Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Dalvero Academy workshop 1

Several days ago I returned from Orlando Florida at a 10 day reportage illustration workshop offered by Veronica Lawlor and Margaret Hurst of Davero Academy. Aptly named "drawing bootcamp", we would spend eight to ten hours a day drawing on site at the Disney parks. The weather was hot and humid with everything from drizzle to torrential downpours, but none of that stopped us from drawing...not even the dark of night. Reportage illustration allows you to experience, engage and record the moment through your drawing. The ten days with these amazing teachers and talented students touched and tested me physically, intellectually and emotionally. Wow, what an experience!

Drawing the African performers at Animal Kingdom as they drummed and danced.

Ronnie encouraged me to add more marks to my drawings and used Picasso and Van Gogh as examples to study. I began to see the value of lines and texture and began to add more to my drawings. Above you can see my thumbnail to the left before I proceeded with my drawings of moving dancers, fast drumming hands and my interpretation of family and the tree of life.

We would be required to draw at least one or two parades a day depending on the park. You have about 10 minutes to capture the essence of what is going by very quickly with little room between spectators. Above is just one of many parades I drew over the course of ten days. This one was at Animal Kingdom where just before it started the skies opened up. I managed to get out of the rain, found and shared a table with a woman who was sound asleep using her handbag as a pillow. She became part of my drawing along with all the animal floats that came by.

After drawing the "celebrate the dream" parade at Magic Kingdom the rain chased us under cover. I was on Liberty street at the Magic Kingdom so I slipped into the Hall of Presidents to wait out the rain. I quickly and quietly sketched the presidents while I dried off a bit. Still raining, I had to get to the evening critique. We would be at the park until after another parade and the fireworks and it was going to be a long night. With the rain still coming down I succumbed to buying a Mary Poppins umbrella complete with a ruffled edge and the possibility that I could fly?

In the evenings back at the hotel, I would try to read before falling asleep, but with my mind spinning from the day's events, I found it impossible to focus on the words on the page. So I gave up reading along with my usual early morning exercise. Life was just different and was going to be for these 10 days. I started the above drawing of the Tree of Life and it became very relaxing and soothing to just draw lines from my imagination while catching up on what was going on in the real world by watching CNN and of course the real news on the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Dalvero Academy workshop 2

Drawing the Taiko drummers in Japan at Epcot one evening.

Throughout the 10 days I would draw faces of the tourists and many of the characters at the parks as they passed by. The woman at the bottom right asked me to draw her and then took a picture of me holding the drawing. I figured when at Disney...

Sitting against a building on the shady side of the street to avoid the midday heat as much as possible, I sketched Sunset Blvd at MGM. I would look up and could spot others from the group dotted along the street bent over their work. This was a quick sketch because soon I would have to wrap it up get in position for another parade.

I positioned myself at the curb under a tree for some shade waiting for the parade to pass by with only the usual 10 minutes to capture what I saw. But instead of continuing through the streets and passing us by, this one came down Hollywood Blvd and stopped. I was basically at the feet of the Toy Story float watching and drawing giant toy blocks and Mr. Potato Head as they jumped around at my feet and then the parade receded back the way they came. What a mess, but that's what I saw...even my foot in the lower right!

This final drawing at Animal Kingdom is quite large for me at 28"x 12". I found a shaded spot just out of the way of the foot of the thousands of people visiting Disney. Across from the Prayer Tree I spent the major part of the day drawing a panorama of people moving through the park as they walked from the Asia to Africa. It was a challenge for me to do something this large, but I enjoyed the process of watching and recording what I saw. Then I was off to get ready for one last parade...

After 10 days of reportage drawing with Dalvero Academy I can honestly say I am quite exhausted and it has taken me days to get up the energy to scan and post. However, it was truly an amazing experience and I will take what I have learned forward in my life as an artist and a now a reportage sketcher. Plus, Disney World ROCKS!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Cruising the Penobscot Bay

Our sail started with a little set back of very serious engine trouble. We spent the first night on the mooring in Rockland Harbor.

Our friend Ben sings the blues.

While the engine got repaired, we decide to take the ferry to Monhegan Island for the day. A sunny warm day of hiking, enjoying the spectacular views and wandering through galleries.

Lunch at the waters edge looking from Monhegan to Manana Island.

Finally underway we spent our first night at the Barred Islands. The fog had settled in that day and the subtle colors were wonderful to paint.

Cruising the Penobscot Bay

After heeling through the Eggemoggin Reach, we spent the night anchored at Coot and Camp islands.

I painted the sunset as we sat in the cockpit drinking "wine in a box", listening to Ben sing and planning where we might head the next day.

Sailing through the Deer Island Thorofare to North Haven.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Gone sailing

We are heading off for a week of sailing on the Penobscot Bay. We went last year at this same time and had rain and fog 6 out of 8 day os sailing. It was also quite cool so there were times when I was wearing my down parka while sitting on the deck sketching islands in the fog. We haven't had a stellar summer, but next week looks to be a good one...