A Walk in Miyagawa

“A Walk in Miyagawa” coloured pencils, 37 x 25 cm. May 2023

With the latest art exhibition “Home & Heart – local love stories” behind me, I decide to indulge myself with a Kyoto drawing – just for the sheer love of it.

Miyagawa is one of Kyoto’s five geisha districts. I was last there in November 2019 and this drawing is from a photo I took during that trip.

I like spending time in Miyagawa as it is quiet. Just ten minutes’ walk north, the better-known geisha district of Gion is heaving with tourists eagerly (and sometimes brutally) trying to intercept maiko and geiko (geisha) for photos.

Below are three older drawings from Miyagawa; each portrays a rear view. I love drawing the kimono ensemble from behind, while pictorially, a retreating figure guides the viewer into the scene.

“Last Night I Dreamed of Kyoto” is the same street on the same night but treated differently. Drawn in 2021.
“Surprise!” – two maiko were ambushed by a group of cameramen as they turned a corner. Drawn in 2011.
“Step by Step” – a young maiko and an old lady represent the passage of time. Drawn in 2014.

Timeless Miyagawa – as I draw the scene, so I am also drawn in.

14 thoughts on “A Walk in Miyagawa

  1. Marian O'Rourke

    Absolutely mind boggling to believe they are drawings and not photographs, but on the other hand no camera could have the same impact as your magnificent work. Thanks Julie

    1. juliepodstolski Post author

      Thank you, Marian, for your lovely words. In real life the drawings look better than they do on a screen. One of the reasons is that the photos I take of the drawings don’t pick up their subtleties. Even when professionally scanned the reproductions produced aren’t as rich as the original drawings.

      1. Marian O'Rourke

        Hard to believe they are even better than they appear on the screen, as they look perfect to me but l get what you’re saying of course. You must get the greatest joy creating such masterpieces 🛐☯️🕉

      2. Marian O'Rourke

        From where l’m sitting the rewards far outweigh the frustration, but only you can truly know. Keep creating for the joy of others as well as your own Julie. Thank you 💖

      3. Marian O'Rourke

        💖 and whenever l’m tempted to throw in the towel l look at your creations and they drive me on. Thank you Julie.

  2. Robyn Varpins

    This is so rich and perfectly balanced. It warms my heart…and fills it with dreams. Such beauty.

  3. anna warren portfolio

    I can see how much you enjoyed doing this, there is such a lovely warmth and richness to the colours. Interesting to compare it to your earlier works too, with the softer focus that actually gives the viewer more to think about and explore I think. I particularly like how the street light breaks the intense blue of the night sky.

  4. xanderest

    So lovely , Julie , no wonder you enjoy doing them .

    Coincidentally , your pictures came through on Minoru’s birthday so I sent them through to him .

    Love , Judy .


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