Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Milestones at Mystic Seaport

Scaffolding around the Charles W. Morgan whaleship during restoration.
This upcoming Labor Day weekend of 2013 marks the end of a year-and-a-half-long gallery exhibit at the Museum of America and the Sea, Mystic Seaport, CT, for our Dalvero art group. "Restoring A Past, Charting A Future" opened in the spring of 2012, and it is a major milestone for us as an artist collective. We curated and produced our first museum exhibit, led by our beloved visionaries, artists, teachers and founders of Dalvero Academy, Margaret Hurst and Veronica Lawlor. They brought us to Mystic one freezing winter of 2009 to reportage an on-going restoration of the world's last surviving wooden whaleship, the Charles W. Morgan. And we have been returning to Mystic a few times a year ever since. The weekend of July 21st 2013, Henry B. DuPont Preservation Shipyard at Mystic Seaport, under the leadership of a great man and our big supporter, director Quentin Snediker, witnessed a milestone in the life of the ship. The Charles W. Morgan was lowered into the water, after spending 4+ years in restoration. It's the 172nd anniversary of the vessel’s initial launch!

Scaffolding around the Charles W. Morgan whaleship during restoration.
The Morgan has been covered by so many various arrangements of scaffolding over the course of the last 4 years, that I began to see much poetry in it. The scaffolding, I mean. And I drew it on various visits, attracted to its transient nature and beauty. It's a support system and a symbol of commitment to change and completion of what's set in motion. Its role is that of a bridge: to connect past with the future. And then it's gone... Fascinating to draw its complications and spaces.

The ship spent years being cocooned, looking like a whale in scaffolding.

Charles W. Morgan whaleship, cocooned in scaffolding during restoration.

Until she finally emerged, a new kind of symbol. And people rushed to greet and embrace the new beginning.

Emerging new symbol of restored whaleship, the last of it's kind in the world.

Right before the launch ceremony, cleaning and applying last touches to the ship. July 21 of 2013.
The lowering of the ship into the water attracted many spectators, there were notable speakers, and our art group received a special invitation to draw during this ceremony. A few of us had passes to be on board of Sabino, a boat parked right next to the Morgan. I had a breath-taking view of the Mystic river at it's busiest. I've never seen so many boats in it. People sailed in to watch, and had celebratory parties afloat. 

Here in the middle is Quentin Snediker, the director of restoration. This was a big day for him.
A very expensive and complicated dolly was created just for the Charles W. Morgan.
The Sheriff of the Mystic police department at the ceremony.
Sabino, the boat on which I was stationed during the ceremony.
View from the Sabino onto the Mystic river and thousands of floating spectators.
The ship is slowly being lowered into the water, as the men hold ropes.
The Charles W. Morgan, Ship Of Hope.
Getting ready for its 38th voyage in 2014. ‪‪
A historic event for America.
Another milestone. 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The High Line Park

An amazing classical cellist performing on the High Line

The High Line Park is one of my favorite places in New York. When it opened in 2009, I still worked on the west side in Manhattan, and our office literally overlooked the first opened section of the High Line above the Chelsea Market. It was amazing to have lunches there, or check out on-going public art installations while having meetings with colleagues. Now that I don't work in Chelsea anymore, The High Line is a "destination", not an every day reality. The trees have grown so much over these past 4 years! And the crowds are getting insane lately, which is not surprising...this once-elevated freight rail road that operated from 1934 to 1980 was turned into an urban oasis of surreal quality. The exquisite harmony of location (have you seen those sunsets over the Hudson?), New York city aerial views, awesome gardening design (plants of this park are local and once grew on the abandoned High Line), constant public art installations and fantastic performers make the High Line as important of a destination as the Times Square for tourists.

The Empire State Building
Frank Gehry's IAC Building

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

USK Barcelona 2013

Prior to the Italian vacation, captured in two previous posts, there were 4 intense and exciting days in Barcelona. I attended the 4th International Urban Sketchers Symposium USK Barcelona 2013. Once I found out that my beloved art teacher Ronnie (aka Veronica Lawlor) is teaching one of the workshops for the USK this summer, I began packing the bags in my mind months in advance. So glad I went...What a great event-bringing artists from all over the world and letting them share influences, techniques, tastes and practices, while roaming one of the most gorgeous cities in Europe and drawing together. I met some fantastic people while there, and made new friends.

Here are a few drawings done in various workshops, as well as thumbnails of Her Majesty, La Sagrada Familia. I've got to return to Barcelona just to spend a few more days with La Sagrada alone...

 . . . . .
"Designing Barcelona" Workshop by Veronica Lawlor on Mansana de la Discòrdia, Passeig de Gràcia, or "Block of Discord" in English

Thumbnail excercise, left to right: Black Line, Color Line, Marks, Color Shapes.

Bigger drawing using the four graphic approaches from the thumbnails above.

Bigger drawing using the four graphic approaches from the thumbnails above.
 . . . . .
 "Channeling Picasso" Workshop by Melanie Reim on Pla de la Boqueria, Rambla

Marks, marks, marks!

 . . . . .
 "Hither, Thither and Yon" Workshop by Barry Jackson on Plaça Universitat

Thinking about and drawing personal space + action space + vista space in one drawing.
Thinking about and drawing personal space + action space + vista space in one drawing.