Saturday, March 16, 2013

Nijo Castle Donjon WIP ( oil, 11"x14")

When we visited the Nijo castle (Unesco world heritage site since 1994) in Kyoto, Japan last November the weather was gloomy and wet. With 4 kids in tow (one having a full on meltdown) we were hustling to get inside the castle by the 4 pm cutoff. The castle itself is amazing but I would have loved some photos of all those 17th century murals and gold work. The guides are HARD-CORE about the no camera rule though!

The nightingale floors in the castle are pretty cool. They squeak and make whispery noises by design, allowing guards to protect their masters in feudal Japan.

This painting features the castle donjon, or central keep stone walls. The 5 storey keep itself burned to the ground in 1750. I painted this because I have fond memories of my visit there, a lesson in determination...Doug (my son-in-law) rushed around Kyoto and made sure we got to see this castle. He was initially inhibited by pouring rain and grumpy kids. But it was worth it... We toured the castle in the rain and by the time we got to the gardens the rain had eased up. Suddenly the ancient stones glowed in the light, and the grumpy kid turned up happy. Japan is a fascinating, patient place. I love it!




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