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Humphry the tree frog

A very serious note from the artist…

Welcome! As you can see, I’ve finally made the jump and decided to take my art (don’t worry; not myself) more seriously.  This blog is the first step towards it. The other major step I’ve also made: As of today, I am now a full-time pastel artist! Yup, you read that right.

Wooden house with pine tree, in Gion district, Kyoto, Japan.

Wooden house with pine tree, Gion district, Kyoto, Japan.

To underscore this, I’ve started a new pastel painting today. This one will be based on a photo I took in Kyoto, Japan, of an old wooden house in the Gion district. This is one of the oldest areas of Kyoto, and one of the few where these beautiful wooden houses can still be found.

It is also the area where the most respected Geisha houses are located. Some days, if you’re very lucky,  you can spot a geisha here, hurrying as quickly and elegantly as possible in their wooden platform flip-flips, on the way from their house to an appointment with their client. They are hunted by tourists with their cameras at the ready, Japanese and foreign alike, much like the cheetahs on an African safari. You’d think it is a remnant of a bygone area but, surprisingly, many Japanese girls apply each year to Geisha schools, and to Geisha houses. In Japan, Geishas as known as Maikos. To get accepted into a Geisha house is a huge honour, as there are just 8 in Kyoto. We saw a few, on both evenings that we were in the area. I even managed to get a picture of one. But today, I’ll be working on the pastel of the house.

And, since it is Vincent van Gogh’s birthday today, I think I will let him inspire me… 

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