Fascination Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle smooth 300 gsm 200 x 265 mm. January 2016

Coloured pencils on Arches Aquarelle smooth 300 gsm
200 x 265 mm.
January 2016

What was I doing when I found out about David Bowie’s death three days ago?  I was drawing this.  So when it came time to give the drawing a name, I wanted to use a title of one of Bowie’s songs.  That way, the drawing would be my private homage to him.  The song “Fascination” from the album “Young Americans” fitted the bill perfectly.

What is my fascination here?  Kyoto, sakura, geisha, illumination, dusk, transience.  The Japanese admire sakura (cherry blossom) because it represents the beautiful fragility of life.  It bursts into flower and gives people tremendous pleasure, but it lasts such a very short time.  Soon the ground is carpeted with fallen petals.  It reminds them (and us) of how fleeting life is.

“Spent some time in old Kyoto/Sleeping on the matted ground”.*  David Bowie.

*Lines from “Move On” from the album “Lodger”.

24 thoughts on “Fascination

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      You know I’m not so keen on that era of David Bowie; the “Let’s Dance” era. I prefer his music up to (and including) “Ashes to Ashes”. But even if I did like “Little China Girl”, the girl in this drawing is Japanese. Other song titles I’d considered were “Time”, “Changes” and “Oh! You Pretty Things”.

  1. occasionalartist

    A fitting tribute to a great musician Julie, your title to me encompasses your fascination with this subject, both the out of focus and geisha themes. I had just spent the previous weekend listening to Bowie’s new album and reflecting on the Bowie exhibition we had here in Melbourne. I also grew up with Bowie’s music and was so sad to here of his passing. Karen

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      I would love to have seen the exhibition in Melbourne. Matthew and I saw the documentary film about the exhibition. It was filmed while the exhibition was on at the Victoria and Albert Museum.

      1. occasionalartist

        It was a great exhibition, really well put together and although I am a long time fan, there was a lot of new and interesting things. But to see most of his famous outfits was a major thrill.

  2. Mario

    The true power of the artist is energy that last forever, David had that energy. And it is still part of this world, a world that he made more beautiful.
    I love your drawing. Actually, I love all of the artworks that you shared. It is nice that people create artworks, we need this on this planet to create a balance.

  3. phoartetry

    Julie, fabulous drawing. I love using colored pencils on black. The effects are strikingly beautiful. If you have time check out my recent blog, “Eyes Have The Power To” i look forward to seeing more of your art work.

  4. anna warren portfolio

    An appropriate tribute to an artist who was one of the most important musical figures in my life – such a shock to hear of his death, he felt immortal to me. The subtle symbolism you have used in this beautiful drawing is much more satisfying and thought provoking than a more overt homage could be for someone whose influence will linger long.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Hi Anna, I must admit I felt truly shaken all week since Bowie’s death. I mean – if he isn’t immortal – then who is? Does that mean we (I) will die too? I felt like the ground had shifted under my feet.
      Indeed, this drawing didn’t start out as a homage; it was just a drawing. I only made it one in hindsight. And it did seem to fit. The figure in it is rather ghostly too, pretty much without shadow. Actually in the 1970’s in Pontocho lane (where the drawing takes place) there was a fire and a geiko was unable to get out of her okiya and perished. I always think about her when I walk in Pontocho…and wish her well.

      1. anna warren portfolio

        The story of the geiko who died gives this even more resonance. Somehow the softness of the focus in your drawing gives meaning to the tenuousness of life. Sometimes hindsight is the best way to give an added layer to an artwork, it is as if it was waiting for another explanation.

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Thanks Sue. I interrupted this wee series to do a very realistic (sharp focus) drawing – one which I couldn’t resist. However I will certainly do more of the dreamy soft-focus this year.


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