Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Beauty and The Beast

In this case, the beast is pollution. I joined the NYC Urban Sketchers and the Gowanus Canal Conservancy last Saturday to draw for conservation. As my sketching buddies and I recorded the canal, in its glimmering, albeit scary, luminosity, the Conservancy workers were clearing debris, and cleaning up the waterfront to a great Latin music track. Tireless, they were- and are, as we were treated to an overview of the history and the long road ahead to clear up the sludge, deceptive under the bright blue and green of the canal. For the artist, it was a visual treat. The majesty of the industrial environment against the bright blue sky. Deep shadows and glistening highlights. The canal has its doubters, but there is a core group of people, plugging away. I was honored to be there that day.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Across the Pond in the Name of Fashion

I was so very honored to be an invited speaker to The Big Issue: What's Next Conference at Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester, England, in March. During my presentation, I chose to speak about Accidental Fashion Illustrators, focusing on those greats from the Golden Age of Illustration. You know, the likes of Al Parker, Coby Whitmore, Jon Whitcomb, Jack Potter, Joe Bowler and Bernie D'Andrea, to name a few.
I was asked to illustrate my head shot, in lieu of a photo. And, to bring an umbrella.

I soon realized why the umbrella was my best accessory- it NEVER stopped raining!
Here are a couple of drawings from inside a local pub. When in Rome….

Once on campus, the rain mattered little, when I had a prime time seat to the sewing studio. So exciting to see the designs come to life!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Hecho en Cuba

My story goes back about 10 years ago, but my memories are still very fresh. 
I was invited to draw a fashion show during a conference in Old Havana. 
I was very official, applying for, and getting granted a license to travel. 
I proudly got my passport stamped and arrived to travel experience 
unlike any that I had to that point, nor have had since. 

The air was hot, as it was summer, but the heat and humidity transcended the temperature. 
The people that I met, beautiful, soulful, smart, and sweet, moved about as if in a haze, under the gloom of poverty, restrictions, and the lack of freedom that I so casually enjoyed. Instead of money, they begged for soap, for hair bands, for toothpaste- all of which I had been advised to bring with me, and I did. I passed it out to Cubans of all ages and had my hand kissed.
It was all at once sobering and endearing. 

The heat and glow of the sun, kissing those antique cars and cobbled streets gave way to sheer exhilaration, for as the sun started to go down, the music, that Cuban music that acts as a constant, pulsing but quiet beat during the day, simply explodes as the light of the day changes. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

I See London, I see France

Back in September, I posted about my whirlwind trip to Oxford. 
Following the conference, I spent a day in London and then, off I went to spend a few days in France. Oh, it was amazing and heavenly, and full of caf├ęs and museums and shopping and wine and I wish that I were back there right now. 
I was fascinated with the details and the grandeur- be it London or Paris and beyond. 

With all good intentions, I set out to do these living histories justice, but true to form, it soon became a pile up of details and winding in and out of the architecture, but boy, did I have fun!

Capturing the sites on the way to somewhere else is not only a challenge, 
but it creates great memories that resonate for longer and better than just gazing out the window.

What can you say about sitting anywhere in Paris and soaking it in?
A cafe and a scene- who needs more?

A side trip to Normandy, rich with history and delicious ornamentation.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

And The Pink Kept Coming

I think that I am pretty well known for saying "There is color in black and white." But somedays just call for some color and today was one of them. I was on my way to FIT to the MFA in Illustration Alumni Demo Day and Open House. Just one of about a bizillion happenings in New York today, not to mention the World Wide Sketch crawl. As is my habit, I planned to cross the street to take the bus downtown, waiting alongside Riverside Park- I do this every day. But today was different- I thought that I would see the annual Walk for Breast Cancer in full bloom heading down Riverside Drive.  I was leaving kind of early, and so, was not sure. I sat at the bus stop, when all of a sudden, I saw the roar- yes, I said saw- for all at once, in this gorgeous, powerful bloom of pink- and power- came the throngs of walkers, hand in hand, decked in pink work out gear, hats, scarves, tutus, tiaras, chatting, singing, SURVIVING!!! One had to be a rock not to feel choked up. I had a few minutes before the bus arrived and so, I went to work, barely capturing the crowd and the soaring sight of all of these sisters, united by a single cause for today. Oh, and they had their mens too!! 
It was a sight to behold, and the pink kept coming. 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Across the pond in Oxford

I recently had the distinct honor of presenting a paper at Oxford University at 
Fashion: Exploring Critical Issues, an interdisciplinary conference.My paper was titled 
Fashion in Illustration, Not as Illustration: Accidental Fashion Illustrators of the 1950's and 1960's. This was an academic paper and while I am proud of being accepted,and found it so very interesting, you know where my heart lies.So, with the little free time that I had,off I went to capture the  little bits of that wonderful townwhere and when I could.
I fought off jet lag and set out that first afternoon.

The next morning, I had but a couple of hours until the conference started. So, I started out a little early to find some coffee and just take it in.
Suddenly, the streets were filled with hundreds of flowing robes and regalia. I had stumbled into the middle of a graduation ceremony!
In just a few minutes, it was over, and the bicycles, the icons of Oxford were back.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Fall Fashion Ritual

This year looked as if stripes and plaids, with black booties were in. What do I know? Just that skulking around Lincoln Center during Fashion Week provides me with a drawing day almost unparalleled with opportunity. Designers, models, model wanna be-s, the famous, infamous, paparazzi, seekers of fame and the people- like me, just happy to be in and around one of the hottest tickets in town come Fall.