LETTER TO MONET OIL PAINTINGS BY REIKO MURANAGA.
Awestruck and inspired by one particular Monet painting at Musee Marmottan in Paris, Reiko Muranaga began painting one canvas after another, which eventually evolved over the years as the Letter to Monet Series. To date over 200 original pieces have been collected by private and corporate collectors worldwide. She is currently working on a 44″ x 84″ commission Page 212.
For more: www.reikomuranaga.com
Reiko Muranaga [Pronounced: lay•ko]
When I was in high school in Tokyo, I had to choose between art or music. I chose art only because I was frightened to sing in front of others. I became bored with art class. During outdoor sketching, I watched ants move busily near where I was sitting or read a novel hidden under my sketch pad. I hardly turned in my assignments. I nearly flunked.
I moved to USA in my twenties, lived and went to school in the midwest for as a German major. I then studied at Hamburg University in Germany on scholarship. I began to write a series of essays including an art critique. The latter won me a national prize from a small literally magazine. I planned to be a writer. After some life-changing events during 1987 – 1989; one day, out of blue, I had the urge to draw. I joined Fort Mason Art Center’s drop-in life drawing classes, paying only $3 per 3 hour session, while working as a trilingual technical interpreter. Nine months later, after doing over one thousand drawings, I was accepted at Stanford University’s non-matriculated graduate program with my portfolio of half a dozen figure drawings. I knew neither the difference between oil and acrylic nor who Nathan Olivera was until I went to the Bay Area Figurative Artists exhibit at de Young Museum.
People ask about my inspiration or how I plan my work. I neither have images nor plans when I begin. Perhaps I work like a musician; adding, modifying, changing, and often deleting scores. I do it with my brushes and palette knives. I then find that, without consciously planning to finish the piece, at some point it is done. I am always fascinated when experiencing deep connections with viewers, especially through what is defined “abstract”.
I owe much of who I am today as a painter to my mentor, Nathan Oliveira, whose insight and inspiration encouraged me to go beyond convention. In addition, I could come all the way here only because of the love and support I have been receiving from my collectors and fans.