Romantic Memories of Japanese Tea

For many couples, arriving at a destination stirs up romantic feelings. Appreciating the beauty of the world around us with a loved one makes the experience even more glorious.

Gregg Chadwick (who is featured on the Arts Page/Art Talk in the Stories section) offers insight into his shared traveling experience with his wife, MarySue. “Traveling with my wife MarySue brings out the romance in life. In Japan, a night stroll along the back streets of Kyoto often turns into a magical evening. One evening we walked beneath a floodlit bounty of cherry blossoms encountering geisha and their selfie snapping fans. The young women in traditional Japanese attire and makeup were treated almost like movie stars by the adoring crowds. In Kyoto, these glimpses of historic Japan coexisting with our 21st century world of cell phones and electric cars brought a sense of wonder to us. We carry these memories with us as souvenirs of life itself.”

Maiko at Night Kyoto; photo by Gregg Chadwick; coutesy of ETG

Gregg was introduced to Japan when he was just ten years old and has returned time and time again as an adult. He revealed that memories of Japan come flooding back to him in his daily life. Flash backs of poignant moments he has shared with this wife while abroad were triggered by the simple act of enjoying a cup of tea. “The warmth of the tea in my hands reminds me of a hike along the mountainside in Kyoto on a wet March day. Tucked in along the cherry blossom filled trees was a vending machine offering up hot tea in a can. I can hear the plunk, plunk of the 100 yen coins as they drop into the machine and then the clunk of the can as it lands in the bin. Sipping warm tea in the cold with my wife while looking out over the city of Kyoto as the sun goes down and the evening lights begin to sparkle inspires me anew each time I remember that moment.”

MarySue Heilemann and Gregg Chadwick; photo by MarySue Heilemann; courtesy of ETG

Each times he travels to a new destination, Gregg experiences a renewed sense of awe. When traveling by himself or with his wife, he makes sure to arrange a window seat, to fully begin the adventure. “ To look out at the world from what in the Renaissance would be considered an angel’s view is deeply compelling.” He added that he has utilized this same vantage point in his paintings…“As I hover above the action and hold the flux of time in my hands.”

Once his plane touches down, his senses are heightened. “Sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch blend with the colors in front of me. In Japan when viewing the wet green landscape, I can taste green tea on my tongue. The golden light of sunset glancing across the buildings in Tokyo evokes the umami taste of Japanese broth. I am inspired by these seemingly magical feelings to put a brush to canvas and create a new world.”

Fuji at Dawn; Photo by Gregg Chadwick; Courtesy of ETG

Read the full artist interview with Gregg Chadwick under the Art Talk drop-down, on the Arts Page of the Stories Section of ETG.


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