Middle-earth has been calling yet again and never one to ignore the call of adventure, I decided to explore. My journey took me deep into the passages of The Hobbit and far under the Misty Mountains to the dark depths of the caves and subterranean lakes of forgotten times. This was the perfect opportunity to create another piece of Middle-earth art.
Let’s see what JRR Tolkien himself had to say about the place:
I decided to kick this new year off by diving straight back into the Geisha theme that I’ve been working around over the past year. The first UK lockdown gave me the chance to really delve into Japanese culture and pore over various books, articles, blogs, etc. Studying the art, culture and history of Japan and much of Asia has well and truly captured my attention, and my imagination.
It felt like high time to get back onto the blog and post a new artwork.
This Cormorant Fisherman is one of the first of many to come; I’m currently working on a series throughout which I intend to work with different styles media, exploring the life and traditions of the dying trade of Cormorant fishing.
Cormorant fishing is a traditional fishing method in which fishermen use trained cormorants to fish in rivers. Historically, cormorant fishing has taken place in Japan and China.
It is first attested as a method used by the ancient Japanese in the Book of Sui, the official history of the Sui Dynasty of China, completed in 636 CE.
This original artwork is currently available to purchase with free worldwide shipping –
In light of getting myself stuck into Japanese culture and history as of late, working on my Geisha art project and working part time as a Sushi chef; I decided to venture into another area of Japanese tradition.
Sumi-e is the name given to a style of East Asian brush painting that uses black ink; this method was commonly employed by the master artists of the past in East Asian traditions to create calligraphy and landscapes drawings/paintings.
I absolutely love the look and feel of sumi-e landscape paintings and the atmosphere they evoke; I also love working with charcoal. That was enough reason for me to fuse the two things and work at creating a Japanese landscape piece that has a sumi-e look to it but the smoky, soft magic of a charcoal drawing.
So in my cultural explorations and world travels via my drawing materials I found myself on a brief visit to the Indonesian island of Bali. The Balinese are fascinating people to study and learn about and although there have been many cultural changes to the island in the past century, there is also a strong presence of the ancestral forefathers of the island.
One industry that is a great platform for cultural exploration anywhere in the world is farming. Farming is an industry that despite the invent of machinery and industrial growth, still holds many roots in the distant past, whether you are in the rice paddies of Vietnam or the corn fields of Indiana.
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So it’s the 21st of the month and that means one thing – YouTube video! This one is the first one I’ve done and therefore slightly rusty but the learning process has been immense, the software that I’ve decided to go with seems very promising as well.
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.