2018 was truly an incredible year to revisit Japan for more amazing magic exploring this very different country and unique culture. This time, to explore the northern-most Island of Hokkiado on a two-week watercolour and drawing masterclass with world acclaimed Australian artist and tutor Ev Hales and tour organisers Paul and Pam Adams. The masterclass coincided with the height of the Sakura period a particularly beautiful time of the year where cherry blossoms are seen in a backdrop with snow-capped mountains. Exploring a wide range of different venues, from busy spaces in the bigger cities to remote areas in the mountains, seeing artisans, spectacular landscape, historic villages, intimate laneways, sea views, waterfalls, temples and beautiful Japanese gardens. The overriding success and shear joy of the trip, couldn’t have been more complete and delightful, if it weren’t for the amazing Japanese people.
This masterclass was particularly focused on encouraging individual exploration, seeing Ev’s role as a facilitator but helping artists achieve their expectations rather than dictating what to paint. The group explored different subject matter, techniques and methods with self-assessments and critique sessions every day. The highlight of the tour was this overwhelming feeling of being totally absorbed by everything and feeling so privileged to share this unique destination with the group. Above all, discovering what makes Japan such an incredible place can be only attributed to sharing their unique cultural thread with the beautiful people of Japan.