Thursday, July 24, 2014

New Bedford Homecoming

To continue my story about New Bedford from previous post... The Charles W. Morgan whaling ship was built there in 1841, and on June 28th, 2014, the city of New Bedford held a homecoming ceremony for the restored vessel on her historic 38th Voyage. Festivities included an official part with speeches and music, followed by a colorful parade of ships, all captured in drawings below.

New Bedford, once the richest city in America thanks to the whaling industry, was also most progressive. City's elite, comprised of Quakers who owned ships, banks and insurance companies, fought fearlessly for the abolition of slavery. The city seal of New Bedford reads "Lucem Diffundo"  ("We Diffuse the Light"), which can be understood in more than one way. In literal sense, New Bedford was once "the city that lit the world" with whale oil used in lamps. In metaphorical sense, this culturally diverse place was enlightened enough to be first in offering freedom, protection and equality to escaped slaves. Today, New Bedford is leading efforts in offshore wind renewable energy.  

"Adjust the sales to the wind and keep moving."

"Window into the World". The Charles W. Morgan, docked in New Bedford on June 28th, 2014.

Homecoming ceremony, the official part.
Opening ceremony processional with flags from places where Morgan had sailed during her 80-year whaling career.

State Senator

President of Mystic Seaport, Mr. White
Interlude with traditional Portuguese Fado music

Parade of ships. The biggest American flag that day.
Parade of ships.
Parade of ships. Flags.


The next day, we attended a non-denominational church service at the Seamen's Bethel, the exact same church that Ishmael visits in Herman Melville’s “Moby Dick.”

The two plaques on the building read: The Whalemans Chapel of Herman Melvilles Moby Dick” and Seamen’s Bethel. 'In the same New Bedford there stands a whale man’s chapel and few are the moody fishermen shortly bound for the Indian or Pacific oceans who failed to make a Sunday visit to this spot.' Moby Dick

What's interesting is that the pulpit in “Seaman’s Bethel” looks like the front of a ship, which was an adaptation in the 1960’s to match Melville’s imaginary pulpit description in “Moby Dick”. The original simple box shape kept disappointing tourists, who expected the interior of the chapel to match the literary classic, so city council of New Bedford re-built it.

"He who has the steerage of my course may direct my sail." ~"Romeo & Juliet", Shakespeare
Sunday Parishioners.

Angelic voices of the choir.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Espresso Cups

The latest ceramics crop: small espresso cups. Dark brown clay, underglaze painting and glaze.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

New Bedford, MA

Commercial fishing vessels docked in New Bedford, MA.
Once the richest town in America in 1840 thanks to the whaling industry, New Bedford today is nearly a ghost town, with great abolitionist legacy and beautiful, well-preserved historical buildings. I was there with Dalvero during the homecoming ceremony for the Charles W. Morgan whaling ship on June 28th, 2014. I will soon post more drawings from that eventful weekend.

Parade of ships in New Bedford, MA.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

From The Potter's Wheel

Diameter range 5-6", height range 3-4"

I've taken up pottery this winter (here's what my first out-of-the-kiln crop looked like). Time for an update! I am enjoying it immensely, and have worked with white, brown and dark brown clay so far. Throwing on the wheel gets easier with time, as it's all about muscle memory and practice. And I love decorating surfaces with paints and glazes. Currently, I'm focusing on utilitarian items with handles; hope to share those in the next update. In the meantime, here's vases and bowls.

Thumbnails for round bowls
Round bowls, bisque-fired, pre-paint and glaze.

Diameter 6", height 3.5"

Left: diameter 5", height 3.5". Right: diameter 6", height 4"

Height 5.5"

Brown clay, fresh of the wheel, pre-bisque firing.  Below is what these look like after glazing.
Inspired by Italian Futurism art movement. Under-glaze painting, glaze.

Inspired by Italian Futurism art movement. Under-glaze painting, glaze.
Inspired by Italian Futurism art movement. Under-glaze painting, glaze.
Inspired by Italian Futurism art movement. Under-glaze painting, glaze. Diameter 4", height 2"

Carved surface, oxide and glaze. Height 5.5"

Carved surface, oxide and glaze. Height 7"

Oxide and glaze.
Oxide and glaze.
Oxide and glaze.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Docked in New London

"First journey under sail in nearly a century" has began!

I was with Dalvero Academy in New London last week, continuing our on-going reportage of the historic 38th Voyage of the fully restored Charles W. Morgan whaling ship, the last of its kind in America. Here are a few pen and ink snapshots I did on June 11th in New London, CT, after the sea trials. 

C.W.Morgan docked in New London, CT.

"Time lapse" of workers bending sails.

Workers bending sails.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Day 15: "One Watercolor A Day". Geometric Landscape.

Japanese Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical

Japanese Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical
Japanese Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical
DUMBO, Brooklyn
DUMBO, Brooklyn

I'm doing one watercolor exercise a week, following a delightful book called "One Watercolor A Day", written by my art teacher Veronica Lawlor, with my other art teacher Margaret Hurst, and their co-members of Studio 1482 artist collective. Check out the One Watercolor A Day Facebook group, where participants of the challenge are posting their exercise results on weekly basis.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The 38th Voyage of the Charles W. Morgan

The Charles W. Morgan whaling ship, the last of its kind in the world, left Mystic Seaport on Saturday, May 17, for the first time since 1941, to commence the historic 38th voyage. As the news reporter, who was doing a live report right behind me, pointed out, the Morgan was at Mystic before Pearl Harbor happened and before WWII began. I thought to myself "…and before my father was born."

One of the two tug boats at Mystic Seaport that pulled The Morgan

She was toed by a tug boat via Mystic River across Fishers Island Sound and up the Thames River to New London. As the ship disappeared from view at Mystic, we jumped into cars and drove to Avery Point by UConn to watch her pass in the distance from a scenic overlook.

Watching The Morgan from Avery Point
Welcoming crowds in New London's City Pier
Charles W. Morgan docked in New London's City Pier
Charles W. Morgan in New London
New London's train station right across from the pier

The ship docked in New London's City Pier and that's where she will be outfitted for June sea trials.

Worker bending sails on top of the mast

Following Sunday the outfitting began with workers bending sails, i.e. attaching them to masts. It was so amazing to watch and draw them!

Bending Sails on the Morgan

Bending sails on the Morgan

I have yet to see and draw the Morgan in her full glory, with opened sails. Can't wait till June!

Dalvero Academy is working on a new show, scheduled to open in 2015 at the Museum of America and the Sea. Stay tuned for more on that!