Cody is an English Cream Golden Retriever who lives in England with my daughter and her family. For three weeks I stayed at their home and babysat this cute puppy. Wondering what I was going to do with myself while I took care of him, I gave myself an assignment: Learn how to draw a dog. Besides sketching, I wrote some prose and a few poems. Maybe there is an Artists’ book in the making. I have the images and the words. The next step is figuring out a structural form for a book. Then, do it!
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.
Thank you, Emily. I really had fun with this collaboration.
I received Emily’s photograph September 28nd 2013. Having followed her blog, from the beginning, I had often thought what would I do if I were asked to put together a piece for this collaboration.
Emily invited me to participate and I was sent the photograph to interpret from my point of view. My first thought was, I’m looking at a full moon at night viewed from a moving train. The image reminded me of an overnight trip on a local train from Hanoi to Sapa in Northern Vietnam. I lay on a steel plank on the bottom bunk. I shared the compartment with five other people. It was dark. Flashes of light came in through the window. Metal against metal screeched. Strange smells, sights and sounds of humans asleep came at me for what turned out to be a long nightmarish night. I kept my mind occupied by writing a poem…
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I have been invited to participate in an online collaboration. Painting in the Woods, a journal of the progression of three paintings will be continued after this exciting detour. Meanwhile my poetry, photography, drawing and painting will be merged into a post which will be entered next week on Journey of a Photograph. Saying that, my post could be made up of something completely different by then. One word, an idea for a photograph or a brush stroke leads to another and you are off and running. My post could go through big changes by next week. For a look at how a group of highly talented artists have interpreted a photograph go to http://journeyofaphotograph.com/ I’ll see you there next week.
Binoculars – with or without
Cell phone camera
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.
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.
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
The warrior challenges his friend:
sticks for swords, young bodies swoop and lunge.
Play boots stomp on a pink Oriental rug.
Boys in workout gear,
black beards hooked over their ears
posture, eyebrows furrowed.
Teenaged girls are frivolous females,
fingers pointing, eyes dancing, white sheets
Buoyant and tumbling, the loyal monkey
arranges himself on a lacquered stool,
his face clown white.
Fierce eyes, quick gestures,
gongs, drums and clappers
of hardwood and bamboo;
two men somersault,
a fight in the night.
Small as the stage is,
a few steps bring you far