Profile of Abe Toshiyuki / watercolor artist

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


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.  


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.


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.




















Introduction of my book


Abe Toshiyuki 

"Watercolor... In search of calm light"

"Suisaiga... shizuka na hikari o motomete"




For me, watercolor is less of a genre, and more like what an instrument is to music.

For example, depending on how the piano is played you can play Jazz or perhaps Rock, and even classical music.

Depending solely on the feelings of the painter, watercolor can be broadened to include many different genres of expression. I think it's good that there are different schools and advocates for different ways of painting, but they shouldn't be there just to compare or judge artworks. When it comes to how artworks are painted, it's not about what is good and what is bad. I feel there must be a way to grow and develop within each method of painting.

This is something that must be encouraged and enjoyed, but above all I feel it should be something to love.


This book is written in Japanese. And it has translated 7pages in English about the technique of a watercolor painting. 



You can get it here, all over the worldYesasia