I never had a formal training for drawing or painting, but I have always loved to doodle. I first started drawing with a fine black pen, working by the light of a single candle in the dark. In 1997 I made a trip to Thailand, staying in a bamboo beach hut with no electricity. The candlelight in the evenings was very beautiful. I saw the outline of the flames as fine lines, and in the surrounding darkness that was so deep, the many fine lines seemed to help the light shine more. Drawing like this I felt I didn't need any special skill, just time and concentration to create these many layers of fine lines. It was like a meditation. In this way I created the picture Prayer Mountain with colour pencil, which opened a new creative path for me.
Adrian has always encouraged me to paint more, and for many years now he has been using my pictures for his album covers, songbook covers, concert flyers and other things. So I continued to explore and learn through these projects. I learned to draw more with colour pencils, with ink and brush and then with watercolours. I'm originally Japanese so the old Japanese ink drawings and Buddhist art have been a great inspiration for me.
I have two children and they both went to a Waldorf school since earliest age, where a special technique of painting called Veil Painting is taught, using many layers of colours. Learning together with them, I think the little wounded heart that surrounded my creativity since a child started to grow. Being a mother brought other inspirations, as bedtime stories introduced me to the wonderful enchanted world of children's illustrated fairy tales and story books.
My paintings use images of nature, but they are truly scenes of inner space, with subtle layers of gentle colour that create a certain aura and atmosphere.
'Noriko's paintings seem to have a deeply spiritual quality, revealing subtle layers behind the simple things they represent. The paintings have a transcendental quality, from the most delicate of details to the broadest landscapes. The beings of light that she portrays in some of her paintings have a soft, timeless quality and all her paintings carry an uplifting vibration that feels healing to look upon." Adrian Freedman