Rainy Redwing


“778. Rainy Redwing” Oil painting by Mariko Irie

This bird is Red-winged Black bird.

One of the most abundant birds across North America, and one of the most boldly colored, the Red-winged Blackbird is a familiar sight atop cattails, along soggy roadsides, and on telephone wires. Glossy-black males have scarlet-and-yellow shoulder patches they can puff up or hide depending on how confident they feel. Females are a subdued, streaky brown, almost like a large, dark sparrow. In the North, their early arrival and tumbling song are happy indications of the return of spring:


I painted from the photo of my friend photographer/ Ron LeValley:


I love to see this bird in person someday.

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Iris & Moon


“851. Iris & Moon” Watercolor painting by Mariko Irie

I love Iris. This iris is Japanese one. They like water. Their shape is a kind of rectangular.


I love the moon. When I saw the moon in a dark, it gives me peace of mind. I feel I’m protected by it.


One of my customer, who is a Chinese e-mailed me sending a box of Mooncake.

So I Googled about Mooncake.


I just found out Chinese also celebrate the moon in September.

The family gets together and eating Mooncake. Do you know it?


In Japan, they celebrate the moon, called “Otukimi” on Full moon in September. We decorate Japanese pampas grass and Dango, which is a kind of dumpling, usually made of rice or wheat flour, where can see the moon, admire the moon as eating Dango.


The last night was a full moon. The air was moisture, so the moon had an umbrella.

Did you see the moon last night?

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Morning-Glory & Firework

I was thinking what indicate Summer.

My friend who is a Japanese answered “Morning-Glory and Firework.”


Morning-Glory seeds were imported from China to Japan as a medicine in Nara period ( year 710 -7194) in Japan.

They had Morning-Glory booms twice in Edo period (Year 1603-1868).

People worked so hard for improvement of breed. They made exquisite variety Morning Glory as ornamental plants back then.

Artists painted Morning Glory in their paintings and made wood block prints. Probably you have seen them.


Now they have Morning Glory fairs in summer in Japan.

The most famous one is Iriya Morning Glory Fair.

At the fair, 120 Morning Glory dealers and 100 booths attend and around 400,000 people visit to the fair every year.


Firework is very popular in summer in Japan.

When I was a child, after hot & humid summer day neighbors got together to do a small firework party in the evening. It was so fun.

Of cause there are many big firework fairs.

They are so beautiful. Some of them are fantastic performance with firework with music.


“849. Morning Glory & Firework” Watercolor painting by Mariko Irie

This painting came from beautiful cheerful memories.

I hope that you like it.

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Koi & Waterfall


“850. Koi & Waterfall” Watercolor painting by Mariko Irie

According to Chinese tradition, if the Koi swims up to the top of the waterfall, it becomes a dragon.

Japanese adapted the idea.

So Koi indicates ascendant, prosperity and more.

In Edo Period (1603-1868) Samurai family used to decorate Koinobori in their yard for wishing for their children’s succeed in life around May 5th.

Koinobori meaning “carp streamer” in Japanese, are carp-shaped wind socks traditionally flown in Japan to celebrate Tango no sekku, a traditional calendrical event which is now designated a national holiday; Children’s Day on May 5th.


I have seen Koinobori, which are carp-shaped wind socks in California.

What an imagination, flying fishes in the sky, isn’t it?


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Koi (Carps)

When we went to San Diego in the last June, we visited Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park.

I visited the Japanese garden the last time was 5 years ago.

The garden looks much mature looking. The Japanese Friendship Gardener, who had worked the Japanese emperor’s garden in Japan. The Japanese garden takes long time to form. I heard a Japanese gardener images for 10 years ahead, and then plant.


They expanded Japanese Friendship Garden much bigger into the canyon.

They made creek and waterfall and Japanese buildings and planted many trees including cherry trees and willow trees.

Another 5 years after, these trees and bush will glow, it will be nice view.


They have a couple of Koi pond.


And near Art museums in Balboa Park, there is a water lily pond. You may find Koi and turtles as well.

848. Koi ( Carp)_blog

“848. Koi (Carps)” Watercolor painting by Mariko Irie

This painting “848. Koi” is created from these nice memories.

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