Artist with painting buyers
Nancy Lasseter, Terry Wicks, Keith, and John Lasseter at 2018 Sonoma Plein Air Gala

Keith Wicks shares the delightful story of how he discovered his work on display in Japan.

By Keith Wicks

On our recent trip to Japan, my family and I visited the Ghibli Museum, a museum designed and dedicated to famed animator Hayao Miyazaki. My son, Dash, who now lives in Tokyo with his wife, Hinako, purchased tickets six weeks ahead of our visit. This was a must because of how popular the museum is in Tokyo. You can spend hours or more at the Ghibli.

The permanent exhibit room, which is a recreation of Hayao studio, is a room filled with drawings, paintings, all kinds of gadgets, an old stove, and two drawing tables. When we entered, my wife, Terry, nudged me and pointed out a painting on the wall, saying, “There’s your painting.”

“The Old Green Truck” painting above a table in the permanent exhibit room.

My work, “The Old Green Truck,” was hanging above the drawing table. I couldn’t believe that it was my painting, so I leaned over the rope to see my signature.

I was amazed that old green truck had found a home in the Ghibli museum. Even my daughter, Walker, said, “Wow, Dad, that’s cool!”

You never know where your painting will show up.

The painting was purchased by John and Nancy Lasseter back in 2005 as a gift to Hayao as a memento of a trip to Sonoma. I did meet Hayao and was told he is the Walt Disney of Japan. John later told me that the work was hanging in his studio. I had forgotten about “The Old Green Truck” until the visit to the Ghibli Museum. It made my trip and my year. The Ghibli Museum opened in 2001. If you’re ever in Japan, this is worth a visit.

Keith Wicks, "Koi Pond," oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in.
Keith Wicks, “Koi Pond,” oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in.
Keith Wicks, "Ghisha Portrait," oil on canvas board, 18 x 24 in.
Keith Wicks, “Ghisha Portrait,” oil on canvas board, 18 x 24 in.

Editor’s Note: Keith has a current show titled “Influence (Eikyo),” featuring paintings of this trip to Tokyo and Kyoto. The show is at Bump Wine Cellars (Sonoma, CA); please visit for details.

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