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.

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The Wedding – San Francisco

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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.

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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

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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.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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

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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.

Which Hat ? painter, photographer, drawer, observer ? ? ?

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Binoculars – with or without

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Watercolor Paint

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Cell phone camera

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Pen and ink

Aww come on, Carla – too many hats!

Yesterday morning,  we watched Youth America’s Cup teams race 45 meter boats very close to the shoreline.

Yesterday, was also  opening day for the new span on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge.

The bridge reminds me of  Millau Bridge in Southern France, which I saw and blogged about last year.

I’ll add this drawing to an ongoing Artists’ Book  about my experiences related to this bridge. The drawings are contained in a steel box I had made for the book.  https://carlasaunders.com/2012/01/25/the-bay-bridge-artists-book/

Soon to come,  posts on the five day painting workshop in Portland.

 

Rembrandt and Me – Amsterdam and San Francisco

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Trees in Golden Gate Park   3″ x 5″ drawing

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Catching the last day of  Girl with the Pearl Earring, Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis  museum hague the netherlands. I studied Rembrandt’s etchings. Many of the etchings were from the Achenbach Collection.   http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/legion/collections/achenbach-foundation-graphic-arts. Afterwards, I went to Golden Gate Park, sat on the grass and sketched trees.  The top one was done with an Artpen and a green leaf.  Continue reading

Eleven Year Old Copies the Old Masters – Carla and Megan’s Blog

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Megan discovers an original Rembrandt work of art on paper.

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Albrecht Durer’s engraving of Adam and Eve was there. So were works by   Cezanne, Renoir, Degas,  Gauguin, Leon Bakst and  Flemish Renaissance painter Pieter Brueghel who sketched all the kids, toys, dogs within a whole outdoor scene.

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An original Van Gogh was next to a Rembrandt.

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Sketching an original Van Gogh.

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Here she is copying a red chalk drawing done in the Rococo style of art  by the French painter Jean- Honore Fragonard.

Megan, my grand-daughter always has a drawing pad in her hand. When she came to visit in 2011, I arranged an hour appointment for the two of us in the  Achenbach foundation collections room at the Legion of Honor where she could view privately, about a dozen original works from the old masters. A young lady brought us into a room where she had set up original prints and drawings by artists I thought Megan would like to see. The woman showed us around, then said, call me if you have any questions and left the room. Megan looked at me, hesitantly. I said, go ahead, look, draw, do whatever you want. Don’t mind me. She sat down with each print and sketched them all. Afterwards, we ate lunch in the museum cafe where we just kept drawing. It was a great day for two people who love to draw. Megan is almost thirteen now. One of her favorite painters is Cezanne. In Categories on the right under  Carla and Megan’s Blog there are more examples of Megan’s work. Scroll to the second page, too. We received comments from all over the world.  http://legionofhonor.famsf.org/legion/collections/achenbach-foundation-graphic-arts