Puppies And Poems

Cody With CowCody 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!

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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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‘night train to sapa ’

Thank you, Emily. I really had fun with this collaboration.

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Good morning!

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.

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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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Journey of a Photograph Puts Painting in the Woods On Hold – Vietnam

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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.

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.

 

Chinese Sketching Brush Strokes -China

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Portrait

Looking at the names of sketching strokes

in Chinese art, I see the country:

 

Ancient wavy silk thread

String

Iron wire

Moving cloud and flowing water

Leech

Nail-head, rat-tail

Wedge

Broken reed

Olive

Date pit

Willow leaf

Bamboo leaf

Shaking ripple

Earthworm

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Dazu – China

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Carved grotto rubbing on mulberry paper over pen and ink drawing 8″ x 6″

click on image to enlarge

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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.

Warrior Challenges His Friend – Beijing, China

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Peking Opera School

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

swirling.

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

beyond heaven.

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