It was one of the most fun things we'd ever done together. We woke up early and drove to the community center. The instructor was apparently a big famous ink painter who really wanted us to learn how to paint asparagus.
Neither Motto nor I really knew what was going on in the beginning. I didnt because I couldnt understand what anyone was saying, and Motto didnt because Japanese people are confusing. We had the wrong supplies. Instead of our bottle of ink we actually needed a black stick (charcoal maybe? condensed ink?) and a block to rub it on. We spent 10 or 15 minutes rub rub rubbing the stick on the block with a splash of water. Then, viola! Ink!
After the ink materialized there was a long explanation that bored me to death as I was itching to pick up my paintbrush. Enjoy the video below to see what I mean.
Finally we were allowed to start copying the teacher's technique to paint asparagus, eggplant, and cucumbers. The teacher painted an example on my paper and then a bunch of old ladies came over and told me it was really good.
After 5 minutes of painting vegetables Motto was doing quite well, creating things fit to be hung on our walls, but my veggies sucked and I was bored of them. So I started painting the teacher (I had been staring at him for 20 minutes with a paintbrush in hand, couldnt resist) and then the girl sitting across from me.
And I almost got away with it. Let's just say there was applause. But I'll never know if they were impressed with my paintings or with a foreigner who knows how to apply ink to paper. Motto acted like the whole putting my painting in front of the class and asking me to sign it and a famous ink painter taking it home as a gift thing didnt even happen. I'm not kidding. He didnt say a thing about it. Which leads me to believe it could have been an elaborate hallucination brought on by owing $18,000 in student loans to an art school.