I often take an aile seat because I am scared of watching outside the window.  But this time, there was nobody occupied in the window seat, so a cabin crew offered me that seat.  In the beginning, I have kept my eyes closed, but I forced myself to overcome the fear. 

I was overwhelmed by the clouds in my eyes, spreading all over endlessly.  I was just looking back at this trip to San Francisco:hectic but miracle-like 4 days.  Encounter with the gallery owner Candace, an artist Meagan, and it was so wonderful to see my former teacher Katina Huston.  They gave me a lot of insights to me.  Katina gave me a homework to do in two years:Make art by being myself, which may be most comfortable and toughest.

Personalized sketchbook

I am attending Master of Fine Art Program, and one of extra credit is to personalize a sketchbook.  The photo below is my personalized sketchbook with collage of painted paper, pastel, and acrylics.  It is fun to make one's own and use it.


I've attended a drawing class at AAU since June, while struggling to work out high volumes of assignments, I've come to realize drawing is a lot of fun.  In the beginning I thought drawing was the last thing I wanted to do, but while doing so,  I have also noticed there are lots of intriguing objects in my daily environment.  Or I should say, I have come to take an artistic view for my environment.  The following is my sketches.

POU Exhibition in New York 2016

POU is an artist group exhibition where I have joined.  POU is the part of the Japanese word, Jiyu-honpo, which means free-spirited.   It was named by Ms. Tochihara, our mentor and the founder of this group.  Its exhibition will be held in the Gallery Onewentyeight in N.Y. organized by Ms. Kanai, Juichigatsu Gallery(Tokyo),  from August 21 to September 11.    Please join us for enjoying spaces we create.

Images below are the brochure of the exhibiion, and one of my work, After The Rain, Acrylic and pastel on canvas, 12.7"x16.4", 2016  ©Kikuko Sakota Art


Mandala design was the last assignment of the color theory class.  While struggling with hues, saturation, and values, I have created patterns and designs. 

Recently I came across with some mandala coloring books, which seem to be poplular.  They say mandala coloring develop concentration and mental capacity.  I hope it works.

Enjoying holidays

I enjoyed a week holiday.  One day I went up to  Rokko Mountain, where I visited a herb garden.

One can have a wonderful view of Kobe city on the mountain, enjoy a wonderful air of the mountain, and nice aroma of herbs.  

I came across a very interesting herb, which has delicate hairs on its leaves.  Its name is Lamb's Ear.  

Also I enjoyed making a sachet, which has nice smelled herbs.  

Birthday Party

I joined the birthday party of my mentor, long-term friend, Ichay Ueda in Osaka Mariot Miyako Hotel.  There were many encounters of great persons, good friends in my life, all of which have broaden my mental horizon.  Ichay Ueda is no exception.

He gave me the opportunity to learn how to express myself especially verbally in English.  At that time I was a quiet girl staying at home reading novels and painting.

The photo below is Mr. Ueda,(leftmost), I, Emi,, whom I studied together, Harumi (wife of Ueda), Hiro, also a good study friend.

I recalled good old days and renew my resolutions to remember the very first day I start to learn, which idea can be applicable to various aspects and I believe it works: very first day I started to work, very first day I started to paint, very first day I had a show.....I should not take everything for granted.

Anyway I had a good day!! Thanks, Ichey, Emi, Harumi, and Hiro!!



I'm interested in tarot, because I believe it is not just fortune telling but reflects our subconscious mind.  If I pick cards, I tend to try until I get what I want as an answer.  So occasionally, I ask a tarot reader to look into my questions.

Maybe I'm stubborn; whatever I get from a reader, if it does not fit me right, I do not accept it.

In a sense, tarot reading or other fortune telling work for me.  No matter what reading I get,  it gives me insights at least for decision-making.

There must be a flow of life, and it is natural to take its course, but I think it is  my own will that sail my boat.

The painting below is titled, Willpower, acrylic and pastel on canvas, 18"x21", 2016, ©Kikuko Sakota Art

Color Theory

I've enrolled the color theory class at Academy Art University since this February.  To develop senses to values of colors, one of the process in the class is to create swatches.  To create just one color wheel, I have prepared plenty of swatches.  I still keep them so that I can use them for creating my art later on.

Heart Art in Tokyo

I am going to have my work exhibited at Heart Art, the 19th AIDS Charity Show, the National Art Center, Tokyo, from January 21 to February 1.  Hope you will enjoy the show.


Painting Mr. Fuji is a cliche, but I tried it  for my study.   Mr. Fuji is of a good omen, especially on the new year's day, so let me share with you.  I wish you all a happy new year!


I've never expected me to paint a landscape like this.  Anyway I am enjoying the excercise.  I'm not a good drawer but I put vigors into the scene with colors.

This is an island in the pacific sea side of Japan.  You'll be very lucky to capture the sunrise or sunset right in the middle of the opening (tunnel) of the island.



Now I'm into realistic painting approach.   This is painted with ivory black only.  It is just an underpainting stage.  From now I'm goingto add colors.

It's just an exercise and not an artistic work.  Anyway now I'm enjoying it.


MFA,Academy of Art University

It's been 2 months since I enrolled in MFA, Academy of Art University.  I painted realistic paintings with oil paint for the first time in more than 10 years.  In the beginning, I feel so clumsy ,feeling I've lost touch of oil painting and I often lost in the maze of hues, chroma, shadows, and saturation.  Also in the beginning I felt tedious in drawing and value rendering.  But now I'm into it.   It's also fun to communicate with my instructor and my class mates.  Of course I've keeping my own abstract painting.  Hope the experience of participation in this at class will upgrade my skills and give me some insight into art.

Academy of Art University

I've enrolled MFA, Academy of Art University this fall.  I had been long advised to join art programs and finally decided to join.  

I can renew and confirm what I have known and acquire new technique and knowledge.  It's so exciting to join discussion but it's still tough to catch up.

It'll be a long journey and I do not know if I can complete a master course, because it is challenging to juggle my time and budget.  I also want to present my paintings.  Anyway I will move on.

Herb Garden

After half a month of busy days, I went to Herb Garden on Rokkyo Mountain in Kobe to refresh myself.  I grow rosemary, lemon balm, parsley, honewort, and perilla at home, but they scatter and weeds grow with them, so I often weed out.

The photo below is one of the model house with herbs.  I want to live in such a house!


I've been keeping busy since I came back from N.Y.  I wake up and go to bed very early.  My life has totally changed.  The painting below is titled Hectic, 15.2"x18.2", Acrylic and pastel on canvas, 2015, ©Kikuko Sakota Art

My Neighborhood

I took a walk in my neighborhood, which is a residential area to the north of Himeji Castle.  I spent my high school days in this place.  I went to the university in Kyoto, and since then, I've been working mostly around Kobe and Osaka, and staying abroad.  Even though I came back home,  I haven't taken a walk near my house so often.  So I found a new joyous habit, waling and finding something wonderful.

Hectic Holiday in N.Y.

I stayed in N.Y. at the end of March, keeping busy; visiting galleries in Chealsea, SOHO, and LES,  museums, joining the opening of the group show, shopping.... 

I visited N.Y.for the first time in 10 years so it took time to locate the destinations and even I took wrong subways many times. 

Anyway I enjoyed a lot.  I saw very unique art works in galleries, which showed me next moves for my art works.  I also enoyed delis in N.Y. , N.Y. UNIQLO with totally different products, which are Kabuki T shirts, (I don't think we have that ones in Japan)  In MOMA I watched a new film of Bjork's.  The photo below is the one allowed for visitors to shoot.  (not a new film)