Ephemeron and Ephemera

Ephemeron A soft-focus drawing of Mameyuri 170 x 260 mm. May 2016.

Ephemeron
A soft-focus drawing of Mameyuri
170 x 260 mm. May 2016.

Ephemera Mameyuri and Katsuyuki 170 x 260 mm May 2016

Ephemera
Mameyuri and Katsuyuki
170 x 260 mm
May 2016

Ephemeron (singular) and Ephemera (plural) mean ‘short-lived’.  The titles refer to the transitory state of being maiko in particular, and to youth and beauty in general.  Both maiko in these two small drawings; Mameyuri and Katsuyuki, have long ago given up this traditional life and are fully back in the modern world.

The photographs which I used as source photos for these drawings were taken by Lucy, my youngest daughter, in 2007 when she was 13 years old.  We joined a photo-shoot in the streets of Gion and decided to hang in there unless somebody told us to go away.  Nobody did so we took many photos of Mameyuri and Katsuyuki.  Lucy can still remember my telling her not to delete ANYTHING off her camera – including blurry photos.

Lucy, aged 13, in 2007. She was my partner-in-crime in Kyoto, helping me to gather photographic material.

Lucy, aged 13, in 2007. She was my partner-in-crime in Kyoto, helping me to gather photographic material.

Below is another drawing I did (in 2010) from the same 2007 photo-shoot.  It is also drawn from one of Lucy’s photos.  We sure had fun together, Lucy and I!

Kyoto a la Mode Coloured pencil drawing of Katsuyuki and Mameyuri.

Kyoto a la Mode
Coloured pencil drawing of Katsuyuki and Mameyuri.  2010.

It seems like just the other day that Lucy and I were photographing in Kyoto together, yet she had barely entered teenage-hood.  Today, a young woman of 22, she is the age of a geiko and is pursuing her own artistic career in Sydney.

The two little drawings side by side.

The two little drawings side by side.

Related page:  An Exceptional Day in Gion

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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, geiko, geisha, Japan, maiko and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Ephemeron and Ephemera

  1. sherrytelle says:

    Yet again I wake up to the treat of reading your blog and seeing more of your fabulous drawings while I drink my morning coffee. On Saturday I held baby Briar the grand daughter of my best friend since we were 13. We were at her father’s 80th birthday. It brought back to me the first time I held her daughter 30 years ago like it was yesterday. Life is so ephemeral in the scope of all things.

    • I seem to be obsessed with the speed of life at the moment, Sherry. Maiko and geiko make good metaphors for all sorts of things in life including its ephemeral aspect. I’m so glad you liked the post.

  2. Time passing – something that happens without our noticing, then suddenly we realise – children grow up, things change. Stopping to observe and capture a moment in time helps to create markers, memory aids if you will, things to look back and remember with joy. These drawings do this for you, but as an independent observer for me they are of now, but still capture that sense of a fleeting moment, just glimpsed then gone. They are both beautiful drawings, the mystery of the soft edges adds to the story.

    • Yes, I guess I’m adding a layer of memory to these images. When I started to draw them they were just images that I liked and wanted to do something with. During the process of drawing them I covered them in skins of personal meaning.
      I am thinking of the September exhibition too. It is a good idea to have small pictures as well as big ones, as not everybody has limitless space or bank accounts for large works. Small works have their own magic.

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