Here Comes the Night

"Here Comes the Night" by Julie Podstolski

“Here Comes the Night” 360 x 520 mm, 2013,  by Julie Podstolski

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.

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?!

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11 thoughts on “Here Comes the Night

    1. Virginia benker

      I love seeing your beautiful work Julie. Since I cannot go to Japan, I can now enjoy it vicariously through your art. Thank you!

  1. Camilla Loveridge

    Wow Julie…that lantern is ablaze with light! How masterfully you have created this illusion…and i like your metaphor about manipulating surrounding space…and life experience! Maybe you could explore this idea further? Cx

  2. Robyn Varpins

    this is amazing…even though you have a formal composition(focal point in the middle), there is a lot of energy and this because of the colours?….and the way the lights all stack up is strangely expanding(not like a narrow street at all)…you are a master illusionist.

  3. anna warren portfolio

    Oh Julie, I loved Pin Ups too! And was listening to David Bowie’s new album today (it is free to listen to on iTunes for a few days). Is the texture you get in the sky (and elsewhere) a result of the paper you use, or lots of layers? It’s really beautiful, and gives a much more natural feel than flat colour.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      The texture in the sky is a result of many light layers ie very light pressure with the pencil and sort of fanning with loose wrist strokes over the sky area. I am very loose with sky and I feel this gives an effect of air and atmosphere.

  4. Mousy

    I love the atmosphere of your night drawings! The Pontocho lantern is my favourite for sure. I was in Kyoto six years ago and visited Pontocho at night and it was pretty busy! I’d love to go back one day.
    Now I’m looking forward to your next visit to Kyoto!

  5. occasionalartist

    Hi Julie, Love your work and your blog has kept me reading for longer than I should, loads of interesting information and I loved your pictures on how you undertake your work. Looking forward to following what you do. Karen

  6. Anne Mccaughey

    Hello Pet, sorry no comments earlier but we have been away at Rotto for a few days…..just love your ability to close in on a tiny area and pull our attention right to it….It is like what you said before; its the spaces in between things, the microcosm rather than the macrocosm….drawing our attention to the beauty of the little things is so important!


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