石川欽一郎對台灣藝術啟蒙之地位，和其英國風水彩畫藝術之成就，在台灣藝術史早有相當廣泛的研究。石川與英國藝術之關係，始於英國畫家Sir Alfred East 於1889年赴日本寫生，並應邀赴「明治美術會」演說的一連串影響。East以西洋藝術理論觀點，質疑日本畫的裝飾和模仿性格，並認為日本畫並非藝術而是裝飾。演講會後，曾經受到日本國粹主義排斥的西洋畫家，頗受East演講的激勵，石川也得知East上述的主張。
Kin'ichirō Ishikawa's position as an initiating instructor of art in the 1910s and the 1920s in Taiwan and as a watercolorist in the English style has been well studied in Taiwanese art history. His relationship with English watercolors started when he met Sir Alfred East, who had traveled to Japan in 1889 and accepted an invitation to speak at The Meiji Fine Art Society (明治美術會). East, speaking from a Western art perspective, expressed doubt about the decorative and imitative nature of Japanese painting, and stated his belief that Japanese painting was not art but decoration. East's argument was warmly welcomed by artists who painted in the Western style, who were generally excluded from the Japanese nationalist mainstream. Ishikawa also probably learned about what East had argued in his speech.
In addition, Ishikawa translated parts of Alfred East's book The Art of Landscape Painting in Oil Colour (1906) into Japanese and published them serially in journals. Ishikawa also published articles in which he stated that East's discourse on landscape painting had also had an influence on his own artistic practice, and he once praised East as ‘Master of art' (畫伯), the most prestigious title among the ranks of Japanese painters.
Although Ishikawa's artistic concepts and techniques were based on those of the West, he frequently emphasized the importance of bringing out Taiwanese ‘local color' in his tutorial remarks and in his own artistic practice. Most of his articles continued to express this idea even after he retired and returned to Japan, and this is key to why he was so inspirational to his Taiwanese followers. Although many scholars have discussed the term ‘local color,' which is written in Japanese Katakana as ‘ローカル・カラー', indicating a term of foreign origin, none has delved into its historical meaning. This article thus analyzes Ishikawa's concept of ‘local color' and attempts to place it in its original context of perspectives on ‘local' and ‘universal' in English art discourse, so as to round out Taiwanese research on the ‘local color' concept in art.