This latest effort at a water colour really doesn’t do justice to the subject matter, a subtly stunningly beautiful temple garden in Kamakura, but I learnt a bit about the dangers of mixing too many colours before they dried and trying to be too clever with what I had. Which brings Our Man to Hirohito. Unwilling sock puppet of the military (Japanese or American, both are strong candidates) or leading instigator of Japanese militarism? Our Man can’t separate all the hues of current and past bias but this chap in the NYT makes a reasonable summary of the arguments and an explanation for why Hirohito’s true colours still matter to Asia today.
Thursday, 18 September 2014
Our Man isn’t sure whether he has any right to offer an opinion about Scotland, having no vote, being English and living on the other side of the world.
But that hasn’t stopped him before. Or David Beckham, who’s equally unqualified from offering his insights either, telling Scots that he saw their passion on the football pitch (er, playing against England) and therefore the two countries are better working together, because, er, they have more in common than they have apart. Like ying and yang, Laurel and Hardy, Posh and Sporty, yeast and sugar. You know. Or something.
While faffing about sketching and colouring a shot of a Victorian London doorway he took on his last trip back to Blighty, Our Man was struck by how odd a concept Britain and the United Kingdom is. We don’t even know what to call our country. UK? Britain? England? I suspect it’s something to do with empire and all that. I mean, Victoria even called herself Empress of India. Slightly un-PC, eh Vicky?
Well, it’s over. And if Scotland leaves, the union will be dissolved, the marriage of two unequals will be left to history.
And maybe it’s about time. If not on Thursday, then someday soon. The arguments about currency and jobs and all that are secondary. Independence is its own reward.
And if you accuse Our Man of being superficial and not really knowing the issues, the split loyalties of Celtic and Rangers fans, of first footing and, er, kilts… you’d be absolutely right. I mean, Scotland’s like a whole other country, right?
Monday, 15 September 2014
This here is Our Man’s first ever water colour. It’s a house, round the corner, whose shutters are always shut, gate is always rusty, and has had less paint slapped on it in 30 years than Our Man has used in the last 30 minutes. Our Man realises he can’t do much detailed work in water colour which, given his poor attention span and lack of patience, is just fine with him anyway. Will try to do some more of these.
Saturday, 13 September 2014
Our Man had a great idea after surviving his 10th Japanese school sports festival today. He thought he’d pop down on his bike to the Orwellian named Unidy to pick up some water colours to add some warmth to his rather dour-looking monochrome sketches.
The DIY emporium was all out of water colours, so Our Man bought some black and red ink and a set of brushes and thought he’d mix them up with some water and add a wash to some sketches tonight. But when he got home he found that the Magic Ink he’d shelled out 200 yen for turned out to be disappointingly unmagical marker pens. Still, they do look pretty bold and smooth, might be able to add them to his repertoire, being er, bold and smooth himself, ahem.
Later, just realised, forgot to put George Orwell's name on the book, tsk tsk. But you knew the quote already, right?