Tag Archives: Gion Kobu

Entrance

“Entrance”
Coloured pencil drawing of Katsutomo. 370 x 460 mm. June 2017

“Entrance 1. the act or an instance of going or coming in; a door, passage etc. by which one enters; right of admission; the coming of an actor on stage.”                                        “Entrance 2. enchant, delight; put into a trance; overwhelm with strong feeling.”           (The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary)

In September 2015 I took many photos of Katsutomo during her erikae (when she become a Geiko).  This month, June 2017, I have made my third drawing from this auspicious occasion.

Two previous drawings of Katsutomo …

A Reflective Moment
330 x 490 mm, 2015

Being There
365 x 510 mm, 2015

and when she was still a Maiko…

Here she is in my drawing “The Art of Elegance”, 2014

I have recently been invited to exhibit my drawings at Kidogo Arthouse – 7th to 20th September 2017 – hence a return to memories – and new drawings – of Kyoto.  My co-exhibitor will be Ceramicist, Stewart Scambler.  This is a Gallery East exhibition.

 

A Walk with Katsutomo-san

It just so happened that the day I arrived in Kyoto was also the day Katsutomo-san made her debut as Geiko.  What fantastic fortune for me!  I was ready.  The following photos document my walk with Katsutomo-san.   (Please click on the photos to enlarge them so that they can be fully appreciated.)

I waited for one and a half hours across from the door of the okiya so that I would get this first view. I was surrounded by many other photographers - some of whom pushed in front of me!

I waited for one and a half hours across from the door of the okiya so that I would get this first view. I was surrounded by many other photographers – some of whom pushed in front of me!  This was the moment people saw Katsutomo-san for the first time as Geiko.

Katsutomo-san looked serious most of the time...I might even say, tense.

Katsutomo-san looked serious most of the time…I might even say, tense.  I love the textures captured here.

While I was waiting I decided to try an unusual viewpoint for this photo.

While I was waiting I decided to try an unusual viewpoint for this photo.

Here is a good look at the pattern on her obi.

Here you can see the pattern on Katsutomo-san’s obi.

I like the movements of Katsutomo-san and her Otokoshi here - almost like a dance.

I like the movements of Katsutomo-san and her Otokoshi here – almost like a dance.  He looks like he is pulling her along with invisible thread.

Here is an idea of the difficulty of getting photos. One really had to work HARD to get views: walk very fast and always try to be in the right place at the right time. Impossible of course.

Here is an idea of the difficulty of getting photos. One really had to work HARD to get into position: walk very fast and always try to be in the right place at the right time. Impossible of course.

Canine observes human.

Canine observed human.  This is Chiro at Nishimura Okiya.  I have been seeing him from time to time since he was a puppy.

I was trying to photograph this exit over a sea of heads , arms and cameras.

I was trying to photograph this exit over a sea of heads , arms and cameras.

Not all of Gion is made up of historic wooden tea houses. The convenience store is ubiquitous in Japan.

Not all of Gion is made up of historic wooden tea houses. The convenience store is ubiquitous in Japan; Gion is no exception.

Now we are back to romantic Gion; Shinbashi.

We arrived at one of the most beautiful areas of Gion – Shinbashi.

Double portrait in Shinbashi.

Double portrait in idyllic Shinbashi.  I think Katsutomo-san realised she was over half way now.  Not much longer to go.

Katsutomo-san paused for a couple of minutes to give photographers time for portraits. But this was a classic case of me NOT being there. I was waiting further up the road. I had to rush back when I realised that this opportunity was being missed by me.

Katsutomo-san paused for a couple of minutes to give photographers time for portraits. But this was a classic case of me NOT being there. I was waiting further up the road. I had to rush back when I realised that this opportunity was being missed by me.

Perhaps this photo gives a hint of the intense heat and humidity. Just briefly Katsutomo-san shows us how she was feeling.

Perhaps this photo gives a hint of the intense heat and humidity. Just briefly Katsutomo-san shows us how she was feeling.

This is the gorgeous bridge which is a photographer's delight. Trouble is, ALL the photographers were delighting there already - which means they became part of my photo.

This is the gorgeous bridge which is a photographer’s delight. Trouble is, ALL the photographers were delighting there already – which means they became part of my photo.  (And I’m probably part of theirs!)

Juxtaposition between tradition and modern.

Juxtaposition between tradition and modern.

I was waiting outside Katsutomo-san’s okiya from 10 a.m.  She came out around 11.40 and we didn’t finish until nearly 15:00.  It was hot and exhausting but also exciting.

Later that night as I stalked the streets I saw Katsutomo-san flit by.

Later that night as I walked around I saw Katsutomo-san flit by.

Tourists catch a glimpse...

Tourists caught a glimpse…

...and she disappears into the Gion night...

…and she disappeared into the Gion night…

In my next post I will present my photos from day 2 of the Erikae walk.  Katsutomo-san was so much more relaxed and there were way less photographers than day 1 (as always).

ps.  Katsutomo-san has already appeared in two of my drawings, both done within the last year.

In "Diamonds" Katsutomo-san was the Maiko in the middle.

In the drawing “Diamonds” Katsutomo-san was the Maiko in the middle.

Here she is in my drawing "The Art of Elegance"

Here she is in my drawing “The Art of Elegance”

For photos of the second day, please click on Go Around Again

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Costume Drama

Costume Drama portrait of Kiyono Coloured pencils on Velin BFK Rives paper. 280 x 335 mm. August 2015

Costume Drama
portrait of Kiyono
Coloured pencils on Velin BFK Rives paper. 280 x 335 mm. August 2015

“All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players; They all have their exits and entrances…”

Oh the joy, the joy, of costume drama in Kyoto.

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A note about paper:  I drew “Costume Drama” on the smooth watermark side of Velin BFK Rives.  The previous portrait of Kiyono was on the opposite side which has much more texture.  You can view the previous portrait to see the difference by clicking Her First Day .

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Note:  I uploaded an image of the drawing on Facebook yesterday.  A friend said that the hair wasn’t dark enough.  I thought she might be correct so I altered it, photographed it again and put the new image on Facebook.  She said that was much better but now I should put more black into the kimono.  Oh no!  But again I figured she was right so I altered it again and photographed it again.  But then so many other parts of the drawing needed adjusting which I have just finished doing.   So here are four images for your perusal – in order of alterations.  ps.  I’m not touching the drawing any more!

Costume Drama small size

Costume Drama small size

Costume Drama small size

Costume Drama small size

I wonder how much difference, if any, you can see?  “Costume Drama” certainly turned into a drawing drama!

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