Repeating Patterns

work in progress

work in progress

What a slow process coloured pencil work is.  One gets into a zen-like trance when working away repeating stroke after stroke after stroke.  As I am miles away from completing “Private Thoughts”, my current drawing, I have decided to show where it is at today.

It is a drawing of restraint and subtlety.  The kimono Makiko wears is very quiet, as is her surrounding of wood and stone.  I am entranced by the verticals of the wooden slats ‘talking’ to the vertical stripes of Makiko’s kimono.

I am fascinated by repeating patterns.  My last two drawings also lull me into the peace of repetitive shapes – especially in the street paving – I refer to “Diamonds” and “Step by Step”



Step by Step

Step by Step

True, to work on paving stones and wooden slats is monotonous but there is something to be gained – a kind of inner tranquility.  Perhaps a Japanese aesthetic is seeping into my bones. I hope so.

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About juliepodstolski

I am a realist artist who works in coloured pencils.
Image | This entry was posted in art, coloured pencils, geisha, Japan and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to Repeating Patterns

  1. SMartins says:

    Love this artwork! 😍

  2. Working with pencils, more than any other medium, lends itself to that zen-state. There can be a lot of pleasure in it, but after a while you just have to stop and breathe again! It’s great to see this work in development, to see how you make the construction, building up towards ultimate completion. The patterns are so important in this piece, but when it is completed most viewers will be unaware that that is what draws their eye in, and makes the composition so satisfying. I love patterns too – whether it is having a sense of tidiness, or something more visceral, I don’t know. The title sums up Makiko’s expression perfectly!

    • Yes, Anna, I do believe you are right. Many people don’t know what goes behind that which draws their eyes in to a work of art. Devices and methods which an artist adopts are not always obvious except to the art-educated eye. For other people it is a case of, “I don’t know much about art, but I know what I like” which is absolutely fine and I am glad when they like my work. (ps: I’m like that with music; I know nothing about the devices of music but I know what I like!)

      I will have more to say about the title when the work is completed.

  3. Susan Donze says:

    I love the subtle atmosphere and mood of your work. Thanks so much for sharing the WIP. I will enjoy seeing it unfold.

    • Susan – I will also enjoy seeing the work unfold. A couple of hours after photographing the work for this post it is already looking different as I am putting colour into the paving stones.

  4. I think your new found discovery of zen deserves a haiku:

    Bold coloured pencils,
    Shooting lines across the red street,
    Makiko walks by.

  5. Wow, I made a mistake in my own poem. “Red” shouldn’t be in there, but it works well lol.

  6. Robyn Varpins says:

    I love to see the geisha “ghost” in front of all that warm wood. And you are a meditation master with all that patient repetition ….careful. you’ll end up enlightened….or at least lightened by your “practice”.

  7. Tig says:

    Thank you for such a gentle introspective post, and the wip of course! I think I breathed out properly for the first time all day…. I love that entranced state we get into when drawing, painting, creating. It reminds me of something I wrote the other day about being in that moment *between* thoughts and feeling it stretch and widen, instead of the usual flicker…

  8. kathansen9 says:

    I totally get what you are saying about repetition and zen state…but your work is well worth all the effort, it’s just beautiful!!! And I love seeing it in progress!

  9. You have beautifully expressed the zen of ‘slow art’. The zone of carefully repeated considered actions and the peace it can bring. You know that it is something that I enjoy and have in my own art. It is so nice that other people also get it and are able to give the humble paving stone the same care and attention as a brilliant kimono. Karen

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