Hazel E. Taniuchi: a lifelong creative passion.
When friends ask when I started painting...I tell them that I started painting even before I was born.
Until I posted my work on Instagram and Facebook no one except my family knew the extent to which I was called to be creative: I loved art, I made jewellery, was an avid photographer, and loved to bake and knit.
I think everyone is born an artist; we draw houses, stick figures, specimens in science, and then the pursuit of making a living takes over and we leave creativity on the back burner.
I remember drawing biology specimens for classmates in exchange for math homework. I wanted to be an architect and considered textile design, but those majors included algebra, math, geometry, chemistry etc. and my brain doesn’t seem to have a lobe for numbers. I took art classes in college... landscape painting, ceramics, painting from life, painted in oil and acrylics and received an honorable mention in an art contest in college.
Varied artistic interests over time.
In Japan I studied ikebana, sumie (Japanese black ink painting), etegami (postcard painting with a short message) and nihonga (a westernized Japanese painting).
While I was in Maui, I took watercolor classes. My frustration grew with each of these classes when I realized that I would never be as good as the teachers. The classes were mostly copying what the teachers did.
Later, I took calligraphy classes. When I go crazy on one thing I buy lots of supplies; therefore, I have loads of nibs, nib holders, inks, paper, etc., and that was good while it lasted. But I always came back to my first love which, I discovered over time, is watercolor.
"100 day project"
However, it has been ingrained in me that it is a difficult medium because you can’t cover mistakes. Then one day in July 2018, I participated in the “100 day project”. I decided to work with watercolor.
At first I was hesitant to get involved in the project because of the number 100 was rather intimidating, but then I realized that I was painting only one artwork a day and not 100! There was also that negative and nagging thought and question of “what if I can’t finish?”
Hazel E. Taniuchi finds her style with colour and quotes.
Color is my strength.
All my life I was searching for that one thing that people called passion. I didn’t know what that word meant until I found it in painting “my own way”. For me, that means not copying the teacher’s style as I was taught in classes. I went back to my favorite artists, David Hockney, Yayoi Kusama, and Josef Frank, and closely examined their work.
I took a break in November 2019 because I wanted to publish a book of my artworks. I finally found a printer and then the lockdown happened so I decided to join the 100 day project again. Since then, I have experimented with digital art which is a different challenge. The rest is history.
In 5 years, I hope that people will want to see my work printed on fabric, in prints, or hanging in a gallery....only time will tell.
I sign all my artworks with my initials HET.HET.HET which stands for Hazel E. Taniuchi. The initials are almost always in yellow because it was my mom’s favorite color and I had a strong connection with her.
My artwork is seen on IG @bijinhaze and FB for friends only.
To view other artists who have been featured on my website in the last 2.5 years, please visit the Guest Artist page.
I am grateful for all the talented, productive artists and creatives from all over the world (photographer, author...) who have appeared on Louise's ARTiculations. If you are a creative and would like to be featured in this space, please contact me. This feature will continue in 2021. I have December 2020 open now to highlight your work on my website.
Many featured guests remain in my circle of friends on social media sites, and some, I have even met in person.