Monday, 18 August 2014

Yoga Pose

Cynthia, 15 minutes pose, 2b pencil on watercolour paper.
-by Ewan Green

Friday, 8 August 2014

Life Drawing Collected

The Ghibli Museum

Like most people, we followed the river from the train station to the Ghibli museum. It was a gentile, and almost pastoral route, with basket-laden bicycles passing us on the narrow road, and trees throwing dappled shade across the pavement.
We passed a wrought iron totoro in a hedge with a sign in its teeth, and approached through a metal gate attended by a security guard. The building looks surprisingly small from this side. It's only from within that you can see it goes down as well as up. Everything has been allowed to be overgrown with ivy, and a certain tree spirit was waiting as if to take our tickets behind a false foyer with the ubiquitous ivy pouring down the sloping walls as if from above.
From this point on I'll swear myself to secrecy, as I don't want to spoil it for any future visitors. Cameras were not allowed, but I did this one sketch inside the 'high ceilinged hall'. With thanks to my subjects for staying still for so long.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Nikko and Temples

             On Monday we took a long journey by train out to Nikko, where the first Shogun built enormous shrines and temples among the mountains about nine hundred years ago. Clouds were shooting across the sky, and although it threatened rain nothing much ever fell. Except for the odd splat of a drop from the trees, which were mostly gigantic cedars and surrounded the temples.
The first drawing is of the stairs at the entrance to the temple area in the forest. It's across from a beautiful river. The restaurant in the second drawing is set on the other side of the bridge. It's a deep red in reality. Red and green are the colours of Nikko. The stairs were absolutely enchanting. They run away under the shadows of the great cedars from the bright roadside, and the shrine gate you can glimpse is like the statue from Spirited Away, promising magic beyond.
              The other one is from the top of the stairs near the shrine of the sleeping cat. I can't imagine a more badass deity. If I was a monster, I would go nowhere near a sleeping cat-protected house. There's no knowing what it would do if it woke up.
             Finally, it's the bottom of one of the eldest cedars in the park. Every ancient stone was covered in moss, which tiny leaves and ferns erupting from the gaps. There was an incredible sense of the weight of empty space around the gates, temples and trees. It was magical.