Whilst it’s true that there are no ochaya (tea houses) underwater that are operating and hiring Geisha, there is always room in the imagination to invent some. I’ve been working on a series of Geisha artworks and then suddenly, Mermay 2020 was upon me.
Mermay is described by its founders as a month-long celebration of creativity, community and above all… MERMAIDS. People use this month to create a variety of Mermaid illustrations, many people creating one for each day of the event. I’ve never partook in this particular ‘drawing challenge’ so this time around, I made a point to throw out at least one piece.
Art depicting Geisha and Maiko is something that has drawn me in from the bustling county of Essex on the outskirts of London in the UK to explore the historical traditions of South-east Asia, Kyoto in Japan in particular. This oil painting is testament to that exploration and shows a rear-view portrait of a Maiko with emphasis on the hair and make-up.
For this portrait I looked at a different point of view –
My Geisha series is still growing into a beautiful collection of portraits and gestural sketches and drawings now; with a lot more piece still in the bag and ready to be brought to life.
This portrait has served as a preliminary drawing to use as a reference to inform an oil painting that I just wrapped up today and will be posting here next week; however if you want to see the painting now you can, on my Instagram – @JGloverArt
The street of Gion have quietened down, but the tea houses are thriving…
Continuing the Geisha theme that I’ve been working on over the past couple of months I now have a couple of oil painting portraits to share.
Katsuru – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
Mameka – Geisha Girl Portrait – Oil on Canvas
These portraits were great fun to work on and I learned such a lot in the process. I worked on these with my usual method of approach; starting with a preliminary charcoal drawing, then transferring an outline to canvas before working on the underpainting.
While not strictly a Geisha, this piece was worked on and created as a figure study with an emphasis on capturing the female form through oil paint. The Haiku was one that I thought of while in the process of working on the artwork.
This original painting is currently available on my Etsy shop