Experiencing An Artist’s ‘Evolution’

Artist Hiromi Ozaki currently is showcasing her work in an exhibition titled ‘Evolution’ at Art Café Hemingway in Kapa’a

Cherry blossoms and mountain scenes are among the many natural landscapes Hiromi Ozaki enjoys capturing on canvas.

“I have to like the shapes and forms to actually paint,” she says of the various objects she’s drawn to, such as trees, village homes and the ocean.

When Ozaki discovers figures and patterns in nature that she appreciates, she snaps photos of them and arranges a composition in her mind before laying down the acrylic paint. Her artistic style is diverse and contains everything from soft, watercolor-like images of flowers and branches to vividly colored abstract-style depictions of locations on Kaua’i.

“I love to paint things I enjoy here,” she says about the Garden Isle. “But I didn’t want to paint so-called traditional paintings like waves and coconut trees. It’s almost become generic, so I just wanted to do something totally different.”

The artist, who is originally from Mizusawa, a small country town in Japan, is displaying her paintings of Kaua’i and other subjects at Art Café Hemingway in Kapa’a until the end of the month.

“All of my life, I’ve been searching for expressing myself,” she says, regarding why she chose to become an artist.

Not only does she paint, but Ozaki likes to write poetry, dance and act, as well.

“I like the creativeness,” she says. “I love expressing my emotions.”

And, she adds, she’s not in it for the money.

“When you are actually painting, you are naturally expressing yourself,” says Ozaki. “It’s soothing, comforting.”

Prior to becoming a full-time painter, Ozaki worked in different fields, including hospitality, where she conducted tour guides for Japanese visitors in Sydney, Australia. While living there, in 2002 Ozaki attended the National Art School, where she officially began her professional career in art.

“I wasn’t every day drawing or painting, but I was always interested in drawing something pretty or colorful or beautiful,” she says of her life prior to attending art school.

While she did create watercolor paintings, she didn’t become serious about it until some 10 years ago.

“I really, really enjoy mixing colors,” she says of her passion for painting. “I love colors; I enjoy colors.”

In addition, it’s easier to sit down to start painting, as opposed to other artistic avenues such as sculpting that require expertise in more methods, like casting.

“Mixing colors sometimes can be meditative,” adds Ozaki, who moved to the island three years ago and currently lives in Anahola.

What brings her the most joy, however, is when she sees people appreciating her artwork.

“Of course, it’s nice to be complimented,” she says.

But more importantly, she finds it especially rewarding when she knows her paintings are making other people happy.

“When I get told by viewers that my artwork contributes to their happiness, good feeling, good mood, uplifting feeling, that is my ultimate reward for being an artist,” she says.

Ozaki’s exhibition, “Evolution,” is on view upstairs at Art Café Hemingway through April 30. For more information about Ozaki, visit artmajeur.com/hiromi, or email hiromioz2004@yahoo.com.au.