Oct 22, 2016

The 9th Wonder

Faces walking on bodies that seem bloated and over fed (not like I was the poster boy for the breakfast of champions), “my god is this what society has come to?, ”white brown and black faces tall short and lean faces talking and walking in long hospital white corridors stacked on levels one above another anxious signs begging for attention children darting and playing in my path “oops” just missed that one, look away to seem nonchalant to hide that fact what wanted to do to the rude kid (that was the second one) in a grand inviting space made for the ordinary to feel as if they were some where grand and special, and I think we did.
Where was I? I was in Connecticuts Fox woods Casino Mall. Yes the Casino had found another way to lure its pray, I mean the ordinary, to its works, so that along with shopping some could gamble or the young could be imprinted with the thought “lets go to that mall I remember” definitely good for future business.
     I and the family went there to celebrate a birthday and eat out. I never liked buffets so, just walked around and played a few games. Well gambling didn’t go well so I continued my walk and viewed gracious forest scenes from out windows as I walked toward the casino mall. I finally sat down on strategically arranged benches that formed a semicircle around what seemed to be an information booth all placed in the center of a grand glass atrium.
      Below is a quick sketch of the mall atrium with ornaments hanging and women receiving some information in the lower portion of the sketch.

Jul 12, 2016

Making artist drawing charcoal

Making artist drawing charcoal

"A great idea I discovered on  the web"
Video of charring twigs to  make drawing sticks.. I charred willow and grape vine sticks. My second year of charring. The results were very good.

Monday I went to a park and charred some dry willow and grape vine twigs  I took and cut to length from around trees to make drawing charcoal. This is the second year I tried it with some interesting results.
The the first two images are drawings done with the home made charcoal, the third is the charcoal after cooked, The video of charring the twigs in next post.



Jun 25, 2016

The Puppeteer

The Puppeteer

Today was a quiet Saturday afternoon.the kind that reminded of my childhood in Connecticut watching old TV shows like "Bonanza" as puffy lazy clouds floated over blue skys that whitened meeting the ground, and while the fan quietly swirled in the apartment window cooling the family in the hot summer heat, accept this time I found myself at the NewBritain American Museum of Art in the Connecticut city NewBritain.
      I was invited along with other artist to a last themed model drawing session of the group. I showed up about five or ten minutes before and saw our model.  He was a friendly and serious puppeteer who received a master degree in his craft and had attended national conventions on the subject.
    The event was arranged by the group's diligent and enthusiastic group leader. She has consistently arranged for interesting models and places to draw. At the museum she even had a guitar player there for ambience who played soft cerebral rhythms and blues notes .
   It was near afternoon and the early summer sun beat down on us as we drew. Some artist managed to find places in the shade on the front entrance patio of the museum. I decide to scarf ice for my craft and took a spot in the sun were I could see and imagine intersecting angles of our model. I worked out ideas on the paper and in my mind then I finally began to draw. Curious visitors entering the museum look  at me and the others as we drew.
  Below is the picture of the innocuous puppet artist as he humbled himself and breathed life into his instrument, a carved and exaggerated facsimile of human expression of which  he moved and we believed this lifeless thing was sad, happy, and had over come some tragic life story.

May 3, 2016

Rainy Day Music

Monday I decided to go to Black Eye Sally's restaurant. Something I had on my mind all day. It was that or go drawing. Got their early on a quiet rainy introspective rainy day. I thought it would be nice to talk with the chops, a married couple, and Joe the photographer. I got there about 20 minutes early and ordered a cup of gumball and a Shirley temple while the band set up. Finally the band  played about 20 minutes afterwards, 8 o'clock. I saw some familiar with faces, though my friends never showed, on stage. There was Nat Reeves on base and a new professor from the university of Hartford jazz department who played and a young drummer. Also Trombonist Steve Davis and Trumpeter Bruno join them later. My sketches are below.

Feb 9, 2016



The two drawings below were done on a night I didn't bring something to draw on to club I go to listen to music, so I improvised. I drew on the paper table cloth. The table had two layers with one more permanent plastic layer below the two. A system meant for easy clean up, but in the moment I used to draw. The band played classic jazz, and pianist who span several generations told stories of his younger days when he played with jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie. I think every one would agree the trio were now the legends. Hartford's Alvin Carter played while he grooved with his mentors. Before I left I used a table knife to neatly cut out the drawings.

Feb 4, 2016

A Vermont Visit

 A Trip to Vermont

After a day of arduous work I decided to take a friend up on his offer to drive me to an all day art session in Vermont. Funny thing about about me and that state is that although I live a stone throw away I never visited it, my lost because I discovered is a laid back, and I'll use a Cinderella word, "enchanting" place (for the most part with a minute hint of urban economic social issues). Old barns, old Victorian houses, old farm lands, and old beautiful mountains that gathered clouds of mist reminiscent of carefully arranged post cards to allure travelers to send their friend back home.
       I met my friend in the morning at a Dunkin' Donuts and he drove from the out skirts of Connecticut to Vermont as we chatted about art, life work, and other things. About an hour later we finally arrived at Brattleboro, a small quiet hilly town, that he said hipsters went to die. The group there was mostly retired individuals and some who were younger mature artist. I discovered they were friendly and dedicated to art. They came from Vermont, Connecticut and as far away as Boston (about a two hour drive).
    The model there was a man from Thailand about fifty who worked as a professional house painter. He wore a necklace of pictures of deceased individuals, which some of whom were his parents, said to be a good luck charm in Thailand that also help him meditate. I drew all day with charcoals and later colored it with pastels. During the breaks a few close artist women friends broke into spontaneous dance. They dance to old Madonna songs and rock music and laughed about when they first heard "that song", about when they bought a certain album, and how thee parents reacted as the studio radio acted as a catalyst that triggered more memories
Below is my drawing/painting of Keo the Thailand painter.

Jan 26, 2016

The Young Pharmacist (model from Zimbabwe)

The Pharmacist (model from Zimbabwe)

Yesterday at the art league I drew a young model from Zimbabwe. (Cindy the organizer of the drawing sessions is judicious in finding new and different models) I was happy that she was wide awake unlike a model we had previously who fell asleep during poses. Well this one had beautiful African sculptured face that I wanted to capture in simplicity. I spoke to her in between poses, and from her accent it was evident that she was from elsewhere. Her teeth were flawlessly white and she was socially graceful with a wide smile. She told me she worked in a pharmacy some were in the New Haven Area in Connecticut.


 Two weeks ago on another lazy Sunday afternoon I attended the Baby Grand Jazz Series at the Hartford Public Library.  The Alon Nechusahtan Jazz Trio played. I think all members were originally from Europe given their accents, but now well known musicians in the New York City.  I got there again about an hour early and just took in the atmosphere in the libraries atrium space and felt peace for a moment.

(Sketches below are of the Alon Nechushtan Trio at the Hartford Library)
Lars Ekman on double Bass

Colin Stranahan on Drums

Alon Nechushtan on Piano

The Library Host

Jan 21, 2016

A Saskia Laroo Night

A Saskia Laroo Night

Saskia Laroo on Trumpet

Jocelyn Pleasant  percussionist

 (Above quick sketches of the musician who played  Jazz Monday night)
(at Black Eyed Sally's)

Monday night was my music night.  I went to black I Sally's restaurant and sat with some friends.  When I got there JC professional photographer had his camera and my two other friends Tom and his and his wife were dinning. I was familiar with the band who played and I'm sure they seen my face before listening to them play on many occasions. The band leader for the night was Mrs Saskia Laroo from the Neatherlands playing trumpet. Her choice of instruments I thinks still turns heads as she blasted away at jazz staples in her blue dress while her husband regaled us on piano and with his vocal skills. Among the other band members there was was Steven "King" Porter on bass and Jocelyn Pleasent on drummer.

Jan 10, 2016

A Music Sunday Week Two (The Sinan Bakir Quartet)

A Music Sunday Week Two
 (The Sinan Bakir Quartet)

This Sunday on the second week of the free Sunday music Baby Grand Jazz series at the Hartford Public Library the Sinan Bakir Quartet played. I unlike previous week showed up early enough to sit downstairs at performance level.  There's always a quiet Sunday morning feel in the spaciously tall and aesthetically pleasing atrium. The light feels quiet, and I sense the people are way more relaxed than in a busy work week day. Before the show I talked with regulars and other artist friends, mostly who are photographers about other events, whose showing up where, and I observed and made new social connections.
Sinan Bakir played guitar and Mike Assetta played Bass along with Curtis Torian on drums. They gave a great performance while I meditated on things and drew.
(Below sketches of the band and space)

Jan 3, 2016

Lazy Sunday Music with Harp player Edmar Casanada

        The Baby grand Jazz series started once again at the Hartford Public Library for the year 2016, a free Sunday jazz series sponsored by the Hartford Jazz Society, and the Hartford library. The series that had been going on for years has become so popular that even though I arrived about half hour before the performance I could not find a seat and no one was allowed to stand downstairs at performance level due to fire code. My guess is that there were hundreds of people that came who sat down stairs and on the entry level of the library. In addition they had reserved seating for Hartford's new Mayor's wife and other, so security was tightened.
      I wandered up and down the upper levels and finally decide to sketch on one floor above seating level and two floors above performance level. The sketches below are bird's eye view sketches of the audience and performers Edmar castanada on Harp Pablo Vergara on piano both from Bogota Columbia.
    Heads bopped as the played "Libertango" composed by Astor Piazolla on a lazy Sunday afternoon