Jazzed at Motoko’s

Credit: Carol Pope

The beauty of a garden extends not just to the growing of it, but also to the capturing of it.

And there are few who do a better job of that than Motoko. Recently I had the pleasure of savouring a cup of green tea with this very gracious Pender Harbour artist while we relaxed in her studio and gallery.

“One of my first memories was the desire to create art. I couldn’t explain it, even to myself. I just knew I had to do it,” says Motoko, who nevertheless trained to be a dietitian as a young woman in Japan out of respect for her parents, who were concerned that she be able to earn a living. Immigrating to Canada in 1992, she decided the time had come to rigorously pursue her dream. Strictly self-taught, she now paints fulltime at her busy studio, selling her art across Canada, Japan and the United States.

Motoko’s first works were as a representational artist – often featuring floral inspiration or local landscapes.

“As my understanding of art progressed,” she reflects, “I took a deep interest in using colour, shape, line and texture as my tools to express the essence of that beauty. I allow these forms and lines to take their own course, resulting in a truly non-constraining and intuitive expression.

“I believe art is something that should allow all of us to be truly creative and free. If an artist can evoke a viewer’s deep emotion through her art, it is a true privilege. My goal, always, is to be such an artist.”

Motoko’s annual exhibition and sale of her new work will take place September 20 -28, 2008 (except Tuesday) at Motoko’s Fine Art Studio & Gallery in Garden Bay. For details, visit her website www.motokoart.com concert, motoko, garden bay studio and gallery
And for those planning to attend this year’s Pender Harbour Jazz Festival https://www.penderharbourmusic.ca/jazz/ (and, yes, you should – it’s a great event!), she invites you to attend the concert by sensational jazz vocalist Sibel Thrasher in her gallery garden this September 20 from 11 am to 1 pm.

Motoko, Carol Pope's blog, Hand gold-foiled water lily
Above: Hand Gold-Foiled Water Lily
“This is one of my first pieces, a true time of bright colours and passion for me,” says Motoko. “Water lilies have an amazing ability to dazzle the onlooker, preying on an artist’s mind to capture and recreate the beauty. I believe that is why the water lily has been a very popular subject for many artists, myself included.”

Casablanca in a midnight garden, motoko, carol pope's blog
Above: Casablanca in a Midnight Garden
Says Motoko, “Midnight is said to be a magical time, made even more intense with the seductive fragrance of the Casablanca lilies. With the moonlight the background, the gorgeous white petals seem to mysteriously glow with radiance. Romance is equal to Casablanca in a midnight garden.”

Celebration, Motoko, Carol Pope's blog
Above: Celebration
“This piece is probably the most important to me to date. In Japan, the country where I was born and raised, it is traditional to give a daughter a Kimono and Obi on her 20th birthday, to signify her turn into adulthood. My parents gave me this beautiful Obi on my 20th birthday. To me, it represents my parents’ love and devotion, and I will never forget the day I was no longer a child, but a woman.”

peony in the morning
Above: Peony in the Morning
“This magnificent flower, larger than life, is stunning to see in full bloom. Surprisingly, it is also one of the most delicate. One rain can utterly destroy the peony, showing us how life can be held in the balance of something as small as a raindrop.”