May-July I had the awesome opportunity to study Japanese and explore Japan's beautiful southern island of Okinawa. Within my first week of arrival I became captivated by giant cumulonimbus clouds radiating pinks and oranges cast over jagged igneous rock gardens submerging from crystal clear water. For my Japanese study I attended Cross Cultural Communication Center or CCCC located in Ginowan which lies just north of the capital city, Naha, in southern Okinawa. CCCC is a wonderful school and I highly recommend it to anyone planning on studying Japanese in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by students eager to learn Japanese. You can visit their website here http://www.e-cccc.com/en/
I would spend my free time exploring the island in search of waves and painting locations. The tropical landscapes and colors challenged me to explore a new color palette, and compositional experimentation. I also found inspiration in the wildlife, flora, and architectural seawalls that surrounded many of the fishing ports. I also became fascinated with Okinawa's volcanic rocks that stood stoically with ever changing character as the tide would flux in and out.
As a birder I caught wind of a rare breed of Rail called the Okinawa Rail or Yanbaru Kuina. This specific rail only lives in northern Okinawa, and due to invasive species of snakes, and mongoose they are believed to be less than 700 left. I felt extremely lucky to spot a pair while exploring the north-coast in search for waves.
My time in Okinawa was filled with delicious food, learning about Okinawa's unique culture, meeting new friends, and exploring beautiful beaches echoed by the mighty cicada's mating call. Safely making it home, a roll of paintings in hand, its time to build some new frames, and re-stretch some canvas!