“UENO” – 150cm x 40cm – (charcoal, graphite, carbon, ink)

June 20th, 2009


This is my new drawing called “Ueno”. Ueno is one of the districts of Tokyo and this particular scene is set in Ueno park which is a beautiful park full of shrines and temples and a magnificent zoo which Anne and myself walked around.

I wanted to get a flavour for the place so I depicted the  main ancient temples Benten-Do temple which is dedicated to Benzaiten, the Buddhist goddess of the arts, wisdom, the sea and protector of children, ( so she covers a lot of ground). The temple is perched on a wonderful man made island ad surrounded by a lake full of huge water lilly pads with lots of beautiful dragon flies darting around.  The Kiyomizu-Do temple in the picture is where women wishing to conceive a child leave a doll for Senju Kannon, the goddes of mercy, and the accumulated dolls are ceremonially burnt each 25 September.

There are a lot of homeless people living rough in Ueno park in perfectly ordered cardboard box constructions and blue sheeting. They even brush dust away from their shanty towns with little brushes and pans. The homeles population  are notorious for looking after the hundreds of cats that live alongside them in the park. So, the guy at the front of the drawing was a homelss guy that I met and there are others dotted around in the composition together with fashionable Japanese youngsters who were also in the park walking around or making calls on their cell phones. There were also quite a lot of Buddhist monks standing around holding rice bowls and chanting waitng for donations to wrattle in thei rice bowls.

I have always loved the extended landscape compositions of the ancient Japanese paper scrolls which sometimes stretch out for 20 feet. I wanted to get something of the quality of line which is found in Japanes art from these ancient illustrated ink scrolls to contemporary Manga coupled with my usual realist style. I was trying to isolate sections of the picture juxtaposed to white space and line which seems to push out the figures against the background whilst giving them a context.

If you click on the image, I have loaded up a large version of the drawing so you may haveto wait a minute for it to load but you can have a good scroll arouund the drawing.

Entry Filed under: Art,New Work


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