They say the weather this year has been exceptionally strange. No kidding! We watched another typhoon approaching Japan on Sunday and hoped it wouldn’t wash out our Open Studio event. Thankfully the heavy rain held off until the night and we had a successful day.

From 10-4, I had my studio room in my little house open to the public and Mihajlo & Jelena (the other two artists here) were screening their previous films in a little cinema setup inside one of the other houses. We welcomed a lot of our local friends and faces we’ve met at local events. It was cool to show them that we have actually been quite busy, making and exploring.

I made a dyed banner for the event using powdered tumeric I got at the market stall (The cash register ladies had a little chuckle at me buying an entire bag of tumeric) and some indigo pigment stick. It’s tied down with stones and bits of broken pottery I found in the river near here.

My banner for the event looking a bit out of place in the grey weather

no sign of the alps all day but at least it wasn’t typhoon-ing

Here’s some snapshots from inside my studio.

Welcome to Melinda’s Studio. A sign I brought from home that I made a couple of years ago
A sign prepared by the staff about me and about Australia (importantly, tim tams are included!) random cute things gifted by locals
Here’s a piece I’ve been working on using a roll of Shoji paper left by a previous artist (the paper used to paper the sliding screen doors)
These circles are test swatches of different pigments I’ve ground up from local stones found mostly by the river. I’m hoping to get a few more metres of dots before the exhibition late this month
the room I’m using as a studio. spacious!!
Inspiration-y tid-bits. Pigments I brought from Australia in tiny bottles.
Bird book – check. Japanese Weeds Identification books – check.


I’ve been busy smashing up rocks too and making pigment colours. Mostly I’ve found stones at the river nearby, the Dojiri River. They are mostly quite soft and oxidised red or yellow on the outside but there’s also crazy cool fossils and shells in the river bed because once upon a time this area as under the sea! crazy. I’m up to 27 colours at the moment, maybe I’ll get to 50?

Rock collection – mostly these are ones that were too hard for making pigment out of. Chestnuts too just to make sure you were paying attention.


I’m also making a series of Katazome works on paper depicting weeds and plants I’ve found around Nakajo. Will do about 15, I’m already up to 11.
I’ve been carving the names of each plant in the romanized Japanese this time, instead of the latin name like I’ve done previously.
Anyway, that’s it for now I think. Got to keep some things a secret! The final artworks will be displayed at the Nagano City Arts Centre gallery from October 24-29th 2018. Lots to do!