A New Day in Gion

A New Day in Gion Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle paper. 300 x 450 mm. November 2015

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.

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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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10 thoughts on “A New Day in Gion

  1. John Z

    Hi Julie. It’s been a while. You’re always a constant inspiration to me. I was paying particular attention [A New Day in Gion] to the white, blues, grays and/or oranges you must have used in creating the sheen on the metal top and bottom parts of your lantern. And as silly as this may sound, my favorite detail is the white line that goes down the middle of the lantern that shows the fold of the paper – SUCH attention to detail! Another technique of yours that you do exceptionally well that I am always trying to master is the blurred background. Your depth of perspective is phenomenal. Like you, I try to soak in my surroundings and see the things that others ignore and that you did with this piece catching the sign as a pseudo-lantern. I am enamored with this piece.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi John, wonderful to see your comment today. I’m so glad you enjoyed my stop sign and lantern white line. I’m happy to hear that my work is inspirational to you. Thank you!

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Karen, it was the out-of-focus area which persuaded me to do this drawing. I just loved the light all diffused and blurry. I keep my camera setting on “aperture priority” and have it on the lowest possible f-number (i.e. large aperture) so that my depth of field will be as reduced as possible. The result is that my photos achieve maximum blur away from my main subject.

  2. anna warren portfolio

    I feel I want to step right back and see this from a distance. There is a great sense of depth and distance, created in part by your lovely out-of-focus background. The repetition of the red spheres draws our eye in and down the street. Your geometrics neatly – and unobtrusively – frame the main subject and bring us with you.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      I’m following this up with another lantern drawing, Anna. As this one was vertical, so the new one is horizontal. Lots of blur/sharp contrast again. It is good to return to lanterns.


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