Harai, Kayomi

Kayomi was born in Osaka, Japan and began drawing at an early age. Since early childhood, she has had a deep interest in animals, especially the big wild cats and domestic cats. As painting gave her great joy, she decided to pursue her career as an artist. She worked as a commercial art illustrator and a free-lance animal portrait artist in Japan before she moved to California in 1991.

When Kayomi paints an animal, the eyes always come first. She thinks that the most attractive feature of all cats is their expressive eyes--they show what the cat is thinking and feeling, and they also determine the mood of the painting. Her painting often includes two or three animals so she can show their interactions, motions, and behaviors. As she creates her work. Kayomi likes to imagine that the animals' life stories are being captured in her images. Her backgrounds are made somewhat mysterious using soft delicate colors.

Her images are used on collector plates (by Danbury Mint and Bradford Exchange), T-shirts, greeting cards, flags, puzzles, and so on.

Kayomi participated in the Wildlife Art Exhibition in Hong Kong in 1996. Her award winning tiger painting was displayed at the National Geographic Society's Wildlife Art Exhibition in Washington D.C. in 2002. She also had a group show at Stanford Art Spaces in 2004.

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