I'm over the jet lag, am past the worst of the culture shock and have even learned a few words in Japanese. So far, so good for week one of my two months on the island of Awaji, Japan. I am here, with five other international artists, to participate in the Nagasawa Art Park Residency in Japanese Woodblock Printmaking. Most of us arrived here on Monday. After a day of rest we were given a basic introduction to the Japanese water-based process by Keiko, the program director. We each created a one color block print on that day and all I can is, when the course work begins in earnest, the instruction must be pretty intense and the learning curve very steep because at this point I can't imagine possessing the skill and proficiency required to create three editions in this beautiful technique. In other words, my first attempt was quite dreadful.
Our hosts have been very kind and generous. We were each given an array of tools and supplies for the work we will complete while here.
In addition, we have had an audience with the mayor of Awaji City, interviews by the local press and two days of sightseeing, which included attending a traditional Japanese puppet theatre and sampling the goods of a local saki producer.