All through high school and for the first part of college, I didn’t use Microsoft Word, or any dedicated word processing software, for that matter, to write my reports. Instead, I did everything using Lotus 1-2-3, a spreadsheet program.

While that might sound incredibly inconvenient, it actually wasn’t too bad. Having a dad who’s an accountant and was well-versed in the program was a big help, but once I got the hang of it, I could produce written reports just about as easily as my Word-equipped classmates.

Still, my spreadsheet skills aren’t in the same league as Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi, who’s been making beautiful landscapes and portraits with Microsoft Excel for years, including a New Year’s card that’s just as cute as any made with paint and brush.

We’ve talked about Horiuchi, who never even used Excel until after his retirement, a couple of times before. Now 74 years old, he’s just as talented as ever at his unique hobby, and shows no interest in transitioning away from the unorthodox medium he works in. And really, we don’t blame him, when he can produce such stunning scenes as these from a program primarily designed to crunch numbers.

As you can see, much of Horiuchi’s work features mountain vistas framed by trees and flowers. Even when working with a closer-in perspective, his favorite subjects are clearly still life.

But just because that’s his forte doesn’t mean it’s the extent of Horiuchi’s talents. As 2014 drew to a close, rather than go out and buy a pack of nengajo, or New Year’s cards, Horiuchi chose to create his own. For the design, he decided on a pair of sheep, in keeping with the Japanese tradition of incorporating the Chinese zodiac animal for the new year.

And of course he did the whole thing in Excel.

The finished product is extremely impressive in the way it incorporates a realistic look while still infusing a dash of cuteness. Horiuchi’s attention to detail shines through both in the fluffy coats of wool he’s given the sheep and lamb, and also the way he’s deftly avoided the mistake of giving one of them an extra leg.

The card’s message reads, Yoroshiku onegai itashimasu, a particularly dapper way of saying yoroshiku onegai shimasu. The Japanese phrase is a catchall for hopes for a continued mutually happy relationship, and we’d like to reply in kind, plus add that we’re looking forward to more of Horiuchi’s artwork in 2015 and beyond.

Related: Tatsuo Horiuchi Homepage
Source: Japaaan
Top image: Tatsuo Horiuchi Homepage (1, 2) (edited by RocketNews24)
Insert images: Tatsuo Horiuchi Homepage (1, 2)