Monday, October 27, 2014

Day Tripper

...I only had a couple of hours in these magical fairytale-like places. It's simply not fair to find oneself *there* and not be able to stay longer! But I'm so glad to have visited, because now I KNOW! And will return one day to explore. So much beauty.

Salzburg, Austria
Prague, Czech Republic

Village of Hohenschwangau near Füssen in southwest Bavaria, Germany
Neuschwanstein Castle in southwest Bavaria, built by Kind Ludwig II.
Walt Disney's Cinderella Castle was modeled after it.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Vienna, Part 2: Wiener Kaffeehaus Encore!

...continuing from my previous post about Vienna's beautiful cafes. Here are all the other ones I visited.

Café Landtmann‬, once upon a time frequented by Freud. I was sitting outside, facing Burg Theater.

. . .

 "Part of what made the cafes so important [a century ago] was that 'everyone' went. [...] So there was a cross-fertilisation across disciplines and interests, in fact boundaries that later became so rigid in western thought were very fluid."

. . .
Cafe Central.  Grand interior, with live piano music. Opened in late 19th century, and became the key meeting place for Viennese intellectuals. Notorious for having Lenin, Trotsky, Hitler and Freud, among others, as patrons and regulars.

"The [ Café ] Central-people are always attracted like the murderer to the scene of the crime, to where they killed so much time, wiped out entire years.” – Alfred Polgar: “Theory of the Café Central”

Cafe Central.

Cafe Central.

Café Frauenhuber, oldest in Vienna, Mozart's favorite. Very cozy.

Café Schwarzenberg. Proximity to Viennese Opera House drives colorful, touristy crowds. Here's a dapper waiter rushing back and forth.

Café Schwarzenberg. Lady behind the sweets counter.
Café Schwarzenberg. Proximity to the Opera House drives diverse touristy crowds. Here's a group of international businessmen having late-night wine.
Cafe Tirolerhof. Best Gulaschsuppe in town! Here, it's mostly locals, who come to read newspapers and spend time with friends.

Drawings of Cafe Sperl are here >

Monday, October 20, 2014

Vienna, Part 1: Killing Time in Wiener Kaffeehaus (Viennese Coffeehouse)

Volksgarten. Public park in Vienna, part of the Hofburg Palace.
If you ask me what was most memorable about my recent vacation in Vienna, I'd first think of Klimt's paintings from up-close. Unforgettable impressions.  Then, the Secession Building, which I visited right upon arrival. Of course I would mention the grandeur and Art Nouveau splendor of the architecture, and all the museums.  But then…then I would settle on my memories of cozy, quiet cafes with endless apple strudels, arched windows and crystal chandeliers, worn-out velvet upholstery of Victorian furniture and mannerly waiters in bow ties. Some of these lovely Wiener Kaffeehäuser go as far back as 18th century.

 “An asylum for those who want to kill time without being killed by it.” -Alfred Polgar

I lingered for many unhurried hours in Vienna's most beautiful cafes, sipping wine or having tea and pancakes with cranberry jam, people-watching and drawing. This series of drawings is from Cafe Sperl. I went there more than once. Its ornamental interior and predominantly Austrian patronage created a very special atmosphere. Some of the other cafes I visited were frequented by Mozart and Freud (drawings coming soon.)

Since 2011, Wiener Kaffeehaus is listed with UNESCO as "Intangible Cultural Heritage", with the following description: "[a place] where time and space are consumed, but only the coffee is found on the bill."

Cafe Sperl.

Cafe Sperl. The waiters.

Cafe Sperl.
Cafe Sperl.  Lady in the niche.

Cafe Sperl.
A local patron who came in for a cup of espresso and news. It's customary to offer daily
newspapers that are fitted into large wooden frames in every cafe.

Drawings of other cafes in Vienna are here >

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Pottery Update

Here are some of my latest ceramic pieces from August and September of 2014.

Thumbnails for the Drip Vase glaze.
Drip Vase. 10" height x 8" width

Thumbnail for the Elephant Vase glaze

Elephant Vase. Drip Vase. 10.5" height x 8" width

Thumbnails for the Vessel with Handle glaze

Vessel with Handle. 14" height

Thumbnails for the Tribal Vase underglaze and glaze design.
Tribal Vase. 14" height

Thumbnails for the painterly series

Thumbnail for sea form glaze
Sea Form Bowl. 7" diameter.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Drawing Music :: Sexmob

September is filled with concerts for me! I've already attended 3, and there are still more to go to. (Le) Poisson Rouge series "Strange and Beautiful Music" celebrates all things John Lurie, including his paintings.  So last night, an awesome band called Sexmob played soundracks composed by John Lurie, from movies "Down By Law", "Stranger Than Paradise", "Get Shorty", "Mystery Train" and more. Here's an iPad portrait of Sexmob leader Steven Bernstein.

Steven Bernstein of Sexmob, drawn on the iPad with finger using Brushes app.

More concert drawings are here

Monday, August 25, 2014

Home Sweet Home

Susan Funk of Mystic Seaport
The Charles W. Morgan whaling ship, the last surviving wooden whaling vessel in the world, has successfully completed her 38th Historic Voyage, and settled back at Mystic Seaport, the very place that spent 5 years on her restoration at the Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard. These brief drawings capture the homecoming celebration that Mystic held for the ship on August 6th, 2014. The Morgan is now on view in Mystic Village Chubb’s Wharf.  Home Sweet Home.

Gutenberg Press and Declaration of Independence

Gary Gregory

Here's a series of drawings from an old Boston printing shop "The Printing Office of Edes & Gill", located on the Freedom Trail, behind the Old North Church. Historian Gary Gregory, the man in the drawings below, fully clothed in the 18th century colonial attire, spent over 2 hours with our Dalvero group, telling us about the technology of the printing press and how it revolutionized humanity. He let every one of us take turns pulling a print of the 1776 Declaration of Independence, using the 1470s replica of the Gutenberg Press. From inking the movable type to pulling the big lever, this 2-minute experience was like time-travel. Then, Gary did a reading of the entire Declaration of Independence, only to realize that it was July 18th, the 239th anniversary of the first public reading of the Declaration in Boston. The stars truly aligned for us on that day! Big thanks to Gary for everything!

Inking the movable type.
Feeding paper.

Checking print quality.

Rolling up the print of the Declaration of Independence.

Gary Gregory reading the Declaration of Independence, with the Steeple of the Old North Church behind him.