” Eyes in my paintings “


eye, artist website, cool art, eye painting, Hiroko SakaiI’ve been often asked why eyes are on my paintings a lot. Well, it’s a good question.
Before, I did not think about it.
In Japan, I’d never painted eyes. They started coming on my canvases here in San Francisco.  

Moving here alone, leaving my own country, family and friends, was not always so much fun. Life and customs are different. Language is like a math form, and from time to time, I feel I’m going to become lost where I am.

One day, my mother in Japan gave me these words:
"Everybody comes to be born in this world alone, and when we finish our time, everybody leaves this world alone again."

art for sale online, artist original oil paintings, buy art online, buy artist original artwork online, canvas art prints, canvas stretched art prints, cool artwork, cool art, for facebook, contemporary art, fine art prints, framed art prints, Hiroko Sakai, large posters, modern art for sale, online art galleries, original art, original paintings, original oil paintings, original oil paintings for sale, oil painting, oil paintings, paintings for sale, paintings for sale online, San Francisco artist, San Francisco art, signature and numbers, something cool, unique art, where to buy art online, house warming gift, love bird painting, apple painting, eye painting, melting clock, lovers, surreal painting, surrealism art, moon, snake painting, love, fantasy art, fantasy painting, night artart for sale online, artist original oil paintings, buy art online, buy artist original artwork online, canvas art prints, canvas stretched art prints, cool artwork, cool art, for facebook, contemporary art, fine art prints, framed art prints, Hiroko Sakai, large posters, modern art for sale, online art galleries, original art, original paintings, original oil paintings, original oil paintings for sale, oil painting, oil paintings, paintings for sale, paintings for sale online, San Francisco artist, San Francisco art, signature and numbers, something cool, unique art, where to buy art online, house warming gift, love bird painting, apple painting, eye painting, melting clock, lovers, surreal painting, surrealism art, moon, snake painting, love, fantasy art, fantasy painting, night artWhen I heard these words, I realized that it is up to me to live my life in my own way.

I mean, all of the things I see and feel in this world around me are just coming out from inside of me, depending on my state of mind. And now, I found that those eyes in my paintings are my own eyes after all. It is just like, when you read a novel, you follow the eye of the main character, and the other characters are all just gushing out to make the context of his story.
It opened my eyes to have learned that I could control my life better simply by changing my own viewpoint.

Now, I feel like I have two ‘mes’ in my life. one is what is actually struggling in this life in my body, and the other is watching that me from above. When I get trapped in strong emotions, I talk with my other eye which is observing and tells me that it is not that hard from its objective view.

art for sale online, artist original oil paintings, buy art online, buy artist original artwork online, canvas art prints, canvas stretched art prints, cool artwork, cool art, for facebook, contemporary art, fine art prints, framed art prints, Hiroko Sakai, large posters, modern art for sale, online art galleries, original art, original paintings, original oil paintings, original oil paintings for sale, oil painting, oil paintings, paintings for sale, paintings for sale online, San Francisco artist, San Francisco art, signature and numbers, something cool, unique art, where to buy art online, house warming gift, sun flower painting, fantasy art, fantasy painting, angel's door, angel feathers, blue sky painting, rainbow, love, angel painting, surrealism painting, summer, miracle, wonderland paintingIn that sense, when you get stuck in depressing situation, once you separate your eye from your body and start seeing yourself putting a little distance from your actual body, you can have a clearer vision. Pain and suffering are mostly coming from the subjective state of your mind.

I know that my art is very emotional, but I can express my emotions on my canvas so strongly because I borrow from what my other objective eye is watching about me.

I also feel the power that is always watching and leading me from above. My appreciation for the connection with the power always make me feel humble, and I love that feeling.


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist


” A life path why I’ve ended up to be in San Francisco “


Being a Japanese Artist in San Francisco, one of the best ranking questions from people to me is;

"What brought you to San Francisco from Japan?"

Well, here is my speech that I’ve made for an Art event at Lindsay Unified School District where I was invited as their guest Artist in 2008, and I believe this explains all to you.

Lindsay, farming, farm, landscape, country side, plantationLindsay is a city in Tulare County, California, United States.
Many people from Mexico are living in this city to work in agriculture area leaving their own country. I was asked to share my experiences with them which I got through to have ended up to be an artist in San Francisco, leaving my own country Japan.

It is a little awkward feeling to share such a goofy private story, but since I put this speech on my website, I’ve got so many responses from overwhelming numbers of people from all over the world telling me how they were encouraged and how they were even saved from their wander in their lives, so I decided to keep this speech on my blog here.

despair and hope, emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism, sun flower, wing, tear, water, hope, love, red,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art, sorrow, challenge You know, if somebody’s getting depressed in life, I would say, "Look at me’. I’ve got here believing in me. Sometimes, things do not go as you expected and you could feel as if you were ruining everything. But Everything can be only the path to get to the success of your dream. You can not fail until you give up. As long as you keep going, you are on the path for your success.

OK, here we go.
I hope you enjoy.




Today, I would like to talk about some pieces of my black comedies how I ended up to be a Japanese Artist in San Francisco.

speech, hiroko sakai speech, speech for hopeI was born in Fukuoka Japan. It is located in the northern Kushu island and is one of the Japanese main cities.

My father is doing karate master after retiring his bank work. He is one of the international licensed master who has his own karate organization in Japan. My mother is also enjoying her after retired life doing volunteer for blind people, and dancing etc… They are a very energetic couple.
My younger brother is a musician in Tokyo.

My professional Art career started in the graphic Arts field in Fukuoka, Japan, in the early 1990s. After graduating from University, I founded my own commercial Art studio named Atelier Yume-Tsumugi, which means Dream weaver.
In my studio in Japan, I emphasized working on a variety of projects with varying requirements, from commercial illustrations to architectural rendering, rather than a distinct style.
When I started my career, I was still in early 20’s and very ambitious. So I did not want to limit my possibilities in one specialty.


graphic art, cool graphicIn the start of my career, what I forced myself was, "Never say ‘ I can’t’". Whatever I got, first thing I said was "OK, I can do it".
Make the contract first, and then think.
Chances never wait. There was always huge line after me in those competitive world, and I had enough learned that it was very easy to lose my spot with one second hesitation.

In the professional commercial Art field, I was required variety skills, different mediums, computer skills, knowledge of printing effections… And not only about Art techniques, but also how to compromise with budget, connection with other services, etc… And adding to those, time was always never enough. Clients were always working hard to cut their time and budget. So, if I wanted to make my life as a commercial Artist, I had to give up sleeping.

perspectiveOperating my studio everydays, I had to learn how to answer my clients’ requirements by myself. Especially, to lean how to use different mediums and tools, necessity was the best teacher.
Most people waste so much time for starting Art with going to schools or seeking some other’s instructions. Then, a lot of people end up to be just overwhelmed with too much information in the first stage, where they are not ready yet, and get scared to run away.

I have never learned Art at any schools in my life. But I have never had any problems with my works in my studio. I did make my artworks with whatever mediums required from chalks, pastels, water colors… to air brush, tile mosaics and computer graphics. All I needed was just get the new mediums and play with them for couple of hours to get used to. The staffs at the art store were also good places to ask about the new mediums. They give you all advises you need without paying such a big money for schools.

sign designAnyway, my 20’s had passed in the sleepless life.
Everyday, mornings started with different clients deadlines.

To tell the good part, they brought me more money than doctors make here each months. In the commercial businesses, the value of art works are huge, because they are used for large markets which pay them back more.
My artworks were used for catalogs, TV commercials, posters, sings etc… and they lead the images of the products and companies to public.

Running my own art studio, I was living in a very rich life being surrounded with luxurious stuff, which the same age girls could never afford to. Also I could built great connections with celebrated people in society, calling them "my friend".

mosaic tile, tile artHowever, when you get something, you have to give up other things in return.
In those times, my life were all about my business.
All the people around me were either my staffs or clients. I had almost no friend whom I can open my heart to privately.
Also, my life there was always being pressed by overwhelming competitions and responsibilities at every minutes. My works were made based on clients’ needs, not from my original creativity. Once I failed, I could be easily replaced with the next person behind me.
In those pressures, after all, I ended up to the hospital life.


One day, I suddenly got a heavy pain on my back, and I was brought to a hospital.

emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art, birdcage, nude, flame, fire,sorrow, depression, woman nudeIf it was malignant, he said, I might not have any chance to live, even in the best case, I would lose my womb.

The hospital room where I was put in was the room for cancer patients of womb. Some ladies were already after surgery and some were waiting for getting their wombs taken out. Some were wearing scarf on their head to hide their losing hair.

It was a shocking incident in my life. And I felt it would take all the hope out from my life.

But on the other hand, I happened to get a time to stop to look around my life, in where I had kept myself running and running. It gave me some time to think about my life deeply where I was.

Fortunately, my tumor was benign.
Thanks to God, I am still here to meet you today.

After leaving hospital, I decided to reset my life.
Following to the change, I have started yearning for making my own family, and before long from there, I got married with an American man who gave me sincere encouragement and support in my hospital life.
That was how I was brought to US.

OK, If this was a Hollywood Romance movie, the story would end here with happy ending spectacular music! …But the reality is always a little bit different….


First of all, moving to US was a totally unexpected change of my life. When I got married with him. what he was saying first was that he would move to Japan so I would not need to change my life.

emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art, wonderland, lip, eyeAfter getting married in Japan, he went back to CA saying he would need to finish some works left to prepare him to move to Japan, and I waited for his return in Japan.
But he did not come back for months, then during the time, I got to know that I was getting pregnant.

After a long story, it was me who had to move to California after all, to get to know that he was actually not doing anything for moving to Japan.

In this way, my new strange life in far away country had started with big belly, strange language, and domestic violence in the bargain.

It was a big lesson for me.
In this change, what I lost was huge.

I lost my studio, I lost my career, and also I lost all the money. To move my life to California, I had spent all my savings for paying all the moving expenses, and compensations for each of my staffs’ some months salaries and equipment lease, etc..

It was too late for me to realize how I was the one of the naive Japanese girls, who do not know how to doubt other people. In Japan, people hardly miss what they once make promises and always work hard to keep their words. On the same time, I got learned why making the contract was so important in this America before starting new business.


Anyway, show must go on…


After half an year passed, I got my baby born.
By that time, the attitude of the man, whom I got married, had turned very abusive. He was always irritated and grumpy in heavy mood swings and treated me like a slave.
emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art,fetus, egg, heaven, eye, holly, light, clouds, hand sky, universe, rebirth, birthIn his eyes, I was no more a cool successful rich woman, just an useless naive weak burden who were even struggling with making the communications in his language.
I would never forget his face when he throw an application paper on my face which he got from Macdonald, scoffing, "When can you start making money again?"

In the life, for the first time in my life, I had experienced enough what the miserable was. However, I had already had a baby there. I wanted to keep going.
But the more I tried, the worse his attitude got. I still can not believe he made me begged him to keep marring me when he threatened me saying that if I got against him, he would make me deported and I could never been able to see my baby here ever again. I was even being lost where I was.

One morning, he ordered me like a military general to stand next to him. As soon as I stand there, he grabbed my shirt’s neck and start hanging me up, asking me " Do you think the baby can sleep in such twisted shirt?"
I was choked badly and it was my limit. I told him I would want to divorce.


After that, it was a big nightmare.
One calm evening, I was milking my baby in bedroom, laying on the bed.
Suddenly, I heard rough knockings at the apartment entrance door. Next minute, two big polices ran into my room and started yelling at me in fast laud English.
I was frightened and could not know what was happening there at all.
At those time, I could not understand English so well.

Then CPS came to meet me.
It seemed like I was reported to them that I might kill my baby. And ofcause who made such a crazy drama was ‘him’.
He tried to get some police reports on me, taking advantage on my poor English, preparing for future court for custody issue.
He had a son in his previous marriage but when he got divorced, he could not get any custody on him. So this time he really wanted to get the baby.


After that, I was almost being put under the supervision of his family when he was not with me. I was even not allowed to be with my baby alone. But I tried to explain the situation to them by writing faxes every days.
Then CPS required me to go to counseling.
After all, it was a big luck for me that they found a Japanese counselor for me.

Finishing some sessions, the counselor told me that I was under domestic violence situation and I could eventually put the end on this nightmare by being saved by Asian Women’s’ Shelter in San Francisco with my baby. At that time, she was still only 4 months old.

After this, thanks to the shelter’s support, I got the start of new life in San Francisco.


emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art, eye, tears, thorn, red, colorful, mazeThrough this nightmare, I had lost everything. What still left with me there were only some of my belongings, which I could barely brought with me in one suitcase, and a tiny baby.
It was a totally strange far away country for me, where I could not even make enough communication with other people in my language. Besides, I had nobody whom I know.

I wished I could go back to Japan, but I could not.
The divorce was done in the law of California and they didn’t allow me to take my daughter back to Japan to live with me. They even require foreign parents to carry the agreement paper of other American citizen parents when we leave California to make short trips with our children for other place, such as our own countries. So I had no choice except staying in California until she gets 18 years old for keeping her custody.


I could never thank enough to the shelter through my life.
I had stayed in shelter for about 4 months and during the time, asian women's shelter logothey arranged amazingly excellent supports for me to prepare for my new life, such as legal support, childcare, counseling, school for ESL, etc…. And the most wonderful thing was they had many volunteers who were from several different Asian countries, so the residents could talk and live without so much difficulties in communication and also felt easier in our own cultures.

Even after I left shelter, they still kept supporting my life closely, and also kept referring me some non profit organizations depend on my needs, until my legal case closed, such as my divorce, custody and child support, and my Green card status.


This year, it has passed almost 9 years since then.
"Time flies" is a really good saying.

After starting my life in San Francisco alone, first 4 years, it was very hard. In those times, I could not feel like doing anything but just letting the time go. I had no idea where my life was going to…
Still, I had this tiny strange existence with me who were totally depending on my care. Taking care of a baby was my very first experience. In my previous life in Japan, I had not had so many experiences with those tiny people, even holding them in my arms. Everyday became the continuations of new studies how to deal with this tiny existence.

But living one day to another, something had started coming into my view. Even how scary and standoffish the outside world was, I anyhow had to force myself to get out my apartment door everydays, for court issues, baby’s needs and other life errands.
Getting so desperate, huge anxiety was killing my stomach, but on the same time, I had started rather being determined to do anything to keep going. No matter how hard, I could not change this situation. Then, why not to change myself making this a new opportunity to rebuild my new life.

After I changed my viewpoint to accept where I was, the things became much easier. I had timidly started exploring this new world.
Looking around, my apartment was very empty. Except some dishes and clothes and a few stuff which shelter gave me when I moved in there, my main possession was only my laptop. How different the surroundings were from where I was!
It opened my eyes and made me realized how much excessive stuff I had lived my life with, being berried in and sticking on those material things.
Looking around my empty room, I thought that, in this world, we were actually not possessing anything except our own body and spirit. How easily the material things could be lost according to the change of life!
Luxurious antique furniture from Europe, thousands dollars clothes, Rolex watches, name brands bags…. they had easily gone from my life…

emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art, fairy painting, fantacy,i believe, hand, nude, light, wonderlandBut now, what I have inside of my spirit, they could never be lost. I will never lose my wisdom which I have learned in my history of experiences, and I have never lose my strength and knowledge which I learned through my life path. Wherever I go, and whatever my life condition changes, they will make my life.
After realizing these points, I became very free, and I have started appreciating my simple life.

We often tend to look our frustration and complaints first. And it seems our natural habit to concentrate on what we do not have rather than what we have.
But if you look around yourself deeper, you would be surprised how much you are actually being blessed with what you have to live your life with.

Anyway, now, I can humbly appreciate that my goofy life path was worth to pay my precious life lessons. And somehow, I also can feel as if I were lead to here by the power of the existence above me.
Needless to say, for the Artists all over the world, San Francisco is the one of the dream Art cities in the world. And whatever happened in my path, I happened to have ended up here to start my new life.
While it had taken my 5 years away from my Art life to adjust my basic life here, I have eventually restarted my Art here.


emotion, beautiful drawing, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring drawing, inspiring art, cool art, virgin mary, drawing, sorrow, hopeFirst, after a long blanc, I have started drawing like sweeping out my stuck emotions which had piled up in my inside. There was no colors on my paper at those times.
Then red came back… and blue came next. One by one, colors slowly came back on my paper.
Seeing those path, I may be able to say that this was my Art healing.
I had not thought about such stuff so specially before, but getting through them, I can now see that Art has some power to heal and lead to get our twisted mental state straight back.

Creating something out brings the healthy good feelings of achievement. Also expressing own originality out into the actual visible figures can be the reverifying own existence. It is like communicating with outside world using what I have inside deep naturally.

Getting back colors in my drawings, one day, I decided to start Oil.
To be honest, I had never touched Oils until then.

Oil dries very slow and through my previous commercial Artist life in Japan, Oil was not the medium I could use for my works there where I was always pressed with heavy daily deadlines.
But as an Artist, since I was in Japan, I had always wanted to paint Oil because I have believed that Oil was the basic of the Paintings.

What I have loved in Oil is, in its slow dry process, Oil gives me plenty of time to communicate with my canvas. It gives me time to think as much as I need.
I feel Oil is very flexible medium.

Also, unlike acrylics, which turns plastic as soon as they dry, each color layers of Oil change their face in the process to dry. Depend on how you produce and how you maintain, they get delicate influence from there. Getting ages, they can be more beautiful or they can get cracked. It makes me feel as if they were alive and they were holding the breaths of Artists between their color layers.


emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art, sky, angel, feather, door, rainbow, sun flower, fine day, fantasy painting, angel painting, loveLife as an Artist is something of a struggle between the faith to our real Artistic calling and the need to create the money to pay the next month rent.
Different from the commercial Artists which I used to be, the market changed to the individual people, and the rewards are 5 to 10 times lower, since the money come from people’s pocket, not the big companies’ business budgets.
However, here, I can eventually work for my own creation.

Good or bad, now I have plenty of time to face to my own inspirations without worrying about next morning deadlines.

After getting this life, I would never want to get back to the life where I had to create the Artworks like a machine, only for clients’ needs.
I got realized that to modify my Art to suit the market is no longer my original creation. It makes me one of a crafts people, but not an Artist.
But here, what I paint… They are my own creations. I could live forever in my Artworks.


Well, this is my story.
I hope there were something you feel connection with.

As you are, I am also a survivor who has still been struggling on the pass to keep working toward my dream and future.
But how hard to get by the life for now, I believe that my life is the one of the most blessed lives in the world. It is because I have found what I am meant to do on this Earth and what I want to do from now on.
As long as I am an Artist, I can never fail my life.

Whatever your dreams are, as long as you keep working toward them, you can not fail until you give up. There would be a lot of traps waiting for you in the way, which give you disappointments and doubts. But as long as you keep going, all of them would tune just the paths of the process to reach your dream eventually.

emotion, beautiful oil painting, art, surrealism,fine art, hiroko sakai, spiritual, inspiring painting, inspiring art, cool art, funny painting, munch, screem, ocean, floating, easel, boat, still painting, funny painting, humorous painting, artist, painting in oceanThere is no storm which dose not get over. After the storm gone, fine day comes again.

Time is always going. You have tomorrow and you have the day in next year.
Even when you get something to get stuck in, as long as you keep going, time will solve your problem.

Once I had lost everything and restarted my life with nothing in far away strange country totally alone, being a beginner single mom in the bargain.
10 years after, here I am.
Every each years, I feel my life has been getting better and better.

I can do it,
then why can’t you?

You can do it.


Finally, I want to share my most favorite word with you.

"Today is the first day of the rest of your life"

Thank you for listening.


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist


” Hannya and Love “


I believe that this "Hannya" is one of my best works I’ve ever created.

The Hannya mask is a mask representing a female serpent-damon filled with malicious jealousy and hatred, worn by women betrayed or spurned by their lovers who turn into serpent demons.

hannya, hannya mask, hannya painting, asian art, japanese art, nude painting, beautiul nude, genji story, love, sexy, cool, emotion, figurative painting,hiroko sakai, sorrow, The story of Hannya may not be acknowledged so widely unless you are well informed about Japanese traditional theater, Noh. Even I myself did not know about the details of the meanings which this famous mask contained until I made some research about Noh masks for other works of mine, "Boukyo-Nostalgia".

In Genji story, which is widely acknowledged as the world’s first novel, written by a court lady in Heian Japan (795-1192 AD). Genji, a man of passionate impulses and a lover of beauty, the favorite son of the Emperor, though his position at court is not entirely stable. "Aoi no Ue" is the Genji’s first principal wife, married to him when he is 12 and she is four years older. Not surprisingly, she finds him childish, and their relations remain uncomfortable until her death. her death was brought by an evil spirit of Lady Rokujo who is the Widow of the crown prince Prince Zembo and a longtime mistress of Genji.

I was inspired with so strong woman’s emotion and love that Lady Rokujo held in her as to change her into evil spirit to attack her rival, which is represented by "Hannya mask" in Noh performance. I wanted to express the naked nature of women that is held in our depth.


Love is always a double-edged sword…

In the past couple of months, my life had been totally screwed up by the explosion of this bomb. I had got through ardent passion with a man and lost it so quick and sudden.

He was gorgeous.
I am usually extremely picky. I have been always wanting to protect a peaceful life of my little wild and also wanting to have my time for concentrating on my Art instead of dealing with confusions by inviting new people in my life so easily. So in those romance department, I had kept my single life for years after I put the end on my last love with my ex-boy who is still now very close each others like the family.
My life was calm and well-controlled.

But, those peaceful life had suddenly changed by his eyes.

The first date with him was fun and friendly. I was not expecting any more things at all. He was a gentleman from the beginning to end of the evening. We kept smiling until his deep blue eyes showed the shadow of an abandoned little baby dog, saying good bye at my apartment door in the end of our date. In that moment, my life had fallen into a deep hole of an aphrodisiac. He had suddenly jumped into my life from there very naturally.

lake, lake chabot, romantic, love, boat, waterAfter the evening, I felt like I got on a roller coaster. Everything was fun spending the time with him. Picnic in the beach, fire works, sports game watching, boating on lake… and we gave every spare moment to exchanging our passions.
I was even feeling the special Charisma in him. He was like a walking Wikipedia and always tried making me laugh with the jokes out of his amazing knowledge. I became totally crazy about him in such a short time.

But as time goes by, in such rapid developments of passions, fine cracks had started forming inside of me. My emotion was getting hard time to keep up with grasping what was going on there.
In spite of my agitation, his responses were always patient in polite smile which made me more nervous. He did not show his emotions so much and I could not see what was on his under water at all. I mean. He was always passionate, but I could not tell if he was passionate because of me or just for his own fantasy of love. It got me scared to get involved in there more and more.

I eventually told him that I got scared. He said that he understood. Then we just put the end on our dating. It was so sudden and hollow after sharing such deep passions and fun time together. I really did not understand what we were and what the time we shared was after all…

The myth of "Gemini" was so true.

Anyway, getting through crazy depressions for some weeks after the good-bye, I think I’ve grown a little bit now.

As an artist, I realized that if I started any relation with a man next time, I’d better be with someone who really takes interest in my Art including what are making my Art. Even my strong emotions are the part of my Art. Unless my partner has the interest in being with and supporting those Artist’s inner world, my life would be torn into pieces after all.

seven years in tibet, brad pitt, bryce willettI have recalled one scene of an old movie, "Seven years in Tibet".
Brad Pitt and his friend fell in love with a lady at the same time. The two men made opposite approaches toward her. Brad showed off his gorgeous skills and talents as a famous mountaineer, but the other man was just staying close to her helping and supporting her activities. And the one who won her heart at the last was the later one.

"Mr. Gemini" was totally the type of Brad Pitt. While I was with him, getting overwhelmed by his charismatic powers, what I was always feeling was how he was gorgeous, how he was smart, how he was…… then I had stopped and realized, "how about me?"
As long as I had stayed with him, I would have been taking the part of his shadow feeling it would be my happiness to be able to support such a great man, and my Art would have been buried.

seven years in tibet, joe sievertsenOn the other hand, my ex-boy whom I wrote about a little before was an Art collector. Artists were his life inspirations and he loved supporting Artists. I have been with him for more than 8 years now, the first couple of years were as lovers and even after we put the end on our relations as lovers, we are still exchanging close cares like family members and without his support, my Art would not have made in this San Francisco.

It was a good lesson for me to learn that passion and love were different. I was really attracted to Mr. Gemini, but now I can see that it was a totally different feeling from those stable bond that I share with my ex-boy.

Well, storm has passed. All are past now.

Those some weeks were really tough time for me, but as getting age, I have learned how to ‘forget’. I mean, ‘forget’ would not be the right word… maybe could I say ‘ how to sort things out if they are meant to my life or not’?
I do not belong to any religions. As a Japanese, I live following to Buddhism theories, but it is not my religion. But I do believe in the power above me which is leading me in my life, and I believe everything happens for reasons.

I have learned that what dose not work out is what is not meant for my life from the first place. So I do not try to force to bring them to anywhere in vain any more.
You know, this is not any negative action, but I believe this is the strength to ‘accept’ everything as what they are supposed to be.


OK, so now, look at the bright side as American always says* -P*

artist sketch, mono tone drawing,emotion sketch, hiroko sakai After all, all those emotionally tough time brought me the fruits of new inspirations.
I have realized that the more I drive myself into the depth of my inside, the more things come up to my visions, visibly or invisibly…. I even do not know if I am seeing them with my eyes or with my mind. I just need to copy them on my canvases. But this mental process is always overwhelming. I often have hard time to deal with my emotions on this state. You could call this ‘depression’ on surface? but actually, in my underwater, so many ‘rebirth’ and ‘reform’ are being made in my thoughts, inspirations, philosophies, etc,. I believe this struggles make my art real. All my art comes from my emotions and my canvases take them to share them with the world. The more I paint, the calmer I become. I am lucky that I am an Artist because whatever happened, wherever I wander off, when I draw, when I paint, I can get my life back.

I found these words in the comment which my friend Eric gave me on my Art before. The Artwork he is mentioning is ‘Hannya".

"The first time I saw your work, I was walking down Valencia street, and I was thunderstruck by one of your paintings. I had to come in off the street to stare at it. It was the portrait of the sexy nude woman with the "evil brain" as I called it, at first. I couldn’t handle the complexity of what you were revealing.
hannya, hannya mask, hannya painting, asian art, japanese art, nude painting, beautiul nude, genji story, love, sexy, cool, emotion, figurative painting,hiroko sakai, sorrow, The many layers of a woman’s desires, fears, anger and lust. Can I admit to feeling what I am feeling when I am, looking at the painting? Not in public! In order to own that passion, I would have to externalize it, place my fantasies on someone else, as if they could be real. Otherwise I would feel deep embarrassment that I was capable of lust and fear, if others were to see what turns me on, like an advertisement of my unmet desires.

Art with such a powerful message doesn’t go down easy. For you to reveal that, you have to be a real person, not just the absent artist. You need to attach your image to your art, stamp yourself on it the same way Warhol or Basquiat attached their images (as honestly as they could manage) to their work, sort of accompanied their art even if they weren’t present when the buyer took the painting home. When I look at a Basquiat painting, in the back of my mind I am also seeing HIM, his face, his story, his sexuality, politics. It’s all there together. No mystery about the source of the art. I know his history, and that enriches the art for me, I would want to own one of his paintings because of the complex story and fascinating character behind the art. This is the way your art should be marketed, with you as the fascinating creator. A documentary about you would be fascinating." – Read more

Now I feel that I eventually got know where my Art is heading to….



"I don’t understand, why do I stress a man….

I’ll be some next man’s other woman soon. I couldn’t play myself again,
I should just be my own best friend, not f**k myself in the head with stupid men.

He walks away,
The sun goes down,
He takes the day but I’m grown
And in your way,
In this blue shade
My tears dry on their own. "


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist

” My personality by Eric’s chart “


I’ve got this personality reading of mine from my siderealist friend Eric Seligson in NY, who is one of my greatest art supporters and has been reading my chart for years and All has been quite accurate*
In regular horoscope, I am Pisces (born on March 2nd), but I’d been feeling I was a bit different from those sweet sign. This explains a lot. -P*

Visit Eric’s reading site here>> siderealist.com


aquarius, aquarius painting, zodiac sign painting, zodiac symbol, eccentric angel, cool painting, cool nude In Sidereal, your sun sign is Aquarius, the sign of harmony and freedom. "Equalité, Liberté and Fraternaté" is like the slogan for you. Aquarius breaks all the rules.

Meanwhile, little frightened pink rabbit Pisces is dreaming and play acting, helping small animals and wanting the world to revolve around them.
Your moon is also in Aquarius, as is your Mercury, Saturn AND Venus. This makes you inventive, independent, and a great humanitarian. You can extract yourself at a moment’s notice when the situation starts to disintegrate. Drifting away in the breeze back to your world in the sky.

Your world is UNIQUE. There is truly no other person like you, period. You are not typical. You are permanently divided from the rest of humanity, yet you can collect data on all their passions and fears. Your loneliness and alienation from the grubby, ugly reality most people live is like a driving idealism. Not the passive kind from a Pisces, but an aggreessive, active, energetic idealism, where you live your ideals every day. You show by example what freedom really means. You and you alone are the master of yourself, ultimately, and you must always rule yourself.
You will only be partially happy with the men who want to possess or protect you (same thing). Do they offer COMPLETE FREEDOM as well? No man will or can give you providence over your own sexuality, at least voluntarily. You have a powerful Aquarius world view and unexpurgated sexual ethic that dominates your entire perspective. Nothing or no one can change you. Only you have that power, that towers over the petty sectarian divisions and prejudices of others. An aquarius never gives that power away like the weak-willed Pisces victim, the filleted fish, who does give it away, again and again until they are destroyed.

Leo, Lio,  Lio painting, zodiac sign painting, zodiac symbol, sexy, leg, lionWhy are you so determined to rule over yourself, and eventually, others? Because of the Mars, Uranus and Pluto in Leo, the fiery, proud leader, who must dominate and kill, the predator. Even (your) Jupiter, the fat, good time planet, is run by impetuous and rash, bossy Aries, always on the move. The only peaceful planet you own is Neptune, in sleepy Libra, where your can art gushes forth (in spurts, of course, and with a lot of hand-wringing and indecision)
You can only get to your art when you resolve the two extremes in your chart. The "sweet" Aquarius live-and-let-live self, always aloof and distant from the mobs, and your other, blood lusting Leo/Aries self, the side of you that can never be tamed, the side of you that tracks down the victim and eats them. All the while, like the impartial artist dissecting her own life, you are taking in these images, feelings, balancing your angry Plutonian sexual hunger against the altruistic, lofty ideals of your Moon and gentle, kind Venus, which rules your relationships. People see you as cool and collected, not the raging tiger you also can be. When they look at the art, that’s when they see the hidden complexities of you. People look at your secrets and then brand themselves with their own desires, awakening what they have tried to bury. You have to be careful when you have such a huge emotional impact on people. My father also used to say, "Watch out when you take away someone’s crutch"

Professionally, you have to ask yourself what kind of person wants to put their darkest secret up on their wall for all to see. This is the person who wants to buy your work but is too ashamed to do it. To buy a picture of their deepest fear, or desire, or both, would be an act of courage and a way to reveal yourself. So far only gay people are that much at home with their sexuality in that way, so that they could reveal their buried needs, but they are afraid of women’s sexuality, trying to create a manageable facsimile.
My father used to say "know your market", and talk to them directly. You can ignore the galleries that are scared of your stuff, their reaction is understandable. They are selling pictures that are supposed to fade away behind the beige sofa into oblivion, and match the wall color. They select art to help buyers disguise the anguish they feel, the longing, the emptiness, not to reveal it and display it.

cool painting, reveal your heart, eye painting, inspiring paintingYou are a bomb, waiting to explode. But instead of killing people, your bomb will liberate them. Your art will free them from their shame, their guilt, their fear of discovery. You have to find the people who want to use your art for personal liberation, or to shock people so that they stop and stare. Forget the decorators looking for beige. You shock people in San Francisco! Where people come from all over the world to get laid! People flock here for sexual freedom, which is what you offer them in an instant of recognition. People looking at your art either stand transfixed or run away as fast as they can. You will have no market in between, unless you change your style (Imagine your Aquarius self doing that? HA!).
So keep doing what you need to do and make the world suit itself to you, whatever the cost. They will have to accept you, they have no choice. Keep doing it.


Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist


” Life “


I can not believe that it has already passed 10 years since I started my new life in San Francisco. Anyhow, this decade was a surreal storm to me.

tiger, tiger skin, san francisco zoo, tiger attack, original oil painting, tiger painting, artist life, cool painting,san francisco, unique oil painting, san francisco painting, bamboo, cross, hiroko sakai, fine art, inspiring, night painting


This painting,

"Slough – What I’ve left behind the fence to survive in this strange city…"

I have painted this piece around the time when the SF zoo tragedy happened on the Christmas day 2007.  


At that day,
My daughter and I were visiting the zoo, and we had left the zoo just before half an hour when the tiger attack happened.

Here is a video about the news;

san francisco zoo tiger attack news, tiger attack, tatiana, sam francisco zoo


I had been so traumatized with this shocking incident that I had kept chasing the news for a while… And after all, I realized that I might have had got through the same place as the tiger… being stuck in very different world from her own one and as soon as she behaved as what she was, she got killed…

But I have survived in this totally strange city San Francisco…

It is because I had chosen to adjust myself to this new life throwing my ‘fur’ away leaving behind the fence before I got out there…

If you are curious about my black comedy, please take a peek at this page
-> ” A life path why I’ve ended up to be in San Francisco “


Anyway, I am here now.

Today is always the first day of the rest of my life. I just keep living this life.



Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist


” I Got In! “


ArtSlant May showcase competition has ended. And I got in!
My “YUME_Dream” is now on their May Showcase Exhibition page which is connected from ArtSlant home front page.


In the month of April, most of the time of my mornings and evenings had been spent on this vote collecting works. I am so exhausted!

But I am so happy now.

I really appreciate with friends’ supports for my Art. and I have really learned how the people connections work to make bigger powers.


Regarding to those competition stuff, honestly, till now, I have not joined to such events before so much. It is because in most cases, they take expensive (at least for struggling artist like me*) submission fee up front from each artists and all juries processes are carried out on the back. We even do not know where the money goes. *~* And at the end, they pick weird art (at least for me*) as the winner, and only a few artists can get spot light from there.

But this ArtSlant competition is very easy to get in. $2 fee is very reasonable and easy to take out from pocket even for such a poor emerging artist like me. ~smile*
And then, they give artists chances for some exposure on the entry page which is connecting from their website front page through whole the voting time.

When the voting ends, higher vote ranking artists can get the spot on a major page of the site for one year to get wider exposure to all over the world, even the artwork is not selected by final juries judgment. I think this voting system is a good system since the harder you work, the better result you can get*, it is not just waiting for”some stranger’s judge”.

Anyway, now, the party is over… I feel a little lonely now. ~smile*


More than talking about winning games, the biggest harvest I got from here was so many new connections with other artists all over the world.

Being different from the last March round where artists rather competed independently and isolatedly, In this May round, artists started tagging each others to exchanging votes and comments every days. And those relation brought us closer feeling each others.

This Grandpa Ray Wolf in Kansas is a guy whom I competed very hard in the last March round. I hated him* -Ofcause kidding! don’t tell him *~* But in this new round, for some reason, he had become my best pal to exchange vote and information every day.
Also, Kim Rahal in Chicago, Abdeliah Akhdiin New York, Whaley Turco in New jersey, Nalini Bhat in Pennsylvania, etc, etc…….
See? Now I can travel around US without any hotel reservations!

Not only in US, Ildiko Szegszardy in Hungary whose country has the same roots as Japan, Ana Krstic in Serbia, Eirini Baka in Greece, Seshadri Sreenivasan in India…..
Now I am ready to pack my suitcase for starting world tour! *~*

It is warm feeling.

Till now, I had been just an isolated foreigner artist in San Francisco.
Like this….



But no more.

Today, working on painting in my room alone, I can also feel energies from other artists’ lives who are working on their art now like this in everywhere in the world. (maybe some are sleeping now on the other side of the earth*) I wish they are feeling the same.


Through and after this event, my e-mail box and my ArtSlant profile comment part have started getting ton of messages from artists and their families, sweethearts, dog and cats, whatever…… from all over the world every days.
Each artists bring me amazing stories about their country in their live voices.
After coming to America, leaving my own country Japan, I was thinking that America is very different from Japan. But compare with those brain wash differences I have heard from other artists here, the difference between Japan and America is not so big deal. Basically, Japan has a lot of influence from American cultures in the young age life.

Today, I would like to share one story from Ana‘ s letter about the system of Artist in her country Serbia.

“I must ask you one more thing. Can you live from art only in US? Are you a member of some association ? I’m asking because the situation in my country is like this, artists, we can’t live from art only, usually artists work in schools, primary or high ..But to get a free artist status I must be a member of our national association, usually its very hard to get IN, and i must have 3 solo exhibitions, with catalog and art critics written by professors (usually 1) of history of art, or to have 16 group exhibitions, 2 awards and 2-3 public works like mural or mosaic. Then, with that status, the association will pay insurance and retirement, but of course i must have exhibitions during the year. They will accept only pregnancy/army for men. In the end of the year i must (always must) give them all catalogues of all my exhibitions like evidence. Women must do that 25 years, men 30. After that for example, I will be free, will keep my free artist status, will be still a member, but i ‘m free of all those complicated works, like running to have exhibitions everywhere, searching for professors etc..It is complicated with law. I need to read it always,to prepare myself for any case ..If i wanted to read laws , i would be a lawyer right ? not an artist! Many many roles.”


In her country, it sounds like to be an Artist is as hard as to be a doctor* …???

Being an Artist here in San Francisco which is one of the largest art city in the world, her story is amazing. In San Francisco, everybody can be an artist. if you create something and exhibit the work in public, then you can say ” Hey! I am an artist”* even dogs and horses are sometimes on TV as “artists”.
But if you can be an artist and if you can live as an artist is a totally different story here though….

Anyway, a photo which I sent her seems to have made her so surprised.
It was an photo of my exhibition at an Italian boutique at Castro street in San Francisco. (“AranciatAmera” 526 Castro Street-2nd Floor SF, CA)




I have been showing my paintings at this cool boutique for more than 4 years now.
I was lucky. When the owner Alfio opened his boutique, I answered his artist call ad on craigslist.org. In San Francsico, too many artist competitions are going on, so he must have got many submissions from other artists, but his interest in my country Japan would help me to get the luck to be picked adding to my artwork. *~* Also his personality was nice. Usually, in those exhibitions at cafe, restaurants and boutiques..etc… they want to rotate artists once in a few months, so even you get a spot one month, next month, different artist is showing his works on the walls. But this Alfio never change his artist *so far*. It might because he is from Italy, not from busy San Francisco* I have heard that Italian people are very family oriented, so maybe they take long relation and friendship more important than shallow wider ‘connections’ which big busy city make?




My one more fortune was that the area of the boutique was on the Castro street which is famous as the fancy ‘gay’ street world wide* I like the energy of gay people hold. especially, in San Francisco, a lot of gay people are rich and fashionable. Their life style make many great Art Patrons here in San Francisco.


It is another rainy day.

Now I gotta get on image making of my new painting.

Talk to you later!*

Got Art?
☞ Check out Hiroko Sakai Original Oil Paintings, Art Prints and more!
☞ Hiroko’s Original Artwork for Sale Online by Artist


Published in: on May 3, 2009 at 9:52 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: