Car parked outside Vin et Fleur by Megan 13
New York by Megan
When the plane was about to land, I was so excited about seeing New York, and spending it with my grandmother. I’ve heard so much, but it was a thousand times better than anything I could have come up with. Anyone could tell it was New York from when you stepped outside and there were 2,000 bright orange taxis waiting outside. The line seemed to never end! As soon as we got to Soho, I had already seen so many lights shining out of each and every building! The next week we saw the amazing metropolitan that constantly surprised me with all the amazing displays, we saw so much art and tasted the famous New York pizza! we watched out for all the fashion, watching all the latest trends, and the amazing comme de garçons where so much detail and time went into designing those amazing dresses, shirts and shoes! We also saw the two most amazing musicals, which are now my favourite, spider man and newsies! the choreography was amazing, and when the actors were swinging off stage and into the audience, it was amazing! When we came out of the theatre, despite it being dark outside, time square lit up like it was day! Every single corner was flashing, and shining! We took an amazing panorama photo, capturing every corner of time square. We visited Christies auction house, where paintings, pictures and objects were being sold for thousands of dollars! When we went behind-the-scenes, We touched the most amazing paintings by Degas, Vincent Van Gogh , Renoir, and Gauguin! It was amazing, and when we were sittings in an auction, I had to be careful not to accidently raise my hand. One of our favourite restaurants there was Vin et Fleur, we went there three times during the week and the bartender made the most delicious drinks. We named my drink after our waiter, Bartholomew Surprise. When we had to go over to the airport, I wanted to stay in New York with my Grandmother, but I had to go home. New York was decently the most amazing trip I have ever been too.
Men at the Bar – Vin et Fleur
Megan at the Brooklyn Museum
This one is worth clicking on to see drawing detail
Pros and Cons of Online Collaboration Between Grandmother and Granddaughter
First of all there are demographic variables. The participants are from England and America. The 8-hour time difference causes havoc when it comes to connecting with each other. One is asleep while the other is awake. Data collection is difficult to achieve. This depends on scheduling of family activities, school functions, business meetings and painting sessions in the studio. Unforeseeable circumstances such as email addresses not working or, well, life intervenes. The reliability of the posted message is important. The blogger needs to post with some sort of regularity otherwise followers will lose interest and move on. (There is a little tongue in cheek here.)
According to our outline Megan was going to begin this section of Carla and Megan’s Blog It’s Sunday night in America. Megan is asleep in England and about to wake up and go to school. It’s time for me to post a blog for Monday morning.
Collaboration between grandmother and granddaughter must be flexible so I’ll start. We are soul mates when it comes to drawing. It’s fun to be together because we are both used to sketching all the time, usually with someone patiently waiting for us to finish so everyone can move on. In New york we just followed our path to wherever it lead, with a little advanced planning. When I was back at home I found my first ‘official’ sketchbook started at the suggestion of an art teacher when I was almost 18. I wonder what she will be creating when she is 18?
We went to an exhibit about the role of fashion in Impressionist art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Displayed next to some of the paintings were manikins in dresses of the period. Megan whipped this out in about 5 minutes. Here is another one worth clicking on to see the detail of line.
Painting the sounds created by Brad Mehldau April 25 2013
Last night I went to a solo concert by Brad Mehldau, a young pianist in jazz. I decided to leave my crazy mind, my business mind and my mind that is crammed with issues from ‘the other world’ and go back to my world – art. I had planned to bring a small moleskine notebook and a tiny box of watercolors. But Mehldau is big, bigger than a little moleskine notebook so I bought a larger book, one that could still fit into my purse. I bought some neocolor watercolors, soluble caron d’ache crayons. (I could draw now, later add water to them if I wanted.) I had an aisle seat at the SFJAZZ Center. I wouldn’t distract anyone if I sketched during the performance.
How was going to paint sound? The concert started – I listened – tentatively, I started to sketch what I was hearing. Interpreting the concert in a whole new way, I made one drawing after another listening to the notes build and fall, soften and sprinkle. It was like being on drugs. I was full of music. One time I came out of that world and looked at Mehldau sitting there, playing the piano, my mind drawing what I saw. How different. How much richer my experience of drawing and listening had become.
Sketch made at Yoshi’s in 2011
At the beginning of the concert I was just using crayons, but some drinking water was by my feet. Rubbing a little of water on my paper in the dark, I put crayon to paper.. Oh how nice! What neat effects! Needless to say I kept going, pouring more water on the paper, hunting for a tissue to mop up my drawing and my lap!
Before going to bed I couldn’t wait. I looked at my drawings and worked on them a little knowing his music was still fresh in my head. Waking up this morning thinking about the sketches I started planning a big abstract painting about sound. I remember Ralph DuCasse, my mentor, saying, when you are into your painting the first thought in your head when you wake up is about your painting. You want to go see what you did the night before. Leigh Hyams would have said the same thing. She was there on my shoulder when I was drawing. I think the following painting was made while I listened to ‘Holland.’ Do any of the sketches remind you of a particular piece Mehldau plays? Click on images to see details of the drawings.
Thirteen year old from England captures her impression
of seeing New York City for the first time.
This series starts right after the posts on China.
Come back and follow the second installment of Carla and Megan’s Blog.
Sketchbooks in hand and one iphone to share,
two soul mates check out the big apple.
The results you will see right here.
As always, click on image for a better look.
White winking Buddhas.
A vegetarian dinner of fish, eel,
chicken, and pork.
The Clan of the Cultural Revolution:
portraits in red, pink, and black.
Cloudlike rocks riddled with holes.
Straight-cut stones hiding the view.
Flaming Sun Day, Feet, Comfortable City,
Flexology: Foot and Body Massage.
The Temple of Marvelous Mystery.
Scholars revealing a little at a time.
Bitter melon, minced snails,
fresh young ginger with duck.
A very auspicious number like five.
Yin-yang, push, pull.
Holiday Spending Zone.
Cicadas make the woods more silent.
Birds make the valleys deeper.
Neon palm trees: electric yellow and green.
Two thin bamboo rafts floating silently down the Li.
Rainy summer night.
A street-cleaning truck playing
“We Wish You Merry Christmas.”
Carved grotto rubbing on mulberry paper over pen and ink drawing 8″ x 6″
click on image to enlarge
Alone on the bamboo bridge
hunched over from the weight of her pack,
an old woman layered in rags
wails her story to the trees.
Behind the dense green curtain of bamboo
her audience listens:
fifty thousand stone Buddhas,
donors, and Bodhisattvas,
carved one thousand years ago.
For a moment I leave Dazu thinking
of the opera house back home.
Click on image to enlarge
In 2003, the world’s largest hydraulic dam transformed the Three Gorges into a deep currentless reservoir. Water flooded 28,000 acres of farmland, 13 cities, 140 towns and 1,352 villages. Eight thousand recognized archaeological sites were flooded and 1.4 million people were driven from their homes. In May 2002, my son and I took one of the last river boats through the Three Gorges before the Chinese government started to flood the area. I wrote the following poem when I returned from that trip. The drawing is from my sketchbook. While sketching on deck, another artist joined me. Unable to communicate with words, we enjoyed drawing together.
The Yangtze: Three Gorges
Coiled with mist, the cliffs rise
half a mile into the sky.
Looking up, past the trackers’ path,
past the hanging coffins, past the caves,
past the stunted trees,
I see deep blue sky.
Rising Cloud Peak.
Sage Spring Peak.
The riverboat passes villages, orange groves,
fields of pink peach blossoms.
Tall limestone walls dwarf the town.
The river roars.
followed by quiet.
Fish inscribed on White Crane Ridge:
two carp facing upstream,
one with a lotus sprig in his mouth,
mark ancient low-water levels.
On the road: barbers, plumbers, food sellers.
A welder creates jewelry with his blowtorch,
fired by a garden hose and a bottle of gasoline,
his foot pressing the bellows.
Under a red umbrella a woman sleeps,
sweet slices of watermelon by her side.
Children squat with a deck of cards.
Small groups of people eat noodles out of bowls.
Dressed in a tattered gown of silk
embroidered with dragons, an old man
sits near a persimmon tree.
All this will be underwater soon:
the temple with its wooden pavilions,
pagodas, loggias, reflecting pool,
the monkeys scampering among altars;
the storefronts, streets, houses, fields of rice.
What will happen to the Siberian cranes,
the white flag dolphin, the Chinese sturgeon,
the house tucked under a tree?
What will happen to the barbers, sellers, plumbers,
the little girl in yellow jelly shoes,
her mother selling Camel cigarettes?
In a home in Suzhou I saw this poem
on a piece of wood shaped like a banana leaf:
My mind-heart is like the reflection of the moon
in a deep pond on a snowy night
my creativity blooms like flowers
after the spring rain.
The old towpath clings to the rock face, high
on the north side of the mountain.
Trackers pulling boats on the Yangtze
sing back and forth, strange chanting melodies.