Snow -- the gentlest space

Using snow as a device for creating negative white spaces, Japanese artist Yasu Eguchi weaves a wonderland of winter images. His landscapes are part memory, part fact, the essence of locations [Word Illegible] observed. Snow falls across his picture-planes in great blankets, cascades down the sides of mountains or winds in ribbon-like pattern around a stand of nameless trees.

In "Flowing Kiso," abstract forms of white rise majestically [Word Illegible] the banks of the Kiso River. Gray-greens, icy blues, off-whites comprise Eguchi's preferred palette. Here accents of yello, like glints sunlight, pierce the cold atmosphere, warming it a little.

Painting directly on handmade paper with sumi inks watercolors he utilizes a kind of disciplined freedom.

"The painting is complete in my mind," he assures us, "before put one stroke of the brush to paper." This knowledge enables him paint freely without preliminary drawing or pencil guide lines. Yet he is a carefully structured art in which "happy accidents" nevertheless sometimes occur.

Born on the island of Kyushu, Japan, Eguchi formed an early [Word Illegible] ance with art when he won first place in an art competition sponsored by a local newspaper. He was ten years of age, but even then he was dedicated to a single purpose: becoming an artist. His formal studies included training at the Horie Art Academies, later in Taiwan and Europe. In Paris he learned to paint in the Impressionist manner.

He arrived in the United States about 12 years ago. But it was when he came to Santa Barbara to live that his work began to evolve in unique style of his own, blending the best of Eastern culture with more open, vital approach to his work, which he found in his adopted homeland.

His use of snow-images does more than unify his highly detailed paintings; they reflect the individuality of Eguchi in creating art [Word Illegible] is quiet, peaceful and innocent.

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