This series titled Tribute to Toshiye explores my love of the beauty of Japanese cultural traditions infused to me by my grandmother. I have found much solace in discovering these simpler times before technology took us out of ourselves and politics were not so volatile and discouraging. These scenes are taken from turn of the century every day life when my grandmother was just born. Growing up, my Grandmother Toshiye Yamamoto littered my path with everything from teaching me to count in Japanese, cooking and the arts which she had all over her home in the form of sculptures and paintings and in the beautiful Kimono she gave me when I was a teenager. In her final years she sat up in her bed and made flower art cards that she instructed her children to use as invitations to her funeral which I still keep at my desk to remind me of the beautiful esthetic of my heritage.
I’ve found incredible inspiration in the places I’ve lived and the people I have met while living around the world from: Kota Kinabalu on the island of Borneo to Beijing, China, Manila, Philippines, Whistler, Canada, Hood River, Oregon and now near the ocean in Ruston, WA.
My love of these widely ranging cultures and traditions have all informed and engendered my creative expression and is the impetus behind the founding of my company “YinspirationArt Studios” around 15 years ago.
Now, after over 50 solo and group art shows in Asia and North America, I have also greatly enjoyed teaching my youth arts program, “Brave Art for Youth” at Arts Foundations and schools up and down the Pacific Northwest for the past three years. It is now on offer as an online program so that more students can enjoy the benefits of using the arts to explore one’s feelings to promote healing and self-understanding.