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Abe Toshiyuki

Watercolors PaintingRealism in watercolor

From Japan to the world

Abe Toshiyuki was born in Sakata City, Japan, in 1959. He  studied art education at a national university, and worked for about 20 years as an art teacher after graduating.

Abe Toshiyuki tells us, “It has been my life-long ambition to become a painter, so in 2008 I gave up teaching to focus on that dream. I am currently active as a painter and have held many solo exhibitions here in Japan, of which I have won a few prestigious awards for.”

Grass of light - Abe Toshiyuki

Grass of light - Abe Toshiyuki

 Tell us about your watercolor work

My work tends to focus on the finer points of nature that surround us. Japanese people have always held a deep love and respect for nature, and I find that this is reflected not only in famous Japanese artworks, but also in Japanese literature. Through their descriptions of scenes such as the transience of a river, and the fragility of petals on a cherry blossom, I find that these famous artists are able to implicitly express the idea of inevitable change extraordinarily well. In addition, I believe that my watercolors are able to capture the essence of these artists in a meaningful way.

Quiet wind - Abe Toshiyuki

Quiet wind - Abe Toshiyuki

 What does “art” mean to you?

When questioned about what art means, I respond by saying that art is a mirror of the soul for the beholder. For example, many different viewpoints come out when different people look at the same painting, but when the same person looks at the same painting, their viewpoint can easily change depending on their state of mind. This change is what I mean by art being a mirror of the soul for the beholder.

To the sky in the water - Abe Toshiyuki

To the sky in the water - Abe Toshiyuki

 How do you select your subjects to paint?

When I paint a particular scene, I am always careful not to choose a famous place, or a place that can be easily identified. The reason for this is so that a feeling of deja-vu can be evoked by the viewer. I believe that for an artwork to be truly effective, it needs to touch deep emotions from the bottom of the viewer’s heart.

Winter morning light - Abi Toshiyuki

Winter morning light - Abi Toshiyuki

You can find more information and works by visiting his WEBSITE

Watercolor Painting



  1. Great article, I’ve bookmarked this page and have a feeling I’ll be returning to it regularly.

  2. Lovely and amazing realistic pieces from a medium that is referred to as the complex of all painting mediums… your expressions and resilience of producing captivating watercolour paintings.

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