Remember the song? “Here Comes the Night” was written by Bert Berns according to the blurb on the CD cover. The version I am thinking of is David Bowie’s version on “Bowie Pin Ups”. I’ve been playing “Pin Ups” while I’ve been drawing this; well, not all the time, but enough to make me associate the drawing with the song.
I have returned to an old motif of mine; Pontocho. This is a narrow lane in Kyoto which is filled with restaurants, traditional tea houses, neon lights and sauntering people. Turn into Pontocho lane from modern Shijo-dori and you turn into another age. Or maybe I should say that it is timeless; modern and old simultaneously. It is simply magic and so narrow that nothing wider than a two-wheeler may enter it.
Oh – and did I mention the smells? Not yet. Delicious smells of Japanese cooking permeate the area as well as scents of orchids placed outside the restaurants. (Or other flowers depending on the time of year.) It is scrupulously clean; continuously the entrances to establishments are washed down by their fastidious owners…(this IS Japan after all!)
If one is fortunate or just hangs round long enough, one will see a Maiko or Geiko flitting down the lane, always in a hurry, sometimes two together… or … extra good fortune… a group who … (now we are swooning)… are stopping to talk thereby creating great photo opportunities – and – maybe drawings will come out of this!
Oh – I have hung around Pontocho! And I will again – soon. I will be in Kyoto later this month. To get myself in the Return-to-Kyoto mood I decided to do this drawing.
Now it is finished I may just have ‘artist’s block’ as history shows that before a big trip (Japan and Europe in this case) I am too scatterbrained to be able to hold down a drawing.
I have written a new page on my blog. It is ‘Work in Progress 4: Here Comes the Night’ where you can see various stages of this drawing plus I wrote a couple of technical things about it; for instance, that no white pencil was used at all except for writing my signature. The white is the pure paper white. Light areas mean I have used the pencils with minimal pressure.
Isn’t it peculiar that when one looks into the white lantern, the white glows far brighter than the sheet of paper itself – but it IS the paper itself. By manipulating what surrounds the white, I electrify the white without even touching it. There must be a metaphor for life here?!
Return to Contents of Posts page