Friday, April 22, 2016

Still Berning

Well, part of my sabbatical experience/promise to ME, is to get out and draw more- so although this post is not related directly to my sabbatical project, it is about getting out there and experiencing through drawing on location, all the happenings out and around me.
****This is not necessarily an indication of where my vote has gone in NY, just covering a happening.

On the eve of the Democratic debate in NY, and a few days before the primary, masses of peoples were heading towards Washington Square Park in NY. It was one of the first of this string of days that have been like golden gifts here. The skies were cloudless and the sun so warm and welcoming. Though I planned to head to the park, I could have just as easily been lifted up and swept along, so massive was the movement. Once there, I was in a sea of people, median age, below 30, some of whom I am guessing, were planning to vote for the first time. There were signs galore, costumes, buttons, masks, and voices, some constant, some every so often, erupting into the Bernie chant.  I found myself on line at about 3:30 and into the park at 6:00pm. Rudy and his sister Joyce, my chronological pals, made room for me on the bench. Sis and bro came in from LI, flags a wavin' Bernie enthusiasts to the core. Rudy made the headlines and sound bytes of every camera guy and media person that passed by, character that he was. It was the crowds that got me that day. Organized, peaceful, passionate, pleasant. I got a tiny glimpse of the man..Heard his message booming through the park and the streets, over and above the crowds, loyal to the end.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Walking Amongst Giants

I had the good fortune to spend the first three months of this year in the Dominican Republic, working on my sabbatical project. Being able to be there for an extended period of time allowed me some time to travel- and I did- to Samana and Las Terrenas, north of Santo Domingo. I promise, I was working, but also, drinking in the atmosphere and pleasure of living at the beach for a spell. Being at this exquisite province is almost like living on a deserted island. Though it is a tourist destination, the beaches are rarely very crowded.

But that is the least of it. 
The palm trees simply tower over the beaches and land, 
blown and contorted by the constant winds. 

They are mystical, tall and elegant, often densely packed together, their body language defying the elements. The turquoise waters below roar at times, soothe at others. 

Town is very active and never without the constant looping of “moto conchos,” 
as they are called. 

They circle round and round, often laden with two, three, four people at a time. 

But it is the early morning that I loved most, seeing it all come alive, beginning with the pescadores, the fishermen, setting out to fish, coming back, cleaning, cutting, bartering, selling. And of course, there are the women, strolling from morning to night, with their beautiful beaming faces, selling that sweet fruit.

I'll have more about my sabbatical year next post. Stay tuned!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Struttin' with the bunnies

I have been on a sabbatical from teaching at FIT since January- and have been drawing like crazy! I will be posting more on that, but  for today, wanted to share some drawings from the annual Easter Bonnet parade across from St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC. It was my first time going downtown to experience this really fun day- and it did not disappoint! I might have to do a bonnet for next year!

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.