Plein air painting at Smith Rock

Painting at Smith Rock

Artist’s Statement

Painting is my visual poetry for describing the idea of creature comforts. I enjoy telling stories through painting, about the meaning of comfort from the point of view of animals, about my desire to understand the feelings of animals, and about my interest in how humans surround themselves with pets and nature as a part of their creature comforts. I paint animals as an allegory of my personal migration and my quest for the feeling of home.

After coming from Tokyo, the proximity to nature and the diversity of birds in the northwestern United States fascinates me. Having migrated to the Pacific Northwest through my marriage, I identify my personal transplantation with the lives of migrating birds, in contrast with the year-round resident birds and other wildlife, as well as domestic animals.

In my pictorial narratives these animal characters become metaphors for my perspectives on outdoor and indoor scenes. The pet chickens in my art symbolize the domestic life. I try to convey mood through the use of color, form, and perspective. I like to emphasize spatiality in order to explore concepts of distance and intimacy.


In Tokyo, where she was born and raised, Naomi’s fascination with Western movies and astronomy inspired her to go to the University of Arizona. In Arizona she learned to fly hang gliders, and that has been her favorite way to explore the outdoors for the past 22 years. Marriage to a fellow hang glider pilot brought her to Ellensburg, where she became fascinated with the diversity of landscapes and nature in the Northwest, and where she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis in oil painting and drawing, at Central Washington University.

Naomi is a member of Oil Painters of America and Women Painters of Washington. She received a 6×6 Award at the 2015 Six Inch Squared Show at Randy Higbee Gallery in Costa Mesa, CA. In 2016, her painting received Judge’s Award in Miniature Painting at the Oldfield Spring Invitational Show. She also received an Art Grant from the Ellensburg Arts Commission to create a new body of work in 2016.