to liquefy and act as a catalyst for the shifting patina effect. Painting outside is a recent development for me, as my practise was almost always entirely studio based. However, now the heat and UV from the sun randomly changes the gold pigment to a light blue-green, with each changing minute. As the trees sway in the wind and create flickering shadow and light, the golden trees on the panel begin changing with this green patina.