A New Day in Gion
A New Day in Gion
Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle paper.
300 x 450 mm. November 2015
While I waited for Katsutomo-san to come out of her okiya on the second day of her Erikae, I took in my surroundings. Looking north up Hanamikoji dori, I saw the bobbing red lanterns and the red stop sign, itself masquerading as a lantern.
“A New Day in Gion” celebrates this fresh new day. The sun, still low in the sky, lights up some areas of the street but not yet others, making for a dance of shadows and illuminations.
Each new day is a kind of rebirth; a chance for possibilities and inspiration…especially a new day in Gion.
A little later I got my inspiration when Katsutomo-san appeared. It was to be a day celebrating the colour red.
p.s. technical note: how to get luminous reds – lay down a light layer of white pencil on the paper before applying the red.
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Thinking About Paris
Tonight I felt moved to re-watch Woody Allen’s film “Midnight in Paris”. I was reminded (as if I needed reminding) what a sensationally beautiful city Paris is. Clearly Allen was as seduced by the city as I (and so many of us) have been – and will continue to be.
After watching the film, I decided to post a few Paris drawings which were made before I had a blog. I had spent December of 2010 in that city with my family. What a joy to explore Paris over a whole month and to capture images which I would spend the next three to four years drawing.
It had been a particularly cold December. I encountered fog, rain, snow, sleet, hail and just the smallest bit of sunshine. Most of my drawings contain wet streets.
Café on the Left Bank
The best place I found for getting views above Paris was The Pompidou Centre – at the top of the escalators. Focussing first on the view and then on the glass pane itself, I got very different effects – all of which I made extremely detailed drawings of.
Snow on Les Halles
Back at street level, I LOVED the novelty of slushy snow – until it soaked through my inadequate footwear.
Tempête de neige
Paris en hiver
I returned in 2012 and 2013 and made enough drawings for two solo exhibitions. Those familiar streets became my friends, and remain my friends.
Conversations at Dusk
Have you visited Paris? I wonder what your thoughts are?
Le Georges Rose
November 2016: I never thought, when I wrote this post last November, that I would return to Paris within twelve months. I was there last month and am now starting a whole new body of work from this mesmerizing city.
So much more to follow…
A portrait of Katsutomo-san
Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle
365 x 510 mm
“Being There” refers to the viewer probably more than it does to Katsutomo-san, herself.
During the Kyoto photo-shoot on 15th September 2015, I am inspired by what I see. I grab the image with a camera click. So quick. Later on, back in my studio, it takes much time and patience (the painstaking part of the process) to transform a long-ago moment into a state of here-and-now permanence with coloured pencils on a piece of Arches Aquarelle paper.
As you look at the drawing, you become Katsutomo-san’s audience as well. You and I are both present as Katsutomo-san poses for us on day two of her Erikae.