Drawing a Ballet Performance While Sitting in the Dark

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A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine took me to the San Francisco Ballet. Our seats were the best – front and center. No photography was allowed during the performance, but I could draw. So I sketched in the dark. In a small moleskine sketchbook, using a pencil,  I put down the gesture of the dance, the backdrop on stage – sometimes I draw the audience. This time I sketched the conductor. When I get home it’s always fun to see what happened in the dark. I can recognize figures moving in space, the conductor’s face and some of the backdrops referring to Russia.

Shostakovich Trilogy is a ballet about choreographer Alexei Shostakovich’s experience living in Russia under Stalin, as well as experiences he had later in life. References to these periods in Russian history are reflected in many of the production’s design elements. These references can be found in the use of the revolutionary red and the hammer and sickle in the backdrop.


The Wedding – San Francisco

GG Bridge

A white heron is my taxi,

my coat made of feathers

blends in with the ride.

Flying over the bridge

made of soft green grass

I hear a piano playing a tune.


From post office below me

posted envelopes float,

they quietly land in a bin.

The wedding took place at the Harbor Hotel,

chocolate mulch covered Union Square

while birds sang an aria from La Traviata.

Yesterday, sprinkled with fairy dust

a color xerox of Sadie and Jim appeared

in The New York Times.

Think Little Pillows and Clouds Under Your Armpits – The Skeleton Against the Wall


Put your tail up and fan it out  like a peacock.

Put your throat back in your neck.

Milk your sits bones.

Think of your head as a balloon full of water. Wobble it.

Like a string of pearls, lay down your spine one vertebrae at a time

Open your collar bones. That’s right ! Make them smile.

Images like zip up or, think of an elevator that’s slowly lifted to first, second, third floors etc.

With prompts like these, how could you not have fun doing Pilates.


The white skeleton, sort of hanging, standing over there by the wall is between the reformer and the trapeze table. This guy has been getting my attention lately. Ok, OK, I’ll try to draw you. So after my session I did a quick sketch of him. (It has been determined that he is a young man.) The drawing is a bit abstract and I only sketched down to his knees. I didn’t plan very well – just started drawing. Now that my core is strong and I’m standing straight up, I’ll see if I can walk out of here and keep my good posture along with a good attitude while I get bombarded by life’s daily adventures.

There’s a Drawing in my Purse – San Francisco



Here it is January 6th in San Francisco and it looks like this. It’s warm and clear – no snow. (Those guys playing football, yesterday, they looked cold. Kaepernick went sleeveless and didn’t wear any gloves.)

Meanwhile back in California, I’m drawing with warm hands. I’m thinking of adding to my purse a moleskine sketchbook . My new years resolution was to make a drawing a day. I’ve already broken my new years resolution. Yikes! What kind of start is that? My goal is to keep my bag light. That means bare minimum – not heavy. I’m already carrying my water bottle. The basics include my wallet, my iphone, a pen or pencil, some paper and a pair of glasses, dark or regular whichever pair isn’t on my face. Oh, and a lipstick.

The trouble with drawing in one of the moleskine sketchbooks is the drawing becomes precious. You have to do one good drawing. You can’t just do 5 drawings which includes some warm up drawings. That’s the best way to draw. I guess the best thing to do is just draw on any paper that is around. I have no excuses. I can draw with my iphone app, Brushes, if I don’t have any paper. I may want to add some color. I could go back to carrying my 2×3 inch watercolor box, a small rag and a travel brush. Or, just pick up a flower or some grass and smudge it on the paper to add a little color. I’ve got lots of options.