Thursday, June 9, 2016

World Premiere of The Shining at MN Opera

20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-FinalDressRehearsal

I recently had the distinct pleasure of sketching the final dress rehearsal of the MN Opera's world premiere of The Shining, an opera based on the novel by Stephen King. As a full dress rehearsal, all the house lights were down. So all of my sketches of the show itself were done in almost full darkness, with only the lights from the stage to show me the shine of wet paint on the page. It was a new sketching adventure that I hope to repeat again in the 2016-2017 opera season.

The evening started with a preshow talk about the musical themes and development of the work. The way the score builds and breaks down echoes the madness into which Jack Torrance descends. Scary, thrilling, and heartbreaking.
20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-PreShowTalk

Touring the Overlook Hotel. The boiler room; the boiler, "she creeps, she creeps."
20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-SheCreepsSheCreeps

Danny and Mr. Hallorann, the hotel's cook, discuss the shining--their shared psychic ability.
20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-TheShining

The inexorable draw of room 217.
20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-Room217

Jack meets Delbert Grady, the former caretaker who notoriously killed his family and himself in the hotel.
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Succumbed to the madness of the hotel, Jack tries to kill his wife, but she fends him off with a knife in the back.

20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-TakeYourMedicine

The ghosts of the Overlook Hotel, who have been the Greek chorus encouraging Jack's delusions, reprimand Jack's inability to kill ("take care") of his family.
20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-VeryBadWorkMrTorrance

In the epilogue (I'll leave you to read the novel so I don't spoil the climax!), Wendy and Danny rest and recuperate after a terrible winter. Mr. Hallorann encourages Danny; "you're doing fine, little man. Just fine."
20160505 MNOpera-TheShining-You'reDoingFine

Friday, May 27, 2016

Sketching at District Energy in Saint Paul

There's a building on West Kellogg Boulevard next to the Science Museum in Saint Paul with a big, white plume of steam coming out of it that recently became an art project. The building is home to District Energy, a private, non-profit company that turns biomass into electricity, heating and cooling for hundreds of buildings in downtown Saint Paul. A while back, I sketched the District Energy building from a window in the George Latimer Library across the street. I wondered what sort of machinery was inside of the building that created that big billowing cloud  and whether I could sketch inside it.

I contacted the folks at District Energy and they were gracious to schedule two sketching sessions inside the plant. I had wear a hard hat, protective eyewear and ear-plugs as I sketched.   I love sketching machinery and all things  industrial, so I was very excited to find enormous machines of all types inside the building. The plant was clean and well-lit, but at times really noisy and really hot – definitely an extreme sketching experience! I want to thank Lisa Eng-Sarne and Nina Axelson for showing me all the amazing parts of the building and all the people who work at District Energy for keeping our neighborhood buildings comfy all year round.
The view of District Energy from the library.

Water pipes.

A big room with big machinery.

Photo of me and the finished sketch by Lisa Eng-Sarne
All three sketches were done on Strathmore toned paper with ink and colored pencils (mostly Prismacolor). I get all my art supplies for sketching at Wet Paint on Grand Avenue and Saint Paul.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Reminder: The Awesome Midtown Greenway Sketch-Out is This Sunday!

Many of my friends are artists and many of my friends are cyclists and some of my friends are both. The upcoming Twin Cities Urban Sketcher sketch-out on the Midtown Greenway in Minneapolis  is an opportunity for urban sketchers and urban cyclists to enjoy each other's company. One thing urban cyclists and urban sketchers share is we enjoy the urban experience in an unhurried manner. We both explore the urban environment in a pleasant and convivial manner.

This sketch-out is not limited to bicyclists. The Greenway has a path for people who prefer to walk. For those who would prefer to stay in one place, there is plenty to sketch at the Midtown Global Market where we will all end up to look at each other's work at 3 PM. There is also a great deal to sketch within walking distance of the Midtown Global Market on Lake Street and the Midtown Global Market.

Bicyclists will of course, be able to range further from the Midtown Global Market. The Greenway stretches from Uptown to the Mississippi River. There is much to sketch in the neighborhoods along the way and on the Greenway itself. There's the iconic Martin Sabo Bridge and Lake Calhoun and there are lots and lots of cyclists (the Freewheel Bike Center is a good place to get a cup of coffee and sketch the passing parade).

For safety sake, find a place to sketch out of the way of bicyclists, walkers and joggers. Please do not trespass on private property, especially railroad tracks.

If you are a cyclist, please stop and say hello if you see a sketcher.

We meet 3 PM at the middle of the Midtown Global Market (where Salty Tart is). For non-bicyclists there's plenty to sketch inside the market. In case of rain, we all sketch in the market.

Midtown Greenway Sketch-Out
Sunday at 11 AM - 3 PM
Forecast: 46–63° Mostly Sunny

Salty Tart, Midtown Global Market.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Bell Museum Sketchathon

As the Bell Museum prepares to move to its new home on the UMN St. Paul campus, there has been a flurry of sketching activity and events to document the museum's current home in Minneapolis. One of these events is the Sketchathon, an all night event where a sketcher can have a field day (or field night, as it were!) capturing the amazing dioramas without crowds or the pressure of closing time. My goal is to sketch all of the smaller dioramas around the perimeter of the museum.
20160415 Bell Museum - Greater Prairie Chicken
I started with the Prairie Chickens. My father tells a story that Walter Breckenridge, the creator/builder of this diorama, used to visit the Sausen family farm to draw the prairie chickens. I'm not even sure if this happened during my father's childhood or earlier in the 20th century. No matter the time, the story of the prairie chickens is one of the many tiny ways I feel connected to this museum.
20160415 Bell Museum - Lark Sparrow

20160415 Bell Museum - Wood Duck

20160415 Bell Museum - Gray Partridge

Monday, April 25, 2016

The 1st Brazilian Urban Sketching Symposium

This past 4 days were amazing: meeting old and new friends to draw together in the streets of Curitiba, state of Paraná, in Brazil.
The organizers did such a great job planning and administrating the event (not an easy task): most of the meetings were in walking distance, excellent choices to draw in all of them and the city is welcoming and warm with its perfect weather. After each full day of work we met at traditional spots to relax, mingle and try the city's excellent food.
But it was surprising to see the amount of participants, way more than expected, and such amazing experience to draw with over 250 people! Sketchers  from all over Brazil, including the presence of some international members.
Such energy is contagious, I met a brand new sketchers at the M.O.N. museum who saw us on tv and wanted to participate. She is 86 years old. I also met our youngest member:a 5 year old following her mom in every meeting. 
I am going home happy and excited about the International Symposium in Manchester, in July. Can't wait!
                                      All participants in Curitiba! 

 First day sketching together- Praça 29 de Março- Friday, April 22 am

                                Largo da Ordem- Friday, April 22 pm

Saturday, April 23rd in the morning at Jardim Botânico

     And in the afternoon, we sketched at the Paço Municipal & Rua das Flores
             The final event at the MON Museum- project by Oscar Niemeyer 
The gorgeous photos were taken by the amazing photographers Ari Lopes da Rosa and Washington Takeuchi. 
I am grateful to be part of this amazing trip! Thank you #uskbrasil2016 !!!


Saturday, April 23, 2016

May Sketch-Out Will Be Midtown Global Market May 15

Sunday, May 15 from 11 AM - 3 PM.

A sketch-out for bicyclists and non-bicyclists alike. Bicyclists can choose any spot along the MIdtown Greenway to sketch. We meet 3 PM in the middle of the Midtown Global Market (where Salty Tart is). For non-bicyclists there's plenty to sketch inside the market. If it rains, we all sketch in the market.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Awesome Sketch-Out at Saint Anthony Main

The weather was nearly perfect for sketching yesterday at Saint Anthony Main.  Here we are with our sketches. To view more sketches, go to the Twin Cities Urban Sketchers Facebook Page.

To add yourself to the map, go to this link and follow the instructions (Note: You'll need to sign in with your Google account first.)