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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It’s All About Scary Skeletons on Halloween – Walt Disney

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While playing around in Lightroom editing the sketch I made after one of my Pilates sessions, I thought of that song, Dem bones, dem bones, those dry bones. Hunting for the lyrics on the internet, I got sidetracked. I found this  super little movie Walt Disney produced in 1929. Skip the commercial and stay long enough to watch the skeletons dance 🙂

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jBhpn6IPSJo

Waiting – A sign of the Times

image-2I was between flights, waiting, so I decided to draw on my ipad. It wasn’t  until I was almost finished with the sketch that I realized everyone was looking down at their smartphones, cell phones, mobiles, whatever you call that handheld device with a computer in it. I was drawing on one, so I was looking down, too!

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.

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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.

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.

 

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

A Small Incident Between an American and a Russian

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Last night I couldn’t find my iphone. It must be in the other room. It’s in the car. Using my husband’s phone call it. Someone answered my phone, but I didn’t understand the voice. I apologized for calling the wrong number. I called my cell phone again. This time both of us had a hard time understanding the other one. ‘Come pick up the phone at 8:30 tonight.’ I’m not going to go out to meet some stranger at night. ‘No, I can’t come. I can come tomorrow.’ The person said 8:30 tomorrow morning and gave me a meeting place, a hotel in the city. I was to call my iphone when I got there. No name was given to me. Afterwards, I worried. There was no code lock on my cell. Anyone could read everything. What if they rack up a lot of calls?  What if they want a big reward for it’s return. What personal information was on my phone? I called my son and asked him what to do. He offered to call and see if it was all legit. He called the person who had my phone saying he was going to cut off the phone with my carrier. Calling back and he told me not to worry. ‘It’s a language difficulty. Your phone is with a visiting Russian family.’

This morning my husband drove me down to the hotel. (Thank goodness Manchester United wasn’t playing soccer on TV at that time.) He waited outside while I went in and called my cell phone. In a few minutes, a beautiful small woman came up to me smiling as she handed me my white iphone, the old model. Her eleven year old grandson had found it on the street. Very excited he hoped he could keep it. She said, ‘no, it didn’t belong to him. Someone needs it. All their information is on it. We will wait.’ My response to her was, ‘ I’ve learned a lesson. I’ll lock my phone with a code from now on. ‘Oh, no, don’t do that! Then you won’t get your phone back. I have found 5 phones in LA. If the owner doesn’t call, I call one of their contacts and ask them do you know this person? I have their cell phone.’

After big hugs and thank you’s, I left this lovely woman thinking, we read and hear about so many troubles in the world, but you know, basically people are good. A few hours later I received a text message from her grandson thanking me for my small reward.

Thank you, Daniel. You are the best!

What would you all do? Cancel your phone or leave it connected ? Do you keep your cell phone locked?