32" x 20"
When I traveled to Kyoto during the cherry blossom season, there was something there that had always been on my bucket list to see, the Miyako Odori. This is the one time during the spring that the maiko and geico (geisha as they are known in Kyoto) perform for the public. It takes years of training in dance, music and etiquette and only the privileged few who have connections or can afford to be entertained get to appreciate their performing arts year round. The Miyako Odori is the performance where the geico community of the Gion Kobu, the most conservative of the geisha community perform. What is most special about the event is it’s an entire ensemble performing together on a stage, not just a few being hired to perform in a tea house or small venue.
Prior to the performance, patrons are gathered in a room and seated to take part in be served from a traditional tea ceremony, or chanoyu. A geico and maiko perform the ceremony and green tea, matcha, and small Japanese pastry filled with red bean paste, called manju are served before everyone goes into the theatre. The geico performs the ceremony with such elegance and grace and she is assisted by the maiko, apprentice geisha.
This painting features the maiko from the tea ceremony and her gorgeous embroidered obi, hence the title, “Chanoyu Maiko.” The background pays homage to the special time of year each spring in all of Japan, the blooming of the cherry trees.
I’m thrilled to share she has been chosen by juror Kathleen Conover for the Georgia Watercolor Society’s Annual Exhibition which will be held at the Ogelthorpe University Museum of Art, Atlanta Georgia March 17-April 29, 2018.
To learn more about the Miyako Odori, click here.