Japanese Festival

Yesterday we spent the day at the 28th Annual Japanese Festival in the Missouri Botanical Gardens, St. Louis MO. I decided this would be a really good place to draw, so I packed up my paints, pens, pencils and sketch book with every intention of getting some really good sketches.

My husband is a sensei of a Kokondo dojo (A form of Japanese karate). The dojo was invited to help carry the shrine at the opening ceremonies. Quite an honor! So we were there first thing in the morning. I meant to sketch the shrine, but all things being equal, I became my husband’s mule carrying assorted things behind the shrine as they moved it to and from the ceremony! By the time I got to the ceremony area the closest I could get to the shrine was up a hill behind a bunch of trees and a crowd of people. I did paint the people and the trees in front of me!

Opening Ceremony Japanese Festival Sept. '05

I also did some quick sketches of traditional dancers.

Dancer with Fan

4 Years Old with an Umbrella

The theme of the Festival this year was SUMO. They had a featured artist, Lynn Matsuoka there. Her paintings were absolutely amazing. (The web site just doesn’t do them justice.) After the Sumo demonstrations, there were T-shirt sales with her art on the shirts that could be autographed by the Sumo. I asked her to sign my shirt instead. She was very pleased to do so and went and got one of the official signing markers right out the hand of one of the Sumo. 🙂