A master of detail, Watanabe applies a meticulous definition to every face, tree, and snowflake. Using his technique of precisionism, the humor and playfulness evidenced by his work scenes are so charming that the viewer should be prepared for a long look, in order to fully observe all the elements that he has included.
Watanabe was born in Japan in 1937. Educated there, he graduated from college with a degree in Communications. As a result of his initial choice of a career in the television industry, he was sent to the United States to study production techniques. This experience ultimately led to his decision to relocate to San Francisco in 1972.
It was here that Watanabe began painting. Because of his outstanding use of color and unique ability to instill joy in those who viewed his work, his original paintings quickly sold through prestigious galleries.
Watanabe, being greatly influenced by trips to New England, depicts the trains and bridges, churches and silos that he found in the picturesque small towns dotting the countryside. This subject matter creates a delightful adjunct to his style, which incorporates within it the subtle influence of his boyhood in Japan. His clouds often sail across the sky like an oriental brush stroke, with kites dancing freely above the hillside.
All of his nostalgic scenes are such outstanding tributes to the greatness of this country that San Francisco's Mayor, Art Agnos declared September 16th "Watanabe Day", and the White House selected him to participate in its annual Easter Egg Roll. All of his works hold within them a world of fascination for old and young, rich and poor, sophisticated and plain.
His limited edition serigraphs have launched him on the road, which has led him to enormous success in the art world today. This can be attributed to the fact that seeing a "Watanabe" is like seeing a small part of America, rendered with the craftsmanship, ingenuity, and intelligence of an immensely gifted artist.