Yuri Ozaki grew up in a small town in Mie Prefecture on the Kii Peninsula of Japan. The area is known for its unique wet climate and mystical history. This area also features UNESCO World Heritage registered sacred sites and pilgrimage routes. The beauty and mystery of her home region has been a strong influence on Ozaki’s work.
Her favorite subjects have been woodland scenes in the Tennessee Valley as well as her coastal hometown in Japan. Most recently, she has been experimenting with her own imaginary world based on scenes of decay and renewal in nature. She feels connected to her subjects through the texture of watercolor on paper.
She is a signature member of the Watercolor Society of Alabama, Mississippi,Montana, and North East Watercolor Society.
My motivation to paint nature evolved from the pleasure and serenity I find when surrounded by it, hiking deep forest trails and along ocean cliffs both in my native country of Japan and across the United States. My early studies of nature were more literal translations of what I had seen to color and value, with minimal interpretive or perceptual influences. While these studies heightened my appreciation of those experiences and exercised my technical repertoire, they did not satisfy my creative drive. My later works penetrate the superficial beauty of what I have seen and carve open a window into the private psychology of my visual perception. Winter excursions exhibit the ephemeral quality of the natural world, usually in constant motion, when immobilize in ice. My paintings are a second freezing- a snapshot of my own transcendent perceptions. These works challenge my technical skills and release my emotional connection to the subject to the viewer.
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