San Francisco gets ready for the Carolina Panthers and the Denver Broncos! The weather is clear and sunny. Macy’s fireworks filled the sky over the Ferry Building to kick off the week of celebration. Last week I was down by the Ferry Building where construction was the main attraction – lots of fun, taking shots with my camera and talking with the security volunteers.
Hey BB-8! Can you find Chewbacca in this picture?
How many R2-D2’s do you see?
Hey Readers! BB-8 and I wish you a Happy New Year !!
I followed this man down to the center of town. My room was above the pizza sign on the other side of the street.
Serravalle acrylic on canvas 12″ x 16″ 2015
Our group was made up of five students and one teacher, Eva Bovenzi. John, Eva’s husband came too. We met 40 miles outside of Venice, in Vittorio Veneto, Treviso. We stayed at Palazzo Galletti. Built in the 14th century, the little palazzo was on a quiet cobblestone street in Serravalle, the ancient part of town. We worked for 8 days in Alma Ortolan’s downstairs studio. Besides restoring frescoes, she gives her own workshops in fresco technique. After breakfast, our group would meet for an image presentation. Then, we went off in different directions to sketch. After lunch we worked in the studio, which was followed by a critique and dinner. My small suitcase on rollers, was filled with art supplies. I packed two 12” x 16” boards which were used as support for presized canvas that wrapped around the board and was tacked with artist’s tape. I took sketchpads, drawing materials, tubes of acrylic paint, brushes, a palette, rags, water container and a backpack to carry my art supplies when I went out sketching. Completed rolled paintings fit diagonally into my suitcase when it was time to pack and go home.
Taking watersoluble crayons and sketchpads, Arina and I walked through the quiet old town to sit in Chiesa di S. Giovanni Battista. Choosing the statue of Madonna del Carmine I sketched for more than an hour while listening to my friend happily humming as she sketched sunlight touching a column.
The next morning, I walked up behind the houses into the trees. While I was sitting on the ground sketching, one of the locals walked into my view. Stooping down he filled his straw basket with raw walnuts. His black and white dog kept running up to me bringing me a stick to throw. Thinking of Cezanne and loving the background color coming from behind the tree I walked back to the studio.
After a few well-intentioned strokes my new painting took on a mind of it’s own.
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!
Yesterday I went to Bouquets to Art with my friend, Pat Friday who has a private flower studio in Napa Valley. Every year she and a group of Bay Area floral designers are invited to pick an art piece from the museum’s collection and create their interpretation of it. Pat chose a piece from the American art section and created a cool snowy ice fishing scene where you can look down into two glassy, blue. ice fishing holes. She really got the feeling of being out in the cold. The show is up through the weekend. The variation of plants, flowers and materials used by the artists is really interesting. Bouquets to Art is organized by the San Francisco Auxiliary of the Fine Arts Museums.
Dahlias from Fran (click on image to enlarge)
You don’t need any art supplies to draw. Go on. Try it. smear a little more coffee on that coffee ring stain. Take your pen and add a few strokes. Coffee is such a beautiful color. It smells good too.
When I was in Egypt I was sketching and dipped a stick into a small bottle of brown ink that I had in my backpack. I got back to the hotel and noticed my sketch book smelled strange. I had mistaken a bottle of Echinacea for walnut ink and made a drawing with it. I brought the herbal remedy along to boost my immune system and reduce the severity or length of a cold.
The herbal drawing of the Temple of Luxor has kept it’s color. It’s kept its smell, too!
Dip your finger in that glass of red wine, pat it on a piece of paper. Any curry powder around?